6. Business, Law, and Government

There's a strange mix of business laws in the Bible. Here are a few examples: Don't sell real estate, don't charge interest on loans (except to strangers), and cancel all debts every seven years.

The commandments that deal with legal matters are difficult to describe or summarize. Bug there are some laws about ox goring that help explain the old saying, "It all depends on whose ox is being gored."

The Biblically Correct form of government is simple: God selects a king and everyone else obeys, fears, and honors him. No one may curse or try to overthrow him.

Most of Foreign Policy is covered later in the War and Genocide section. But there are a few commandments left over, telling us not to lend money to foreign nations, or borrow from them, or to learn any of their abominations.

The small sections on swearing and promises are interest, mostly because they contradict the teachings of Jesus and James in the New Testament.

Legal Matters
Foreign Affairs

(Numbered P and N links are to the positive and negative commandments on Maimonides's list.)


  1. Don't covet your neighbor's house, slave, ox, ass, etc.
  2. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house ... nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's. Exodus 20:17, Deuteronomy 5:21

    Thou shalt not covet. Romans 7:7, 13:9

    ...covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience. Colossians 3:5-6

    N265: Don't plan to acquire someone else's property - Ex 20:17
    N266: Don't covet another's belongings - Dt 5:21

  3. If you lend money to poor people, don't charge them interest.
  4. If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury. Exodus 22:25

    If thy brother be waxen poor ... Take thou no usury of him, or increase. ... Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase. Leviticus 25:35-37

    P197: Lend money to the poor - Ex 22:25
    N234: Don't demand payment from a debtor known to be unable to pay - Ex 22:25
    N235: Don't lend at interest - Lev 25:37
    N237: Don't participate in a loan at interest - Ex 22:25

  5. If you loan money to your neighbor and take his clothes as collateral, return them before sundown.
  6. (Or God will hear about it.)
    If thou at all take thy neighbour's raiment to pledge, thou shalt deliver it unto him by that the sun goeth down: For that is his covering only, it is his raiment for his skin: wherein shall he sleep? and it shall come to pass, when he crieth unto me, that I will hear; for I am gracious. Exodus 22:26-27

    If the man be poor, thou shalt not sleep with his pledge: In any case thou shalt deliver him the pledge again when the sun goeth down, that he may sleep in his own raiment, and bless thee: and it shall be righteousness unto thee before the LORD thy God. Deuteronomy 24:12-13

    P199: Restore a pledge to a needy owner - Ex 22:26
    N240: Don't keep a needed pledge from its owner - Dt 24:12

  7. Pay your workers at the end of each working day.
  8. The wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning. Leviticus 19:13

    At his day thou shalt give him his hire, neither shall the sun go down upon it; for he is poor, and setteth his heart upon it. Deuteronomy 24:15

    P200: Pay wages on time - Lev 9:13, Dt 24:15
    N238: Don't oppress an employee by delaying payment of his wages - Lev 19:13

  9. On each Jubilee year, return all purchased property to the original owners.
  10. In the year of this jubile ye shall return every man unto his possession. Leviticus 25:13

    And in all the land of your possession ye shall grant a redemption for the land. Leviticus 25:24

    P138: Reversion of land in the Jubilee year - Lev 25:13, 24

  11. Buy and sell property based on the number of years since the last jubilee, with the price proportional to the number of years until the next jubilee year.
  12. If thou sell ought unto thy neighbour, or buyest ought of thy neighbour's hand ... According to the number of years after the jubile thou shalt buy of thy neighbour, and according unto the number of years of the fruits he shall sell unto thee: According to the multitude of years thou shalt increase the price thereof, and according to the fewness of years thou shalt diminish the price of it: for according to the number of the years of the fruits doth he sell unto thee. Leviticus 25:14-17
    P245: The law of buying and selling - Lev 25:14

  13. Don't sell real estate.
  14. (The land belongs to God, not you.)
    The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is mine, for ye are strangers and sojourners with me. Leviticus 25:23
    N227: Don't sell out holdings in Israel in perpetuity - Lev 25:23

  15. If you buy land, you must allow the seller the right to buy it back.
  16. In all the land of your possession ye shall grant a redemption for the land. Leviticus 25:24

  17. If one of your poor relatives is forced to sell land, then you must buy it, with the usual Jubilee year pricing.
  18. The poor relative has the right to buy it back, but if he can't, then you get to keep it until the next jubilee when you must return it to him. (Or something like that.)

