21 “If, when you arrive in the Promised Land, a murder victim is found lying in a field and no one has seen the murder, 2 the elders and judges shall measure from the body to the nearest city. 3 Then the elders of that city shall take a heifer that has never been yoked, 4 and lead it to a valley where there is running water—a valley neither plowed nor sowed—and there break its neck.
5 “Then the priests shall come (for the Lord your God has chosen them to minister before him and to pronounce his blessings and decide lawsuits and punishments), 6 and shall wash their hands over the heifer, 7 and say, ‘Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it. 8 O Lord, forgive your people Israel whom you have redeemed, and do not charge them with murdering an innocent man. Forgive us the guilt of this man’s blood.’ 9 In this way you will put away the guilt from among you by following the Lord’s directions.
10 “When you go to war and the Lord your God delivers your enemies to you, 11 and you see among the captives a beautiful girl you want as your wife, 12 take her home with you. She must shave her head and pare her nails 13 and change her clothing, laying aside that which she was wearing when she was captured, then remain in your home in mourning for her father and mother for a full month. After that you may marry her. 14 However, if after marrying her you decide you don’t like her, you must let her go free—you may not sell her or treat her as a slave, for you have humiliated her.
15 “If a man has two wives but loves one and not the other, and both have borne him children, and the mother of his oldest son is the wife he doesn’t love, 16 he may not give a larger inheritance to his younger son, the son of the wife he loves. 17 He must give the customary double portion to his oldest son, who is the beginning of his strength and who owns the rights of a firstborn son, even though he is the son of the wife his father doesn’t love.
18 “If a man has a stubborn, rebellious son who will not obey his father or mother, even though they punish him, 19 then his father and mother shall take him before the elders of the city 20 and declare, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious and won’t obey; he is a worthless drunkard.’ 21 Then the men of the city shall stone him to death. In this way you shall put away this evil from among you, and all the young men of Israel will hear about what happened and will be afraid.
22 “If a man has committed a crime worthy of death, and is executed and then hanged on a tree, 23 his body shall not remain on the tree overnight. You must bury him the same day, for anyone hanging on a tree is cursed of God. Don’t defile the land the Lord your God has given you.
The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.