The Holy and the Profane
14 You are children 1 of the Lord your God. Do not cut yourselves or shave your forehead bald 2 for the sake of the dead. 2 For you are a people holy 3 to the Lord your God. He 4 has chosen you to be his people, prized 5 above all others on the face of the earth. 3 You must not eat any forbidden 6 thing. 4 These are the animals you may eat: the ox, the sheep, the goat, 5 the ibex, 7 the gazelle, 8 the deer, 9 the wild goat, the antelope, 10 the wild oryx, 11 and the mountain sheep. 12 6 You may eat any animal that has hooves divided into two parts and that chews the cud. 13 7 However, you may not eat the following animals among those that chew the cud or those that have divided hooves: the camel, the hare, and the rock badger. 14 (Although they chew the cud, they do not have divided hooves and are therefore ritually impure to you). 8 Also the pig is ritually impure to you; though it has divided hooves, 15 it does not chew the cud. You may not eat their meat or even touch their remains. 9 These you may eat from among water creatures: anything with fins and scales you may eat, 10 but whatever does not have fins and scales you may not eat; it is ritually impure to you. 11 All ritually clean birds you may eat. 12 These are the ones you may not eat: the eagle, 16 the vulture, 17 the black vulture, 18 13 the kite, the black kite, the dayyah 19 after its species, 14 every raven after its species, 15 the ostrich, 20 the owl, 21 the seagull, the falcon 22 after its species, 16 the little owl, the long-eared owl, the white owl, 23 17 the jackdaw, 24 the carrion vulture, the cormorant, 18 the stork, the heron after its species, the hoopoe, the bat, 19 and any winged thing on the ground are impure to you – they may not be eaten. 25 20 You may eat any clean bird. 21 You may not eat any corpse, though you may give it to the resident foreigner who is living in your villages 26 and he may eat it, or you may sell it to a foreigner. You are a people holy to the Lord your God. Do not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk. 27
The Offering of Tribute
22 You must be certain to tithe 28 all the produce of your seed that comes from the field year after year. 23 In the presence of the Lord your God you must eat from the tithe of your grain, your new wine, 29 your olive oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the place he chooses to locate his name, so that you may learn to revere the Lord your God always. 24 When he 30 blesses you, if the 31 place where he chooses to locate his name is distant, 25 you may convert the tithe into money, secure the money, 32 and travel to the place the Lord your God chooses for himself. 26 Then you may spend the money however you wish for cattle, sheep, wine, beer, or whatever you desire. You and your household may eat there in the presence of the Lord your God and enjoy it. 27 As for the Levites in your villages, you must not ignore them, for they have no allotment or inheritance along with you. 28 At the end of every three years you must bring all the tithe of your produce, in that very year, and you must store it up in your villages. 29 Then the Levites (because they have no allotment or inheritance with you), the resident foreigners, the orphans, and the widows of your villages may come and eat their fill so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work you do.
Release for Debt Slaves
15 At the end of every seven years you must declare a cancellation 1 of debts. 2 This is the nature of the cancellation: Every creditor must remit what he has loaned to another person; 2 he must not force payment from his fellow Israelite, 3 for it is to be recognized as “the Lord’s cancellation of debts.” 3 You may exact payment from a foreigner, but whatever your fellow Israelite 4 owes you, you must remit. 4 However, there should not be any poor among you, for the Lord 5 will surely bless 6 you in the land that he 7 is giving you as an inheritance, 8 5 if you carefully obey 9 him 10 by keeping 11 all these commandments that I am giving 12 you today. 6 For the Lord your God will bless you just as he has promised; you will lend to many nations but will not borrow from any, and you will rule over many nations but they will not rule over you.
The Spirit of Liberality
7 If a fellow Israelite 13 from one of your villages 14 in the land that the Lord your God is giving you should be poor, you must not harden your heart or be insensitive 15 to his impoverished condition. 16 8 Instead, you must be sure to open your hand to him and generously lend 17 him whatever he needs. 18 9 Be careful lest you entertain the wicked thought that the seventh year, the year of cancellation of debts, has almost arrived, and your attitude 19 be wrong toward your impoverished fellow Israelite 20 and you do not lend 21 him anything; he will cry out to the Lord against you and you will be regarded as having sinned. 22 10 You must by all means lend 23 to him and not be upset by doing it, 24 for because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you attempt. 11 There will never cease to be some poor people in the land; therefore, I am commanding you to make sure you open 25 your hand to your fellow Israelites 26 who are needy and poor in your land.
