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17 “You shall not sacrifice to Yahweh your God an ox or sheep that has a physical defect[a] of anything seriously wrong,[b] for that is a detestable thing to Yahweh your God. If there is found in one of your towns[c] that Yahweh your God is giving to you a man or a woman that does evil in the eyes of Yahweh your God to transgress his covenant and by going and serving other gods and so he bows down to them and to the sun or to the moon or to any of the host of heaven which I have forbidden,[d] and it is reported to you or you hear about it and you enquire about it thoroughly and, indeed,[e] the trustworthiness of the deed[f] has been established, it has occurred,[g] this detestable thing, in Israel, then you shall bring out that man or that woman who has[h] done this evil thing to your gates; that is, the man or the woman, and you shall stone them with stones to death.[i] On the evidence of[j] two or three witnesses the person shall be put to death.[k] The person[l] shall not be put to death by the mouth of one witness. The hand of the witnesses shall be first against the person[m] to kill the person,[n] and afterward the hands[o] of all the people, and so you shall purge the evil from your midst.

If a matter is too difficult for you,[p] for example disputes between blood and blood,[q] between legal claim and legal claim[r] and between assault and assault[s] and between matters of discernment in your towns,[t] then you shall get up and you shall go to the place that Yahweh your God will choose; then you shall go to the priests and the Levites and to the judge who will be in office in those days, and you shall enquire, and they shall announce to you the verdict.[u]

10 “And you shall carry out exactly the decision[v] that they announced to you from that place that Yahweh will choose, and you shall diligently observe[w] according to all that they instruct you. 11 And so according to the instruction of the law[x] that they teach you and according to the decisions that they say to you, you shall do; you shall not turn from the word that they tell you to the right or to the left. 12 And the man who treats with contempt[y] so as not to listen to the priest who is standing to minister on behalf of Yahweh your God or to the judge, that man shall die; so you shall purge the evil from Israel. 13 And all the people will hear and will be afraid, and they will not behave presumptuously again.

14 “When you have come to that land that Yahweh your God is giving to you and you have taken possession of it and you have settled in it, and you say, ‘I will set over me a king like all the nations that are around me,’ 15 indeed, you may set a king over you whom Yahweh your God will choose, from the midst of your countrymen[z] you must set a king over you; you are not allowed to appoint over you a man, a foreigner, who is not your countryman.[aa] 16 Except, he may not make numerous[ab] for himself horses, and he may not allow the people to to go to Egypt in order to increase horses,[ac] for Yahweh has said to you that you may never return.[ad] 17 And he must not acquire many[ae] wives for himself, so that his heart would turn aside; and he must not accumulate silver and gold for himself excessively.[af]

18 And then[ag] when he is sitting[ah] on the throne of his kingdom, then he shall write for himself a copy of this law on a scroll before[ai] the Levitical priests. 19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read it[aj] all the days of his life, so that he may learn to revere Yahweh your God by diligently observing[ak] all the word of this law and these rules, 20 so as not to exalt his heart above his countrymen[al] and not to turn aside from the commandment to the right or to the left, so that he may reign long over his kingdom,[am] he and his children in the midst of Israel.”


  1. Deuteronomy 17:1 Literally “that is on it a physical defect”
  2. Deuteronomy 17:1 Literally “of any thing bad/evil”
  3. Deuteronomy 17:2 Literally “gates”
  4. Deuteronomy 17:3 Literally “which not I have commanded”
  5. Deuteronomy 17:4 Or “look!”
  6. Deuteronomy 17:4 Hebrew “the thing”
  7. Deuteronomy 17:4 Literally “has been done”
  8. Deuteronomy 17:5 Hebrew “have”
  9. Deuteronomy 17:5 Literally “and so they die”
  10. Deuteronomy 17:6 Literally “By the mouth of”
  11. Deuteronomy 17:6 Literally “he/she shall be put to death, the dead person”
  12. Deuteronomy 17:6 Hebrew “he/she”
  13. Deuteronomy 17:7 Hebrew “him”
  14. Deuteronomy 17:7 Hebrew “him”
  15. Deuteronomy 17:7 Hebrew “hand”
  16. Deuteronomy 17:8 Literally “If is difficult/wonderful from you a thing for judgment”
  17. Deuteronomy 17:8 Or “between one homicide and another”
  18. Deuteronomy 17:8 Or “one kind of lawsuit and another”
  19. Deuteronomy 17:8 Or “one kind of abuse and another”
  20. Deuteronomy 17:8 Literally “gates”
  21. Deuteronomy 17:9 Literally “the word of the decision”
  22. Deuteronomy 17:10 Literally “and you shall do according to the mouth of the word”
  23. Deuteronomy 17:10 Literally “and you shall observe and do”
  24. Deuteronomy 17:11 Literally “mouth of the law”
  25. Deuteronomy 17:12 Or “acts presumptuously”
  26. Deuteronomy 17:15 Or “brothers”
  27. Deuteronomy 17:15 Or “brother”
  28. Deuteronomy 17:16 Literally “not multiply”
  29. Deuteronomy 17:16 Literally “in order to make numerous horse”
  30. Deuteronomy 17:16 Literally “not you may do again to return”
  31. Deuteronomy 17:17 Or “make numerous”
  32. Deuteronomy 17:17 Literally “gold and silver not he must make numerous for him very”
  33. Deuteronomy 17:18 Literally “And it shall happen”
  34. Deuteronomy 17:18 Literally “as/when his sitting”
  35. Deuteronomy 17:18 Literally “to the face of”
  36. Deuteronomy 17:19 Hebrew “in it”
  37. Deuteronomy 17:19 Literally “by keeping ... to do them”
  38. Deuteronomy 17:20 Or “brothers”
  39. Deuteronomy 17:20 Literally “he may make long his days over his kingdom”