21 1IF ONE 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 killed him, 2Then your elders and judges shall come forth and measure the distance to the cities around him who is slain. 3And the city which is nearest to the slain man, the elders of that city shall take a heifer which has never been worked, never pulled in the yoke, 4And the elders of that city shall bring the heifer down to a valley with running water which is neither plowed nor sown, and shall break the heifer’s neck there in the valley. 5And the priests, the sons of Levi, shall come near, for the Lord your God has chosen them to minister to Him and to bless in the name [and presence] of the Lord, and by their word shall every controversy and every assault be settled. 6And all the elders of that city nearest to the slain man shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley, 7And they shall testify, Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it. 8Forgive, O Lord, Your people Israel, whom You have redeemed, and do not allow the shedding of innocent blood to be charged to Your people Israel. And the guilt of blood shall be forgiven them. 9So shall you purge the guilt of innocent blood from among you, when you do what is right in the sight of the Lord. 10When you go forth to battle against your enemies and the Lord your God has given them into your hands and you carry them away captive, 11And you see among the captives a beautiful woman and desire her, that you may have her as your wife, 12Then you shall bring her home to your house, and she shall shave her head and pare her nails [in purification from heathenism] 13And put off her prisoner’s garb, and shall remain in your house and bewail her father and her mother a full month. After that you may go in to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife. 14And if you have no delight in her, then you shall let her go absolutely free. You shall not sell her at all for money; you shall not deal with her as a slave or a servant, because you have humbled her. 15If a man has two wives, one loved and the other disliked, and they both have borne him children, and if the firstborn son is the son of the one who is disliked, 16Then on the day when he wills his possessions to his sons, he shall not put the firstborn of his loved wife in place of the [actual] firstborn of the disliked wife--her firstborn being older. 17But he shall acknowledge the son of the disliked as the firstborn by giving him a double portion of all that he has, for he was the first issue of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his. 18If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or his mother and though they chasten him will not listen to them, 19Then his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gate of the place where he lives, 20And they shall say to the elders of his city, This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey our voice. He is a glutton and a drunkard. 21Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death; so you shall cleanse out the evil from your midst, and all Israel shall hear and [reverently] fear. 22And if a man has committed a sin worthy of death and he is put to death and [afterward] you hang him on a tree, 23His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but you shall surely bury him on the same day, for a hanged man is accursed by God. Thus you shall not defile your land which the Lord your God gives you for an inheritance.
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