Deuteronomy 21 Expanded Bible (EXB)
A Person Found Murdered
21 Suppose ·someone is found murdered [L a corpse], lying in a field in the land the Lord your God is giving you as your ·own [possession], and no one knows who ·killed [L struck] the person. 2 Your elders and judges should go to where the ·body [L corpse] was found, and they should measure how far it is to the nearby cities. 3 The elders of the city nearest the body must take a ·young cow [heifer] that has never worked or ·worn [L pulled] a yoke, 4 and they must lead her down to a ·valley [wadi] that has never been plowed or planted, with a ·stream [wadi] flowing through it. There they must break the ·young cow’s [heifer’s] neck. 5 The priests, the sons of Levi, should come forward, because they have been chosen by the Lord your God to serve him and to give blessings in the Lord’s name. They are the ones who decide cases of ·quarreling [accusation] and attacks. 6 Then all the elders of the city nearest the ·murdered person [L corpse] should wash their hands over the ·young cow [heifer] whose neck was broken in the ·valley [wadi]. 7 They should declare: “·We did not kill this person [L Our hands did not spill this blood], and ·we [L our eyes] did not see it happen. 8 Lord, ·remove this sin from [make atonement for] your people Israel, whom you have ·saved [redeemed; ransomed]. Don’t ·blame your people, the Israelites, for the murder of this innocent person [L place the guilt of innocent blood in the midst of your people Israel].” And so the murder will be ·paid [atoned] for. 9 Then you will have ·removed [banished; purged] from yourselves the guilt of ·murdering an innocent person [innocent blood], because you will be doing what ·the Lord says is right [L is right/virtuous in the eyes of the Lord].
Captive Women as Wives
10 When you go to war against your enemies, the Lord will ·help you defeat them [L give them into your hands] so you will take them captive. 11 If you see a beautiful woman among the captives and ·are attracted to [desire; fall in love with] her, you may take her as your wife. 12 Bring her into your home, where she must shave her head and cut her nails 13 and change the clothes she was wearing when you captured her. After she has lived in your house and cried for her ·parents [L father and her mother] for a month, you may marry her. You will be her husband, and she will be your wife. 14 But if you are not pleased with her, you must let her go anywhere she wants. You must not sell her for money or make her a slave, because you have ·taken away her honor [humiliated; exploited her].
The Oldest Son
15 A man might have two wives, one he loves and one he ·doesn’t [L hates; dislikes]. Both wives might have sons by him. If the ·older son [firstborn] belongs to the wife he ·does not love [L hates; dislikes], 16 when that man wills his property to his sons he must not give the son of the wife he loves what belongs to the ·older [firstborn] son, the son of the wife he ·does not love [L hates; dislikes]. 17 He must agree to give the ·older son [firstborn] two shares of everything he owns, even though the ·older son [firstborn] is from the wife he does ·not love [L hates; dislikes]. That son was the first ·to prove his father could have children [L of his virility], so he has the rights that belong to the ·older son [firstborn].
Sons Who Refuse to Obey
18 If someone has a son who is stubborn, who ·turns [rebels] against his father and mother and doesn’t obey them or listen when they ·correct [discipline] him, 19 his ·parents [L mother and his father] must ·take [grab] him to the elders at the city gate [Ex. 21:15; Lev. 20:9]. 20 They will say to the elders, “Our son is stubborn and ·turns [rebels] against us. He will not obey us. He ·eats too much [is a glutton], and he is ·always drunk [a drunk].” 21 Then all the men in his town must ·throw stones at [stone] him until he dies. ·Get rid of [Banish; Purge] the evil among you, because then all the people of Israel will hear about this and be afraid.
22 If someone is guilty of a sin worthy of death, he must be put to death and his body ·displayed [hung] on a tree. 23 But don’t leave his body hanging on the tree overnight; be sure to bury him that same day, because anyone whose body is displayed on a tree is cursed by God [Matt. 27:57–58; Gal. 3:13]. You must not ruin the land the Lord your God is giving you as your ·own [L inheritance].