Chapter 7

  1. If one is found slain in the land which the Lord your God gives you to possess it, lying in the field, and it is not known who has slain him, then your elders and your judges shall come forth, and they shall measure unto the cities which are round about him that is slain. And it shall be that the city which is next unto the slain man, even the elders of that city shall take a heifer which has not been worked with and which has not drawn in the yoke, and the elders of that city shall bring down the heifer unto a rough valley, which is neither plowed nor sowed, and shall strike off the heifer’s neck there in the valley. And the priests, the sons of Levi, shall come near, for them the Lord your God has chosen to minister unto him, and to bless in the name of the Lord, and by their word shall every controversy and every stroke be tried. And all the elders of that city that are next unto the slain man shall wash their hands over the heifer that is beheaded in the valley. And they shall answer and say, Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it. Be merciful, O Lord, unto your people Israel whom you have redeemed, and lay not innocent blood unto your people of Israel’s charge. And the blood shall be forgiven them. So shall you put away the guilt of innocent blood from among you when you shall do that which is right in the sight of the Lord.
  2. When you go forth to war against your enemies and the Lord your God has delivered them into your hands, and you have taken them captive, and see among the captives a beautiful woman, and have a desire unto her that you would have her to your wife, then you shall bring her home to your house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails, and she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in your house and bewail her father and her mother a full month. And after that, you shall go in unto her and be her husband, and she shall be your wife. And it shall be, if you have no delight in her, then you shall let her go where she desires. But you shall not sell her at all for money, you shall not make merchandise of her, because you have dishonored her.
  3. If a man has two wives — one beloved and another hated — and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated, and if the first born son is hers that was hated, then it shall be, when he makes his sons to inherit that which he has, that he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, who is indeed the first born. But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn by giving him a double portion of all that he has; for he is the beginning of his strength, the right of the firstborn is his.
  4. If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not listen unto them, 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. And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice. He is a glutton and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die. So shall you put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.
  5. And if a man has committed a sin worthy of death, and he is to be put to death, and you hang him on a tree, his body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but you shall surely bury him that day — for he that is hung is accursed of God — that your land be not defiled which the Lord your God gives you for an inheritance.
  6. You shall not see your brother’s ox or his sheep go astray and hide yourself from them. You shall in any case bring them again unto your brother. And if your brother is not near unto you, or if you know him not, then you shall bring it unto your own house, and it shall be with you until your brother seek after it, and you shall restore it to him again. In like manner shall you do with his ass; and so shall you do with his raiment; and with all lost things of your brother’s, which he has lost and you have found, shall you do likewise. You may not hide yourself. You shall not see your brother’s ass or his ox fall down by the way and hide yourself from them. You shall surely help him to lift them up again.
  7. The woman shall not wear that which pertains unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment; for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord your God. If a bird’s nest chance to be before you in the way in any tree, or on the ground, whether they be young ones or eggs, and the mother sitting upon the young or upon the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young. But you shall surely let the mother go, and take the young to you, that it may be well with you and that you may prolong your days. When you build a new house, then you shall make a battlement for your roof, that you bring not blood upon your house if any man fall from there. You shall not sow your vineyard with diverse seeds, lest the fruit of your seed which you have sown and the fruit of your vineyard be defiled. You shall not plow with an ox and an ass together. You shall not wear a garment of diverse sorts, as of woolen and linen together. You shall make yourself fringes upon the four quarters of your vesture with which you cover yourself.
  8. If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her, and give accusations of speech against her, and bring up an evil name upon her, and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid — then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel’s virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate. And the damsel’s father shall say unto the elders, I gave my daughter unto this man to wife, and he hates her. And behold, he has given accusations of speech against her, saying, I found not your daughter a maid; and yet these are the tokens of my daughter’s virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city. And the elders of that city shall take that man and chastise him, and they shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver, and give them unto the father of the damsel, because he has brought up an evil name upon a virgin of Israel. And she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days. But if this thing is true, and the tokens of virginity are not found for the damsel, then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones, that she die, because she has wrought folly in Israel to play the whore in her father’s house. So shall you put evil away from among you.
  9. If a man is found lying with a woman married to a husband, then they shall both of them die — both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman. So shall you put away evil from Israel. If a damsel that is a virgin is betrothed unto a husband, and a man find her in the city and lie with her, then you shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city and you shall stone them with stones, that they die — the damsel because she cried not, being in the city, and the man because he has humiliated his neighbor’s wife. So you shall put away evil from among you. But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her, then the man only that lay with her shall die, but unto the damsel you shall do nothing. There is in the damsel no sin worthy of death. For as when a man rises against his neighbor and slays him, even so is this matter. For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her. If a man find a damsel that is a virgin who is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they are found, then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel’s father fifty shekels of silver and she shall be his wife, because he has humiliated her. He may not put her away all his days. A man shall not take his father’s wife, nor uncover his father’s skirt.
