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Deuteronomy - Chapter 21

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Deuteronomy Chapters

1 'If, in the country which Yahweh your God gives you as your possession, a victim of murder is found lying in the open country and it is not known who has killed that person,

2 your elders and scribes must measure the distance between the victim and the surrounding towns,

3 and establish which town is the nearest to the victim. The elders of that town must then take a heifer that has not yet been put to work or used as a draught animal under the yoke.

4 The elders of that town must bring the heifer down to a permanently flowing river, to a spot that has been neither ploughed nor sown, and there by the river they must break the heifer's neck.

5 The priests, the sons of Levi, will then step forward, these being the men whom Yahweh your God has chosen to serve him and to bless in Yahweh's name, and it being their business to settle all cases of dispute or of violence.

6 All the elders of the town nearest to the victim of murder must then wash their hands in the stream, over the slaughtered heifer.

7 They must pronounce these words, "Our hands have not shed this blood and our eyes have seen nothing.

8 O Yahweh, forgive your people Israel whom you have redeemed, and let no innocent blood be shed among your people Israel. May this bloodshed be forgiven them!"

9 You must banish all shedding of innocent blood from among you, if you mean to do what is right in the eyes of Yahweh.

10 'When you go to war against your enemies and Yahweh your God delivers them into your power and you take prisoners,

11 and among the prisoners you see a beautiful woman, and you fall in love with her, and you take her to be your wife

12 and bring her home; she must shave her head and cut her nails,

13 and take off her prisoner's garb; she must stay inside your house and mourn her father and mother for a full month. You may then go to her and be a husband to her, and she will be your wife.

14 Should she cease to please you, you will let her go where she wishes, not selling her for money: you must not make any profit out of her, since you have exploited her.

15 'If a man has two wives, one loved and the other unloved, and the loved one and the unloved both bear him children, and if the first-born son is of the unloved wife,

16 when the man comes to bequeath his goods to his sons, he may not treat the son of the wife whom he loves as the first-born, at the expense of the son of the wife whom he does not love, the true first-born.

17 As his first-born he must acknowledge the son of the wife whom he does not love, giving him a double share of his estate; this son being the first-fruit of his vigour, the right of the first-born is his.

18 'If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not listen to the voice either of his father or of his mother and, even when they punish him, still will not pay attention to them,

19 his father and mother must take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his town at the gate of that place.

20 To the elders of his town, they will say, "This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious and will not listen to us; he is a wastrel and a drunkard."

21 All his fellow-citizens must then stone him to death. You must banish this evil from among you. All Israel, hearing of this, will be afraid.

22 'If a man guilty of a capital offence is to be put to death, and you hang him from a tree,

23 his body must not remain on the tree overnight; you must bury him the same day, since anyone hanged is a curse of God, and you must not bring pollution on the soil which Yahweh your God is giving you as your heritage.'

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Deuteronomy Chapters

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Daily Readings

July 27th, 2021

Reading 1, Exodus 33:7-11; 34:5-9, 28
Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 103:6-7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-13
Gospel, Matthew 13:35-43

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