Release of Debt Slaves
12 If your fellow Hebrew 27 – whether male or female 28 – is sold to you and serves you for six years, then in the seventh year you must let that servant 29 go free. 30 13 If you set them free, you must not send them away empty-handed. 14 You must supply them generously 31 from your flock, your threshing floor, and your winepress – as the Lord your God has blessed you, you must give to them. 15 Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you; therefore, I am commanding you to do this thing today. 16 However, if the servant 32 says to you, “I do not want to leave 33 you,” because he loves you and your household, since he is well off with you, 17 you shall take an awl and pierce a hole through his ear to the door. 34 Then he will become your servant permanently (this applies to your female servant as well). 18 You should not consider it difficult to let him go free, for he will have served you for six years, twice 35 the time of a hired worker; the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do.
Giving God the Best
19 You must set apart 36 for the Lord your God every firstborn male born to your herds and flocks. You must not work the firstborn of your bulls or shear the firstborn of your flocks. 20 You and your household must eat them annually before the Lord your God in the place he 37 chooses. 21 If they have any kind of blemish – lameness, blindness, or anything else 38 – you may not offer them as a sacrifice to the Lord your God. 22 You may eat it in your villages, 39 whether you are ritually impure or clean, 40 just as you would eat a gazelle or an ibex. 23 However, you must not eat its blood; you must pour it out on the ground like water.
The Passover-Unleavened Bread Festival
16 Observe the month Abib 1 and keep the Passover to the Lord your God, for in that month 2 he 3 brought you out of Egypt by night. 2 You must sacrifice the Passover animal 4 (from the flock or the herd) to the Lord your God in the place where he 5 chooses to locate his name. 3 You must not eat any yeast with it; for seven days you must eat bread made without yeast, symbolic of affliction, for you came out of Egypt hurriedly. You must do this so you will remember for the rest of your life the day you came out of the land of Egypt. 4 There must not be a scrap of yeast within your land 6 for seven days, nor can any of the meat you sacrifice on the evening of the first day remain until the next morning. 7 5 You may not sacrifice the Passover in just any of your villages 8 that the Lord your God is giving you, 6 but you must sacrifice it 9 in the evening in 10 the place where he 11 chooses to locate his name, at sunset, the time of day you came out of Egypt. 7 You must cook 12 and eat it in the place the Lord your God chooses; you may return the next morning to your tents. 8 You must eat bread made without yeast for six days. The seventh day you are to hold an assembly for the Lord your God; you must not do any work on that day. 13
The Festival of Weeks
9 You must count seven weeks; you must begin to count them 14 from the time you begin to harvest the standing grain. 10 Then you are to celebrate the Festival of Weeks 15 before the Lord your God with the voluntary offering 16 that you will bring, in proportion to how he 17 has blessed you. 11 You shall rejoice before him 18 – you, your son, your daughter, your male and female slaves, the Levites in your villages, 19 the resident foreigners, the orphans, and the widows among you – in the place where the Lord chooses to locate his name. 12 Furthermore, remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and so be careful to observe these statutes.
The Festival of Temporary Shelters
13 You must celebrate the Festival of Temporary Shelters 20 for seven days, at the time of the grain and grape harvest. 21 14 You are to rejoice in your festival, you, your son, your daughter, your male and female slaves, the Levites, the resident foreigners, the orphans, and the widows who are in your villages. 22 15 You are to celebrate the festival seven days before the Lord your God in the place he 23 chooses, for he 24 will bless you in all your productivity and in whatever you do; 25 so you will indeed rejoice! 16 Three times a year all your males must appear before the Lord your God in the place he chooses for the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks, and the Festival of Temporary Shelters; and they must not appear before him 26 empty-handed. 17 Every one of you must give as you are able, 27 according to the blessing of the Lord your God that he has given you.
Provision for Justice
18 You must appoint judges and civil servants 28 for each tribe in all your villages 29 that the Lord your God is giving you, and they must judge the people fairly. 30 19 You must not pervert justice or show favor. Do not take a bribe, for bribes blind the eyes of the wise and distort 31 the words of the righteous. 32 20 You must pursue justice alone 33 so that you may live and inherit the land the Lord your God is giving you.
Examples of Legal Cases
21 You must not plant any kind of tree as a sacred Asherah pole 34 near the altar of the Lord your God which you build for yourself. 22 You must not erect a sacred pillar, 35 a thing the Lord your God detests.