  10. He that is wounded in the testicles, or has his private member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord. A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the Lord. An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the Lord, for ever, because they met you not with bread and with water in the way when you came forth out of Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam the son of Beor, of Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you. Nevertheless, the Lord your God would not listen unto Balaam, but the Lord your God turned the curse into a blessing unto you, because the Lord your God loved you. You shall not seek their peace nor their prosperity all your days for ever. You shall not abhor an Edomite, for he is your brother. You shall not abhor an Egyptian because you were a stranger in his land. The children that are begotten of them shall enter into the congregation of the Lord in their third generation.
  11. When the host goes forth against your enemies, then keep yourselves from every wicked thing. If there is among you any man that is not clean, by reason of uncleanness that chances him by night, then shall he go abroad out of the camp. He shall not come within the camp. But it shall be, when evening comes on, he shall wash himself with water; and when the sun is down, he shall come into the camp again. You shall have a place also outside the camp where you shall go forth abroad. And you shall have a spade with your weapons, and it shall be — when you will ease yourself abroad — you shall dig with it, and shall turn back and cover that which comes from you. For the Lord your God walks in the midst of your camp to deliver you, and to give up your enemies before you; therefore shall your camp be holy, that he see no unclean thing in you and turn away from you.
  12. You shall not deliver unto his master the servant who is escaped from his master unto you. He shall dwell with you, even among you, in that place which he shall choose in one of your gates, where it pleases him best. You shall not oppress him. There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel. You shall not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the Lord your God for any vow, for even both these are abomination unto the Lord your God. You shall not lend upon usury to your brother — usury of money, usury of provisions, usury of anything that is lent upon usury. Unto a stranger you may lend upon usury, but unto your brother you shall not lend upon usury, that the Lord your God may bless you in all that you set your hand to in the land to which you go to possess it. When you shall vow a vow unto the Lord your God, you shall not slack to pay it; for the Lord your God will surely require it of you, and it would be sin in you. But if you shall refuse to vow, it shall be no sin in you. That which is gone out of your lips you shall keep and perform, even a freewill offering, according as you have vowed unto the Lord your God, which you have promised with your mouth. When you come into your neighbor’s vineyard, then you may eat your fill of grapes at your own pleasure, but you shall not put any in your vessel. When you come into the standing grain of your neighbor, then you may pluck the ears with your hand, but you shall not move a sickle unto your neighbor’s standing grain.
  13. When a man has taken a wife and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favor in his eyes because he has found some uncleanness in her, then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she has departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife. And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and gives it in her hand, and sends her out of his house — or if the latter husband die who took her to be his wife — her former husband who sent her away may not take her again to be his wife, after she is defiled; for that is abomination before the Lord. And you shall not cause the land to sin, which the Lord your God gives you for an inheritance. When a man has taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business, but he shall be free at home one year and shall cheer up his wife whom he has taken.
  14. No man shall take the lower or the upper millstone to pledge, for he takes a man’s life to pledge.
  15. If a man is found stealing any of his brethren of the children of Israel, and makes merchandise of him or sells him, then that thief shall die. And you shall put evil away from among you.
  16. Take heed in the plague of leprosy, that you observe diligently and do according to all that the priests, the Levites, shall teach you; as I commanded them, so you shall observe to do. Remember what the Lord your God did unto Miriam by the way, after you had come forth out of Egypt.
  17. When you do lend to your brother anything, you shall not go into his house to fetch his pledge. You shall stand abroad, and the man to whom you do lend shall bring out the pledge abroad unto you. And if the man is poor, you shall not sleep with his pledge. In any case, you shall deliver to him the pledge again when the sun goes down, that he may sleep in his own raiment, and bless you. And it shall be righteousness unto you before the Lord your God.
  18. You shall not oppress a hired servant that is poor and needy, whether he be of your brethren, or of your strangers that are in your land, within your gates. At his day, you shall give him his hire, neither shall the sun go down upon it — for he is poor, and sets his heart upon it — lest he cry against you unto the Lord and it be sin unto you.
  19. The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers. Every man shall be put to death for his own sin.
  20. You shall not pervert the judgment of the stranger, nor of the fatherless, nor take a widow’s raiment to pledge. But you shall remember that you were a bondman in Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you from there. Therefore, I command you to do this thing.
