Deuteronomy 21


Priests and Levites as Judicial Mediators

1And if [2should be found 1a slain person] in the earth (which the  lord your God gives to you to inherit) fallen in the plain, and they do not know the one striking him; 2there shall come forth your council of elders, and your judges, and they shall measure out the distances of the cities round about the slain person; 3and it shall be to the city near to the slain person, that [4shall take 1the 2council of elders 3of that city] a heifer from the oxen, which has not worked, and which did not draw a yoke; 4and [4shall bring 1the 2council of elders 3of that city] the heifer into [2ravine 1a rough] which has not been worked, nor sowed; and they shall hamstring the heifer in the ravine, 5and [5shall come forward 1the 2priests 3the 4Levites], for [3chose them 1the  lord 2your God] to stand beside him, and to bless over his name, and by their mouth will be every dispute and every blow decided. 6And every one of the council of elders of that city, the ones approaching the slain person, shall wash their hands over the head of the heifer -- the one being hamstrung in the ravine. 7And answering they shall say, Our hands did not pour out this blood, and our eyes have not seen it. 8Let kindness come to your people Israel, whom you ransomed from the land of Egypt, O  lord, that there should not be [2blood 1innocent] to your people Israel. And [3shall be atoned for 4to them 1the 2blood]. 9And you shall lift away the [2blood 1innocent] from you of them, if you should do the good and the pleasing thing before the  lord your God. 10And whenever you should go forth to war with your enemies, and [3should deliver them up 1the  lord 2your God] into your hands, that you shall despoil them by plunder. 11And should you behold among the spoils a woman good to the sight, and should ponder her, and you should take her to yourself for a wife; 12then you shall bring her inside into your house, and you shall shave her head, and trim her nails; 13and you shall remove the garments of her captivity from her, and you shall seat her in your house, and she shall weep over her father and mother for a month of days; and after this you shall enter to her, and you shall be living together with her, and she shall be your wife. 14And it shall be if you should not want her, you shall send her free, and for sale you shall not sell her for silver, you shall not disrespect her, for you humbled her. 15But if there be to a man two wives, one of them being loved, and one of them being detested, and they should bear with him, both the one being loved and the one being detested, and [3is born 2son 1the first-born] of the one being detested, 16then it shall be in which ever day he should divide by lot to his sons of his possessions, he shall not be able to give the right of the first-born to the son of the one being loved, overlooking the son of the one being detested -- the first-born. 17But the first-born son of the one being detested he shall recognize to give to him double from all which ever should be found by him, for this one is [2beginning 3child 1his], and to this one [3is fitting 1the 2rights of the first-born]. 18And if any might have a son resisting persuasion, and an irritant, not obeying the voice of his father, and the voice of his mother, and they should correct him, and he should not listen to them; 19then [4seizing 5him 1his father 2and 3his mother] then shall lead him to the council of elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place. 20And they shall say to the men of their city, Our son, this one resists persuasion, and he aggravates, not obeying our voice; he is fond of carousing drunk with wine. 21And [4shall stone 5him 1the 2men 3of his city] with stones, and he shall die; and thus you shall lift away the wicked from you of them; and all Israel hearing, they shall be fearful. 22And if there be [2in 3any 1sin] with the judgment of death upon him, and he should die, and you should hang him upon a tree, 23[2shall not 3rest 1his body] upon the tree, but by burial you shall entomb him on that day, for being cursed by God is every one hanging upon a tree; and in no way shall you defile the land which the  lord your God gives to you by lot.
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