1 If prophets or those who divine by dreams appear among you and promise you omens or portents,2and the omens or the portents declared by them take place, and they say, “Let us follow other gods” (whom you have not known) “and let us serve them,”3you must not heed the words of those prophets or those who divine by dreams; for the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you indeed love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul.4The Lord your God you shall follow, him alone you shall fear, his commandments you shall keep, his voice you shall obey, him you shall serve, and to him you shall hold fast.5But those prophets or those who divine by dreams shall be put to death for having spoken treason against the Lord your God—who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery—to turn you from the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.6If anyone secretly entices you—even if it is your brother, your father's son or your mother's son, or your own son or daughter, or the wife you embrace, or your most intimate friend—saying, “Let us go worship other gods,” whom neither you nor your ancestors have known,7any of the gods of the peoples that are around you, whether near you or far away from you, from one end of the earth to the other,8you must not yield to or heed any such persons. Show them no pity or compassion and do not shield them.9But you shall surely kill them; your own hand shall be first against them to execute them, and afterwards the hand of all the people.10Stone them to death for trying to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.11Then all Israel shall hear and be afraid, and never again do any such wickedness.12If you hear it said about one of the towns that the Lord your God is giving you to live in,13that scoundrels from among you have gone out and led the inhabitants of the town astray, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods,” whom you have not known,14then you shall inquire and make a thorough investigation. If the charge is established that such an abhorrent thing has been done among you,15you shall put the inhabitants of that town to the sword, utterly destroying it and everything in it—even putting its livestock to the sword.16All of its spoil you shall gather into its public square; then burn the town and all its spoil with fire, as a whole burnt offering to the Lord your God. It shall remain a perpetual ruin, never to be rebuilt.17Do not let anything devoted to destruction stick to your hand, so that the Lord may turn from his fierce anger and show you compassion, and in his compassion multiply you, as he swore to your ancestors,18if you obey the voice of the Lord your God by keeping all his commandments that I am commanding you today, doing what is right in the sight of the Lord your God.Chapter 14Pagan Practices Forbidden
1You are children of the Lord your God. You must not lacerate yourselves or shave your forelocks for the dead.2For you are a people holy to the Lord your God; it is you the Lord has chosen out of all the peoples on earth to be his people, his treasured possession.Clean and Unclean Foods
3You shall not eat any abhorrent thing.4These are the animals you may eat: the ox, the sheep, the goat,5the deer, the gazelle, the roebuck, the wild goat, the ibex, the antelope, and the mountain-sheep.6Any animal that divides the hoof and has the hoof cleft in two, and chews the cud, among the animals, you may eat.7Yet of those that chew the cud or have the hoof cleft you shall not eat these: the camel, the hare, and the rock badger, because they chew the cud but do not divide the hoof; they are unclean for you.8And the pig, because it divides the hoof but does not chew the cud, is unclean for you. You shall not eat their meat, and you shall not touch their carcasses.9Of all that live in water you may eat these: whatever has fins and scales you may eat.10And whatever does not have fins and scales you shall not eat; it is unclean for you.11You may eat any clean birds.12But these are the ones that you shall not eat: the eagle, the vulture, the osprey,13the buzzard, the kite, of any kind;14every raven of any kind;15the ostrich, the nighthawk, the sea gull, the hawk, of any kind;16the little owl and the great owl, the water hen17and the desert owl, the carrion vulture and the cormorant,18the stork, the heron, of any kind; the hoopoe and the bat.19And all winged insects are unclean for you; they shall not be eaten.20You may eat any clean winged creature.21You shall not eat anything that dies of itself; you may give it to aliens residing in your towns for them to eat, or you may sell it to a foreigner. For you are a people holy to the Lord your God.
