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Deuteronomy 13:6-11

Context
False Prophets in the Family

13:6 Suppose your own full brother, 1  your son, your daughter, your beloved wife, or your closest friend should seduce you secretly and encourage you to go and serve other gods 2  that neither you nor your ancestors 3  have previously known, 4  13:7 the gods of the surrounding people (whether near you or far from you, from one end of the earth 5  to the other). 13:8 You must not give in to him or even listen to him; do not feel sympathy for him or spare him or cover up for him. 13:9 Instead, you must kill him without fail! 6  Your own hand must be the first to strike him, 7  and then the hands of the whole community. 13:10 You must stone him to death 8  because he tried to entice you away from the Lord your God, who delivered you from the land of Egypt, that place of slavery. 13:11 Thus all Israel will hear and be afraid; no longer will they continue to do evil like this among you. 9 

1 tn Heb “your brother, the son of your mother.” In a polygamous society it was not rare to have half brothers and sisters by way of a common father and different mothers.

2 tn In the Hebrew text these words are in the form of a brief quotation: “entice you secretly saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods.’”

3 tn Heb “fathers” (also in v. 17).

4 tn Heb “which you have not known, you or your fathers.” (cf. KJV, ASV; on “fathers” cf. v. 18).

5 tn Or “land” (so NIV, NCV); the same Hebrew word can be translated “land” or “earth.”

6 tn The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute for emphasis, which the translation indicates with the words “without fail” (cf. NIV “you must certainly put him to death”).

7 tn Heb “to put him to death,” but this is misleading in English for such an action would leave nothing for the others to do.

8 sn Execution by means of pelting the offender with stones afforded a mechanism whereby the whole community could share in it. In a very real sense it could be done not only in the name of the community and on its behalf but by its members (cf. Lev 24:14; Num 15:35; Deut 21:21; Josh 7:25).

9 sn Some see in this statement an argument for the deterrent effect of capital punishment (Deut 17:13; 19:20; 21:21).



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