The Bible in Its Traditions

Deuteronomy 21:1–23

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If one be found slain in the land which YHWH thy God giveth thee to possess it, lying in the field, and it be not known who hath smitten him;

“When there will have been found in the land, which the Lord your God will give to you, the corpse of a man who has been killed, and it is not known who is guilty of the murder,

IF a person is found slain in the land which the LORD your God gives you to possess, lying in the field, and it is not known who has slain him;

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then thy elders and thy judges shall come forth, and they shall measure unto the cities which are round about him that is slain.

thine elders and thy judges shall come forth, and shall measure the distances of the cities round about the slain man

your judges and those greater by birth shall go out and measure, from the place of the corpse, the distance to each of the surrounding cities.

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And it shall be, that the city which is nearest unto the slain man, even the elders of that city shall take a heifer of the herd, which hath not been wrought with, and which hath not drawn in the yoke.

And in whichever one they perceive to be closer than the others, the elders shall take a calf from the herd, one which has not pulled with a yoke, nor tilled with a plow.

And the elders of the city which is nearest to the slain man shall take a heifer which has never been used for work nor has pulled in the yoke,

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And the elders of that city shall bring down the heifer unto a rough valley, which may neither be plowed nor sown, and shall break the heifer's neck there in the valley.

And they shall lead it into a rough and stony valley, one which has never been tilled or sown. And in that place, they shall cut the neck of the calf.

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And the priests the sons of Levi shall come near--for them YHWH thy God hath chosen to minister unto Him, and to bless in the name of the YHWH; and according to their word shall every controversy and every stroke be.

And the priests the Levites shall come, because the Lord God has chosen them to stand by him, and to bless in his name, and by their word shall every controversy and every stroke be decided.

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And all the elders of that city, who are nearest unto the slain man, shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley.

And those greater by birth of that city, nearest to the one who was slain, shall go and shall wash their hands over the calf that was killed in the valley.

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And they shall speak and say: 'Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it.

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Forgive, O YHWH, Thy people Israel, whom Thou hast redeemed, and suffer not innocent blood to remain in the midst of Thy people Israel.' And the blood shall be forgiven them.

Be merciful to your people Israel, whom you have redeemed, O Lord, and do not charge them with innocent blood in the midst of your people Israel.’ And so the guilt of the blood will be taken away from them.

Pardon, O LORD, thy people Israel, whom thou hast saved, and lay not innocent blood upon thy people Israel. And the guilt of blood shall be forgiven them.

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So shalt thou put away the innocent blood from the midst of thee, when thou shalt do that which is right in the eyes of YHWH.

And thou shalt take away innocent blood from among you, if thou shouldest do that which is good and pleasing before the Lord thy God.

Then you will be free from the blood that was shed against the innocent, when you will have done as the Lord has instructed you.

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10  When thou goest forth to battle against thine enemies, and YHWH thy God delivereth them into thy hands, and thou carriest them away captive,

10  If you have gone out to fight against your enemies, and the Lord your God has delivered them into your hand, and if, as you are leading away the captives,

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11  and seest among the captives a woman of goodly form, and thou hast a desire unto her, and wouldest take her to thee to wife;

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12  then thou shalt bring her home to thy house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;

12  and shouldest bring her within thine house: then shalt thou shave her head, and pare her nails;

12  then you shall lead her into your house. And she shall shave off her hair, and cut her nails short,

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13  and she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thy house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month; and after that thou mayest go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife.

13  and remove the garment in which she was captured. And she shall sit in your house and weep for her father and mother, for one month. And after that, you shall enter to her and sleep with her, and she shall be your wife.

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14  And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not deal with her as a slave, because thou hast humbled her.

14  But if afterwards she does not sit well in your mind, you shall set her free. You cannot sell her for money, nor can you oppress her by force. For you have humiliated her.

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15  If a man have two wives, the one beloved, and the other hated, and they have borne him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the first-born son be hers that was hated;

15  And if a man have two wives, the one loved and the other hated, and both the loved and the hated should have born him children, and the son of the hated should be first-born;

15  If a man has two wives, one beloved and the other hated, and they have produced children by him, and if the son of the hated wife is the firstborn,

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16  then it shall be, in the day that he causeth his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved the first-born before the son of the hated, who is the first-born;

16  and if he wishes to divide his substance among his sons: he cannot make the son of the beloved wife the firstborn, and so prefer him before the son of the hated wife.

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17  but he shall acknowledge the first-born, the son of the hated, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath; for he is the first-fruits of his strength, the right of the first-born is his.

17  Instead, he shall acknowledge the son of the hated wife as the firstborn, and he shall give to him a double portion of all that he has. For he is the first among his children, and the rights of the firstborn are owed to him.

17  But the first-born, the son of the hated, he must receive double portion of all that he has; for he is the first of his children; and the right of the first-born is his.

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18  If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, that will not hearken to the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and though they chasten him, will not hearken unto them;

18  And if any man has a disobedient and contentious son, who hearkens not to the voice of his father and the voice of his mother, and they should correct him, and he should not hearken to them;

18  If a man produces a disobedient and reckless son, who will not listen to the orders of his father or mother, and, having been corrected, shows contempt for obedience

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19  then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place;

19  they shall take him and lead him to the elders of the city and to the gate of judgment.

20  and they shall say unto the elders of his city: 'This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he doth not hearken to our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.'

20  And they shall say to them: ‘This our son is reckless and disobedient. He shows contempt when listening to our admonitions. He occupies himself with carousing, and self-indulgence, and feasting.’

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21  And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die; so shalt thou put away the evil from the midst of thee; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

21  Then the people of the city shall stone him to death. And he shall die, so that you may take away the evil from your midst. And so may all of Israel, upon hearing it, be very afraid.

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22  And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree;

22  And if there be sin in any one, and the judgement of death be upon him, and he be put to death, and ye hang him on a tree

22  When a man will have sinned in a matter which is punished by death, and, having been judged unto death, he has been hanged on a gallows

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23  his body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt surely bury him the same day; for he that is hanged is a reproach unto God; that thou defile not thy land which YHWH thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.

23  his corpse shall not remain on the tree. Instead, he shall be buried on the same day. For he who hangs from a tree has been cursed by God, and you shall not defile your land, which the Lord your God will give to you as a possession.”