Good News Translation (GNB)

The Seventh Year

(Lev 25.1–7)

151“At the end of every seventh year you are to cancel the debts of those who owe you money. 2This is how it is to be done. All who have lent money to a fellow-Israelite are to cancel the debt; they must not try to collect the money; the LORD himself has declared the debt cancelled. 3You may collect what a foreigner owes you, but you must not collect what any of your own people owe you.

4“The LORD your God will bless you in the land that he is giving you. Not one of your people will be poor 5if you obey him and carefully observe everything that I command you today. 6The LORD will bless you, as he has promised. You will lend money to many nations, but you will not have to borrow from any; you will have control over many nations, but no nation will have control over you.


Lev 25.35
“If in any of the towns in the land that the LORD your God is giving you there is a fellow-Israelite in need, then do not be selfish and refuse to help him. 8Instead, be generous and lend him as much as he needs. 9Do not refuse to lend him something, just because the year when debts are cancelled is near. Do not let such an evil thought enter your mind. If you refuse to make the loan, he will cry out to the LORD against you, and you will be held guilty. 10Give to him freely and unselfishly, and the LORD will bless you in everything you do. 11
Mt 26.11
Mk 14.7
Jn 12.8
There will always be some Israelites who are poor and in need, and so I command you to be generous to them.

The Treatment of Slaves

(Ex 21.1–11)


Lev 25.39–46
“If a fellow-Israelite sells himself or herself15.12 sells himself or herself; or is sold. to you as a slave, you are to release them after they have served you for six years. When the seventh year comes, you must let them go free. 13When you set them free, do not send them away empty-handed. 14Give to them generously from what the LORD has blessed you with — sheep, corn, and wine. 15Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the LORD your God set you free; that is why I am now giving you this command.

16“But your slave may not want to leave; he may love you and your family and be content to stay. 17Then take him to the door of your house and there pierce his ear; he will then be your slave for life. Treat your female slave in the same way. 18Do not be resentful when you set a slave free; after all, the slave has served you for six years at half the cost of a hired servant.15.18 at halfservant; or and has worked twice as hard as a hired servant. Do this, and the LORD your God will bless you in all that you do.

The Firstborn Cattle and Sheep


Ex 13.12
“Set aside for the LORD your God all the firstborn males of your cattle and sheep; don't use any of these cattle for work and don't shear any of these sheep. 20Each year you and your family are to eat them in the LORD's presence at the one place of worship. 21But if there is anything wrong with the animals, if they are crippled or blind or have any other serious defect, you must not sacrifice them to the LORD your God. 22You may eat such animals at home. All of you, whether ritually clean or unclean, may eat them, just as you eat deer or antelope. 23
Gen 9.4
Lev 7.26–27
Deut 12.16,23
But do not use their blood for food; instead, you must pour it out on the ground like water.


The Passover

(Ex 12.1–20)


Lev 23.5–8
Num 28.16–25
“Honour the LORD your God by celebrating Passover in the month of Abib; it was on a night in that month that he rescued you from Egypt. 2Go to the one place of worship and slaughter there one of your sheep or cattle for the Passover meal to honour the LORD your God. 3When you eat this meal, do not eat bread prepared with yeast. For seven days you are to eat bread prepared without yeast, as you did when you had to leave Egypt in such a hurry. Eat this bread — it will be called the bread of suffering — so that as long as you live you will remember the day you came out of Egypt, that place of suffering. 4For seven days no one in your land is to have any yeast in the house; and the meat of the animal killed on the evening of the first day must be eaten that same night.

5-6“Slaughter the Passover animals at the one place of worship — and nowhere else in the land that the LORD your God will give you. Do it at sunset, the time of day when you left Egypt. 7Boil the meat and eat it at the one place of worship; and the next morning return home. 8For the next six days you are to eat bread prepared without yeast, and on the seventh day assemble to worship the LORD your God, and do no work on that day.