    If thy brother be waxen poor, and hath sold away some of his possession, and if any of his kin come to redeem it, then shall he redeem that which his brother sold. And if the man have none to redeem it, and himself be able to redeem it; Then let him count the years of the sale thereof, and restore the overplus unto the man to whom he sold it; that he may return unto his possession. But if he be not able to restore it to him, then that which is sold shall remain in the hand of him that hath bought it until the year of jubile: and in the jubile it shall go out, and he shall return unto his possession. Leviticus 25:25-28

  19. If you sell a house in a walled city, you have the right to buy it back within a year after the sale.
  20. But if you don't buy it back within a year, the sale is final. You won't get it back even at the next jubilee year.

    And if a man sell a dwelling house in a walled city, then he may redeem it within a whole year after it is sold; within a full year may he redeem it. And if it be not redeemed within the space of a full year, then the house that is in the walled city shall be established for ever to him that bought it throughout his generations: it shall not go out in the jubile. Leviticus 25:29-30
    P139: Redemption of property in a walled city - Lev 25:29-30

  21. If you sell a house in an village without a wall, you may buy it back whenever you like.
  22. Or you can just wait until the jubilee year when you'll get it back for nothing.

    But the houses of the villages which have no wall round about them shall be counted as the fields of the country: they may be redeemed, and they shall go out in the jubile. Leviticus 25:31

  23. The Levites' cities are their possessions, which they may redeem at any time.
  24. Notwithstanding the cities of the Levites, and the houses of the cities of their possession, may the Levites redeem at any time. And if a man purchase of the Levites, then the house that was sold, and the city of his possession, shall go out in the year of jubile: for the houses of the cities of the Levites are their possession among the children of Israel. Leviticus 25:32-33

  25. The fields in the suburbs of the Levites' cities may never be sold.
  26. But the field of the suburbs of their cities may not be sold; for it is their perpetual possession. Leviticus 25:34
    N228: Don't sell the open lands of the Levites - Lev 25:34

  27. Value holy houses according to the following rules.
  28. And when a man shall sanctify his house to be holy unto the LORD, then the priest shall estimate it, whether it be good or bad: as the priest shall estimate it, so shall it stand. And if he that sanctified it will redeem his house, then he shall add the fifth part of the money of thy estimation unto it, and it shall be his. Leviticus 27:14-15
    P116: Valuation of houses - Lev 27:14-15

  29. Value sanctified fields according to the following rules.
  30. (A homer of barley is worth 50 shekels of silver to God, and 20 gerahs is equal to a shekel.)

    And if a man shall sanctify unto the LORD some part of a field of his possession, then thy estimation shall be according to the seed thereof: an homer of barley seed shall be valued at fifty shekels of silver. If he sanctify his field from the year of jubile, according to thy estimation it shall stand. But if he sanctify his field after the jubile, then the priest shall reckon unto him the money according to the years that remain, even unto the year of the jubile, and it shall be abated from thy estimation. And if he that sanctified the field will in any wise redeem it, then he shall add the fifth part of the money of thy estimation unto it, and it shall be assured to him. And if he will not redeem the field, or if he have sold the field to another man, it shall not be redeemed any more. ... And if a man sanctify unto the LORD a field which he hath bought, which is not of the fields of his possession; hen the priest shall reckon unto him the worth of thy estimation, even unto the year of the jubile: and he shall give thine estimation in that day, as a holy thing unto the LORD. In the year of the jubile the field shall return unto him of whom it was bought, even to him to whom the possession of the land did belong. And all thy estimations shall be according to the shekel of the sanctuary: twenty gerahs shall be the shekel. Leviticus 27:16-25
    P117: Valuation of fields - Lev 27:16

  31. If a field is sold or not redeemed during the Jubilee year, it becomes the priest's possession.
  32. But the field, when it goeth out in the jubile, shall be holy unto the LORD, as a field devoted; the possession thereof shall be the priest's. Leviticus 27:21
    P145: Devoted things - Lev 27:21

