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Deuteronomy 22Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Other Laws

22 “If you see that your neighbor’s ox or sheep is loose, you must not ignore it. Be sure to take it back to its owner. If the owner does not live near you or if you don’t know who it belongs to, take the ox or sheep to your house. Keep it there until the owner comes looking for it; then give it back. You must do the same thing when you find anything that your neighbor might have lost. Don’t try selling it to your neighbor—you must give it back.

“If your neighbor’s donkey or ox has fallen down on the road, you must not ignore it. You must help your neighbor lift it up again.

“A woman must not wear men’s clothes, and a man must not wear women’s clothes. That is disgusting to the Lord your God.

“You might be walking along a path and find a bird’s nest in a tree or on the ground. If the mother bird is sitting with her baby birds or on the eggs, you must not take the mother bird with the babies. You may take the babies for yourself, but you must let the mother go. If you obey these laws, things will go well for you, and you will live a long time.

“When you build a new house, you must build a wall around your roof.[a] Then you will not be guilty for the death of a person who falls from the house.

Things That Must Not Be Put Together

“You must not plant seeds of grain in the same fields as your grapevines. Why? Because then they become useless[b]—both the grapes and the grain produced by the seeds you planted.

10 “You must not plow with an ox and a donkey together.

11 “You must not wear clothes made by weaving together wool and linen.

12 “Tie several pieces of thread together. Then put these tassels[c] on the four corners of the robes you wear.

Marriage Laws

13 “A man might marry a woman and have sexual relations with her. Then he might decide that he does not like her. 14 He might accuse her of doing wrong and say, ‘I married this woman, but when we had sexual relations, I found she was not a virgin.’ By saying this against her, people might think bad things about her. 15 If this happens, the girl’s father and mother must bring the proof that the girl was a virgin to the town elders at the meeting place of the town. 16 The girl’s father must say to the leaders, ‘I gave my daughter to this man to be his wife, but now he does not want her. 17 This man accused my daughter of doing wrong and said, “I did not find the proof that your daughter is a virgin.” But here is the proof that my daughter was a virgin.’ Then they should show the cloth[d] to the town leaders. 18 Then the leaders of that town must take that man and punish him. 19 They must fine him 40 ounces of silver.[e] They will give the money to the girl’s father because her husband brought shame to an Israelite girl. And the girl will continue to be the man’s wife. He cannot divorce her for the rest of his life.

20 “But what the husband said about his wife might be true. The wife’s parents might not have the proof that she was a virgin. If this happens, 21 the town leaders must bring the girl to the door of her father’s house. Then the men of the town must kill her with stones, because she has done a shameful thing in Israel. She has acted like a prostitute in her father’s house. You must remove this evil from your group.

Sexual Sins

22 “If a man is found having sexual relations with another man’s wife, both of them must die—the woman and the man who had sexual relations with her. You must remove this evil from Israel.

23 “A man might meet a virgin girl engaged to another man. He might have sexual relations with her. If this happens in the city, 24 you must bring them both out to the public place near the gate of that city, and you must kill them with stones. You must kill the man, because he used another man’s wife for sexual sin. And you must kill the girl, because she was in the city but did not call for help. You must remove this evil from your people.

25 “But if a man finds an engaged girl out in the field and forces her to have sexual relations with him, only the man must die. 26 You must do nothing to the girl. She did nothing that deserves the punishment of death. This is like someone attacking their neighbor and killing them. 27 The man found the engaged girl out in the field and attacked her. Maybe she called for help, but there was no one to help her.

28 “A man might find a virgin girl who is not engaged and force her to have sexual relations with him. If other people see this happen, 29 he must pay the girl’s father 20 ounces of silver.[f] And the girl will become the man’s wife, because he used her for sexual sin. He cannot divorce her all his life.

30 “A man must not bring shame to his father by marrying his father’s wife.

Footnotes:

  1. Deuteronomy 22:8 wall around your roof In ancient Israel, houses had flat roofs that were used as an extra room. This law made the roof a safer place.
  2. Deuteronomy 22:9 they become useless Literally, “they become holy.” This means these things belonged only to God, so they couldn’t be used by the people.
  3. Deuteronomy 22:12 tassels These pieces of string were made from different materials, so they became holy. This helped the people remember God and his commands.
  4. Deuteronomy 22:17 cloth The bloodstained bed cover that the bride kept from her wedding night to prove she was a virgin when she married.
  5. Deuteronomy 22:19 40 ounces of silver This is probably twice the amount of money that a man usually paid the father of the bride to seal the marriage agreement. See Deut. 22:29.
  6. Deuteronomy 22:29 20 ounces of silver This money became the dowry, the money a man paid to a woman’s father to seal the marriage agreement. Often the father saved this money to take care of the woman if something happened to her husband.
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International

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