Deuteronomy 24

Rules about marriage and other things

1 Perhaps a man will marry a woman and then he discovers something that brings shame on her. So she does not please him any more. He must write a letter to say that they are no longer married. He gives the letter to his wife. Then he can send her away from his house. 2 After she has left his house, she might marry another man.

3 Later, her second husband may also not like her any more. So he also gives her a letter to finish the marriage. He sends her away from his house too. Or perhaps her second husband dies. 4 If that happens, her first husband must not marry her again. That is because she has had sex with another man. To marry her again would be a sin that the Lord hates. You must not do sins like that in the land that the Lord your God is giving to you as your new home.

5 When a man has just married, do not send him away to fight in the army. Do not make him work at jobs in other places. He should stay at home for one year. Then he can make his new wife very happy.

6 When you lend money to people, you may take something from them as a guarantee. But do not take the stones that they use to make grain into flour. Do not take either of the stones. People need both those stones to make food to stay alive. So do not take away their life.

7 A man might take hold of another Israelite and make him his slave. He might try to sell him as a slave. Anyone who does that must die. You must remove evil things from among you.

8 If you have leprosy, be very careful! Do everything that the Levite priests tell you to do. You must obey everything that I have commanded them. 9 Remember what the Lord your God did to Miriam after you left Egypt.

24:9See Numbers 12:1-15. Leprosy was a bad illness of the skin. Other people could get the illness very easily.

10 If you lend something to your neighbour you may take something from him as a guarantee. But do not go into his house to take it. 11 You must wait outside the house. Then your neighbour can bring out what he has chosen to give you. 12 If the person is poor, do not take his coat and keep it with you all night. 13 You must always give his coat back to him before sunset. Then he can sleep in it to keep himself warm. He will ask God to bless you because you have been kind. The Lord your God will know that you have done the right thing.

24:10The guarantee is to make sure that the person pays back what he should pay.

14 Do not be cruel to any poor or helpless person who works for you. Be kind to him, whether he is an Israelite or a foreigner who lives in one of your towns. 15 You must pay him for his work every day before sunset. Remember that he is poor. He needs the money to stay alive. If you do not pay him, he may complain against you to the Lord. The Lord would say that you are guilty of a sin.

16 You must not punish fathers with death for the sins that their children do. You must not punish children with death for the sins that their fathers do. Each person must die only because of his own sins.

17 Remember to be completely fair to foreigners and to children who have no parents. If you lend money to a widow, do not take her coat as a guarantee. 18 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God rescued you from there. That is why I am commanding you to do these things.

19 At harvest time, you might forget to bring in all the crops from your fields. Do not go back to pick up all the grain. Leave it there for foreigners, widows and children who have no parents. If you do that, the Lord your God will bless you in all your work.

20 When you knock the olives off your trees, shake each branch only once. Leave the olives that remain for foreigners, widows and children who have no parents. 21 When you pick your grapes, pick only once from each vine. Leave the grapes that remain for foreigners, widows and children who have no parents. 22 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt. That is why I am commanding you to do all these things.