The Harvest Festival

(Ex 34.22; Lev 23.15–21)


Num 28.26–31
“Count seven weeks from the time that you begin to harvest the corn, 10and then celebrate the Harvest Festival, to honour the LORD your God, by bringing him a freewill offering in proportion to the blessing he has given you. 11Be joyful in the LORD's presence, together with your children, your servants, and the Levites, foreigners, orphans, and widows who live in your towns. Do this at the one place of worship. 12Be sure that you obey these commands; do not forget that you were slaves in Egypt.

The Festival of Shelters

(Lev 23.33–43)


Num 29.12–38
“After you have threshed all your corn and pressed all your grapes, celebrate the Festival of Shelters for seven days. 14Enjoy it with your children, your servants, and the Levites, foreigners, orphans, and widows who live in your towns. 15Honour the LORD your God by celebrating this festival for seven days at the one place of worship. Be joyful, because the LORD has blessed your harvest and your work.

16“All the men of your nation are to come to worship the LORD three times a year at the one place of worship: at Passover, Harvest Festival, and the Festival of Shelters. Each man is to bring a gift 17as he is able, in proportion to the blessings that the LORD your God has given him.

The Administration of Justice

18“Appoint judges and other officials in every town that the LORD your God gives you. These men are to judge the people impartially. 19

Ex 23.6–8
Lev 19.15
They are not to be unjust or show partiality in their judgements; and they are not to accept bribes, for gifts blind the eyes even of wise and honest men, and cause them to give wrong decisions. 20Always be fair and just, so that you will occupy the land that the LORD your God is giving you and will continue to live there.


Ex 34.13
“When you make an altar for the LORD your God, do not put beside it a wooden symbol of the goddess Asherah. 22
Lev 26.1
And do not set up any stone pillar for idol worship; the LORD hates them.


171“Do not sacrifice to the LORD your God cattle or sheep that have any defects; the LORD hates this.

2“Suppose you hear that in one of your towns some man or woman has sinned against the LORD and broken his covenant 3

Ex 22.20
by worshipping and serving other gods or the sun or the moon or the stars, contrary to the LORD's command. 4If you hear such a report, then investigate it thoroughly. If it is true that this evil thing has happened in Israel, 5then take that person outside the town and stone him to death. 6
Num 35.30
Deut 19.15
Mt 18.16
2 Cor 13.1
1 Tim 5.19
Heb 10.28
However, he may be put to death only if two or more witnesses testify against him; he is not to be put to death if there is only one witness. 7
1 Cor 5.12–13
The witnesses are to throw the first stones, and then the rest of the people are to stone that person; in this way you will get rid of this evil.

8“It may be that some cases will be too difficult for the local judges to decide, such as certain cases of property rights or of bodily injury or those cases that involve a distinction between murder and manslaughter. When this happens, go to the one place of worship chosen by the LORD your God, 9and present your case to the levitical priests and to the judge who is in office at that time, and let them decide the case. 10They will give their decision, and you are to do exactly as they tell you. 11Accept their verdict and follow their instructions in every detail. 12Anyone who dares to disobey either the judge or the priest on duty is to be put to death; in this way you will remove this evil from Israel. 13Then everyone will hear of it and be afraid, and no one else will dare to act in such a way.

Instructions Concerning a King


1 Sam 8.5
“After you have taken possession of the land that the LORD your God is going to give you and have settled there, then you will decide you need a king like all the nations round you. 15Make sure that the man you choose to be king is the one whom the LORD has chosen. He must be one of your own people; do not make a foreigner your king. 16
1 Kgs 10.28
2 Chr 1.16
The king is not to have a large number of horses for his army, and he is not to send people to Egypt to buy horses,17.16 to buy horses; or in exchange for horses. because the LORD has said that his people are never to return there. 17
1 Kgs 10.14–22,27
2 Chr 1.15
The king is not to have many wives, because this would make him turn away from the LORD; and he is not to make himself rich with silver and gold. 18When he becomes king, he is to have a copy of the book of God's laws and teachings made from the original copy kept by the levitical priests. 19He is to keep this book near him and read from it all his life, so that he will learn to honour the LORD and to obey faithfully everything that is commanded in it. 20This will keep him from thinking that he is better than his fellow-Israelites and from disobeying the LORD's commands in any way. Then he will reign for many years, and his descendants will rule Israel for many generations.