Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19

Deuteronomy chapter 21, verse 10 to chapter 25, verse 19


Moses is giving his last speech to the Children of Israel before they enter the Land of Israel.  These include:

  • Laws about family relationships
    • Women taken captive in war must be treated humanely.
    • Defiant children must be disciplined by their parents of community.
    • If a person is executed for a capital offense, his or her body must be treated with respect.
  • Laws about  daily living
    • All lost property, if found, must be returned
    • Help care for neighbor’s fallen animals
    • Do not take a mother bird along with its young. Free the mother but one can keep the young
    • When building a house, follow safety precautions and construct a guardrail on the roof so no one will fall.
    • Don’t plough with two different types of animals.
    • Don’t wear cloth mixed with wool and linen.
    • Wear tzitzit on the four corners of your clothing
    • Adultery is a capital crime.
    • A man must not marry his father’s former wife.
    • A runaway slave shall not be returned to his or her master.
    • A man during his first year of marriage is exempt from army service.
    • Kidnapping is a capital crime.
    • Workers must be paid on a daily basis.
    • A person is only responsible for the crime he or she commits.
    • The community is responsible to take care of orphans, widows and strangers.  They are permitted to to gather the leftovers of the harvest so that they can take care of their needs.
    • The Israelites must be honest in business.

Torah Portion in English

10) When you take the field against your enemies, and the Lord your God delivers them into your power and you take some of them captive, 11) and you see among the captives a beautiful woman and you desire her and would take her to wife, 12) you shall bring her into your house, and she shall trim her hair, pare her nails, 13) and discard her captive’s garb. She shall spend a month’s time in your house lamenting her father and mother; after that you may come to her and possess her, and she shall be your wife. 14) Then, should you no longer want her, you must release her outright. You must not sell her for money: since you had your will of her, you must not enslave her.

15) If a man has two wives, one loved and the other unloved, and both the loved and the unloved have borne him sons, but the first-born is the son of the unloved one— 16) when he wills his property to his sons, he may not treat as first-born the son of the loved one in disregard of the son of the unloved one who is older. 17) Instead, he must accept the first-born, the son of the unloved one, and allot to him a double portion of all he possesses; since he is the first fruit of his vigor, the birthright is his due.

18) If a man has a wayward and defiant son, who does not heed his father or mother and does not obey them even after they discipline him, 19) his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his town at the public place of his community. 20) They shall say to the elders of his town, “This son of ours is disloyal and defiant; he does not heed us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.” 21) Thereupon the men of his town shall stone him to death. Thus you will sweep out evil from your midst: all Israel will hear and be afraid.

Getting to Know my Parasha

What Does my Parasha Say?

  1. What happens to a disobedient child?
  2. What happens to the body of an executed criminal?
  3. If you find a nest with eggs or young chicks in it, are you allowed to take it for food?  What are the rules about this?
  4. What happens if you find your neighbor’s  ox or sheep wandering around?
  5. When you build a house, what do you need to do?
  6. What are you not permitted to do when ploughing?
  7. What are we supposed to add to the corner of our garments?
  8. How serious a crime is adultery?
  9. What is the community responsible for when it comes to strangers or orphans?