Good News Translation (GNB)
20

Concerning War

201“When you go out to fight against your enemies and you see chariots and horses and an army that outnumbers yours, do not be afraid of them. The LORD your God, who rescued you from Egypt, will be with you. 2Before you start fighting, a priest is to come forward and say to the army, 3‘Men of Israel, listen! Today you are going into battle. Do not be afraid of your enemies, or lose courage, or panic. 4The LORD your God is going with you, and he will give you victory.’

5“Then the officers will address the men and say, ‘Is there any man here who has just built a house, but has not yet dedicated it? If so, he is to go home. Otherwise, if he is killed in battle, someone else will dedicate his house. 6Is there any man here who has just planted a vineyard, but has not yet had the chance to harvest its grapes? If so, he is to go home. Otherwise, if he is killed in battle, someone else will enjoy the wine. 7Is there anyone here who is engaged to be married? If so, he is to go home. Otherwise, if he is killed in battle, someone else will marry the woman he is engaged to.’

8“The officers will also say to the men, ‘Is there any man here who has lost his nerve and is afraid? If so, he is to go home. Otherwise, he will destroy the morale of the others.’ 9When the officers have finished speaking to the army, leaders are to be chosen for each unit.

10“When you go to attack a city, first give its people a chance to surrender. 11If they open the gates and surrender, they are all to become your slaves and do forced labour for you. 12But if the people of that city will not surrender, but choose to fight, surround it with your army. 13Then, when the LORD your God lets you capture the city, kill every man in it. 14You may, however, take for yourselves the women, the children, the livestock, and everything else in the city. You may use everything that belongs to your enemies. The LORD has given it to you. 15That is how you are to deal with those cities that are far away from the land you will settle in.

16“But when you capture cities in the land that the LORD your God is giving you, kill everyone. 17Completely destroy all the people: the Hittites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, as the LORD ordered you to do. 18Kill them, so that they will not make you sin against the LORD by teaching you to do all the disgusting things that they do in the worship of their gods.

19“When you are trying to capture a city, do not cut down its fruit trees, even though the siege lasts a long time. Eat the fruit, but do not destroy the trees; the trees are not your enemies. 20You may cut down the other trees and use them in the siege mounds until the city is captured.

21

Concerning Unsolved Murders

211“Suppose someone is found murdered in a field in the land that the LORD your God is going to give you, and you do not know who killed him. 2Your leaders and judges are to go out and measure the distance from the place where the body was found to each of the nearby towns. 3Then the leaders of the town nearest to where the body was found are to select a young cow that has never been used for work. 4They are to take it down to a spot near a stream that never runs dry and where the ground has never been ploughed or planted, and there they are to break its neck. 5The levitical priests are to go there also, because they are to decide every legal case involving violence. The LORD your God has chosen them to serve him and to pronounce blessings in his name. 6Then all the leaders from the town nearest the place where the murdered person was found are to wash their hands over the cow 7and say, ‘We did not murder this person, and we do not know who did it. 8LORD, forgive your people Israel, whom you rescued from Egypt. Forgive us and do not hold us responsible for the murder of an innocent person.’ 9And so, by doing what the LORD requires, you will not be held responsible for the murder.

Concerning Women Prisoners of War

10“When the LORD your God gives you victory in battle and you take prisoners, 11you may see among them a beautiful woman that you like and want to marry. 12Take her to your home, where she will shave her head,21.12 shave her head; or trim her hair. cut her fingernails, 13and change her clothes. She is to stay in your home and mourn for her parents for a month; after that, you may marry her. 14Later, if you no longer want her, you are to let her go free. Since you forced her to have intercourse with you, you cannot treat her as a slave and sell her.

Concerning the First Son's Inheritance

15“Suppose a man has two wives and they both bear him sons, but the first son is not the child of his favourite wife. 16When the man decides how he is going to divide his property among his children, he is not to show partiality to the son of his favourite wife by giving him the share that belongs to the firstborn son. 17He is to give a double share of his possessions to his first son, even though he is not the son of his favourite wife. A man must acknowledge his first son and give him the share he is legally entitled to.

