ImmerseBeginnings NLT - Page 315



21:2-20
D e u teronom y
303
murder. In such a case, your elders and judges must measure the distance
from the site of the crime to the nearby towns. When the nearest town
has been determined, that town’s elders must select from the herd a heifer
that has never been trained or yoked to a plow. They must lead it down to
a valley that has not been plowed or planted and that has a stream running
through it. There in the valley they must break the heifer’s neck. Then the
Levitical priests must step forward, for the Lord your God has chosen
them to minister before him and to pronounce blessings in the Lord’s
name. They are to decide all legal and criminal cases.
“The elders of the town must wash their hands over the heifer whose
neck was broken. Then they must say, ‘Our hands did not shed this person’s blood, nor did we see it happen. O Lord, forgive your people Israel
whom you have redeemed. Do not charge your people with the guilt of
murdering an innocent person.’ Then they will be absolved of the guilt of
this person’s blood. By following these instructions, you will do what is
right in the Lord’s sight and will cleanse the guilt of murder from your
community.
“Suppose you go out to war against your enemies and the Lord your
God hands them over to you, and you take some of them as captives. And
suppose you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you are attracted to her and want to marry her. If this happens, you may take her
to your home, where she must shave her head, cut her nails, and change
the clothes she was wearing when she was captured. She will stay in your
home, but let her mourn for her father and mother for a full month. Then
you may marry her, and you will be her husband and she will be your wife.
But if you marry her and she does not please you, you must let her go free.
You may not sell her or treat her as a slave, for you have humiliated her.
“Suppose a man has two wives, but he loves one and not the other, and
both have given him sons. And suppose the firstborn son is the son of the
wife he does not love. When the man divides his inheritance, he may not
give the larger inheritance to his younger son, the son of the wife he loves,
as if he were the firstborn son. He must recognize the rights of his oldest
son, the son of the wife he does not love, by giving him a double portion.
He is the first son of his father’s virility, and the rights of the firstborn
belong to him.
“Suppose a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey his
father or mother, even though they discipline him. In such a case, the
­father and mother must take the son to the elders as they hold court at the
town gate. The parents must say to the elders, ‘This son of ours is stubborn





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