The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Deuteronomy
Never shalt thou offer in sacrifice sheep or ox that has any blemish or defect; such impiety is hateful to the Lord thy God.
It may be that, in one of the cities the Lord thy God gives thee, men and women of thy race will be found so defiant, so false to his covenant,
that they will forsake him, and enslave themselves to the worship of other gods, the sun and the moon and all the host of heaven, in contempt of my commandment.
If this news is brought to thee, make careful enquiry into what thou hast heard; and if it proves that the report was true, and the foul deed was done among thy fellow-Israelites,
away with such recreant men or women to the city gate; there let them be killed by stoning.
But there must be two witnesses or more if the death penalty is inflicted; one witness will not suffice when a man’s life is in question.
First the witnesses, then the rest of the people must put a hand to the deed, and so thou wilt rid thyself of the plague that infects thy company.
It may be that some matter of law will be too hard for thy unravelling; was it killing or murder? Is this claim just or that? Was the infection leprous or not? There is no agreement between the judges at thy own city gate. Up, then, make thy way to the place the Lord thy God has chosen,
and have recourse to the priests of Levi’s race, to the judge who then holds office; thou hast but to ask them, and they will make the right decision known to thee.
Thou must needs give effect to the sentence they pronounce, these officers of the Lord’s chosen sanctuary; when they have told thee
what the divine law prescribes, thou shalt abide by their award, without swerving to right or left.
If anyone is contumacious, rejecting the authority of the priest who then ministers to the Lord thy God, and the judge’s sentence, his life must pay for it. Rid Israel of this plague,
so that all the people may take warning when they hear it, and there may be no contumacy thenceforward.
When you reach the land the Lord your God is giving you, and make it your own, and settle in it, you will resolve to have a king of your own, like the nations about you.
The king you appoint must be the man the Lord your God chooses, one of your own race; you must not let an alien, who is not of your blood, bear rule over you.
Once appointed, he must not raise troop after troop of horsemen, and turn his people’s eyes back towards Egypt, flushed with the pride of horsemanship;✻ the Lord strictly enjoins you never to tread that way again.
He is not to wed a multitude of wives, that will seduce his heart from its loyalty; he is not to amass great treasures of silver and gold.✻
And now he sits enthroned in his kingdom; let his first act be to borrow this schedule of the law from the priests of Levi’s race, and have a second copy made of it.✻
And that scroll he will keep by him, studying it all his life long, so that he may learn to serve the Lord his God, and follow all the rules and observances which the law enjoins.
Never let his heart, puffed up with pride, disdain his brethren; never let him swerve from these commandments to right or left, if he and his sons are to enjoy long dominion over the race of Israel.
The Holy Bible