Concerning a Disobedient Son

18“Suppose someone has a son who is stubborn and rebellious, a son who will not obey his parents, even though they punish him. 19His parents are to take him before the leaders of the town where he lives and make him stand trial. 20They are to say to them, ‘Our son is stubborn and rebellious and refuses to obey us; he wastes money and is a drunkard.’ 21Then the men of the city are to stone him to death, and so you will get rid of this evil. Everyone in Israel will hear what has happened and be afraid.

Various Laws

22“If someone has been put to death for a crime and his body is hung on a post, 23

21.23:
Gal 3.13
it is not to remain there overnight. It must be buried the same day, because a dead body hanging on a post brings God's curse on the land. Bury the body, so that you will not defile the land that the LORD your God is giving you.

22

221

22.1–4:
Ex 23.4–5
“If you see a fellow-Israelite's cow or sheep running loose, do not ignore it; take it back to him. 2But if its owner lives a long way off or if you don't know who owns it, then take it home with you. When its owner comes looking for it, give it to him. 3Do the same thing if you find a donkey, a piece of clothing, or anything else that your fellow-Israelite may have lost.

4“If a fellow-Israelite's donkey or cow has fallen down, don't ignore it; help him to get the animal to its feet again.

5“Women are not to wear men's clothing, and men are not to wear women's clothing; the LORD your God hates people who do such things.

6“If you happen to find a bird's nest in a tree or on the ground with the mother bird sitting either on the eggs or with her young, you are not to take the mother bird. 7You may take the young birds, but you must let the mother bird go, so that you will live a long and prosperous life.

8“When you build a new house, be sure to put a railing round the edge of the roof. Then you will not be responsible if someone falls off and is killed.

9

22.9–11:
Lev 19.19
“Do not plant any crop in the same field as your grapevines; if you do, you are forbidden to use either the grapes or the produce of the other crop.

10“Do not hitch an ox and a donkey together for ploughing.

11“Do not wear cloth made by weaving wool and linen together.

12

22.12:
Num 15.37–41
“Sew tassels on the four corners of your clothes.

Laws Concerning Sexual Purity

13“Suppose a man marries a woman and later he decides he doesn't want her. 14So he makes up false charges against her, accusing her of not being a virgin when they got married.

15“If this happens, the woman's parents are to take the bloodstained wedding sheet that proves she was a virgin, and they are to show it in court to the town leaders. 16Her father will say to them, ‘I gave my daughter to this man in marriage, and now he doesn't want her. 17He has made false charges against her, saying that she was not a virgin when he married her. But here is the proof that my daughter was a virgin; look at the bloodstains on the wedding sheet!’ 18Then the town leaders are to take the husband and beat him. 19They are also to fine him a hundred pieces of silver and give the money to the woman's father, because the man has brought disgrace on an Israelite woman. Moreover, she will continue to be his wife, and he can never divorce her as long as he lives.

20“But if the charge is true and there is no proof that she was a virgin, 21then they are to take her out to the entrance of her father's house, where the men of her city are to stone her to death. She has done a shameful thing among our people by having intercourse before she was married, while she was still living in her father's house. In this way you will get rid of this evil.

22“If a man is caught having intercourse with another man's wife, both of them are to be put to death. In this way you will get rid of this evil.

23“Suppose a man is caught in a town having intercourse with a woman who is engaged to someone else. 24You are to take them outside the town and stone them to death. The woman is to die because she did not cry out for help, although she was in a town, where she could have been heard. And the man is to die because he had intercourse with a woman who was engaged. In this way you will get rid of this evil.

25“Suppose a man out in the countryside rapes a woman who is engaged to someone else. Then only the man is to be put to death; 26nothing is to be done to the woman, because she has not committed a sin worthy of death. This case is the same as when one man attacks another man and murders him. 27The man raped the engaged woman in the countryside, and although she cried for help, there was no one to help her.

28

22.28–29:
Ex 22.16–17
“Suppose a man is caught raping a young woman who is not engaged. 29He is to pay her father the bride price of fifty pieces of silver, and she is to become his wife, because he forced her to have intercourse with him. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.

30

22.30:
Lev 18.8
20.11
Deut 27.20
“No man is to disgrace his father by having intercourse with any of his father's wives.