Devarim (Deuteronomy): Shoftim > Ch 21

What to do if a corpse is found at it is not known who slayed him

  • If a slain person be found in the land which the Lord, your G-d is giving you to possess, lying in the field, [and] it is not known who slew him, then your elders and judges shall go forth, and they shall measure to the cities around the corpse. And it will be, [that from] the city closer to the corpse, the elders of that city shall take a calf with which work has never been done, [and] that has never drawn a yoke, and the elders of that city shall bring the calf down to a rugged valley, which was neither tilled nor sown, and there in the valley, they shall decapitate the calf. And the kohanim, the sons of Levi, shall approach, for the Lord, your G-d, has chosen them to serve Him and to bless in the Name of the Lord, and by their mouth shall every controversy and every lesion be [judged]. And all the elders of that city, who are the nearest to the corpse, shall wash their hands over the calf that was decapitated in the valley; And they shall announce and say, "Our hands did not shed this blood, nor did our eyes see [this crime]." "Atone for Your people Israel, whom You have redeemed, O Lord, and lay not [the guilt of] innocent blood among your people Israel." And [so] the blood shall be atoned for them. And you shall abolish the [shedding of] innocent blood from among you, for you shall do what is proper in the eyes of the Lord.


What to do if you want to marry a woman from the captive cities

  • If you go out to war against your enemies, and the Lord, your G-d, will deliver him into your hands, and you take his captives, and you see among the captives a beautiful woman and you desire her, you may take [her] for yourself as a wife. You shall bring her into your home, and she shall shave her head and let her nails grow. And she shall remove the garment of her captivity from upon herself, and stay in your house, and weep for her father and her mother for a full month. After that, you may take her as a wife for you. And it will be, if you do not desire her, then you shall send her away wherever she wishes, but you shall not sell her for money. You shall not keep her as a servant, because you have afflicted her.


If the firstborn is from a less desired wife, he should get a double share

  • If a man has two wives-one beloved and the other despised-and they bear him sons, the beloved one and the despised one, and the firstborn son is from the despised one. Then it will be, on the day he [the husband] bequeaths his property to his sons, that he will not be able to give the son of the beloved [wife] birthright precedence over the son of the despised [wife]-the [real] firstborn son. Rather, he must acknowledge the firstborn, the son of the despised [wife] and give him a double share in all that he possesses, because he [this firstborn son] is the first of his strength, then he has the birthright entitlement.


If a rebellious son doesn’t obey his parents then he should be stoned

  • If a man has a wayward and rebellious son, who does not obey his father or his mother, and they chasten him, and [he still] does not listen to them, his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city, and to the gate of his place. And they shall say to the elders of his city, "This son of ours is wayward and rebellious; he does not obey us; [he is] a glutton and a guzzler." And all the men of his city shall pelt him to death with stones, and he shall die. So shall you clear out the evil from among you, and all Israel will listen and fear.


A hanged man shouldn't remain overnight - this is a blasphemy of G-d

  • If a man commits a sin for which he is sentenced to death, and he is put to death, you shall [then] hang him on a pole. But you shall not leave his body on the pole overnight. Rather, you shall bury him on that [same] day, for a hanging [human corpse] is a blasphemy of G-d, and you shall not defile your land, which the Lord, your G-d, is giving you as an inheritance.


 

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