17:2 Suppose a man or woman is discovered among you – in one of your villages 1 that the Lord your God is giving you – who sins before the Lord your God 2 and breaks his covenant 17:3 by serving other gods and worshiping them – the sun, 3 moon, or any other heavenly bodies which I have not permitted you to worship. 4 17:4 When it is reported to you and you hear about it, you must investigate carefully. If it is indeed true that such a disgraceful thing 5 is being done in Israel, 17:5 you must bring to your city gates 6 that man or woman who has done this wicked thing – that very man or woman – and you must stone that person to death. 7 17:6 At the testimony of two or three witnesses they must be executed. They cannot be put to death on the testimony of only one witness. 17:7 The witnesses 8 must be first to begin the execution, and then all the people 9 are to join in afterward. In this way you will purge evil from among you.
17:8 If a matter is too difficult for you to judge – bloodshed, 10 legal claim, 11 or assault 12 – matters of controversy in your villages 13 – you must leave there and go up to the place the Lord your God chooses. 14 17:9 You will go to the Levitical priests and the judge in office in those days and seek a solution; they will render a verdict. 17:10 You must then do as they have determined at that place the Lord chooses. Be careful to do just as you are taught. 17:11 You must do what you are instructed, and the verdict they pronounce to you, without fail. Do not deviate right or left from what they tell you. 17:12 The person who pays no attention 15 to the priest currently serving the Lord your God there, or to the verdict – that person must die, so that you may purge evil from Israel. 17:13 Then all the people will hear and be afraid, and not be so presumptuous again.
1 tn Heb “gates.”
2 tn Heb “does the evil in the eyes of the
3 tc The MT reads “and to the sun,” thus including the sun, the moon, and other heavenly spheres among the gods. However, Theodotion and Lucian read “or to the sun,” suggesting perhaps that the sun and the other heavenly bodies are not in the category of actual deities.
4 tn Heb “which I have not commanded you.” The words “to worship” are supplied in the translation for clarification.
6 tn Heb “gates.”
7 tn Heb “stone them with stones so that they die” (KJV similar); NCV “throw stones at that person until he dies.”
8 tn Heb “the hand of the witnesses.” This means the two or three witnesses are to throw the first stones (cf. NCV, TEV, CEV, NLT).
9 tn Heb “the hand of all the people.”
10 tn Heb “between blood and blood.”
11 tn Heb “between claim and claim.”
12 tn Heb “between blow and blow.”
13 tn Heb “gates.”
14 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.
15 tn Heb “who acts presumptuously not to listen” (cf. NASB).