  33. Cancel all debts every seven years.
  34. At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release. And this is the manner of the release: Every creditor that lendeth ought unto his neighbour shall release it; he shall not exact it of his neighbour, or of his brother; because it is called the Lord's release. Deuteronomy 15:1-2

    That we would leave the seventh year, and the exaction of every debt. - Nehemiah 10:31

    P141: Cancel monetary claims in the Sabbatical year - Dt 15:2
    N230: Don't demand payment of debts after the Sabbatical year - Dt 15:2

  35. Foreingers must pay their debts during "the Lord's release."
  36. Of a foreigner thou mayest exact it again: but that which is thine with thy brother thine hand shall release. Deuteronomy 15:3
    P142: Exact debts from idolaters - Dt 15:3

  37. Lend money during the seventh year, knowing that the loan will soon be forgiven and you won't get your money back.
  38. Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the LORD against thee, and it be sin unto thee. Deuteronomy 15:9
    N231: Don't withhold a loan to be canceled by the sabbatical year - Dt - 15:9

  39. Don't charge interest when loaning money.
  40. Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of any thing that is lent upon usury ... unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon usury. Deuteronomy 23:19-20

    If a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right, and ... hath not given forth upon usury, neither hath taken any increase. Ezekiel 18:5-8

    N236: Don't borrow at interest - Dt 23:20

  41. When loaning money to strangers, it's okay to charge interest.
  42. Unto a stranger thou mayest lend upon usury. Deuteronomy 23:20
    P198: Interest - Dt 21:20

  43. Don't take a man's millstone as collateral in a loan.
  44. (That would be like taking his life.)
    No man shall take the nether or the upper millstone to pledge: for he taketh a man's life to pledge. Deuteronomy 24:6
    N242: Don't take in pledge food utensils - Dt 24:6
    Punishment: Whipping, if utensil is not returned

  45. If you lend someone something, don't go into their house to collect the collateral.
  46. (Ask them to bring it out to you.)
    When thou dost lend thy brother any thing, thou shalt not go into his house to fetch his pledge. Thou shalt stand abroad, and the man to whom thou dost lend shall bring out the pledge abroad unto thee. Deuteronomy 24:10-11
    N239: Don't take a pledge from a debtor by force - Dt 24:10
    Punishment: Whipping, if pledge is not restored

  47. Don't take a widow's clothing for collateral in a loan.
  48. Thou shalt not ... take a widow's raiment to pledge. Deuteronomy 24:17
    N241: Don't take a pledge from a widow - Dt 24:17

  49. Possess your land and leave it for an inheritance for your children.
  50. Possess this good land, and leave it for an inheritance for your children after you for ever. 1 Chronicles 28:8

  51. Take a garment as collateral when loaning money to a stranger or a strange women.
  52. Take his garment that is surety for a stranger: and take a pledge of him for a strange woman. Proverbs 20:16, 27:13

  53. Don't agree to pay off other people's loans.
  54. (You might lose your bed.)
    Be not thou one of them that strike hands, or of them that are sureties for debts. If thou hast nothing to pay, why should he take away thy bed from under thee? Proverbs 22:26-27

  55. Don't owe anyone anything.
  56. Owe no man any thing. Romans 13:8


  1. Seek the wealth and welfare of other people, not yourself.
  2. Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth. 1 Corinthians 10:24

    Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Philippians 2:4

  3. Avoid wealth.
  4. Labour not to be rich. Proverbs 23:4

    They that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things. 1 Timothy 6:9-11

  5. Tell the rich not to put their trust in their riches.
  6. Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy. 1 Timothy 6:17

  7. If you are rich, weep and howl.
  8. Ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. James 5:1

Legal Matters

  1. Circumcised strangers shall be treated as though they were natives.
  2. When a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land. Exodus 12:48

  3. The law applies to both strangers and homeborn residents.
  4. One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you. Exodus 12:49

  5. If two men fight and one is injured, the man who caused the injury shall pay for the injured man's lost time.
  6. If men strive together, and one smite another with a stone, or with his fist, and he die not, but keepeth his bed: If he rise again, and walk abroad upon his staff, then shall he that smote him be quit: only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall cause him to be thoroughly healed. Exodus 21:18-19
    P236: The penalty for inflicting injury - Ex 21:18-19

