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 transgressing His covenant, and has gone and (C)served other gods and worshiped them, (D)or the sun or the moon or any of the heavenly host, (E)which I have not commanded, and if it is told you and you have heard of it, then you shall inquire thoroughly. Behold, if it is true and the thing certain that this detestable thing has been done in Israel, then you shall bring out that man or that woman who has done this evil deed to your gates, that is, the man or the woman, and (F)you shall stone them to [c]death. (G)On the [d]evidence of two witnesses or three witnesses, he who is to die shall be put to death; he shall not be put to death on the [e]evidence of one witness. (H)The hand of the witnesses shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. (I)So you shall purge the evil from your midst.

(J)If any case is too difficult for you to decide, between [f]one kind of homicide or another, between [g]one kind of lawsuit or another, and between [h]one kind of assault or another, being cases of dispute in your [i]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 priest or the judge who is in office in those days, and you shall inquire of them and they will declare to you the verdict in the case. 10 You shall do according to the [j]terms of the verdict which they declare to you from that place which the Lord chooses; and you shall be careful to observe according to all that they teach you. 11 (M)According to the [k]terms of the law which they teach you, and according to the verdict which they tell you, you shall do; you shall not turn aside from the word which they declare to you, to the right or the left. 12 The man who acts (N)presumptuously by not listening to the priest who stands there to serve the Lord your God, nor to the judge, that man shall die; thus you shall purge the evil from Israel. 13 Then all the people will hear and be afraid, and will not act (O)presumptuously again.

14 “When you enter the land which the Lord your God gives you, and you (P)possess it and live in it, and you say, ‘(Q)I will set a king over me like all the nations who are around me,’ 15 you shall surely set a king over you whom the Lord your God chooses, one (R)from among your [l]countrymen you shall set as king over yourselves; you may not put a foreigner over yourselves who is not your [m]countryman. 16 (S)Moreover, he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor shall he (T)cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, since (U)the Lord has said to you, ‘You shall never again return that way.’ 17 (V)He shall not multiply wives for himself, [n]or else his heart will 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, he shall write for himself a copy of this law on a scroll [o](W)in the presence of the Levitical priests. 19 It shall be with him and he shall read it (X)all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, [p]by carefully observing all the words of this law and these statutes, 20 that his heart may not be lifted up above his [q]countrymen (Y)and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, to the right or the left, so that he and his sons may continue long in his kingdom in the midst of Israel.

Footnotes

  1. Deuteronomy 17:1 Lit evil thing
  2. Deuteronomy 17:2 Lit gates
  3. Deuteronomy 17:5 Lit death with stones
  4. Deuteronomy 17:6 Lit mouth
  5. Deuteronomy 17:6 Lit mouth
  6. Deuteronomy 17:8 Lit blood to blood
  7. Deuteronomy 17:8 Lit judgment to judgment
  8. Deuteronomy 17:8 Lit stroke to stroke
  9. Deuteronomy 17:8 Lit gates
  10. Deuteronomy 17:10 Lit mouth
  11. Deuteronomy 17:11 Lit mouth
  12. Deuteronomy 17:15 Lit brother(s)
  13. Deuteronomy 17:15 Lit brother(s)
  14. Deuteronomy 17:17 Lit nor
  15. Deuteronomy 17:18 Lit from before
  16. Deuteronomy 17:19 Lit to keep to do them
  17. Deuteronomy 17:20 Lit brothers

17 Do not sacrifice to the Lord your God an ox or a sheep that has any defect(A) or flaw in it, for that would be detestable(B) to him.(C)

If a man or woman living among you in one of the towns the Lord gives you is found doing evil in the eyes of the Lord your God in violation of his covenant,(D) and contrary to my command(E) has worshiped other gods,(F) bowing down to them or to the sun(G) or the moon or the stars in the sky,(H) and this has been brought to your attention, then you must investigate it thoroughly. If it is true(I) and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done in Israel,(J) take the man or woman who has done this evil deed to your city gate and stone that person to death.(K) On the testimony of two or three witnesses a person is to be put to death, but no one is to be put to death on the testimony of only one witness.(L) The hands of the witnesses must be the first in putting that person to death,(M) and then the hands of all the people.(N) You must purge the evil(O) from among you.

Law Courts

If cases come before your courts that are too difficult for you to judge(P)—whether bloodshed, lawsuits or assaults(Q)—take them to the place the Lord your God will choose.(R) Go to the Levitical(S) priests and to the judge(T) who is in office at that time. Inquire of them and they will give you the verdict.(U) 10 You must act according to the decisions they give you at the place the Lord will choose. Be careful to do everything they instruct you to do. 11 Act according to whatever they teach you and the decisions they give you. Do not turn aside from what they tell you, to the right or to the left.(V) 12 Anyone who shows contempt(W) for the judge or for the priest who stands ministering(X) there to the Lord your God is to be put to death.(Y) You must purge the evil from Israel.(Z) 13 All the people will hear and be afraid, and will not be contemptuous again.(AA)

The King

14 When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you and have taken possession(AB) of it and settled in it,(AC) and you say, “Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us,”(AD) 15 be sure to appoint(AE) over you a king the Lord your God chooses. He must be from among your fellow Israelites.(AF) Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not an Israelite. 16 The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses(AG) for himself(AH) or make the people return to Egypt(AI) to get more of them,(AJ) for the Lord has told you, “You are not to go back that way again.”(AK) 17 He must not take many wives,(AL) or his heart will be led astray.(AM) He must not accumulate(AN) large amounts of silver and gold.(AO)

18 When he takes the throne(AP) of his kingdom, he is to write(AQ) for himself on a scroll a copy(AR) of this law, taken from that of the Levitical priests. 19 It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life(AS) so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees(AT) 20 and not consider himself better than his fellow Israelites and turn from the law(AU) to the right or to the left.(AV) Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel.(AW)

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