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Deuteronomy 21

1 - If someone is found slain in the land which the LORD your God gives you to possess, lying in the field, and it isn't known who has struck him;

2 - then your elders and your judges shall come out, and they shall measure to the cities which are around him who is slain.

3 - It shall be that the elders of the city which is nearest to the slain man shall take a heifer of the herd, which hasn't been worked with, and which has not drawn in the yoke.

4 - The elders of that city shall bring the heifer down to a valley with running water, which is neither plowed nor sown, and shall break the heifer's neck there in the valley.

5 - The priests the sons of Levi shall come near; for them the LORD your God has chosen to minister to him, and to bless in The LORD's name; and according to their word shall every controversy and every assault be decided.

6 - All the elders of that city, who are nearest to the slain man, shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley.

7 - They shall answer and say, "Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it.

8 - Forgive, The LORD, your people Israel, whom you have redeemed, and don't allow innocent blood among your people Israel." The blood shall be forgiven them.

9 - So you shall put away the innocent blood from among you, when you shall do that which is right in The LORD's eyes.

10 - When you go out to battle against your enemies, and the LORD your God delivers them into your hands, and you carry them away captive,

11 - and see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you have a desire to her, and desire to take her as your wife;

12 - then you shall bring her home to your house. She shall shave her head and trim her nails.

13 - She shall take the clothing of her captivity off of herself, and shall remain in your house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month. After that you shall go in to her and be her husband, and she shall be your wife.

14 - It shall be, if you have no delight in her, then you shall let her go where she desires; but you shall not sell her at all for money. You shall not deal with her as a slave, because you have humbled her.

15 - If a man has two wives, the one beloved, and the other hated, and they have borne him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son is hers who was hated;

16 - then it shall be, in the day that he causes his sons to inherit that which he has, that he may not give the son of the beloved the rights of the firstborn before the son of the hated, who is the firstborn;

17 - but he shall acknowledge the firstborn, the son of the hated, by giving him a double portion of all that he has; for he is the beginning of his strength. The right of the firstborn is his.

18 - If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son, who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and though they chasten him, will not listen to them;

19 - then 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.

20 - They shall tell 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 - All the men of his city shall stone him to death with stones. So you shall remove the evil from among you. All Israel shall hear, and fear.

22 - If a man has committed a sin worthy of death, and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree;

23 - his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall surely bury him the same day; for he who is hanged is accursed of God; that you don't defile your land which the LORD your God gives you for an inheritance.


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Deuteronomy Images and Notes

The Book of Deuteronomy

Deuteronomy 28:1 - And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe [and] to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:
Deuteronomy 28:2 - And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.

Painting of a Religious Jew Reading the Scroll of the Torah
Religious Jew Reading the Scroll of the Torah, notice the prayer shawl over his head and the phylacteries on his forehead and arm to remind him that he must keep the law with his head and his heart. He is reading the scroll of the Torah which was written on parchment and fastened to rollers.

The Old Testament - A Brief Overview

Bible Survery - Deuteronomy
Hebrew Name - elleh haddebharim "these are the words"
Greek Name - Deuteronomion "The Second Law"
Author - Moses
Date - 1451 BC Approximately
Theme - Reminders of God's Covenant
Types and Shadows - In Deuteronomy Jesus is prophet like unto Moses

Quick Reference Map
Map of the Route of the Exodus
Map of the Possible Route of the Exodus (Click to Enlarge)

Summary of The Book of Deuteronomy

The word "Deuteronomy" comes from the Greek word for "the second law" or "the law copied or repeated." In the book of Deuteronomy Moses is writing a series of speeches to the people of Israel in the plains of Moab on the day before they entered the land of Canaan, the promised land. these messages are intended to speak to every member of the congregation of Israel, not just the religious. The purpose of Moses was to remind them of God's law, and everything that God did for them, and every promise God made to them. Moses explained to them that their new life in the land of Canaan would be blessed or cursed depending on their ability to walk after after God and His law. These words were spoken to them on the 11th month of the final year of Israel's wandering in the wilderness, the 40th year after they left Egypt.

