Deuteronomy 17
New American Standard Bible►► 

Administration of Justice

1“You shall not sacrifice to the LORD your God an ox or a sheep which has a blemish or any [a]defect, for that is a detestable thing to the LORD your God.

2“If there is found in your midst, in any of your [b]towns which the LORD your God is giving you, a man or a woman who does what is evil in the sight of the LORD your God, by violating His covenant, 3and that person has gone and served other gods and worshiped them, or the sun, the moon, or any of the heavenly [c]lights, which I have commanded not to do, 4and if it is reported to you and you have heard about it, then you shall investigate thoroughly. And [d]if it is true and the report is trustworthy that this detestable thing has been done in Israel, 5then you are to bring out to your gates that man or woman who has done this evil deed, that is, the man or the woman, and you shall stone them to [e]death. 6On the [f]testimony of two witnesses or three witnesses, the [g]condemned shall be put to death; he shall not be put to death on the [h]testimony of only one witness. 7The hands of the witnesses shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So you shall eliminate the evil from your midst.

8“If a case is too difficult for you to decide, between [i]one kind of homicide or another, between [j]one kind of lawsuit or another, and between [k]one kind of assault or another, that are cases of dispute in your [l]courts, then you shall arise and go up to the place which the LORD your God chooses. 9So you shall come to the Levitical priests or the judge who is in office in those days, and you shall inquire of them and they will declare to you the [m]verdict. 10Then you shall act in accordance with the [n]terms of the verdict which they declare to you from that place which the LORD chooses; and you shall be careful to act in accordance with everything that they instruct you to do. 11In accordance with the [o]terms of the law about which they instruct you, and in accordance with the verdict which they tell you, you shall act; you shall not turn aside from the word which they declare to you, to the right or the left. 12But the person who acts insolently by not listening to the priest who stands there to serve the LORD your God, nor to the judge, that person shall die; so you shall eliminate the evil from Israel. 13Then all the people will hear and be afraid, and will not act insolently again.

14“When you enter the land which the LORD your God is giving you, and you take possession of it and live in it, and you say, ‘I will appoint a king over me like all the nations who are around me,’ 15you shall in fact appoint a king over you whom the LORD your God chooses. One from among your countrymen you shall appoint as king over yourselves; you may not put a foreigner over yourselves, anyone who is not your countryman. 16In any case, he is not to acquire many horses for himself, nor shall he make the people return to Egypt in order to acquire many horses, since the LORD has said to you, ‘You shall never again return that way.’ 17And he shall not acquire many wives for himself, so that his heart does not turn away; nor shall he greatly increase silver and gold for himself.

18“Now it shall come about, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this Law on a scroll [p]in the presence of the Levitical priests. 19And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, so that he will learn to fear the LORD his God, [q]by carefully following all the words of this Law and these statutes, 20so that his heart will not be haughty toward his countrymen, and that he will not turn away from the commandment to the right or the left, so that he and his sons may [r]live long in his kingdom in the midst of Israel.



[a] 1 Lit bad thing
[b] 2 Lit gates
[c] 3 Lit host
[d] 4 Lit behold, true
[e] 5 Lit death with stones
[f] 6 Lit mouth
[g] 6 Lit one dying
[h] 6 Lit mouth
[i] 8 Lit blood to blood
[j] 8 Lit lawsuit to lawsuit
[k] 8 Lit blow to blow
[l] 8 Lit gates
[m] 9 Lit word of decision
[n] 10 Lit mouth
[o] 11 Lit mouth
[p] 18 Lit from before
[q] 19 Lit to keep all...to do them,
[r] 20 Lit prolong days

New American Standard Bible
Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020
by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved.
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Deuteronomy 16
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