Administration of Justice

17 (A)You shall not sacrifice to the Lord your God an ox or a sheep which has a blemish or any [a]defect, for that is a detestable thing to the Lord your God.

(B)If there is found in your midst, in any of your [b]towns which the Lord your God is giving you, a man or a woman who does what is evil in the sight of the Lord your God, by violating His covenant, and that person has gone and (C)served other gods and worshiped them, (D)or the sun, the moon, or any of the heavenly [c]lights, (E)which I have commanded not to do, and if it is reported to you and you have heard about it, then you shall investigate thoroughly. And [d]if it is true and the report is trustworthy that this detestable thing has been done in Israel, then you are to bring out to your gates that man or woman who has done this evil deed, that is, the man or the woman, and (F)you shall stone them to [e]death. (G)On the [f]testimony of two witnesses or three witnesses, the [g]condemned shall be put to death; he shall not be put to death on the [h]testimony of only one witness. (H)The hands of the witnesses shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. (I)So you shall eliminate the evil from your midst.

(J)If a case is too difficult for you to decide, between [i]one kind of homicide or another, between [j]one kind of lawsuit or another, and between [k]one kind of assault or another, that are cases of dispute in your [l]courts, then you shall arise and go up to (K)the place which the Lord your God chooses. So you shall come to (L)the Levitical priests or the judge who is in office in those days, and you shall inquire of them and they will declare to you the [m]verdict. 10 Then you shall act in accordance with the [n]terms of the verdict which they declare to you from that place which the Lord chooses; and you shall be careful to act in accordance with everything that they instruct you to do. 11 (M)In accordance with the [o]terms of the law about which they instruct you, and in accordance with the verdict which they tell you, you shall act; you shall not turn aside from the word which they declare to you, to the right or the left. 12 But the person who acts (N)insolently by not listening to the priest who stands there to serve the Lord your God, nor to the judge, that person shall die; so you shall eliminate the evil from Israel. 13 Then all the people will hear and be afraid, and will not act (O)insolently again.

14 “When you enter the land which the Lord your God is giving you, and you (P)take possession of it and live in it, and you say, ‘(Q)I will appoint a king over me like all the nations who are around me,’ 15 you shall in fact appoint a king over you whom the Lord your God chooses. One (R)from among your countrymen you shall appoint as king over yourselves; you may not put a foreigner over yourselves, anyone who is not your countryman. 16 (S)In any case, he is not to acquire many horses for himself, nor shall he (T)make the people return to Egypt in order to acquire many horses, since (U)the Lord has said to you, ‘You shall never again return that way.’ 17 And (V)he shall not acquire many wives for himself, so that his heart does not turn away; nor shall he greatly increase silver and gold for himself.

18 “Now it shall come about, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this Law on a scroll [p](W)in the presence of the Levitical priests. 19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read it (X)all the days of his life, so that he will learn to fear the Lord his God, [q]by carefully following all the words of this Law and these statutes, 20 so that his heart will not be haughty toward his countrymen, (Y)and that he will not turn away from the commandment to the right or the left, so that he and his sons may [r]live long in his kingdom in the midst of Israel.


  1. Deuteronomy 17:1 Lit bad thing
  2. Deuteronomy 17:2 Lit gates
  3. Deuteronomy 17:3 Lit host
  4. Deuteronomy 17:4 Lit behold, true
  5. Deuteronomy 17:5 Lit death with stones
  6. Deuteronomy 17:6 Lit mouth
  7. Deuteronomy 17:6 Lit one dying
  8. Deuteronomy 17:6 Lit mouth
  9. Deuteronomy 17:8 Lit blood to blood
  10. Deuteronomy 17:8 Lit lawsuit to lawsuit
  11. Deuteronomy 17:8 Lit blow to blow
  12. Deuteronomy 17:8 Lit gates
  13. Deuteronomy 17:9 Lit word of decision
  14. Deuteronomy 17:10 Lit mouth
  15. Deuteronomy 17:11 Lit mouth
  16. Deuteronomy 17:18 Lit from before
  17. Deuteronomy 17:19 Lit to keep do them,
  18. Deuteronomy 17:20 Lit prolong days

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