Deuteronomy 21

 

כִּי־יִמָּצֵא חָלָל בָּאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לְךָ לְרִשְׁתָּהּ נֹפֵל בַּשָּׂדֶה לֹא נֹודַע מִי הִכָּהוּ   21:1

Deut. 21:1  “When someone slain will be found on the land that the Lord your God will be giving you to possess it, lying in the field, it not being known who slew him,

וְיָצְאוּ זְקֵנֶיךָ וְשֹׁפְטֶיךָ וּמָדְדוּ אֶל־הֶעָרִים אֲשֶׁר סְבִיבֹת הֶחָלָל   21:2

Deut. 21:2  then your elders and your judges shall come forth and measure to the cities that surround the one slain.”

וְהָיָה הָעִיר הַקְּרֹבָה אֶל־הֶחָלָל וְלָקְחוּ זִקְנֵי הָעִיר הַהִוא עֶגְלַת בָּקָר אֲשֶׁר לֹא־עֻבַּד בָּהּ אֲשֶׁר לֹא־   21:3

מָשְׁכָה בְּעֹל

Deut. 21:3  “And it shall be of the nearest city to the one slain, that the elders of that city shall take a heifer of the herd which had not been worked with, that had not been drawn with a yoke,

וְהֹורִדוּ זִקְנֵי הָעִיר הַהִוא אֶת־הָעֶגְלָה אֶל־נַחַל אֵיתָן אֲשֶׁר לֹא־יֵעָבֵד בֹּו וְלֹא יִזָּרֵעַ וְעָרְפוּ־שָׁם אֶת־   21:4

הָעֶגְלָה בַּנָּחַל

Deut. 21:4  and the elders of that city shall bring the heifer down to a hard valley, on which there can be no work and can not be sown, and break the neck of the heifer there in the valley.”

וְנִגְּשׁוּ הַכֹּהֲנִים בְּנֵי לֵוִי כִּי בָם בָּחַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לְשָׁרְתֹו וּלְבָרֵךְ בְּשֵׁם יְהוָה וְעַל־פִּיהֶם יִהְיֶה כָּל־   21:5

רִיב וְכָל־נָגַע

Deut. 21:5  “And the priests, sons of Levi, shall approach, for the Lord, your God, has chosen them to serve Him and to bless in the name of the Lord, and every controversy and every plague shall be according to their word.”

The Lord, our God, has given authority to the priests to answer in many things, that is, in all matters of contention and in all instances of malignancy and sickness, and also to bless in the name of the Lord.  Can anyone else bless in the name of the Lord?  Difficult question!  Yet there is evidence that the answer is “yes.”  David, for example, blessed in the name of the Lord.

וְכֹל זִקְנֵי הָעִיר הַהִוא הַקְּרֹבִים אֶל־הֶחָלָל יִרְחֲצוּ אֶת־יְדֵיהֶם עַל־הָעֶגְלָה הָעֲרוּפָה בַנָּחַל   21:6

Deut. 21:6  “And all the elders of that city near the one slain shall wash their hands because of the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley,

וְעָנוּ וְאָמְרוּ יָדֵינוּ לֹא שָׁפְכָה אֶת־הַדָּם הַזֶּה וְעֵינֵינוּ לֹא רָאוּ   21:7

Deut. 21:7  and they shall witness and say, ‘Our hand has not shed this blood and our eyes have not seen.’

כַּפֵּר לְעַמְּךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר־פָּדִיתָ יְהוָה וְאַל־תִּתֵּן דָּם נָקִי בְּקֶרֶב עַמְּךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל וְנִכַּפֵּר לָהֶם הַדָּם   21:8

Deut. 21:8  ‘Be merciful to Your people, Israel, whom You have redeemed, O Lord, and let no innocent blood be set in the midst of Your people, Israel, and let the blood be forgiven for them.’”

וְאַתָּה תְּבַעֵר הַדָּם הַנָּקִי מִקִּרְבֶּךָ כִּי־תַעֲשֶׂה הַיָּשָׁר בְּעֵינֵי יְהוָה   21:9

Deut. 21:9  “So you shall put away the innocent blood from your midst when you will do what is right in the eyes of the Lord.”

כִּי־תֵצֵא לַמִּלְחָמָה עַל־אֹיְבֶיךָ וּנְתָנֹו יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּיָדֶךָ וְשָׁבִיתָ שִׁבְיֹו   21:10

Deut. 21:10  “When you will go forth to battle against your enemies and the Lord, your God, will deliver him into your hand and you will carry him away captive,

וְרָאִיתָ בַּשִּׁבְיָה אֵשֶׁת יְפַת־תֹּאַר וְחָשַׁקְתָּ בָהּ וְלָקַחְתָּ לְךָ לְאִשָּׁה   21:11

Deut. 21:11  and you would see among the captives a woman of beautiful appearance and you desire her and would take for a wife to you,

וַהֲבֵאתָהּ אֶל־תֹּוךְ בֵּיתֶךָ וְגִלְּחָה אֶת־רֹאשָׁהּ וְעָשְׂתָה אֶת־צִפָּרְנֶיהָ   21:12

Deut. 21:12  then you shall bring her inside your house and she shall shave her head and prepare her nails,

וְהֵסִירָה אֶת־שִׂמְלַת שִׁבְיָהּ מֵעָלֶיהָ וְיָשְׁבָה בְּבֵיתֶךָ וּבָכְתָה אֶת־אָבִיהָ וְאֶת־אִמָּהּ יֶרַח יָמִים וְאַחַר   21:13

כֵּן תָּבֹוא אֵלֶיהָ וּבְעַלְתָּהּ וְהָיְתָה לְךָ לְאִשָּׁה

Deut. 21:13  and she shall remove the raiment of her captivity from her and remain in your house and mourn her father and her mother a full month.  Then after this you may go in to her and be her husband, and she can be for a wife to you.”                               [Return to Deut. 21 notes]

Two remarks are appropriate at this point.    More >>

וְהָיָה אִם־לֹא חָפַצְתָּ בָּהּ וְשִׁלַּחְתָּהּ לְנַפְשָׁהּ וּמָכֹר לֹא־תִמְכְּרֶנָּה בַּכָּסֶף לֹא־תִתְעַמֵּר בָּהּ תַּחַת   21:14

אֲשֶׁר עִנִּיתָהּ

Deut. 21:14  “But it shall be, if you do not desire her, then you shall let her go to her pleasure.  And you shall not sell her at all for money; you shall not treat her as a slave in the same place where you humbled her.”