In the first speech (Deuteronomy 1:1-4:43), Moses warns the people of Israel about the sins which had kept their fathers from entering the promised land. He repeatedly encourages them to obey God and reminds them about the events that took place in the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. He carefully explains what happens when there are difficult situations and they choose not to trust the Lord but rather act in obstinance, doubt, fear, and finally disobedience.

The second speech (Deuteronomy 4:44-26:19) goes into the details about the law. It is really the main message here that Moses gives them, the first speech was more of an introduction and preparation for this message. It deals mainly with the legal aspects of the law, moral, civil, and ceremonial. It deals first with the 10 Commandments (Deuteronomy chapters 5-11) and secondly the details behind God's law with the emphasis on following God statutes, religious ordinances, and living with one another as the people of God (Deuteronomy chapters 12-26).

The third speech (Deuteronomy 27:1-31:30) is primarily a message about the blessings of obedience and the curses of disobedience. Moses mainly directs his message to the elders, the priests, the Levites, and all the leaders who are responsible to carry out the ceremonies. The place chosen for the ceremonies was a spot in the center of the land of Israel where the first altar to God have been erected. Once they had crossed over the Jordan River they were commanded to set up great stones on Mount Ebal, with the law of God inscribed and to build a great altar. The 12 tribes of Israel were to be divided between the two hills. Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph and Benjamin were to gather themselves on Mt. Gerizim to recite the blessings which God promised them if they would obey him. Across on Mt. Ebal, Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun and Naphtali were to speak the curses which God had promised them if they were to disobey him.

Moses finished his discourses and encourage the people to follow Joshua, their new leader, to cross the Jordan and to take the land which had been promised to their father Abraham. Moses wrote down the law in a book, gave it to the priests, who were to keep it as a perpetual reminder for the people of Israel (Deuteronomy 31:9-13). They were to read it every seventh year when the people assembled for the feast of Tabernacles.

God told Moses and Joshua to come before Him at the tabernacle and He told them of the future infidelity of the children of Israel and instructed Moses to leave the people a song as a witness against them which they were to learn. This song of Moses is recorded in Deuteronomy 32 and it speaks about the blessings which God has bestowed on his people and the corrupt ways in which they responded to those blessings. Deuteronomy 33 speaks about Moses' blessing on the people and Deuteronomy 34 records briefly the account of the death of Moses, the great leader of Israel.

Outline of The Book of Deuteronomy

1) The First Address of Moses

Historical  overview (Deuteronomy 1:6-3)
Appeal for commitment to God  (Deuteronomy 4)

2) The Second Address of Moses

God's covenant with Israel (Deuteronomy 5:1-21)
A Message about the First Commandment (Deuteronomy 6-9:6)
A Survey of the Laws Given on Mount Sinai (Deuteronomy 9:7-10:11)
Reminders of God's Laws (Deuteronomy 10:12-11)

3) The Laws

Sacrifice (Deuteronomy 12)
Giving in to Idolatry (Deuteronomy 13)
Acceptable and Forbidden Foods (Deuteronomy 14:3-21)
Tithes (Deuteronomy 14:22-29)
Year of Release (Deuteronomy 15:1-11)
Releasing Slaves (Deuteronomy 15:12-18)
Firstlings of Cattle and Sheep (Deuteronomy 15:19-23)
Yearly Pilgrimage Feasts and Festivals (Deuteronomy 16:1-17)
Leaders of the Nation (Deuteronomy 16:18-28:22)
Right of Asylum (Deuteronomy 19)
Conduct of War (Deuteronomy 20, 21:10-14, 23:9-14)
Marriage and Family Life (Deuteronomy 21, 22, 24:1-4, 25:5-10)
Certain Humanitarian Regulations (Deuteronomy 21, 22, 24, 25)
Blessings and Curses on the People (Deuteronomy 27)
Results of Observance and Neglect (Deuteronomy 28)

4) The Last Days of Moses

Third Address (Deuteronomy 29-30)
Last Words and Acts of Moses (Deuteronomy 31-33)
Death and Burial of Moses (Deuteronomy 34)

Quick Reference Maps - Deuteronomy

Canaan Before Joshua

The Island of Caphtor

The First Day. Light.

Deuteronomy Resources

The Wilderness Wanderings

More About the Book of Deuteronomy
Deuteronomy in the Picture Study Bible
Timeline of the Ancient World
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