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The New King James Version

Deuteronomy 17:1–20:20

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17 “You ashall not sacrifice to the Lord your God a bull or sheep which has any 1blemish or defect, for that is an 2abomination to the Lord your God.

b“If there is found among you, within any of your 3gates which the Lord your God gives you, a man or a woman who has been wicked in the sight of the Lord your God, cin transgressing His covenant, who has gone and served other gods and worshiped them, either dthe sun or moon or any of the host of heaven, ewhich I have not commanded, fand it is told you, and you hear of it, then you shall inquire diligently. And if it is indeed true and certain that such an 4abomination has been committed in Israel, then you shall bring out to your gates that man or woman who has committed that wicked thing, and gshall stone hto death that man or woman with stones. Whoever is deserving of death shall be put to death on the testimony of two or three iwitnesses; he shall not be put to death on the testimony of one witness. The hands of the witnesses shall be the first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So you shall put away the evil from among jyou.

k“If a matter arises which is too hard for you to judge, between degrees of guilt for bloodshed, between one judgment or another, or between one punishment or another, matters of controversy within your gates, then you shall arise and go up to the lplace which the Lord your God chooses. And myou shall come to the priests, the Levites, and nto the judge there in those days, and inquire of them; othey shall pronounce upon you the sentence of judgment. 10 You shall do according to the sentence which they pronounce upon you in that place which the Lord chooses. And you shall be careful to do according to all that they order you. 11 According to the sentence of the law in which they instruct you, according to the judgment which they tell you, you shall do; you shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left from the sentence which they pronounce upon you. 12 Now pthe man who acts presumptuously and will not heed the priest who stands to minister there before the Lord your God, or the judge, that man shall die. So you shall put away the evil from Israel. 13 qAnd all the people shall hear and fear, and no longer act presumptuously.

Principles Governing Kings

14 “When you come to the land which the Lord your God is giving you, and possess it and dwell in it, and say, r‘I will set a king over me like all the nations that are around me,’ 15 you shall surely set a king over you swhom the Lord your God chooses; one tfrom among your brethren you shall set as king over you; you may not set a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. 16 But he shall not multiply uhorses for himself, nor cause the people vto return to Egypt to multiply horses, for wthe Lord has said to you, x‘You shall not return that way again.’ 17 Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and ygold for himself.

18 “Also it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from the one zbefore the priests, the Levites. 19 And ait shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes, 20 that his heart may not 5be lifted above his brethren, that he bmay not turn aside from the commandment to the right hand or to the left, and that he may 6prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children in the midst of Israel.

The Portion of the Priests and Levites

18 “The priests, the Levites—all the tribe of Levi—shall have 1no part nor ainheritance with Israel; they shall eat the offerings of the Lord made by fire, and His portion. Therefore they shall have no inheritance among their brethren; the Lord is their inheritance, as He said to them.

“And this shall be the priest’s bdue 2from the people, from those who offer a sacrifice, whether it is bull or sheep: they shall give to the priest the shoulder, the cheeks, and the stomach. cThe firstfruits of your grain and your new wine and your oil, and the first of the fleece of your sheep, you shall give him. For dthe Lord your God has chosen him out of all your tribes eto stand to minister in the name of the Lord, him and his sons forever.

“So if a Levite comes from any of your 3gates, from where he fdwells among all Israel, and comes with all the desire of his mind gto the place which the Lord chooses, then he may serve in the name of the Lord his God has all his brethren the Levites do, who stand there before the Lord. They shall have equal iportions to eat, besides what comes from the sale of his inheritance.

Avoid Wicked Customs

“When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, jyou shall not learn to follow the 4abominations of those nations. 10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter kpass 5through the fire, lor one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 mor one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or none who calls up the dead. 12 For all who do these things are 6an abomination to the Lord, and obecause of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you. 13 You shall be 7blameless before the Lord your God. 14 For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not 8appointed such for you.

A New Prophet Like Moses

15 p“The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, 16 according to all you desired of the Lord your God in Horeb qin the day of the assembly, saying, r‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.’

17 “And the Lord said to me: s‘What they have spoken is good. 18 tI will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and uwill put My words in His mouth, vand He shall speak to them all that I command Him. 19 wAnd it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him. 20 But xthe prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or ywho speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’ 21 And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?’—22 zwhen a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, aif the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it bpresumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.

Three Cities of Refuge

19 “When the Lord your God ahas cut off the nations whose land the Lord your God is giving you, and you dispossess them and dwell in their cities and in their houses, byou shall separate three cities for yourself in the midst of your land which the Lord your God is giving you to possess. You shall prepare roads for yourself, and divide into three parts the territory of your land which the Lord your God is giving you to inherit, that any manslayer may flee there.

“And cthis is the case of the manslayer who flees there, that he may live: Whoever kills his neighbor 1unintentionally, not having hated him in time past—as when a man goes to the woods with his neighbor to cut timber, and his hand swings a stroke with the ax to cut down the tree, and the head slips from the handle and strikes his neighbor so that he dies—he shall flee to one of these cities and live; dlest the avenger of blood, while his anger is hot, pursue the manslayer and overtake him, because the way is long, and kill him, though he was not deserving of death, since he had not hated the victim in time past. Therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall separate three cities for yourself.’

“Now if the Lord your God eenlarges your territory, as He swore to fyour fathers, and gives you the land which He promised to give to your fathers, and if you keep all these commandments and do them, which I command you today, to love the Lord your God and to walk always in His ways, gthen you shall add three more cities for yourself besides these three, 10 hlest innocent blood be shed in the midst of your land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, and thus guilt of bloodshed be upon you.

11 “But iif anyone hates his neighbor, lies in wait for him, rises against him and strikes him mortally, so that he dies, and he flees to one of these cities, 12 then the elders of his city shall send and bring him from there, and deliver him over to the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die. 13 jYour eye shall not pity him, kbut you shall 2put away the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, that it may go well with you.

Property Boundaries

14 l“You shall not remove your neighbor’s landmark, which the men of old have set, in your inheritance which you will inherit in the land that the Lord your God is giving you to possess.

The Law Concerning Witnesses

15 m“One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established. 16 If a false witness nrises against any man to testify against him of wrongdoing, 17 then both men in the controversy shall stand before the Lord, obefore the priests and the judges who serve in those days. 18 And the judges shall make careful inquiry, and indeed, if the witness is a false witness, who has testified falsely against his brother, 19 pthen you shall do to him as he thought to have done to his brother; so qyou shall put away the evil from among you. 20 rAnd those who remain shall hear and fear, and hereafter they shall not again commit such evil among you. 21 sYour eye shall not pity: tlife shall be for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.

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a
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Lit. evil thing

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detestable thing

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towns

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detestable thing

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become proud

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continue long in his kingdom

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no portion

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right

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towns

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detestable acts

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Be burned as an offering to an idol

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detestable

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Lit. perfect

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allowed you to do so

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ignorantly, lit. without knowledge

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purge the blood of the innocent

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