ImmerseBeginnings NLT - Page 306


in. Stone the guilty ones to death because they have tried to draw you away
from the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the
place of slavery. Then all Israel will hear about it and be afraid, and no one
will act so wickedly again.
“When you begin living in the towns the Lord your God is giving you,
you may hear that scoundrels among you are leading their fellow citizens
astray by saying, ‘Let us go worship other gods’—­gods you have not
known before. In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully. If you
find that the report is true and such a detestable act has been committed
among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock. Then you must pile all the plunder in
the middle of the open square and burn it. Burn the entire town as a burnt
offering to the Lord your God. That town must remain a ruin forever; it
may never be rebuilt. Keep none of the plunder that has been set apart for
destruction. Then the Lord will turn from his fierce anger and be merciful
to you. He will have compassion on you and make you a large nation, just
as he swore to your ancestors.
“The Lord your God will be merciful only if you listen to his voice and
keep all his commands that I am giving you today, doing what pleases him.
“Since you are the people of the Lord your God, never cut yourselves or
shave the hair above your foreheads in mourning for the dead. You have
been set apart as holy to the Lord your God, and he has chosen you from
all the nations of the earth to be his own special treasure.
“You must not eat any detestable animals that are ceremonially unclean.
These are the animals you may eat: the ox, the sheep, the goat, the deer,
the gazelle, the roe deer, the wild goat, the addax, the antelope, and the
mountain sheep.
“You may eat any animal that has completely split hooves and chews
the cud, but if the animal doesn’t have both, it may not be eaten. So you
may not eat the camel, the hare, or the hyrax. They chew the cud but do
not have split hooves, so they are ceremonially unclean for you. And you
may not eat the pig. It has split hooves but does not chew the cud, so it is
ceremonially unclean for you. You may not eat the meat of these animals
or even touch their carcasses.
“Of all the marine animals, you may eat whatever has both fins and
scales. You may not, however, eat marine animals that do not have both
fins and scales. They are ceremonially unclean for you.
“You may eat any bird that is ceremonially clean. These are the birds
you may not eat: the griffon vulture, the bearded vulture, the black vulture,
the kite, the falcon, buzzards of all kinds, ravens of all kinds, the eagle owl,
the ­short-­eared owl, the seagull, hawks of all kinds, the little owl, the great

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