Deuteronomy 17–18; Proverbs 7

17 jYou shall not sacrifice to the Lord your God an ox or a sheep in which is a blemish, any defect whatever, for that is an abomination to the Lord your God.

kIf there is found among you, within any of your towns that the Lord your God is giving you, a man or woman who does what is evil in the sight of the Lord your God, lin transgressing his covenant, and has gone and served other gods and worshiped them, or mthe sun or the moon or any of the host of heaven, nwhich I have forbidden, and it is told you and you hear of it, then you shall inquire odiligently, and if it is true and certain that such an abomination has been done in Israel, then you shall bring out to your gates that man or woman who has done this evil thing, and you pshall stone that man or woman to death with stones. qOn the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses the one who is to die shall be put to death; a person shall not be put to death on the evidence of one witness. rThe hand of the witnesses shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. So syou shall purge1 the evil2 from your midst.

Legal Decisions by Priests and Judges

If any case arises requiring decision between one kind of homicide and another, one kind of legal right and another, or one kind of assault and another, any case within your towns that is too difficult for you, then you shall arise and go up to tthe place that the Lord your God will choose. uAnd you shall come to the Levitical priests and to the judge who is in office in those days, and you shall consult them, and vthey shall declare to you the decision. 10 Then you shall do according to what they declare to you from that place that the Lord will choose. And you shall be careful to do according to all that they direct you. 11 According to the instructions that they give you, and according to the decision which they pronounce to you, you shall do. You shall not turn aside from the verdict that they declare to you, either to the right hand or to the left. 12 The man who wacts presumptuously by not obeying the priest xwho stands to minister there before the Lord your God, or the judge, that man shall die. So syou shall purge the evil from Israel. 13 And all the people yshall hear and fear and not act presumptuously again.

Laws Concerning Israel’s Kings

14 When you come to the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and you possess it and dwell in it and then say, zI will set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me, 15 you may indeed set a king over you awhom the Lord your God will choose. One bfrom among your brothers you shall set as king over you. You may not put a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. 16 Only he must not acquire many chorses for himself or cause the people dto return to Egypt in order to acquire many horses, since the Lord has said to you, eYou shall never return that way again. 17 And he fshall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, gnor shall he acquire for himself excessive silver and gold.

18 And when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, hhe shall write for himself in a book a copy of this law, iapproved by3 the Levitical priests. 19 And jit shall be with him, and he shall read in it all the days of his life, kthat he may learn to fear the Lord his God by keeping all the words of this law and these statutes, and doing them, 20 that his heart may not be lifted up above his brothers, and that he lmay not turn aside from the commandment, either to the right hand or to the left, mso that he may continue long in his kingdom, he and his children, in Israel.

Provision for Priests and Levites

18 The Levitical priests, all the tribe of Levi, nshall have no portion or inheritance with Israel. They oshall eat the Lord’s food offerings4 as their5 inheritance. They shall have no inheritance among their brothers; the Lord is their inheritance, as he promised them. And this shall be the priests’ due from the people, from those offering a sacrifice, whether an ox or a sheep: pthey shall give to the priest the shoulder and the two cheeks and the stomach. qThe firstfruits of your grain, of your wine and of your oil, and the first fleece of your sheep, you shall give him. For the Lord your God has chosen him out of all your tribes rto stand and minister in the name of the Lord, him and his sons for all time.

And if a Levite comes from any of your towns out of all Israel, swhere he livesand he may come when he desires6tto the place that the Lord will choose, and ministers in the name of the Lord his God, ulike all his fellow Levites who stand to minister there before the Lord, then he may have equal vportions to eat, besides what he receives from the sale of his patrimony.7

Abominable Practices

When you come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you, wyou shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. 10 There shall not be found among you anyone xwho burns his son or his daughter as an offering,8 anyone who ypractices divination or ztells fortunes or interprets omens, or aa sorcerer 11 or a charmer or ba medium or a necromancer or cone who inquires of the dead, 12 dfor whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And ebecause of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you. 13 You shall be blameless before the Lord your God, 14 for these nations, which you are about to dispossess, listen to fortune-tellers and to diviners. But as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you to do this.

A New Prophet like Moses

15 fThe Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothersit is to him you shall listen 16 just as you desired of the Lord your God at Horeb gon the day of the assembly, when you said, hLet me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die. 17 And the Lord said to me, iThey are right in what they have spoken. 18 fI will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. jAnd I will put my words in his mouth, and khe shall speak to them all that I command him. 19 lAnd whoever will mnot listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him. 20 nBut the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or9 who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die. 21 And if you say in your heart, How may we know the word that the Lord has not spoken? 22 owhen a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken; nthe prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.


Warning Against the Adulteress

hMy son, keep my words

and htreasure up my commandments with you;

ikeep my commandments and live;

keep my teaching as jthe apple of your eye;

kbind them on your fingers;

kwrite them on the tablet of your heart.

Say to wisdom, You are my sister,

and call insight your intimate friend,

to keep you from lthe forbidden1 woman,

from lthe adulteress2 with her smooth words.

For at mthe window of my house

I have looked out through my lattice,

and I have seen among nthe simple,

I have perceived among the youths,

a young man olacking sense,

passing along the street pnear her corner,

taking the road to her house

in qthe twilight, in the evening,

at rthe time of night and darkness.

10  And behold, the woman meets him,

sdressed as a prostitute, wily of heart.3

11  She is tloud and uwayward;

vher feet do not stay at home;

12  now in the street, now in the market,

and wat every corner she xlies in wait.

13  She seizes him and kisses him,

and with ybold face she says to him,

14  I had to zoffer sacrifices,4

and today I have apaid my vows;

15  so now I have come out to meet you,

to seek you eagerly, and I have found you.

16  I have spread my couch with bcoverings,

colored linens from cEgyptian linen;

17  I have perfumed my bed with dmyrrh,

aloes, and ecinnamon.

18  Come, let us take our fill of love till morning;

let us delight ourselves with love.

19  For fmy husband is not at home;

he has gone on a long journey;

20  he took a bag of money with him;

at full moon he will come home.

21  With much seductive speech she persuades him;

with gher smooth talk she compels him.

22  All at once he follows her,

as an ox goes to the slaughter,

or as a stag is caught fast5

23  till an arrow pierces its liver;

as ha bird rushes into a snare;

he does not know that it will cost him his life.

24  And inow, O sons, listen to me,

and be attentive to the words of my mouth.

25  Let not your heart turn aside to her ways;

do not stray into her paths,

26  for many a victim has she laid low,

and all her slain are ja mighty throng.

27  Her house is kthe way to Sheol,

going down to the chambers of death.