  7. If a man has an open pit into which an ox or ass falls, the owner of the pit must pay the owner of the animal whatever it was worth, but the owner of the pit gets to keep the dead animal.
  8. If a man shall open a pit, or if a man shall dig a pit, and not cover it, and an ox or an ass fall therein; The owner of the pit shall make it good, and give money unto the owner of them; and the dead beast shall be his. Exodus 21:33-34
    P238: The law of injuries caused by an pit - Ex 21:33

  9. If one man's ox kills another man's ox, then the live ox shall be sold with the money and dead ox split between them.
  10. If one man's ox hurt another's, that he die; then they shall sell the live ox, and divide the money of it; and the dead ox also they shall divide. Exodus 21:35

  11. If an ox is known to be an ox killer and its owner did nothing to restrain it, then the owner of the killer ox must pay the owner of the dead ox. But the owner of the killer ox gets to keep the dead ox.
  12. If it be known that the ox hath used to push in time past, and his owner hath not kept him in; he shall surely pay ox for ox; and the dead shall be his own. Exodus 21:36

  13. A person who steals and kills an ox or a sheep shall pay the owner five oxen for each stolen ox, and four sheep for each stolen sheep.
  14. If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep. Exodus 22:1

  15. If a thief is caught breaking into a house while it is dark and is killed in the process, the person who killed him shall not be executed.
  16. If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him. Exodus 22:2

  17. If a thief is caught breaking into a house during the daytime and is killed in the process, the person who killed the thief shall be executed for murder.
  18. If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him. Exodus 22:3

  19. If a thief steals an ox or an ass, and the stolen animal is found alive, the thief must pay twice the value of the stolen animal.
  20. If the theft be certainly found in his hand alive, whether it be ox, or ass, or sheep; he shall restore double. Exodus 22:4

  21. If your animal eats from someone else's field or vineyard, you must repay the owner with the best of your grain or grapes.
  22. If a man shall cause a field or vineyard to be eaten, and shall put in his beast, and shall feed in another man's field; of the best of his own field, and of the best of his own vineyard, shall he make restitution. Exodus 22:5
    P240: The law of damage caused by a beast - Ex 22:5

  23. If you start a fire that burns someone else's grain, you shall restore what was burned.
  24. If fire break out, and catch in thorns, so that the stacks of corn, or the standing corn, or the field, be consumed therewith; he that kindled the fire shall surely make restitution. Exodus 22:6
    P241: The law of damage caused by a fire - Ex 22:6

  25. If you leave your stuff with your neighbor to watch, and it is stolen from your neighbor's house, then the thief shall pay double (if the thief is found).
  26. If a man shall deliver unto his neighbour money or stuff to keep, and it be stolen out of the man's house; if the thief be found, let him pay double. Exodus 22:7
    P242: The law of an unpaid bailee - Ex 22:7

  27. If the thief is not found, your neighbor shall be brought before the judges to see if he stole your stuff.
  28. If the thief be not found, then the master of the house shall be brought unto the judges, to see whether he have put his hand unto his neighbour's goods. Exodus 22:8

  29. Whoever is guilty of theft shall repay the victim twice the worth of the stolen goods.
  30. For all manner of trespass, whether it be for ox, for ass, for sheep, for raiment, or for any manner of lost thing which another challengeth to be his, the cause of both parties shall come before the judges; and whom the judges shall condemn, he shall pay double unto his neighbour. Exodus 22:9
    P246: The law of litigants - Ex 22:9

  31. If you ask your neighbor to watch your ox or ass, and your animal dies, is hurt, or is lost while under his care, then your neighbor shall swear to God that he didn't do anything wrong. If God confirms the oath, your neighbor does not have to pay you back. But if your animal was stolen while under his care, he must pay you for it.
  32. If a man deliver unto his neighbour an ass, or an ox, or a sheep, or any beast, to keep; and it die, or be hurt, or driven away, no man seeing it: Then shall an oath of the LORD be between them both, that he hath not put his hand unto his neighbour's goods; and the owner of it shall accept thereof, and he shall not make it good. And if it be stolen from him, he shall make restitution unto the owner thereof. Exodus 22:10-12
    P243: The law of a paid bailee - Ex 22:10

