New International Reader's Version

Deuteronomy 25

1Suppose two people don’t agree about something. Then they must take their case to court. The judges will decide the case. They will let the one who isn’t guilty go free. And they will punish the one who is guilty. The guilty one might have done something that’s worthy of a beating. Then the judge will make them lie down and be beaten with a whip right there in court. The number of strokes should fit the crime. But the judge must not give the guilty person more than 40 strokes. If more than that are used, you will have disrespected your Israelite neighbor.

Don’t stop an ox from eating while you use it to separate grain from straw.

Suppose two brothers are living near each other. And one of them dies without having a son. Then his widow must not marry anyone outside the family. Her husband’s brother should marry her. That’s what a brother-in-law is supposed to do. Her first baby boy will be named after her first husband. Then the dead man’s name will continue in Israel.

But suppose the man doesn’t want to marry his brother’s wife. Then she will go to the elders at the gate of the town. She will say, “My husband’s brother refuses to keep his brother’s name alive in Israel. He won’t do for me what a brother-in-law is supposed to do.” Then the elders in his town will send for him. They will talk to him. But he still might say, “I don’t want to marry her.” Then his brother’s widow will go up to him in front of the elders. She’ll pull one of his sandals off his foot. She’ll spit in his face. And she’ll say, “That’s what we do to a man who won’t build up his brother’s family line.” 10 That man’s family line will be known in Israel as The Family of the Man Whose Sandal Was Pulled Off.

11 Suppose two men are fighting. And the wife of one of them comes to save her husband from his attacker. So she reaches out and grabs hold of his attacker’s private parts. 12 Then you must cut off her hand. Don’t feel sorry for her.

13 Don’t have two different scales. Don’t have scales that cause things to seem heavier or lighter than they really are. 14 And don’t have two different sets of measures. Don’t have measures that cause things to seem larger or smaller than they really are. 15 You must use weights and measures that are honest and exact. Then you will live a long time in the land the Lord your God is giving you. 16 He hates anyone who cheats.

17 Remember what the Amalekites did to you on your way out of Egypt. 18 You were tired and worn out. They met up with you on your journey. They attacked everyone who was lagging behind. They didn’t have any respect for God. 19 The Lord your God will give you peace and rest from all the enemies around you. He’ll do this in the land he’s giving you to take over as your very own. No one on earth will mention the Amalekites ever again because you will destroy them. Do not forget!