Parallel
17
1An ox or sheep might have something wrong with it. Do not offer it as a sacrifice to the Lord your God. He would hate that.
2A man or woman might be found doing something evil in one of the towns the Lord gave you. That man or woman is breaking his agreement. 3That person may have served other gods. He may have bowed down to them, to the sun or moon or stars of the sky. I have commanded that should not be done. 4If someone has told you about it, you must look into the matter. It might be true. A terrible thing may have happened in Israel. 5If it is true, take the man or woman who has done the evil thing to the city gate. Throw stones at that person until he dies. 6There must be two or three witnesses that he did it. Then the person should be put to death. But if there is only one witness, the person should not be put to death. 7The witnesses must be the first to throw stones at the person. Then everyone else will follow. You must get rid of the evil among you.
Courts of Law
8Some cases that come before you may be too difficult to judge. It may be a case of murder, quarreling or attack. Take these cases to the place the Lord your God will choose. 9Go to the priests who are Levites. And go to the judge who is on duty at that time. Ask them about the case, and they will decide. 10You must follow the decision they give you. They will be at the place the Lord your God will choose. Be careful to do everything they tell you. 11Follow the teachings they give you. Do whatever they decide. Do exactly what they tell you. 12The person who does not show respect for the judge or priest must be put to death. They are there serving the Lord your God. You must get rid of that evil from Israel. 13Then everyone will hear about this. And they will be afraid. They will not show disrespect anymore.
Choosing a King
14You will enter the land the Lord your God is giving you. You will take it as your own and live in it. Then you will say, “Let’s appoint a king over us like the nations all around us.” 15Be sure to appoint over you the king the Lord your God chooses. He must be one of your own people. Do not appoint a foreigner as your king. He is not a fellow Israelite. 16The king must not have too many horses for himself. He must not send people to Egypt to get more horses. The Lord has told you, “Don’t return that way again.” 17The king must not have many wives. If he does, his heart will be led away from God. He must not have too much silver and gold.
18When he becomes king, he should write a copy of the teachings on a scroll for himself. He should copy it from the priests and Levites. 19He should keep it with him all the time. He should read from it every day of his life. Then he will learn to respect the Lord his God. And he will obey all the teachings and commands. 20He should not think he is better than his brothers. He must not stop obeying the law in any way. Then he and his descendants will rule the kingdom for a long time.