New International Reader's Version

Deuteronomy 22

1Suppose you see your neighbor’s ox or sheep wandering away. Then don’t act as if you didn’t see it. Instead, make sure you take it back to its owner. Its owner might not live near you. Or you might not know who owns it. So take the animal home with you. Keep it until the owner comes looking for it. Then give it back to them. Do the same thing if you find their donkey, coat or anything they have lost. Don’t act as if you didn’t see it.

Suppose you see your neighbor’s donkey or ox that has fallen down on the road. Then don’t act as if you didn’t see it. Help the owner get it up on its feet again.

A woman must not wear men’s clothes. And a man must not wear women’s clothes. The Lord your God hates it when anyone does this.

Suppose you happen to find a bird’s nest beside the road. It might be in a tree or on the ground. And suppose the mother bird is sitting on her little birds or on the eggs. Then don’t take the mother along with the little ones. You can take the little ones. But make sure you let the mother go. Then things will go well with you. You will live for a long time.

If you build a new house, put a low wall around the edge of your roof. Then you won’t be responsible if someone falls off your roof and dies.

Don’t plant two kinds of seeds in your vineyard. If you do, the crops you grow there will be impure. Your grapes will also be impure.

10 Don’t let an ox and a donkey pull the same plow together.

11 Don’t wear clothes made out of wool and linen woven together.

12 Make tassels on the four corners of the coat you wear.

Breaking Marriage Laws

13 Suppose a man marries a woman and sleeps with her. But then he doesn’t like her. 14 So he tells lies about her and says she’s a bad woman. He says, “I married this woman. But when I slept with her, I discovered she wasn’t a virgin.” 15 Then the young woman’s parents must bring proof that she was a virgin. They must give the proof to the elders at the gate of the town. 16 Her father will speak to the elders. He’ll say, “I gave my daughter to this man to be his wife. But he doesn’t like her. 17 So now he has told lies about her. He has said, ‘I discovered that your daughter wasn’t a virgin.’ But here’s the proof that my daughter was a virgin.” Then her parents will show the elders of the town the cloth that has her blood on it. 18 The elders will punish the man. 19 They’ll make him weigh out two and a half pounds of silver. They’ll give it to the young woman’s father. That’s because the man has said an Israelite virgin is a bad woman. She will continue to be his wife. He must not divorce her as long as he lives.

20 But suppose the charge is true. And there isn’t any proof that the young woman was a virgin. 21 Then she must be brought to the door of her father’s house. There the people of her town will put her to death by throwing stones at her. She has done a very terrible thing in Israel. She has slept with a man before she was married. Get rid of that evil person.

22 Suppose a man is seen sleeping with another man’s wife. Then the man and the woman must both die. Get rid of those evil people.

23 Suppose a man happens to see a virgin in a town. And she has promised to marry another man. But the man who happens to see her sleeps with her. 24 Then you must take both of them to the gate of that town. You must put them to death by throwing stones at them. You must kill the young woman because she was in a town and didn’t scream for help. And you must kill the man because he slept with another man’s wife. Get rid of those evil people.

25 But suppose a man happens to see a young woman out in the country. And she has promised to marry another man. But the man who happens to see her rapes her. Then only the man who has done that will die. 26 Don’t do anything to the woman. She hasn’t committed a sin worthy of death. That case is like the case of someone who attacks and murders a neighbor. 27 The man found the young woman out in the country. And she screamed for help. But there wasn’t anyone around who could save her.

28 Suppose a man happens to see a virgin who hasn’t promised to marry another man. And the man who happens to see her rapes her. But someone discovers them. 29 Then the man must weigh out 20 ounces of silver. He must give it to her father. The man must marry the young woman, because he raped her. And he can never divorce her as long as he lives.

30 A man must not marry his stepmother. He must not bring shame on his father by sleeping with her.