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Deuteronomy 24-27Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

24 “A man might marry a woman, and then find some secret thing about her that he does not like. If that man is not pleased with her, he must write the divorce papers and give them to her. Then he must send her from his house. When she has left his house, she may go and become another man’s wife. 3-4 But suppose the new husband also does not like her and sends her away. If that man divorces her, the first husband may not take her again to be his wife. Or if the new husband dies, her first husband may not take her again to be his wife. She has become unclean to him. If he married her again, he would be doing something the Lord hates. You must not sin like this in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

“When a man is newly married, he must not be sent into the army. And he must not be given any other special work. For one year he must be free to stay home and make his new wife happy.

“When you lend someone something, you must not take as security[a] any part of the stones used to grind flour. That would be the same as taking away their food.

“Someone might kidnap another Israelite—one of their own people. And that kidnapper might sell that person as a slave. If that happens, that kidnapper must be killed. You must remove this evil from your group.

“When you have a very bad skin disease, be very careful to follow everything the Levite priests teach you. You must follow carefully what I told the priests to do. Remember what the Lord your God did to Miriam[b] on your trip out of Egypt.

10 “When you give someone any kind of loan, you must not go into their house to get security. 11 You must stand outside. Then the person who you gave the loan to will bring out the security to you. 12 If he is a poor man, then he might give the clothes that keep him warm. You must not keep that security overnight. 13 You must give his security back to him every evening. Then he will have clothes to sleep in. He will bless you, and the Lord your God will accept this as living right and doing good.

14 “You must not cheat a hired servant who is poor and needy. It does not matter if he is an Israelite or if he is a foreigner living in one of your cities. 15 Give him his pay every day before sunset, because he is poor and depends on the money. If you don’t pay him, he will complain against you to the Lord, and you will be guilty of sin.

16 “Parents must not be put to death for something their children did. And children must not be put to death for something their parents did. People should be put to death only for a bad thing that they themselves did.

17 “You must make sure that foreigners and orphans are treated fairly. And you must never take clothes from a widow as security. 18 Remember, you were poor slaves in Egypt. And the Lord your God took you from that place and set you free. That is why I tell you to do these things for the poor.

19 “You might be gathering your harvest in the field, and you might forget and leave some grain there. You must not go back to get it. It will be for the foreigners, the orphans, and the widows. If you leave some grain for them, the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do. 20 When you beat your olive trees, you must not go back to check the branches. The olives you leave will be for the foreigners, the orphans, and the widows. 21 When you gather the grapes from your vineyard, you must not go back to gather the grapes you left. They will be for the foreigners, the orphans, and the widows. 22 Remember you were poor slaves in Egypt. That is why I tell you to do these things for the poor.

25 “When two people have an argument, they should go to the court. The judges will decide which person is right and which is wrong. If the judge decides a person must be beaten with a whip, the judge must make that person lie face down. Someone will beat the guilty person while the judge watches. The number of times he must be hit depends on the crime. Don’t hit anyone more than 40 times during punishment, because more than that means that their life is not important to you.

“When an animal is being used to separate grain, you must not cover its mouth to stop it from eating.

“If two brothers live together, and one of them dies without a son, the wife of the dead man must not marry a stranger outside the family. Her husband’s brother must take her as his wife and have sexual relations with her. He must do the duty of a husband’s brother for her. Then the first son she has will be considered the dead man’s son in order to keep the dead man’s name alive in Israel. If the man does not want to take his brother’s wife, she must go to the town meeting place and tell the leaders, ‘My husband’s brother refuses to keep his brother’s name alive in Israel. He will not do the duty of a husband’s brother to me.’ Then the leaders of the city must call the man and talk to him. If the man is stubborn and says, ‘I don’t want to take her,’ then his brother’s wife must come to him in front of the leaders. She must take his sandal off his foot and spit in his face. She must say, ‘This is being done to the man who will not give his brother a son!’ 10 From then on, the brother’s family will be known in Israel as, ‘the family of the man whose sandal was removed.’