You shall not boil a kid in its mother's milk.Regulations concerning Tithes
22Set apart a tithe of all the yield of your seed that is brought in yearly from the field.23In the presence of the Lord your God, in the place that he will choose as a dwelling for his name, you shall eat the tithe of your grain, your wine, and your oil, as well as the firstlings of your herd and flock, so that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always.24But if, when the Lord your God has blessed you, the distance is so great that you are unable to transport it, because the place where the Lord your God will choose to set his name is too far away from you,25then you may turn it into money. With the money secure in hand, go to the place that the Lord your God will choose;26spend the money for whatever you wish—oxen, sheep, wine, strong drink, or whatever you desire. And you shall eat there in the presence of the Lord your God, you and your household rejoicing together.27As for the Levites resident in your towns, do not neglect them, because they have no allotment or inheritance with you.28Every third year you shall bring out the full tithe of your produce for that year, and store it within your towns;29the Levites, because they have no allotment or inheritance with you, as well as the resident aliens, the orphans, and the widows in your towns, may come and eat their fill so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work that you undertake.Chapter 15Laws concerning the Sabbatical Year
1Every seventh year you shall grant a remission of debts.2And this is the manner of the remission: every creditor shall remit the claim that is held against a neighbor, not exacting it of a neighbor who is a member of the community, because the Lord's remission has been proclaimed.3Of a foreigner you may exact it, but you must remit your claim on whatever any member of your community owes you.4There will, however, be no one in need among you, because the Lord is sure to bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you as a possession to occupy,5if only you will obey the Lord your God by diligently observing this entire commandment that I command you today.6When the Lord your God has blessed you, as he promised you, you will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow; you will rule over many nations, but they will not rule over you.7If there is among you anyone in need, a member of your community in any of your towns within the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted toward your needy neighbor.8You should rather open your hand, willingly lending enough to meet the need, whatever it may be.9Be careful that you do not entertain a mean thought, thinking, “The seventh year, the year of remission, is near,” and therefore view your needy neighbor with hostility and give nothing; your neighbor might cry to the Lord against you, and you would incur guilt.10Give liberally and be ungrudging when you do so, for on this account the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake.11Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, “Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbor in your land.”12If a member of your community, whether a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you and works for you six years, in the seventh year you shall set that person free.13And when you send a male slave out from you a free person, you shall not send him out empty-handed.14Provide liberally out of your flock, your threshing floor, and your wine press, thus giving to him some of the bounty with which the Lord your God has blessed you.15Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you; for this reason I lay this command upon you today.16But if he says to you, “I will not go out from you,” because he loves you and your household, since he is well off with you,17then you shall take an awl and thrust it through his earlobe into the door, and he shall be your slave forever.
You shall do the same with regard to your female slave.18Do not consider it a hardship when you send them out from you free persons, because for six years they have given you services worth the wages of hired laborers; and the Lord your God will bless you in all that you do.The Firstborn of Livestock
19Every firstling male born of your herd and flock you shall consecrate to the Lord your God; you shall not do work with your firstling ox nor shear the firstling of your flock.20You shall eat it, you together with your household, in the presence of the Lord your God year by year at the place that the Lord will choose.21But if it has any defect—any serious defect, such as lameness or blindness—you shall not sacrifice it to the Lord your God;22within your towns you may eat it, the unclean and the clean alike, as you would a gazelle or deer.23Its blood, however, you must not eat; you shall pour it out on the ground like water.Chapter 16The Passover Reviewed
1Observe the month of Abib by keeping the passover for the Lord your God, for in the month of Abib the Lord your God brought you out of Egypt by night.2You shall offer the passover sacrifice for the Lord your God, from the flock and the herd, at the place that the Lord will choose as a dwelling for his name.3You must not eat with it anything leavened. For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread with it—the bread of affliction—because you came out of the land of Egypt in great haste, so that all the days of your life you may remember the day of your departure from the land of Egypt.4No leaven shall be seen with you in all your territory for seven days; and none of the meat of what you slaughter on the evening of the first day shall remain until morning.5You are not permitted to offer the passover sacrifice within any of your towns that the Lord your God is giving you.6But at the place that the Lord your God will choose as a dwelling for his name, only there shall you offer the passover sacrifice, in the evening at sunset, the time of day when you departed from Egypt.7You shall cook it and eat it at the place that the Lord your God will choose; the next morning you may go back to your tents.8For six days you shall continue to eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a solemn assembly for the Lord your God, when you shall do no work.The Festival of Weeks Reviewed
