|Deuteronomy 21 |
1 [Moses speaking]. "If someone is found slain in the land that the LORD your God gives you to possess, lying in the field, and it is not known who has slain him;
2 Then your elders and your judges shall come forth, and they shall measure the distance to the cities that are near to where the who was found slain.
3 And it shall be that the elders of that city which is closest to the slain man shall take a heifer, which has not been worked or drawn in the yoke;
4 And the elders of that city shall bring down the heifer to a valley with a creek, which has not been ploughed or planted; and they shall break the heifer's neck there in the valley.
5 And the priests the sons of Levi shall come near for they have been chosen by the LORD your God to minister to Him, and to bless in the name of the LORD; and by their word shall every controversy and every stroke be tried.
6 And all the elders of that city, that are next to the slain man, shall wash their hands over the heifer with the broken neck in the valley.
7 And they shall answer and say, 'Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it.
8 Be merciful, O LORD, to your people Israel, whom you have redeemed, and do not charge innocent blood to your people of Israel;' and the blood shall be forgiven them.
9 So shall you put away the guilt of innocent blood from among you, when you shall do what is right in the sight of the LORD.
10 When you go forth to war against your enemies, and the LORD your God has delivered them into your hands, and you have taken them captive,
11 And see among the captives a beautiful woman, and have a desire for her, that you would have her as your wife;
12 Then you shall bring her home to your house, and she shall shave her head, and cut her nails;
13 And she shall take off from herself the clothing of her captivity, and she shall remain in your house and bewail her father and her mother a full month; and after that you shall go in to her, and be her husband, and she shall be your wife.
14 And it shall be, if you have no delight in her, then you shall let her go where she will; but you shall not sell her for any money at all; you shall not make merchandise of her because you have humbled her.
15 If a man has two wives, one beloved, and another hated, and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the first born is the son of she who is hated;
16 Then it shall be, when he makes his sons to inherit what he has, that he may not make the son of the beloved first born before the son of the hated, who is indeed the first born;
17 But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated as the first born, by giving him a double portion of all that he has for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the first born is his.
18 If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and if after they have chastened him, he will still not listen to them;
19 Thenhis father and his mother shall lay hold on him, and bring him out to the elders of his city, and to the gate of his place;
20 And they shall say to the elders of his city, "Our son is stubborn and rebellious, and he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.
21 And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, so that he dies; in this way shall you put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear of it and fear.1
22 And if a man has committed a sin worthy of death, and he is to be put to death, and you hang him on a tree;
23 His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but you shall always bury him that day; (for he who is hung on a tree is accursed by God); so that your land is not defiled, which the LORD your God gives you for an inheritance."
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1 To stone a rebellious son, who refuses to listen to his parents, sounds foreign to us today. But we must consider what God was doing at this time. He was establishing a chosen people to carry his name. He was intent on keeping evil out from among his chosen people: the evil of false prophets, the evil people who followed other Gods, and the evil of deliberate, willful disobedience — all of which were a threat to the people of Israel staying faithful to God's ways and commands. The modern parallel to this insistence of purging evil from the people's midst, is the instructions given by Jesus and Paul, regarding how to treat anyone claiming to be a Christian but who continues to sin:
Paul wrote: But now I write to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of [Christian] brother if he is known to be guilty of immorality or greed, or is an idolater [whose soul is devoted to anything that usurps the place of God, and how they spend their free time defines to what they are devoted to], or is a person with a foul tongue [railing, abusing, reviling, slandering], or is a drunkard or a swindler or a robber. You must not so much as eat with such a person. 1 Cor 5:11
Jesus further said that if someone is violating the standards of the church, (sinning), they are supposed to be warned by one, then warned by two or three, then censured by the whole body of believers, — and if they fail to repent of their error, they are supposed to be expelled by the whole church and shunned by all as an unbeliever. Mat 18:15-17.
And regarding false prophets, Jesus spoke:
Enter through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in that way.
Because narrow is the gate and compressed is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?
Even so, every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit.
A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Every tree that does not bring forth good fruit is cut down, and cast into the fire.
Therefore by their fruits you shall know them. Mat 7:13:20
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