17 “Never sacrifice a sick or defective ox or sheep to the Lord your God. He doesn’t feel honored by such gifts!
2-3 “If anyone, whether man or woman, in any village throughout your land violates your covenant with God by worshiping other gods, the sun, moon, or stars—which I have strictly forbidden— 4 first check the rumor very carefully; if there is no doubt it is true, 5 then that man or woman shall be taken outside the city and shall be stoned to death. 6 However, never put a man to death on the testimony of only one witness; there must be at least two or three. 7 The witnesses shall throw the first stones, and then all the people shall join in. In this way you will purge all evil from among you.
8 “If a case arises that is too hard for you to decide—for instance, whether someone is guilty of murder when there is insufficient evidence, or whether someone’s rights have been violated—you shall take the case to the sanctuary of the Lord your God, 9 to the priests and Levites, and the chief judge on duty at the time will make the decision. 10 His decision is without appeal and is to be followed to the letter. 11 The sentence he imposes is to be fully executed. 12 If the defendant refuses to accept the decision of the priest or judge appointed by God for this purpose, the penalty is death. Such sinners must be purged from Israel. 13 Then everyone will hear about what happened to the man who refused God’s verdict, and they will be afraid to defy a court’s judgment.
14 “When you arrive in the land the Lord your God will give you, and have conquered it, and begin to think, ‘We ought to have a king like the other nations around us’— 15 be sure that you select as king the man the Lord your God shall choose. He must be an Israelite, not a foreigner. 16 Be sure that he doesn’t build up a large stable of horses for himself, nor send his men to Egypt to raise horses for him there, for the Lord has told you, ‘Never return to Egypt again.’ 17 He must not have too many wives, lest his heart be turned away from the Lord, neither shall he be excessively rich.
18 “And when he has been crowned and sits upon his throne as king, then he must copy these laws from the book kept by the Levite-priests. 19 That copy of the laws shall be his constant companion. He must read from it every day of his life so that he will learn to respect the Lord his God by obeying all of his commands. 20 This regular reading of God’s laws will prevent him from feeling that he is better than his fellow citizens. It will also prevent him from turning away from God’s laws in the slightest respect and will ensure his having a long, good reign. His sons will then follow him upon the throne.