Laws and rights
1 If the corpse of a slain man is found in the land which Yahweh, your God, will give you, and it is not known who killed him, 2 your judges and leaders shall go out to mea sure the distance between the victim and the surrounding cities to 3 determine which city is nearest to the dead man.
3 And the leaders of that city shall take a calf that has never been used for work or borne a yoke. 4 And they shall bring it down to an overflowing brook, to a place which has never been plowed or sown, and there they shall break its neck. 5 The priests, descendants of Levi, shall be present for they were chosen by Yahweh to minister and give the blessings in his name, and they are those who decide on all lawsuits or criminal cases.
6 Then all the elders of the city nearest to the man found dead shall wash their hands in the brook over the calf whose neck was broken. 7 And they shall pronounce these words, “Our hands did not shed this blood, and our eyes did not see it. 8 Forgive, O Yahweh, your people of Israel whom you rescued, and do not charge them with this shedding of innocent blood.” 9 So they shall be absolved from this blood; you shall have removed from your midst the guilt of innocent blood and have done what is right in the eyes of Yahweh.
10 When you go to war against your enemies, and Yahweh, your God, delivers them over to you, 11 if you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you fall in love with her and desire to have her as your wife, 12 you shall bring her to your house. First, she shall shave her head and clip her nails. 13 She shall take off the dress of a captive and stay in your house. And she will mourn for her father and mother for a month, after which you may have relations with her. So you shall be her husband and she your wife. 14 If in time she does not please you anymore, you shall set her free. You shall not sell her for money, nor make her your slave, since you have taken her by force.
15 When a man has two wives and prefers one to the other, supposing that both of them bear him children, and the firstborn is the son of the wife he loves less, 16 then on the day he divides the inheritance among his children, he cannot give the right of the firstborn to the son of the woman he prefers, at the expense of the true firstborn who is the son of the woman he loves less. 17 On the contrary, he should recognize the child of the woman he loves less as the firstborn and give him a double share of all his property. He is his firstborn, and to him belongs the right of the firstborn.
18 If a man has a stubborn and rebellious child who does not pay attention to what his father or mother commands, and does not listen to them when they call him, 19 his parents shall seize him and bring him before the leaders of the city, to the gate of judgment, 20 and shall say to them: “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious, he does not pay any at tention to us; he is spoiled and a drunkard.” 21 Then all the men of this town shall stone him to death. In this way shall you banish evil from your midst, and all Israel upon knowing this shall fear.
22 If a man, guilty of any crime that deserves death, has been put to death by hanging him on a tree, 23 his body must not remain hanging there through the night. But you shall bury him on the same day because the hanged man is a curse of God. So you shall not defile the land which Yahweh, your God, gives you as an inheritance.