Deuteronomy 17:2-13

Justice

2 The Lord your God will give you towns to live in. You may hear that a man or a woman who lives in one of your towns has done a bad thing. He has done a sin that is against the covenant of the Lord your God. 3 He may have started to worship false gods that I have commanded you not to worship. Perhaps he worships the sun, the moon or the stars. 4 If you hear news like that, you must check the report carefully. If it is true that a wicked thing like that has happened in Israel, 5 you must punish that person. Take the man or woman who has done that wicked thing to the gate of the town. Then you must throw stones at that person to kill him or her. 6 But two or three people must agree about what the person has done. You must never kill anyone because of the words of only one person. 7 The people who saw the wicked act must throw the first stones to kill the person. Then everyone else must also throw stones. In that way, you must remove evil acts from among you.

8 It may be difficult for the judges in your towns to decide what is true. This may happen when one person has attacked or killed another person. It may happen when people cannot agree about some land. It may be anything that people in your towns are arguing about. If you do not know who is right, you must take those people to the place that the Lord your God will choose. 9 You must go to the Levite priests and to the judge who has authority at that time. Ask them to decide what is right and true. 10 When they decide, you must do what they tell you to do. 11 Accept their teaching. Agree with what they have decided is right. Obey their words completely. Do not try to do anything that is different. 12 Someone might be too proud to obey the priest who has authority as the Lord's servant. He may not agree with what the judge says is right. You must punish any proud person like that with death. In that way you will remove evil things from Israel. 13 Then all the people will hear what has happened. They will be afraid. They will no longer be too proud to obey the judge.