Deuteronomy 21

Atonement for Unsolved Murders

1 "If anyone is found slain, lying in the field in the land which the LORD your God is giving you to possess, and it is not known who killed him, 2 "then your elders and your judges shall go out and measure the distance from the slain man to the surrounding cities. 3 "And it shall be that the elders of the city nearest to the slain man will take a heifer which has not been worked and which has not pulled with a a yoke. 4 "The elders of that city shall bring the heifer down to a valley with flowing water, which is neither plowed nor sown, and they shall break the heifer's neck there in the valley. 5 "Then the priests, the sons of Levi, shall come near, for b the LORD your God has chosen them to minister to Him and to bless in the name of the LORD; c by their word every controversy and every 1 assault shall be settled. 6 "And all the elders of that city nearest to the slain man d shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley. 7 "Then they shall answer and say, 'Our hands have not shed this blood, nor have our eyes seen it. 8 'Provide atonement, O LORD, for Your people Israel, whom You have redeemed, e and do not lay innocent blood to the charge of Your people Israel.' And atonement shall be provided on their behalf for the blood. 9 "So f you shall put away the guilt of innocent blood from among you when you do what is right in the sight of the LORD.

Marrying Female Captives

10 "When you go out to war against your enemies, and the LORD your God delivers them into your hand, and you take them captive, 11 "and you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and desire her and would take her for your g wife, 12 "then you shall bring her home to your house, and she shall h shave her head and trim her nails. 13 "She shall put off the clothes of her captivity, remain in your house, and i mourn her father and her mother a full month; after that you may go in to her and be her husband, and she shall be your wife. 14 "And it shall be, if you have no delight in her, then you shall set her free, but you certainly shall not sell her for money; you shall not treat her brutally, because you have j humbled her.

Inheritance Rights of the Firstborn

15 "If a man has two wives, one loved k and the other unloved, and they have borne him children, both the loved and the unloved, and if the firstborn son is of her who is unloved, 16 "then it shall be, l on the day he bequeaths his possessions to his sons, that he must not bestow firstborn status on the son of the loved wife in preference to the son of the unloved, the true firstborn. 17 "But he shall acknowledge the son of the unloved wife as the firstborn m by giving him a double portion of all that he has, for he n is the beginning of his strength; o the right of the firstborn is his.

A Rebellious Son

18 "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 who, when they have chastened him, will not heed them, 19 "then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city, to the gate of his city. 20 "And they shall say to the elders of his city, 'This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.' 21 "Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death with stones; p so you shall put away the evil from among you, q and all Israel shall hear and fear.

A Man Hanged on a Tree Is Cursed

22 "If a man has committed a sin r deserving of death, and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, 23 s "his body shall not remain overnight on the tree, but you shall surely bury him that day, so that t you do not defile the land which the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance; for u he who is hanged is accursed of God.

