21:15 Suppose a man has two wives, one whom he loves more than the other, 1 and they both 2 bear him sons, with the firstborn being the child of the less loved wife. 21:16 In the day he divides his inheritance 3 he must not appoint as firstborn the son of the favorite wife in place of the other 4 wife’s son who is actually the firstborn. 21:17 Rather, he must acknowledge the son of the less loved 5 wife as firstborn and give him the double portion 6 of all he has, for that son is the beginning of his father’s procreative power 7 – to him should go the right of the firstborn.
21:18 If a person has a stubborn, rebellious son who pays no attention to his father or mother, and they discipline him to no avail, 8 21:19 his father and mother must seize him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his city. 21:20 They must declare to the elders 9 of his city, “Our son is stubborn and rebellious and pays no attention to what we say – he is a glutton and drunkard.” 21:21 Then all the men of his city must stone him to death. In this way you will purge out 10 wickedness from among you, and all Israel 11 will hear about it and be afraid.
1 tn Heb “one whom he loves and one whom he hates.” For the idea of שָׂנֵא (sane’, “hate”) meaning to be rejected or loved less (cf. NRSV “disliked”), see Gen 29:31, 33; Mal 1:2-3. Cf. A. Konkel, NIDOTTE 3:1256-60.
2 tn Heb “both the one whom he loves and the one whom he hates.” On the meaning of the phrase “one whom he loves and one whom he hates” see the note on the word “other” earlier in this verse. The translation has been simplified for stylistic reasons, to avoid redundancy.
3 tn Heb “when he causes his sons to inherit what is his.”
4 tn Heb “the hated.”
6 tn Heb “measure of two.” The Hebrew expression פִּי שְׁנַיִם (piy shÿnayim) suggests a two-thirds split; that is, the elder gets two parts and the younger one part. Cf. 2 Kgs 2:9; Zech 13:8. The practice is implicit in Isaac’s blessing of Jacob (Gen 25:31-34) and Jacob’s blessing of Ephraim (Gen 48:8-22).
7 tn Heb “his generative power” (אוֹן, ’on; cf. HALOT 22 s.v.). Cf. NAB “the first fruits of his manhood”; NRSV “the first issue of his virility.”
8 tn Heb “and he does not listen to them.”
9 tc The LXX and Smr read “to the men,” probably to conform to this phrase in v. 21. However, since judicial cases were the responsibility of the elders in such instances (cf. Deut 19:12; 21:3, 6; 25:7-8) the reading of the MT is likely original and correct here.
10 tn The Hebrew term בִּעַרְתָּה (bi’artah), here and elsewhere in such contexts (cf. Deut 13:5; 17:7, 12; 19:19; 21:9), suggests God’s anger which consumes like fire (thus בָעַר, ba’ar, “to burn”). See H. Ringgren, TDOT 2:203-4.
11 tc Some LXX traditions read הַנִּשְׁאָרִים (hannish’arim, “those who remain”) for the MT’s יִשְׂרָאֵל (yisra’el, “Israel”), understandable in light of Deut 19:20. However, the more difficult reading found in the MT is more likely original.