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Deuteronomy 13:9-11

Context
13:9 Instead, you must kill him without fail! 1  Your own hand must be the first to strike him, 2  and then the hands of the whole community. 13:10 You must stone him to death 3  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. 4 

Deuteronomy 13:15-17

Context
13:15 you must by all means 5  slaughter the inhabitants of that city with the sword; annihilate 6  with the sword everyone in it, as well as the livestock. 13:16 You must gather all of its plunder into the middle of the plaza 7  and burn the city and all its plunder as a whole burnt offering to the Lord your God. It will be an abandoned ruin 8  forever – it must never be rebuilt again. 13:17 You must not take for yourself anything that has been placed under judgment. 9  Then the Lord will relent from his intense anger, show you compassion, have mercy on you, and multiply you as he promised your ancestors.

1 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”).

2 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.

3 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).

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

5 tn The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute for emphasis, indicated in the translation by the words “by all means.” Cf. KJV, NASB “surely”; NIV “certainly.”

6 tn Or “put under divine judgment. The Hebrew word (חֵרֶם, kherem) refers to placing persons or things under God’s judgment, usually to the extent of their complete destruction.Though primarily applied against the heathen, this severe judgment could also fall upon unrepentant Israelites (cf. the story of Achan in Josh 7). See also the note on the phrase “divine judgment” in Deut 2:34.

7 tn Heb “street.”

8 tn Heb “mound”; NAB “a heap of ruins.” The Hebrew word תֵּל (tel) refers to this day to a ruin represented especially by a built-up mound of dirt or debris (cf. Tel Aviv, “mound of grain”).

9 tn Or “anything that has been put under the divine curse”; Heb “anything of the ban” (cf. NASB). See note on the phrase “divine judgment” in Deut 2:34.



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