  1. Cross References
    Numbers 19:2
    This is the ordinance of the law which the LORD has commanded, saying: 'Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring you a red heifer without blemish, in which there is no defect and on which a yoke has never come.
  2. Cross References
    Deuteronomy 10:8
    At that time the LORD separated the tribe of Levi to bear the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister to Him and to bless in His name, to this day.
    1 Chronicles 23:13
    The sons of Amram: Aaron and Moses; and Aaron was set apart, he and his sons forever, that he should sanctify the most holy things, to burn incense before the LORD, to minister to Him, and to give the blessing in His name forever.
  3. Cross References
    Deuteronomy 17:8
    If a matter arises which is too hard for you to judge, between degrees of guilt for bloodshed, between one judgment or another, or between one punishment or another, matters of controversy within your gates, then you shall arise and go up to the place which the LORD your God chooses.
    Deuteronomy 17:9
    And you shall come to the priests, the Levites, and to the judge there in those days, and inquire of them; they shall pronounce upon you the sentence of judgment.
  4. Cross References
    Psalms 19:12
    Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults.
    Psalms 26:6
    I will wash my hands in innocence; So I will go about Your altar, O LORD.
    Matthew 27:24
    When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, "I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.
  5. Cross References
    Deuteronomy 19:10
    Lest innocent blood be shed in the midst of your land which the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, and thus guilt of bloodshed be upon you.
    Deuteronomy 19:13
    Your eye shall not pity him, but you shall put away the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, that it may go well with you.
    Jonah 1:14
    Therefore they cried out to the LORD and said, "We pray, O LORD, please do not let us perish for this man's life, and do not charge us with innocent blood; for You, O LORD, have done as it pleased You.
  6. Cross References
    Deuteronomy 19:13
    Your eye shall not pity him, but you shall put away the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, that it may go well with you.
  7. Cross References
    Numbers 31:18
    But keep alive for yourselves all the young girls who have not known a man intimately.
  8. Cross References
    Leviticus 14:8
    He who is to be cleansed shall wash his clothes, shave off all his hair, and wash himself in water, that he may be clean. After that he shall come into the camp, and shall stay outside his tent seven days.
    Leviticus 14:9
    But on the seventh day he shall shave all the hair off his head and his beard and his eyebrows - all his hair he shall shave off. He shall wash his clothes and wash his body in water, and he shall be clean.
    Numbers 6:9
    And if anyone dies very suddenly beside him, and he defiles his consecrated head, then he shall shave his head on the day of his cleansing; on the seventh day he shall shave it.
  9. Cross References
    Psalms 45:10
    Listen, O daughter, Consider and incline your ear; Forget your own people also, and your father's house.
  10. Cross References
    Genesis 34:2
    And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her and lay with her, and violated her.
    Deuteronomy 22:29
    Then the man who lay with her shall give to the young woman's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife because he has humbled her; he shall not be permitted to divorce her all his days.
    Judges 19:24
    "Look, here is my virgin daughter and the man's concubine; let me bring them out now. Humble them, and do with them as you please; but to this man do not do such a vile thing!"
  11. Cross References
    Genesis 29:33
    Then she conceived again and bore a son, and said, "Because the LORD has heard that I am unloved, He has therefore given me this son also." And she called his name Simeon.
  12. Cross References
    1 Chronicles 5:2
    Yet Judah prevailed over his brothers, and from him came a ruler, although the birthright was Joseph's -
    1 Chronicles 26:10
    Also Hosah, of the children of Merari, had sons: Shimri the first (for though he was not the firstborn, his father made him the first).
  13. Cross References
    2 Kings 2:9
    And so it was, when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, "Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?" Elisha said, "Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.
  14. Cross References
    Genesis 49:3
    Reuben, you are my firstborn, My might and the beginning of my strength, The excellency of dignity and the excellency of power.
  15. Cross References
    Genesis 25:31
    But Jacob said, "Sell me your birthright as of this day.
    Genesis 25:33
    Then Jacob said, "Swear to me as of this day." So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob.
  16. Cross References
    Deuteronomy 13:5
    But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has spoken in order to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of bondage, to entice you from the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you shall put away the evil from your midst.
    Deuteronomy 19:19
    Then you shall do to him as he thought to have done to his brother; so you shall put away the evil from among you.
    Deuteronomy 19:20
    And those who remain shall hear and fear, and hereafter they shall not again commit such evil among you.
    Deuteronomy 22:21
    Then they shall bring out the young woman to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones, because she has done a disgraceful thing in Israel, to play the harlot in her father's house. So you shall put away the evil from among you.
    Deuteronomy 22:24
    Then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones, the young woman because she did not cry out in the city, and the man because he humbled his neighbor's wife; so you shall put away the evil from among you.
  17. Cross References
    Deuteronomy 13:11
    So all Israel shall hear and fear, and not again do such wickedness as this among you.
  18. Cross References
    Deuteronomy 22:26
    But you shall do nothing to the young woman; there is in the young woman no sin deserving of death, for just as when a man rises against his neighbor and kills him, even so is this matter.
    Matthew 26:66
    "What do you think?" They answered and said, "He is deserving of death."
    Mark 14:64
    You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?" And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death.
    Acts 23:29
    I found out that he was accused concerning questions of their law, but had nothing charged against him deserving of death or chains.
  19. Cross References
    Joshua 8:29
    And the king of Ai he hanged on a tree until evening. And as soon as the sun was down, Joshua commanded that they should take his corpse down from the tree, cast it at the entrance of the gate of the city, and raise over it a great heap of stones that remains to this day.
    Joshua 10:26
    And afterward Joshua struck them and killed them, and hanged them on five trees; and they were hanging on the trees until evening.
    Joshua 10:27
    So it was at the time of the going down of the sun that Joshua commanded, and they took them down from the trees, cast them into the cave where they had been hidden, and laid large stones against the cave's mouth, which remain until this very day.
    John 19:31
    Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.
  20. Cross References
    Leviticus 18:25
    For the land is defiled; therefore I visit the punishment of its iniquity upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants.
    Numbers 35:34
    'Therefore do not defile the land which you inhabit, in the midst of which I dwell; for I the LORD dwell among the children of Israel.'"
  21. Cross References
    Galatians 3:13
    Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree").
New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
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