  21. When you cut down your harvest in your field and have forgotten a sheaf in the field, you shall not go again to fetch it. It shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat your olive tree, you shall not go over the boughs again. It shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow.
  22. When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not glean it afterward. It shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. And you shall remember that you were a bondman in the land of Egypt, therefore I command you to do this thing.
  23. If there is a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment that the judges may judge them, then they shall justify the righteous and condemn the wicked. And it shall be — if the wicked man is worthy to be beaten — that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be beaten before his face according to his fault, by a certain number. Forty stripes he may give him and not exceed, lest if he should exceed and beat him above these with many stripes, then your brother should seem vile unto you.
  24. You shall not muzzle the ox when he treads out the grain.
  25. If brethren dwell together and one of them die, and has no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry outside unto a stranger. Her husband’s brother shall go in unto her, and take her to himself to wife, and perform the duty of a husband’s brother unto her. And it shall be that the first born whom she bears shall succeed in the name of his brother who is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel. And if the man refuse to take his brother’s wife, then let his brother’s wife go up to the gate, unto the elders, and say, My husband’s brother refuses to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel. He will not perform the duty of my husband’s brother. Then the elders of his city shall call him and speak unto him; and if he stand to it and say, I refuse to take her, then shall his brother’s wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and remove his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother’s house. And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that has his shoe removed.
  26. When men quarrel together one with another, and the wife of the one draws near in order to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smites him, and puts forth her hand and takes him by the genitals, then you shall cut off her hand; your eye shall not pity her.
  27. You shall not have in your bag diverse weights, a great and a small. You shall not have in your house diverse measures, a great and a small. But you shall have a perfect and just weight; a perfect and just measure shall you have, that your days may be lengthened in the land which the Lord your God gives you. For all that do such things, and all that do unrighteously, are an abomination unto the Lord your God.
  28. Remember what Amalek did unto you by the way when you had come forth out of Egypt, how he met you by the way, and smote the hindmost of you, even all that were feeble behind you, when you were faint and weary; and he feared not God. Therefore it shall be, when the Lord your God has given you rest from all your enemies round about, in the land which the Lord your God gives you for an inheritance to possess it, that you shall blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. You shall not forget it.
  29. And it shall be, when you have come in unto the land which the Lord your God gives you for an inheritance, and possess it and dwell therein, that you shall take of the first of all the fruit of the earth which you shall bring of your land that the Lord your God gives you, and shall put it in a basket, and shall go unto the place which the Lord your God shall choose to place his name there. And you shall go unto the priest that shall be in those days, and say unto him, I profess this day unto the Lord your God that I have come unto the country which the Lord swore unto our fathers to give us. And the priest shall take the basket out of your hand and set it down before the altar of the Lord your God. And you shall speak and say before the Lord your God, A Syrian ready to perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous. And the Egyptians treated us evil, and afflicted us, and laid upon us hard bondage. And when we cried unto the Lord God of our fathers, the Lord heard our voice and looked on our affliction, and our labor, and our oppression. And the Lord brought us forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with great terribleness, and with signs, and with wonders. And he has brought us into this place and has given us this land, even a land that flows with milk and honey. And now behold, I have brought the firstfruits of the land which you, O Lord, have given me. And you shall set it before the Lord your God, and worship before the Lord your God. And you shall rejoice in every good thing which the Lord your God has given unto you, and unto your house — you, and the Levite, and the stranger that is among you.
  30. When you have made an end of tithing all the tithes of your increase the third year — which is the year of tithing — and have given it unto the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within your gates and be filled, then you shall say before the Lord your God, I have brought away the hallowed things out of my house, and also have given them unto the Levite, and unto the stranger, to the fatherless, and to the widow, according to all your commandments which you have commanded me. I have not transgressed your commandments, neither have I forgotten them. I have not eaten thereof in my mourning, neither have I taken away anything thereof for any unclean use, nor given anything thereof for the dead. But I have listened to the voice of the Lord my God, and have done according to all that you have commanded me. Look down from your holy habitation, from Heaven, and bless your people Israel and the land which you have given us as you swore unto our fathers, a land that flows with milk and honey.
  31. This day, the Lord your God has commanded you to do these statutes and judgments. You shall therefore keep and do them with all your heart and with all your soul. You have declared the Lord this day to be your God, and to walk in his ways, and to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and to listen unto his voice. And the Lord has declared you this day to be his peculiar people, as he has promised you, and that you should keep all his commandments, and to make you high above all nations which he has made — in praise, and in name, and in honor — and that you may be a holy people unto the Lord your God, as he has spoken.