certain wicked people have gone out from your community and they’ve led the citizens of their town astray by saying: “Come on! We should follow and worship other gods”—ones you haven’t experienced before;
some troublemakers from your own nation are persuading the people of their city to do bad things. They might say to the people of their city, ‘Let’s go and serve other gods.’ (These gods would be gods that you never knew before.)
that ·evil people [worthless people; scoundrels] have moved in among you. And they might lead the people of that city away from God, saying, “Let’s go and ·worship [L serve] other gods.” (These are gods you have not known.)
“If you ever hear it said about one of the cities of Israel that some worthless rabble have led their fellow citizens astray with the suggestion that they worship foreign gods, first check the facts to see if the rumor is true. If you find that it is, that it is certain that such a horrible thing is happening among you in one of the cities the Lord has given you,
When word comes in from one of your cities that God, your God, is giving you to live in, reporting that evil men have gotten together with some of the citizens of the city and have broken away, saying, “Let’s go and worship other gods” (gods you know nothing about), then you must conduct a careful examination. Ask questions, investigate. If it turns out that the report is true and this abomination did in fact take place in your community, you must execute the citizens of that town. Kill them, setting that city apart for holy destruction: the city and everything in it including its animals. Gather the plunder in the middle of the town square and burn it all—town and plunder together up in smoke, a holy sacrifice to God, your God. Leave it there, ashes and ruins. Don’t build on that site again. And don’t let any of the plunder devoted to holy destruction stick to your fingers. Get rid of it so that God may turn from anger to compassion, generously making you prosper, just as he promised your ancestors.
You hear that people who cause trouble have appeared among you. They’ve tried to get the people of their town to do something wrong. They’ve said, “Let’s go and worship other gods.” But you haven’t known anything about those gods before.
Certain men, the bnei Beliyaal (reprobate, worthless men), are gone out from among you, and have enticed the inhabitants of their town, saying, Let us go and serve elohim acherim, which ye have not known;
The sons of Belial went out from the midst of thee, and turned away the dwellers of the city, and said, Go we, and serve alien gods, which ye knew not, (The sons of Belial went out from thy midst, and turned away that city’s inhabitants, for they said, Let us go, and serve foreign, or other, gods, which ye knew not,)
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