New English Translation
Laws Concerning Unsolved Murder
1 If a homicide victim should be found lying in a field in the land the LORD your God is giving you, and no one knows who killed him, 2 your elders and judges must go out and measure how far it is to the cities in the vicinity of the corpse. 3 Then the elders of the city nearest to the corpse must take from the herd a heifer that has not been worked - that has never pulled with the yoke - 4 and bring the heifer down to a wadi with flowing water, to a valley that is neither plowed nor sown. There at the wadi they are to break the heifer's neck. 5 Then the Levitical priests will approach (for the LORD your God has chosen them to serve him and to pronounce blessings in his name, and to decide every judicial verdict) 6 and all the elders of that city nearest the corpse must wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley. 7 Then they must proclaim, "Our hands have not spilled this blood, nor have we witnessed the crime. 8 Do not blame your people Israel whom you redeemed, O LORD, and do not hold them accountable for the bloodshed of an innocent person." Then atonement will be made for the bloodshed. 9 In this manner you will purge out the guilt of innocent blood from among you, for you must do what is right before the LORD.
Laws Concerning Wives
10 When you go out to do battle with your enemies and the LORD your God allows you to prevail and you take prisoners, 11 if you should see among them an attractive woman whom you wish to take as a wife, 12 you may bring her back to your house. She must shave her head, trim her nails, 13 discard the clothing she was wearing when captured, and stay in your house, lamenting for her father and mother for a full month. After that you may have sexual relations with her and become her husband and she your wife. 14 If you are not pleased with her, then you must let her go where she pleases. You cannot in any case sell her; you must not take advantage of her, since you have already humiliated her.
Laws Concerning Children
15 Suppose a man has two wives, one whom he loves more than the other, and they both bear him sons, with the firstborn being the child of the less loved wife. 16 In the day he divides his inheritance he must not appoint as firstborn the son of the favorite wife in place of the other wife's son who is actually the firstborn. 17 Rather, he must acknowledge the son of the less loved wife as firstborn and give him the double portion of all he has, for that son is the beginning of his father's procreative power - to him should go the right of the firstborn.
18 If a person has a stubborn, rebellious son who pays no attention to his father or mother, and they discipline him to no avail, 19 his father and mother must seize him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his city. 20 They must declare to the elders of his city, "Our son is stubborn and rebellious and pays no attention to what we say - he is a glutton and drunkard." 21 Then all the men of his city must stone him to death. In this way you will purge out wickedness from among you, and all Israel will hear about it and be afraid.
Disposition of a Criminal's Remains
22 If a person commits a sin punishable by death and is executed, and you hang the corpse on a tree, 23 his body must not remain all night on the tree; instead you must make certain you bury him that same day, for the one who is left exposed on a tree is cursed by God. You must not defile your land which the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance.
King James Version
1 If one be found slain in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it, lying in the field, and it be not known who hath slain him:
2 Then thy elders and thy judges shall come forth, and they shall measure unto the cities which are round about him that is slain:
3 And it shall be, that the city which is next unto the slain man, even the elders of that city shall take an heifer, which hath not been wrought with, and which hath not drawn in the yoke;
4 And the elders of that city shall bring down the heifer unto a rough valley, which is neither eared nor sown, and shall strike off the heifer's neck there in the valley:
5 And the priests the sons of Levi shall come near; for them the LORD thy God hath chosen to minister unto him, and to bless in the name of the LORD; and by their word shall every controversy and every stroke be tried:
6 And all the elders of that city, that are next unto the slain man, shall wash their hands over the heifer that is beheaded in the valley:
7 And they shall answer and say, Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it.
8 Be merciful, O LORD, unto thy people Israel, whom thou hast redeemed, and lay not innocent blood unto thy people of Israel's charge. And the blood shall be forgiven them.
9 So shalt thou put away the guilt of innocent blood from among you, when thou shalt do that which is right in the sight of the LORD.
10 ¶ When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the LORD thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive,
11 And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife;
12 Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;
13 And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife.
14 And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not make merchandise of her, because thou hast humbled her.
15 ¶ If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated, and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son be hers that was hated:
16 Then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed the firstborn:
17 But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his.
18 ¶ If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:
19 Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place;
20 And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.
21 And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.
22 ¶ And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree:
23 His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.