כִּי־תִהְיֶיןָ לְאִישׁ שְׁתֵּי נָשִׁים הָאַחַת אֲהוּבָה וְהָאַחַת שְׂנוּאָה וְיָלְדוּ־לֹו בָנִים הָאֲהוּבָה וְהַשְּׂנוּאָה    21:15

וְהָיָה הַבֵּן הַבְּכֹור לַשְּׂנִיאָה

Deut. 21:15  “Should a man have two wives, the one loved and the other hated, and the loved one and the hated one have borne children of his, and the first-born son is the hated one’s,

וְהָיָה בְּיֹום הַנְחִילֹו אֶת־בָּנָיו אֵת אֲשֶׁר־יִהְיֶה לֹו לֹא יוּכַל לְבַכֵּר אֶת־בֶּן־הָאֲהוּבָה עַל־פְּנֵי בֶן־   21:16

הַשְּׂנוּאָה הַבְּכֹר

Deut. 21:16  then it shall be, on the day he bequeaths his sons what is his, he may not make the first-born son of the beloved over the person of the son of the hated, who is the first born.”

כִּי אֶת־הַבְּכֹר בֶּן־הַשְּׂנוּאָה יַכִּיר לָתֶת לֹו פִּי שְׁנַיִם בְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר־יִמָּצֵא לֹו כִּי־הוּא רֵאשִׁית אֹנֹו לֹו   21:17

מִשְׁפַּט הַבְּכֹרָה

Deut. 21:17  “But he shall acknowledge the first-born son of the hated, giving to him a double portion in all that would be his, for he is the first fruit of his strength; the right of the first born is his.”

 כִּי־יִהְיֶה לְאִישׁ בֵּן סֹורֵר וּמֹורֶה אֵינֶנּוּ שֹׁמֵעַ בְּקֹול אָבִיו וּבְקֹול אִמֹּו וְיִסְּרוּ אֹתֹו וְלֹא יִשְׁמַע אֲלֵיהֶם   21:18

Deut. 21:18  “When a man’s son will be stubborn and rebellious and it is not in him to listen to the voice of his father or to the voice of his mother, and they will have chastened him though he will not listen to them,

וְתָפְשׂוּ בֹו אָבִיו וְאִמֹּו וְהֹוצִיאוּ אֹתֹו אֶל־זִקְנֵי עִירֹו וְאֶל־שַׁעַר מְקֹמֹו   21:19

Deut. 21:19  then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him and bring him forth to the elders of his city and to the gate of his place,

וְאָמְרוּ אֶל־זִקְנֵי עִירֹו בְּנֵנוּ זֶה סֹורֵר וּמֹרֶה אֵינֶנּוּ שֹׁמֵעַ בְּקֹלֵנוּ זֹולֵל וְסֹבֵא   21:20

Deut. 21:20  and they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This is our son; he is stubborn and rebellious; it is not in him to listen to our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’”

וּרְגָמֻהוּ כָּל־אַנְשֵׁי עִירֹו בָאֲבָנִים וָמֵת וּבִעַרְתָּ הָרָע מִקִּרְבֶּךָ וְכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵל יִשְׁמְעוּ וְיִרָאוּ   21:Deut. 21

21:21  “Then all the men of his city shall slay him with stones so he will die; thus shall you put away the evil from your midst, and all Israel will hear and be afraid.”

Does the Lord believe that capital punishment is a deterrent?  Or is it Moses?

וְכִי־יִהְיֶה בְאִישׁ חֵטְא מִשְׁפַּט־מָוֶת וְהוּמָת וְתָלִיתָ אֹתֹו עַל־עֵץ   21:22

Deut. 21:22  “And when there will be a sentence of death on a sinful man and he will be put to death and you will hang him on a tree,

לֹא־תָלִין נִבְלָתֹו עַל־הָעֵץ כִּי־קָבֹור תִּקְבְּרֶנּוּ בַּיֹּום הַהוּא כִּי־קִלְלַת אֱלֹהִים תָּלוּי וְלֹא תְטַמֵּא אֶת־   21:23

אַדְמָתְךָ אֲשֶׁר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לְךָ נַחֲלָה

Deut. 21:23  you shall not leave his body hanging on the tree all night, but you shall surely bury it on that day, for accursed of God is the hanged, and you shall not defile your land, the inheritance that the Lord, your God, will be giving you.

Torah Commandments in this Chapter

494. The procedures for an unsolved murder shall be followed.    V. 21:1 - 21:9

495. The procedures for the captive woman shall be followed..    V. 21:10 - 21:14

496. A man who has two wives shall give double to his first born son even if

        he is of the less desirable wife..    V. 21:15 - 21:17

497. Parents of a chastened but unrepentant rebellious and stubborn son who

        is a glutton and a drunkard shall take him to be stoned to death by

        the men of the city..    V. 21:18 - 21:21

498. The body of a convicted sinner who is put to death and has been hanged on

        a tree shall be taken down and buried the same day..    V. 21:22, 21:23

 

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