17:8 If a matter is too difficult for you to judge – bloodshed, 1 legal claim, 2 or assault 3 – matters of controversy in your villages 4 – you must leave there and go up to the place the Lord your God chooses. 5
17:18 When he sits on his royal throne he must make a copy of this law 6 on a scroll 7 given to him by the Levitical priests.
1 tn Heb “between blood and blood.”
2 tn Heb “between claim and claim.”
3 tn Heb “between blow and blow.”
4 tn Heb “gates.”
5 tc Several Greek recensions add “to place his name there,” thus completing the usual formula to describe the central sanctuary (cf. Deut 12:5, 11, 14, 18; 16:6). However, the context suggests that the local Levitical towns, and not the central sanctuary, are in mind.
6 tn Or “instruction.” The LXX reads here τὸ δευτερονόμιον τοῦτο (to deuteronomion touto, “this second law”). From this Greek phrase the present name of the book, “Deuteronomy” or “second law” (i.e., the second giving of the law), is derived. However, the MT’s expression מִשְׁנֶה הַתּוֹרָה הַזֹּאת (mishneh hattorah hazzo’t) is better rendered “copy of this law.” Here the term תּוֹרָה (torah) probably refers only to the book of Deuteronomy and not to the whole Pentateuch.
7 tn The Hebrew term סֵפֶר (sefer) means a “writing” or “document” and could be translated “book” (so KJV, ASV, TEV). However, since “book” carries the connotation of a modern bound book with pages (an obvious anachronism) it is preferable to render the Hebrew term “scroll” here and elsewhere.