11 “Two men might be fighting against each other. One man’s wife might come to help her husband, but she must not grab the other man’s private parts. 12 If she does that, cut off her hand. Don’t feel sorry for her.

13 “Don’t use weights that are too heavy or too light. 14 Don’t keep measures in your house that are too large or too small. 15 You must use weights and measures that are correct and accurate. Then you will live a long time in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. 16 The Lord your God hates people who cheat with false weights and measures. Yes, he hates all people who do wrong.

The Amalekites Must Be Destroyed

17 “Remember what the Amalekites did to you when you were coming from Egypt. 18 The Amalekites did not respect God. They attacked you when you were weak and tired. They killed all your people who were slow and walking behind everyone else. 19 That is why you must destroy the memory of the Amalekites from the world. You will do this when you enter the land that the Lord your God is giving you. There he will give you rest from all the enemies around you. But do not forget to destroy the Amalekites!

The First Harvest

26 “You will soon enter the land that the Lord your God is giving you. You will take that land and live there. You will gather the crops that grow in the land the Lord your God is giving you. You must take some of the first crops you gather and put them in baskets. Then take that part of your harvest to the place that the Lord your God chooses to be the home for his name. Go to the priest who is serving at that time. Tell him, ‘The Lord promised our ancestors that he would give us some land. Today I come to announce to the Lord your God that I have come to that land.’

“Then the priest will take the basket from you. He will put it down in front of the altar of the Lord your God. Then there before the Lord your God you will say: ‘My ancestor was a wandering Aramean.[c] He went down into Egypt and stayed there. When he went there, he had only a few people in his family. But in Egypt he became a great nation—a powerful nation with many people. The Egyptians treated us badly. They made us slaves. They hurt us and forced us to work very hard. Then we prayed to the Lord, the God of our ancestors, and complained about them. And the Lord heard us. He saw our trouble, our hard work, and our suffering. Then the Lord brought us out of Egypt with his great power and strength. He used great miracles and wonders and did amazing things. So he brought us to this place. He gave us this land—a land filled with many good things.[d] 10 Now, Lord, I bring you the first harvest from the land that you gave me.’

“Then you must put the harvest down before the Lord your God and bow down to worship him. 11 Then you must have a meal together and enjoy all the good things that the Lord your God has given to you and your family. You must share them with the Levites and the foreigners living among you.

12 “Every third year is the Year of Tithes. In that year, you must give one-tenth of your harvest to the Levites, to the foreigners living in your country, and to the widows and orphans. Then they will have plenty to eat in every city. 13 You must say to the Lord your God, ‘I have taken out of my house the holy part of my harvest. I have given it to the Levites, to the foreigners, and to the orphans and widows. I have followed all the commands you gave me. I have not refused to obey any of your commands. I have not forgotten them. 14 I have not eaten this food when I was sad.[e] I was not unclean when I collected this food.[f] I have not offered any of this food for dead people. I have obeyed you, Lord my God. I have done everything you commanded me. 15 Look down from your holy home, from heaven, and bless your people Israel. And bless the land that you gave us. You promised our ancestors to give us this land—a land filled with many good things.’

Obey the Lord’s Commands

16 “Today the Lord your God commands you to obey all these laws and rules. Be careful to follow them with all your heart and soul. 17 Today you have said that the Lord is your God. You have promised to live the way he wants. You promised to follow his teachings and to obey his laws and commands. You said you would do everything he tells you to do. 18 And today the Lord has accepted you to be his own people. He has promised you this. The Lord also said that you must obey all his commands. 19 The Lord will make you greater than all the nations he made. He will give you praise, fame, and honor. And you will be his own special people, as he promised.”

Stone Memorials for the People

27 Moses and the elders of Israel spoke to the people. Moses said, “Obey all the commands that I give you today. You will soon go across the Jordan River into the land that the Lord your God is giving you. On that day you must put up large stones. Cover them with plaster. Then write on the stones all these commands and teachings. You must do this when you go across the Jordan River. Then you may go into the land that the Lord your God is giving you—a land filled with many good things.[g] The Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised to give you this land.

