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17 Do not sacrifice to the Lord your God an ox or a sheep that has any defecte or flaw in it, for that would be detestablef to him.g

If a man or woman living among you in one of the towns the Lord gives you is found doing evil in the eyes of the Lord your God in violation of his covenant,h and contrary to my commandi has worshiped other gods,j bowing down to them or to the sunk or the moon or the stars in the sky,l and this has been brought to your attention, then you must investigate it thoroughly. If it is truem and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done in Israel,n take the man or woman who has done this evil deed to your city gate and stone that person to death.o On the testimony of two or three witnesses a person is to be put to death, but no one is to be put to death on the testimony of only one witness.p The hands of the witnesses must be the first in putting that person to death,q and then the hands of all the people.r You must purge the evils from among you.

Law Courts

If cases come before your courts that are too difficult for you to judget—whether bloodshed, lawsuits or assaultsu—take them to the place the Lord your God will choose.v Go to the Leviticalw priests and to the judgex who is in office at that time. Inquire of them and they will give you the verdict.y 10 You must act according to the decisions they give you at the place the Lord will choose. Be careful to do everything they instruct you to do. 11 Act according to whatever they teach you and the decisions they give you. Do not turn aside from what they tell you, to the right or to the left.z 12 Anyone who shows contempta for the judge or for the priest who stands ministeringb there to the Lord your God is to be put to death.c You must purge the evil from Israel.d 13 All the people will hear and be afraid, and will not be contemptuous again.e

The King

14 When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you and have taken possessionf of it and settled in it,g and you say, “Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us,”h 15 be sure to appointi over you a king the Lord your God chooses. He must be from among your fellow Israelites.j Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not an Israelite. 16 The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horsesk for himselfl or make the people return to Egyptm to get more of them,n for the Lord has told you, “You are not to go back that way again.”o 17 He must not take many wives,p or his heart will be led astray.q He must not accumulater large amounts of silver and gold.s

18 When he takes the thronet of his kingdom, he is to writeu for himself on a scroll a copyv of this law, taken from that of the Levitical priests. 19 It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his lifew so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decreesx 20 and not consider himself better than his fellow Israelites and turn from the lawy to the right or to the left.z Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel.a


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