The Bible in Its Traditions

Deuteronomy 25:1–4

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If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, and the judges judge them, by justifying the righteous, and condemning the wicked,

“If there is a case between persons, and they apply to the judges, they shall give the palm of justice to the one whom they perceive to be just, and they shall condemn of impiety the one who is impious.

then it shall be, if the wicked man deserve to be beaten, that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be beaten before his face, according to the measure of his wickedness, by number.

But if they see that the one who has sinned is worthy of stripes, they shall prostrate him and cause him to be beaten before them. According to the measure of the sin, so shall the measure of the stripes be.

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Forty stripes he may give him, he shall not exceed; lest, if he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should be dishonoured before thine eyes.

And they shall scourge him with forty stripes in number, they shall not inflict more; for if thou shouldest scourge him with more stripes beyond these stripes, thy brother will be disgraced before thee.

Even so, these shall not exceed the number of forty. Otherwise, your brother may depart, having been wounded shamefully before your eyes.

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Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn.

You shall not muzzle an ox as it is treading out your crops in the field.