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Chapter 22

“If you see your neighbor’s ox or sheep or goat wandering away, don’t ignore your responsibility.* Take it back to its owner. If its owner does not live nearby or you don’t know who the owner is, take it to your place and keep it until the owner comes looking for it. Then you must return it. Do the same if you find your neighbor’s donkey, clothing, or anything else your neighbor loses. Don’t ignore your responsibility.

“If you see that your neighbor’s donkey or ox has collapsed on the road, do not look the other way. Go and help your neighbor get it back on its feet!

“A woman must not put on men’s clothing, and a man must not wear women’s clothing. Anyone who does this is detestable in the sight of the Lord your God.

“If you happen to find a bird’s nest in a tree or on the ground, and there are young ones or eggs in it with the mother sitting in the nest, do not take the mother with the young. You may take the young, but let the mother go, so that you may prosper and enjoy a long life.

“When you build a new house, you must build a railing around the edge of its flat roof. That way you will not be considered guilty of murder if someone falls from the roof.

“You must not plant any other crop between the rows of your vineyard. If you do, you are forbidden to use either the grapes from the vineyard or the other crop.

10 “You must not plow with an ox and a donkey harnessed together.

11 “You must not wear clothing made of wool and linen woven together.

12 “You must put four tassels on the hem of the cloak with which you cover yourself—on the front, back, and sides.

Regulations for Sexual Purity

13 “Suppose a man marries a woman, but after sleeping with her, he turns against her 14 and publicly accuses her of shameful conduct, saying, ‘When I married this woman, I discovered she was not a virgin.’ 15 Then the woman’s father and mother must bring the proof of her virginity to the elders as they hold court at the town gate. 16 Her father must say to them, ‘I gave my daughter to this man to be his wife, and now he has turned against her. 17 He has accused her of shameful conduct, saying, “I discovered that your daughter was not a virgin.” But here is the proof of my daughter’s virginity.’ Then they must spread her bed sheet before the elders. 18 The elders must then take the man and punish him. 19 They must also fine him 100 pieces of silver,* which he must pay to the woman’s father because he publicly accused a virgin of Israel of shameful conduct. The woman will then remain the man’s wife, and he may never divorce her.

20 “But suppose the man’s accusations are true, and he can show that she was not a virgin. 21 The woman must be taken to the door of her father’s home, and there the men of the town must stone her to death, for she has committed a disgraceful crime in Israel by being promiscuous while living in her parents’ home. In this way, you will purge this evil from among you.

22 “If a man is discovered committing adultery, both he and the woman must die. In this way, you will purge Israel of such evil.

23 “Suppose a man meets a young woman, a virgin who is engaged to be married, and he has sexual intercourse with her. If this happens within a town, 24 you must take both of them to the gates of that town and stone them to death. The woman is guilty because she did not scream for help. The man must die because he violated another man’s wife. In this way, you will purge this evil from among you.

25 “But if the man meets the engaged woman out in the country, and he rapes her, then only the man must die. 26 Do nothing to the young woman; she has committed no crime worthy of death. She is as innocent as a murder victim. 27 Since the man raped her out in the country, it must be assumed that she screamed, but there was no one to rescue her.

28 “Suppose a man has intercourse with a young woman who is a virgin but is not engaged to be married. If they are discovered, 29 he must pay her father fifty pieces of silver.* Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he may never divorce her as long as he lives.

30 * “A man must not marry his father’s former wife, for this would violate his father.

NLT

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