Deuteronomy 17

The Sabbatical Year

15 At the end of jevery seven years you shall grant a release. And this is the manner of the release: every creditor shall release what he has lent to his neighbor. He shall not exact it of his neighbor, his brother, because the Lord's release has been proclaimed. kOf a foreigner you may exact it, but whatever of yours is with your brother your hand shall release. lBut there will be no poor among you; mfor the Lord will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance to possess nif only you will strictly obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all this commandment that I command you today. For the Lord your God will bless you, oas he promised you, and pyou shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow, and qyou shall rule over many nations, but they shall not rule over you.

If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God is giving you, ryou shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but syou shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be. Take care lest there be an unworthy thought in your heart and you say, The seventh year, the year of release is near, and your teye look grudgingly1 on your poor brother, and you give him nothing, and he ucry to the Lord against you, and vyou be guilty of sin. 10 You shall give to him freely, and wyour heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because xfor this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. 11 For ythere will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, sYou shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.

12 zIf your brother, a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman, is sold2 to you, he shall serve you six years, and in the seventh year you shall let him go free from you. 13 And when you let him go free from you, you shall not let him go empty-handed. 14 You shall furnish him liberally out of your flock, out of your threshing floor, and out of your winepress. aAs the Lord your God has blessed you, you shall give to him. 15 bYou shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you; therefore I command you this today. 16 But cif he says to you, I will not go out from you, because he loves you and your household, since he is well-off with you, 17 then you shall take an awl, and put it through his ear into the door, and he shall be your slave3 forever. And to your female slave4 you shall do the same. 18 It shall not seem hard to you when you let him go free from you, for at half the cost of a hired worker he has served you six years. So the Lord your God will bless you in all that you do.

19 dAll the firstborn males that are born of your herd and flock you shall dedicate to the Lord your God. You shall do no work with the firstborn of your herd, nor shear the firstborn of your flock. 20 eYou shall eat it, you and your household, before the Lord your God year by year at the place that the Lord will choose. 21 fBut if it has any blemish, if it is lame or blind or has any serious blemish whatever, you shall not sacrifice it to the Lord your God. 22 You shall eat it within your towns. gThe unclean and the clean alike may eat it, as though it were a gazelle or a deer. 23 hOnly you shall not eat its blood; you shall pour it out on the ground like water.

Passover

16 Observe the imonth of Abib and keep the Passover to the Lord your God, for jin the month of Abib the Lord your God brought you out of Egypt by night. And you shall offer the Passover sacrifice to the Lord your God, from the flock or kthe herd, lat the place that the Lord will choose, to make his name dwell there. You shall eat no leavened bread with it. mSeven days you shall eat it with unleavened bread, the bread of afflictionfor you came out of the land of Egypt nin hastethat all the days of your life you may remember the day when you came out of the land of Egypt. oNo leaven shall be seen with you in all your territory for seven days, pnor shall any of the flesh that you sacrifice on the evening of the first day remain all night until morning. You may not offer the Passover sacrifice within any of your towns that the Lord your God is giving you, but at the place that the Lord your God will choose, to make his name dwell in it, there you shall offer the Passover sacrifice, in the evening at sunset, at the time you came out of Egypt. And you shall cook it and eat it at the place that the Lord your God will choose. And in the morning you shall turn and go to your tents. For qsix days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be ra solemn assembly to the Lord your God. You shall do no work on it.

The Feast of Weeks

sYou shall count seven weeks. Begin to count the seven weeks from the time the sickle is first put to the standing grain. 10 Then you shall keep tthe Feast of Weeks to the Lord your God with uthe tribute of a freewill offering from your hand, which you shall give vas the Lord your God blesses you. 11 And wyou shall rejoice before the Lord your God, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant, the Levite who is within your towns, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow who are among you, at the place that the Lord your God will choose, to make his name dwell there. 12 xYou shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt; and you shall be careful to observe these statutes.

The Feast of Booths

13 yYou shall keep the Feast of Booths seven days, when you have gathered in the produce from your threshing floor and your winepress. 14 zYou shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant, the Levite, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow who are within your towns. 15 For aseven days you shall keep the feast to the Lord your God at the place that the Lord will choose, because the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful.

16 bThree times a year all your males shall appear before the Lord your God at the place that he will choose: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Booths. cThey shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed. 17 Every man dshall give as he is able, vaccording to the blessing of the Lord your God that he has given you.

Justice

18 You shall appoint ejudges and officers in all your towns that the Lord your God is giving you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. 19 fYou shall not pervert justice. gYou shall not show partiality, hand you shall not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of the righteous. 20 Justice, and only justice, you shall follow, that you may live and inherit the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

Forbidden Forms of Worship

21 You shall not plant any tree as ian Asherah beside the altar of the Lord your God that you shall make. 22 And you shall not set up a pillar, which the Lord your God hates.

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 offerings1 as their2 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 desires3tto 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.4

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,5 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, or6 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.

Laws Concerning Cities of Refuge

19 When pthe Lord your God cuts off the nations whose land the Lord your God is giving you, and you dispossess them and dwell in their cities and in their houses, qyou shall set apart three cities for yourselves in the land that the Lord your God is giving you to possess. You shall measure the distances1 and divide into three parts the area of the land that the Lord your God gives you as a possession, so that any manslayer can flee to them.

This is the provision for rthe manslayer, who by fleeing there may save his life. If anyone kills his neighbor unintentionally without having hated him in the past as when someone goes into the forest with his neighbor to cut wood, and his hand swings the axe to cut down a tree, and the head slips from the handle and strikes his neighbor so that he dieshe may flee to one of these cities and live, lest sthe avenger of blood in hot anger pursue the manslayer and overtake him, because the way is long, and strike him fatally, though the man did not deserve to die, since he had not hated his neighbor in the past. Therefore I command you, You shall set apart three cities. tAnd if the Lord your God enlarges your territory, uas he has sworn to your fathers, and vgives you all the land that he promised to give to your fathers provided you are careful to keep all this commandment, which I command you today, by loving the Lord your God and by walking ever in his wayswthen you shall add three other cities to these three, 10 lest innocent blood be shed in your land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance, and so the guilt of bloodshed be upon you.

11 But if anyone hates his neighbor and lies in wait for him and attacks him xand strikes him fatally so that he dies, and he flees into one of these cities, 12 then the elders of his city shall send and take him from there, and hand him over to the avenger of blood, so that he may die. 13 yYour eye shall not pity him, zbut you shall purge the guilt of innocent blood2 from Israel, so that it may be well with you.

Property Boundaries

14 aYou shall not move your neighbor's landmark, which the men of old have set, in the inheritance that you will hold in the land that the Lord your God is giving you to possess.

Laws Concerning Witnesses

15 A single witness shall not suffice against a person for any crime or for any wrong in connection with any offense that he has committed. bOnly on the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses shall a charge be established. 16 If ca malicious witness arises to accuse a person of wrongdoing, 17 then both parties to the dispute shall appear before the Lord, dbefore the priests and the judges who are in office in those days. 18 The judges shall einquire diligently, and if the witness is a false witness and has accused his brother falsely, 19 fthen you shall do to him as he had meant to do to his brother. So you shall purge the evil3 from your midst. 20 And the rest gshall hear and fear, and shall never again commit any such evil among you. 21 yYour eye shall not pity. hIt shall be life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.