22 Suppose you see your neighbor’s ox or sheep wandering away. Then don’t act as if you didn’t see it. Instead, make sure you take it back to him.
2Your neighbor might not live near you. Or you might not know who he is. Then take the animal home with you. Keep it until he comes looking for it. Then give it back.
3Do the same thing if you find his donkey, coat or anything he loses. Don’t act as if you didn’t see it.
4Suppose you see your neighbor’s donkey or ox that has fallen down on the road. Then don’t act as if you didn’t see it. Help him get it up on its feet again.
5A woman must not wear men’s clothes. And a man must not wear women’s clothes. The Lord your God hates it when anyone does that.
6Suppose you happen to find a bird’s nest beside the road. It might be in a tree or on the ground. And suppose the mother bird is sitting on her little birds or on the eggs. Then don’t take the mother along with the little ones. 7You can take the little ones. But make sure you let the mother go. Then things will go well with you. You will live for a long time.
8If you build a new house, put a low wall around the edge of your roof. Then you won’t be held accountable if someone falls off your roof and dies.
9Don’t plant two kinds of seeds in your vineyard. If you do, the crops you grow there will be polluted. Your grapes will also be polluted.
10Don’t let an ox and a donkey pull the same plow together.
11Don’t wear clothes made of wool and linen that are woven together.
12Make tassels on the four corners of the coat you wear.
13Suppose a man gets married to a woman and makes love to her. But then he doesn’t like her. 14So he tells lies about her and says she’s a bad woman. He says, “I got married to this woman. But when I made love to her, I discovered she wasn’t a virgin.” 15Then the woman’s parents must bring proof that she was a virgin. They must give the proof to the elders at the gate of the town.
16The woman’s father will speak to the elders. He’ll say, “I gave my daughter to this man to be his wife. But he doesn’t like her. 17So now he has told lies about her. He has said, ‘I discovered that your daughter wasn’t a virgin.’ But here’s the proof that my daughter was a virgin.” Then her parents will show the elders of the town the cloth that has her blood on it.
18The elders will punish the man. 19They’ll make him weigh out two and a half pounds of silver. They’ll give it to the woman’s father. That’s because the man has said an Israelite virgin is a bad woman. She will continue to be his wife. He must not divorce her as long as he lives.
20But suppose the charge is true. And there isn’t any proof that the woman was a virgin. 21Then she must be brought to the door of her father’s house. There the people of her town will put her to death by throwing stones at her. She has done a very terrible thing in Israel. She has had sex before she got married. Get rid of that evil person.
22Suppose a man is seen having sex with another man’s wife. Then the man and the woman must both die. Get rid of those evil people.
23Suppose a man happens to see a virgin in a town. And she has promised to get married to another man. But the man who happens to see her has sex with her. 24Then you must take both of them to the gate of that town. You must put them to death by throwing stones at them. You must kill the woman because she was in a town and didn’t scream for help. And you must kill the man because he had sex with another man’s wife. Get rid of those evil people.
25But suppose a man happens to see a woman out in the country. And she has promised to marry another man. But the man who happens to see her rapes her. Then only the man who has done that will die. 26Don’t do anything to the woman. She hasn’t committed a sin that is worthy of death. That case is like the case of someone who attacks and murders his neighbor. 27The man found the woman out in the country. And she screamed. But there wasn’t anyone around who could save her.
28Suppose a man happens to see a virgin who hasn’t promised to marry another man. And the man who happens to see her rapes her. But someone discovers them. 29Then the man must weigh out 20 ounces of silver. He must give it to the woman’s father. The man must marry the woman, because he raped her. And he can never divorce her as long as he lives.
30A man must not get married to his stepmother. He must not bring shame on his father by having sex with her.
About New International Reader’s Version (1998)
The New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) was developed to help early readers understand the Bible. Begun in 1992, the NIrV is a simplification of the New International Version (NIV). The NIrV uses shorter words and sentences so that those with a typical fourth grade reading level can comprehend what they are reading. The chapters have been separated into shorter sections and most have titles that clearly indicate what the section is all about. The NIrV will be a valuable translation to those for whom English is a second language. The NIrV still relies on the best and oldest copies of the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts for its translation, guaranteeing that those who read it are getting the actual Word of God.
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