Bible: Deut 22:1-23:14

Laws Concerning Preservation of Life

22:1 When you see 1  your neighbor’s 2  ox or sheep going astray, do not ignore it; 3  you must return it without fail 4  to your neighbor. 22:2 If the owner 5  does not live 6  near you or you do not know who the owner is, 7  then you must corral the animal 8  at your house and let it stay with you until the owner looks for it; then you must return it to him. 22:3 You shall do the same to his donkey, his clothes, or anything else your neighbor 9  has lost and you have found; you must not refuse to get involved. 10  22:4 When you see 11  your neighbor’s donkey or ox fallen along the road, do not ignore it; 12  instead, you must be sure 13  to help him get the animal on its feet again. 14 

22:5 A woman must not wear men’s clothing, 15  nor should a man dress up in women’s clothing, for anyone who does this is offensive 16  to the Lord your God.

22:6 If you happen to notice a bird’s nest along the road, whether in a tree or on the ground, and there are chicks or eggs with the mother bird sitting on them, 17  you must not take the mother from the young. 18  22:7 You must be sure 19  to let the mother go, but you may take the young for yourself. Do this so that it may go well with you and you may have a long life.

22:8 If you build a new house, you must construct a guard rail 20  around your roof to avoid being culpable 21  in the event someone should fall from it.

Illustrations of the Principle of Purity

22:9 You must not plant your vineyard with two kinds of seed; otherwise the entire yield, both of the seed you plant and the produce of the vineyard, will be defiled. 22  22:10 You must not plow with an ox and a donkey harnessed together. 22:11 You must not wear clothing made with wool and linen meshed together. 23  22:12 You shall make yourselves tassels 24  for the four corners of the clothing you wear.

Purity in the Marriage Relationship

22:13 Suppose a man marries a woman, has sexual relations with her, 25  and then rejects 26  her, 22:14 accusing her of impropriety 27  and defaming her reputation 28  by saying, “I married this woman but when I had sexual relations 29  with her I discovered she was not a virgin! 22:15 Then the father and mother of the young woman must produce the evidence of virginity 30  for the elders of the city at the gate. 22:16 The young woman’s father must say to the elders, “I gave my daughter to this man and he has rejected 31  her. 22:17 Moreover, he has raised accusations of impropriety by saying, ‘I discovered your daughter was not a virgin,’ but this is the evidence of my daughter’s virginity!” The cloth must then be spread out 32  before the city’s elders. 22:18 The elders of that city must then seize the man and punish 33  him. 22:19 They will fine him one hundred shekels of silver and give them to the young woman’s father, for the man who made the accusation 34  ruined the reputation 35  of an Israelite virgin. She will then become his wife and he may never divorce her as long as he lives.

22:20 But if the accusation is true and the young woman was not a virgin, 22:21 the men of her city must bring the young woman to the door of her father’s house and stone her to death, for she has done a disgraceful thing 36  in Israel by behaving like a prostitute while living in her father’s house. In this way you will purge 37  evil from among you.

22:22 If a man is caught having sexual relations with 38  a married woman 39  both the man who had relations with the woman and the woman herself must die; in this way you will purge 40  evil from Israel.

22:23 If a virgin is engaged to a man and another man meets 41  her in the city and has sexual relations with 42  her, 22:24 you must bring the two of them to the gate of that city and stone them to death, the young woman because she did not cry out though in the city and the man because he violated 43  his neighbor’s fiancĂ©e; 44  in this way you will purge 45  evil from among you. 22:25 But if the man came across 46  the engaged woman in the field and overpowered her and raped 47  her, then only the rapist 48  must die. 22:26 You must not do anything to the young woman – she has done nothing deserving of death. This case is the same as when someone attacks another person 49  and murders him, 22:27 for the man 50  met her in the field and the engaged woman cried out, but there was no one to rescue her.

22:28 Suppose a man comes across a virgin who is not engaged and overpowers and rapes 51  her and they are discovered. 22:29 The man who has raped her must pay her father fifty shekels of silver and she must become his wife because he has violated her; he may never divorce her as long as he lives.

22:30 52  A man may not marry 53  his father’s former 54  wife and in this way dishonor his father. 55 

Purity in Public Worship

23:1 A man with crushed 56  or severed genitals 57  may not enter the assembly of the Lord. 58  23:2 A person of illegitimate birth 59  may not enter the assembly of the Lord; to the tenth generation no one related to him may do so. 60 

23:3 An Ammonite or Moabite 61  may not enter the assembly of the Lord; to the tenth generation none of their descendants shall ever 62  do so, 63  23:4 for they did not meet you with food and water on the way as you came from Egypt, and furthermore, they hired 64  Balaam son of Beor of Pethor in Aram Naharaim to curse you. 23:5 But the Lord your God refused to listen to Balaam and changed 65  the curse to a blessing, for the Lord your God loves 66  you. 23:6 You must not seek peace and prosperity for them through all the ages to come. 23:7 You must not hate an Edomite, for he is your relative; 67  you must not hate an Egyptian, for you lived as a foreigner 68  in his land. 23:8 Children of the third generation born to them 69  may enter the assembly of the Lord.

Purity in Personal Hygiene

23:9 When you go out as an army against your enemies, guard yourselves against anything impure. 70  23:10 If there is someone among you who is impure because of some nocturnal emission, 71  he must leave the camp; he may not reenter it immediately. 23:11 When evening arrives he must wash himself with water and then at sunset he may reenter the camp.

23:12 You are to have a place outside the camp to serve as a latrine. 72  23:13 You must have a spade among your other equipment and when you relieve yourself 73  outside you must dig a hole with the spade 74  and then turn and cover your excrement. 75  23:14 For the Lord your God walks about in the middle of your camp to deliver you and defeat 76  your enemies for you. Therefore your camp should be holy, so that he does not see anything indecent 77  among you and turn away from you.

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