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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 

Deuteronomy 18:20-22

Context

18:20 “But if any prophet presumes to speak anything in my name that I have not authorized 10  him to speak, or speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet must die. 18:21 Now if you say to yourselves, 11  ‘How can we tell that a message is not from the Lord?’ 12 18:22 whenever a prophet speaks in my 13  name and the prediction 14  is not fulfilled, 15  then I have 16  not spoken it; 17  the prophet has presumed to speak it, so you need not fear him.”

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).

10 tn Or “commanded” (so KJV, NAB, NIV, NRSV).

11 tn Heb “in your heart.”

12 tn Heb “know the word which the Lord has not spoken.” The issue here is not understanding the meaning of the message, but distinguishing a genuine prophetic word from a false one.

13 tn Heb “the Lord’s.” See note on the word “his” in v. 5.

14 tn Heb “the word,” but a predictive word is in view here. Cf. NAB “his oracle.”

15 tn Heb “does not happen or come to pass.”

16 tn Heb “the Lord has.” See note on the word “his” in v. 5.

17 tn Heb “that is the word which the Lord has not spoken.”



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