9You shall count seven weeks; begin to count the seven weeks from the time the sickle is first put to the standing grain.10Then you shall keep the festival of weeks for the Lord your God, contributing a freewill offering in proportion to the blessing that you have received from the Lord your God.11Rejoice before the Lord your God—you and your sons and your daughters, your male and female slaves, the Levites resident in your towns, as well as the strangers, the orphans, and the widows who are among you—at the place that the Lord your God will choose as a dwelling for his name.12Remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and diligently observe these statutes.The Festival of Booths Reviewed
13You shall keep the festival of booths for seven days, when you have gathered in the produce from your threshing floor and your wine press.14Rejoice during your festival, you and your sons and your daughters, your male and female slaves, as well as the Levites, the strangers, the orphans, and the widows resident in your towns.15Seven days you shall keep the festival for the Lord your God at the place that the Lord will choose; for the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all your undertakings, and you shall surely celebrate.16Three times a year all your males shall appear before the Lord your God at the place that he will choose: at the festival of unleavened bread, at the festival of weeks, and at the festival of booths. They shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed;17all shall give as they are able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God that he has given you.Municipal Judges and Officers
18You shall appoint judges and officials throughout your tribes, in all your towns that the Lord your God is giving you, and they shall render just decisions for the people.19You must not distort justice; you must not show partiality; and you must not accept bribes, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of those who are in the right.20Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue, so that you may live and occupy the land that the Lord your God is giving you.Forbidden Forms of Worship
21You shall not plant any tree as a sacred pole beside the altar that you make for the Lord your God;22nor shall you set up a stone pillar—things that the Lord your God hates.Chapter 171You must not sacrifice to the Lord your God an ox or a sheep that has a defect, anything seriously wrong; for that is abhorrent to the Lord your God.2If there is found among you, in one of your towns that the Lord your God is giving you, a man or woman who does what is evil in the sight of the Lord your God, and transgresses his covenant3by going to serve other gods and worshiping them—whether the sun or the moon or any of the host of heaven, which I have forbidden—4and if it is reported to you or you hear of it, and you make a thorough inquiry, and the charge is proved true that such an abhorrent thing has occurred in Israel,5then you shall bring out to your gates that man or that woman who has committed this crime and you shall stone the man or woman to death.6On the evidence of two or three witnesses the death sentence shall be executed; a person must not be put to death on the evidence of only one witness.7The hands of the witnesses shall be the first raised against the person to execute the death penalty, and afterward the hands of all the people. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.Legal Decisions by Priests and Judges
8If a judicial decision is too difficult for you to make between one kind of bloodshed and another, one kind of legal right and another, or one kind of assault and another—any such matters of dispute in your towns—then you shall immediately go up to the place that the Lord your God will choose,9where you shall consult with the levitical priests and the judge who is in office in those days; they shall announce to you the decision in the case.10Carry out exactly the decision that they announce to you from the place that the Lord will choose, diligently observing everything they instruct you.11You must carry out fully the law that they interpret for you or the ruling that they announce to you; do not turn aside from the decision that they announce to you, either to the right or to the left.12As for anyone who presumes to disobey the priest appointed to minister there to the Lord your God, or the judge, that person shall die. So you shall purge the evil from Israel.13All the people will hear and be afraid, and will not act presumptuously again.Limitations of Royal Authority
14When you have come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, “I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me,”15you may indeed set over you a king whom the Lord your God will choose. One of your own community you may set as king over you; you are not permitted to put a foreigner over you, who is not of your own community.16Even so, he must not acquire many horses for himself, or return the people to Egypt in order to acquire more horses, since the Lord has said to you, “You must never return that way again.”17And he must not acquire many wives for himself, or else his heart will turn away; also silver and gold he must not acquire in great quantity for himself.18When he has taken the throne of his kingdom, he shall have a copy of this law written for him in the presence of the levitical priests.19It shall remain with him and he shall read in it all the days of his life, so that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, diligently observing all the words of this law and these statutes,20neither exalting himself above other members of the community nor turning aside from the commandment, either to the right or to the left, so that he and his descendants may reign long over his kingdom in Israel.