Deuteronomy 17:1–20

Administration of Justice

1 aYou shall not sacrifice to the Lord your God an ox or a sheep which has a blemish or any 1defect, for that is a detestable thing to the Lord your God.

2 aIf there is found in your midst, in any of your 1towns, which the Lord your God is giving you, a man or a woman who does what is evil in the sight of the Lord your God, by transgressing His covenant,

3 and has gone and aserved other gods and worshiped them, bor the sun or the moon or any of the heavenly host, cwhich I have not commanded,

4 and if it is told you and you have heard of it, then you shall inquire thoroughly. Behold, if it is true and the thing certain that this detestable thing has been done in Israel,

5 then you shall bring out that man or that woman who has done this evil deed to your gates, that is, the man or the woman, and ayou shall stone them to 1death.

6 aOn the 1evidence of two witnesses or three witnesses, he who is to die shall be put to death; he shall not be put to death on the 1evidence of one witness.

7 aThe hand of the witnesses shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. bSo you shall purge the evil from your midst.

8 aIf any case is too difficult for you to decide, between 1one kind of homicide or another, between 2one kind of lawsuit or another, and between 3one kind of assault or another, being cases of dispute in your 4courts, then you shall arise and go up to bthe place which the Lord your God chooses.

9 “So you shall come to athe Levitical priest or the judge who is in office in those days, and you shall inquire of them and they will declare to you the verdict in the case.

10 “You shall do according to the 1terms of the verdict which they declare to you from that place which the Lord chooses; and you shall be careful to observe according to all that they teach you.

11 aAccording to the 1terms of the law which they teach you, and according to the verdict which they tell you, you shall do; you shall not turn aside from the word which they declare to you, to the right or the left.

12 “The man who acts apresumptuously by not listening to the priest who stands there to serve the Lord your God, nor to the judge, that man shall die; thus you shall purge the evil from Israel.

13 “Then all the people will hear and be afraid, and will not act apresumptuously again.

14 “When you enter the land which the Lord your God gives you, and you apossess it and live in it, and you say, ‘bI will set a king over me like all the nations who are around me,’

15 you shall surely set a king over you whom the Lord your God chooses, one afrom among your 1countrymen you shall set as king over yourselves; you may not put a foreigner over yourselves who is not your 1countryman.

16 aMoreover, he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor shall he bcause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, since cthe Lord has said to you, ‘You shall never again return that way.’

17 aHe shall not multiply wives for himself, 1or else his heart will turn away; nor shall he greatly increase silver and gold for himself.

18 “Now it shall come about when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself a copy of this law on a scroll 1ain the presence of the Levitical priests.

19 “It shall be with him and he shall read it aall the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, 1by carefully observing all the words of this law and these statutes,

20 that his heart may not be lifted up above his 1countrymen aand that he may not turn aside from the commandment, to the right or the left, so that he and his sons may continue long in his kingdom in the midst of Israel.

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