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Jehovah’s Witnesses


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The Bible in Living English

Deuteronomy 17:1-20

17  “You shall not sacrifice to your God Jehovah a bull or sheep that has a defect about it, anything bad, because it is a thing your God Jehovah detests. 2*  “When there is found among you in one of your towns that your God Jehovah gives you a man or woman who does what displeases Jehovah, overstepping his covenant, 3  and goes and worships other gods and does reverence to them and to the sun or the moon or all the legions of the sky, which I have commanded you not to do, 4  and you are told of it and, hearing, investigate thoroughly and find the fact is really authentic, this detestable thing has been done in Israel, 5  you shall bring that man or woman who have done this vile thing out to your gates and stone them to death. 6*  On the word of two witnesses or of three the culprit shall be put to death; he shall not be put to death on the word of one witness. 7  The witnesses’ hands shall be at him first in putting him to death, and the hands of all the people afterward; and you shall rout out the mischief from among you. 8  “When a question for judgment is too exceptional for you, between bloodshed and bloodshed, claim and claim, assault and assault, questions under litigation in your locality, you shall stand up and go to the place your God Jehovah shall choose 9*  and come to the Levite priests and to such judge as there shall be in those days and inquire, and they shall tell you the ruling; 10  and you shall conform to the word they report to you from that place that Jehovah chooses, a take care to do just as they instruct you. 11  To the instructions they give you and the law they state to you you shall conform; you shall not turn off to right or left from the word they report to you. 12  And the man who takes a presumptuous course, not listening to the priest who stands to wait on your God Jehovah there or to the judge, that man shall die and you shall rout out the mischief from Israel, 13  and all the people shall hear and be afraid and not be presumptuous again. 14  “When you come to the country your God Jehovah is giving you and take possession of it and settle in it, and think ‘We will establish a king over us like all the nations around us,’ 15  you shall establish a king over you, whomever your God Jehovah chooses; it shall be from among your brothers that you establish a king over you; you cannot put over you any foreigner who is not your brother. 16  Only let him not have many ponies and send the people back to Egypt to get many ponies, when Jehovah has said to you ‘You shall never go back over that road again’; 17  and he shall not have many wives and have his heart warped from its course; and of silver and gold he shall not have very much. 18  And when he takes his seat on his royal throne he shall write himself a copy of these instructions in a book from before the Levite priests, 19  and have it by him and read in it all his life, in order that he may learn to fear his God Jehovah, keeping his mind on all the points of these instructions and on these usages, to live up to them, 20  not feeling superior to his brothers and not turning aside from the commandment to right or to left, in order that he may long continue to reign among the Israelites, he and his sons.


17:2 Lit. one of your gates
17:6 Lit. the man that dies shall be put to death
17:9 Var. days, and they shall inquire and tell you