Deuteronomy 21: Moses Gets Back in the Lawgiving Groove

Then Moses got back into his law giving mode for old times sake and explained that if a murdered body was found and no one was able to determine the culprit, then the elders of the city or town closest to where the body was found were to take a heifer into the wilderness, break its neck, wash their hands, and swear they had had nothing to do with the murder.

And if a man wants to “marry” a captive woman, then he takes her home, has her head shaved, her nails cut, and her clothes changed, and then tells her to mourn for her dead family for a month. After the month, if he still wants her, then she’s his, but if he doesn’t, then he has to let her go free. He was forbidden from selling her or enslaving her because he had humiliated her.

If a man has a favorite wife but she did not bear his firstborn son, he is not allowed to disown his firstborn in favor of his favorite wife’s eldest son.

If a son is a rebellious, no account drunk who won’t listen to reason, then his parents should drag him before the elders and accuse him, and then everyone should stone him to death.

A body hanging on a tree is bad luck, so don’t let the bodies of hung criminals hang over night.


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