“After you go across the Jordan River, you must do what I command you today. You must set up the stones on Mount Ebal. You must cover these stones with plaster. Also, use some stones there to build an altar to the Lord your God. Don’t use iron tools to cut the stones. You must not use cut stones to build the altar for the Lord your God. Offer burnt offerings on this altar to the Lord your God. And you must sacrifice and eat fellowship offerings there. Eat and enjoy yourselves there together with the Lord your God. You must write all these teachings on the stones that you set up. Write clearly so that they are easy to read.”

The People Must Agree to God’s Rules

Moses and the Levite priests spoke to all the Israelites. Moses said, “Be quiet and listen, Israel! Today you have become the people of the Lord your God. 10 So you must do everything that the Lord your God tells you. You must obey his commands and his laws that I am giving you today.”

11 That day Moses also told the people, 12 “After you have gone across the Jordan River, these tribes will stand on Mount Gerizim to read the blessings to the people: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin. 13 And these tribes will stand on Mount Ebal to read the curses: Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali.

14 “And the Levites will say to all the Israelites in a loud voice:

15 “‘Cursed is the one who makes a false god and puts it in its secret place. These false gods are only statues that some worker makes from wood, stone or metal. The Lord hates these things!’

“Then all the people will answer, ‘Amen!’

16 “The Levites will say, ‘Cursed is the one who does not show respect to their father or their mother!’

“Then all the people will answer, ‘Amen!’

17 “The Levites will say, ‘Cursed is the one who moves a neighbor’s landmark[h]!’

“Then all the people will say, ‘Amen!’

18 “The Levites will say, ‘Cursed is the one who tricks a blind man into going the wrong way!’

“Then all the people will say, ‘Amen!’

19 “The Levites will say, ‘Cursed is the one who does not give fair judgment for the foreigners, orphans, and widows!’

“Then all the people will say, ‘Amen!’

20 “The Levites will say, ‘Cursed is the one who shames his father by having sexual relations with his father’s wife.’

“Then all the people will say, ‘Amen!’

21 “The Levites will say, ‘Cursed is the one who has sexual relations with any kind of animal!’

“Then all the people will say, ‘Amen!’

22 “The Levites will say, ‘Cursed is the one who has sexual relations with his sister or half sister!’

“Then all the people will say, ‘Amen!’

23 “The Levites will say, ‘Cursed is the one who has sexual relations with his mother-in-law!’

“Then all the people will say, ‘Amen!’

24 “The Levites will say, ‘Cursed is the one who kills anyone, even if he is not caught!’

“Then all the people will say, ‘Amen!’

25 “The Levites will say, ‘Cursed is the one who takes money to kill an innocent person!’

“Then all the people will say, ‘Amen!’

26 “The Levites will say, ‘Cursed is the one who does not support this law and agree to obey it.’

“Then all the people will say, ‘Amen!’

Footnotes:

  1. Deuteronomy 24:6 security Anything someone gives as a promise to repay a loan. If the loan is not repaid, the lender keeps whatever was given. Also in verses 10, 17.
  2. Deuteronomy 24:9 Miriam See Num. 12:1-15.
  3. Deuteronomy 26:5 Aramean A person from ancient Syria. Here, this might be Abraham, Isaac, or probably Jacob (Israel).
  4. Deuteronomy 26:9 land … things Literally, “land flowing with milk and honey.” Also in verse 15.
  5. Deuteronomy 26:14 I have … sad People ate this food to be happy about the many things God gave them, so it could not be from food used during a time of sadness.
  6. Deuteronomy 26:14 I was … food This would mean other people could not eat this food during the celebration to honor the Lord.
  7. Deuteronomy 27:3 land … things Literally, “land flowing with milk and honey.”
  8. Deuteronomy 27:17 landmark A stone or sign that showed where the limits of a person’s property were.
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International

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