  33. If your animal was torn in pieces while under your neighbor's care, he shall bring the pieces as a witness, and he doesn't owe you anything.
  34. If it be torn in pieces, then let him bring it for witness, and he shall not make good that which was torn. Exodus 22:13

  35. If someone borrows an animal from his neighbor, and it is injured or dies, the person who borrowed the animal must pay the owner whatever the animal was worth.
  36. If a man borrow ought of his neighbour, and it be hurt, or die, the owner thereof being not with it, he shall surely make it good. Exodus 22:14
    P244: The law of a borrower - Ex 22:14

  37. But if the owner was present or the animal was rented, no compensation is required.
  38. But if the owner thereof be with it, he shall not make it good: if it be an hired thing, it came for his hire. Exodus 22:15

  39. Don't provide favorable testimony for a guilty person.
  40. Put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness. Exodus 23:1
    N286: A judge is not to receive a wicked man's testimony - Ex 23:1

  41. Don't pervert justice by wrongly following the majority.
  42. Neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment. Exodus 23:2
    P175: Abide by a majority decision - Ex 23:2
    N282: A court may not convict by a majority of one in a capital case - Ex 23:2
    N283: A judge may not rely on the opinion of a fellow judge - Ex 23:2

  43. Don't favor poor people in lawsuits.
  44. Neither shalt thou countenance a poor man in his cause. Exodus 23:3

  45. If you see or hear something, say something.
  46. (Or bear your iniquity.)
    And if a soul sin, and hear the voice of swearing, and is a witness, whether he hath seen or known of it; if he do not utter it, then he shall bear his iniquity. Leviticus 5:1
    P178: Testify in court - Lev 5:1

  47. A thief must return what was stolen plus 20%.
  48. (And then kill an unblemished ram as a trespass offering.)
    If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the LORD, and lie unto his neighbour in that which was delivered him to keep, or in fellowship, or in a thing taken away by violence, or hath deceived his neighbour; Or have found that which was lost, and lieth concerning it, and sweareth falsely; in any of all these that a man doeth, sinning therein: Then it shall be, because he hath sinned, and is guilty, that he shall restore that which he took violently away, or the thing which he hath deceitfully gotten, or that which was delivered him to keep, or the lost thing which he found, Or all that about which he hath sworn falsely; he shall even restore it in the principal, and shall add the fifth part more thereto, and give it unto him to whom it appertaineth, in the day of his trespass offering. Leviticus 6:2-5
    P194: A robber must restore the stolen article - Lev 6:4

  49. If a you sin, you must pay back the person who you injured plus 20%.
  50. When a man or woman shall commit any sin that men commit, to do a trespass against the LORD, and that person be guilty ... he shall recompense his trespass with the principal thereof, and add unto it the fifth part thereof, and give it unto him against whom he hath trespassed. Numbers 5:6-7

  51. If the injured person and his family cannot be found, then the payment goes to the priest instead.
  52. When a man or woman shall commit any sin that men commit, to do a trespass against the LORD, and that person be guilty ... if the man have no kinsman to recompense the trespass unto, let the trespass be recompensed unto the LORD, even to the priest; beside the ram of the atonement, whereby an atonement shall be made for him. Numbers 5:6-8

  53. If a man dies and has no son, then his daughter receives the inheritance.
  54. (If he has no sons or daughters, the inheritance goes to his nearest relatives.)
    If a man die, and have no son, then ye shall cause his inheritance to pass unto his daughter. And if he have no brethren, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his father's brethren. And if his father have no brethren, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his kinsman that is next to him of his family, and he shall possess it: and it shall be unto the children of Israel a statute of judgment, as the LORD commanded Moses. Numbers 27:8-11
    P248: The law of inheritance - Num 27:8

  55. It takes two witnesses to kill a murderer.
  56. Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death by the mouth of witnesses: but one witness shall not testify against any person to cause him to die. Numbers 35:30
    N291: A witness may not act as an advocate - Num 35:30

  57. Don't accept monetary restitution for a the life of the murderer.
  58. ("But he shall surely be put to death.")
    Moreover ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer, which is guilty of death: but he shall be surely put to death. Numbers 35:31
    N295:Don't accept a ransom from an unwitting murderer - Num 35:31

  59. Appoint judges, officers, and magistrates.
  60. Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes. Deuteronomy 16:18

    And thou, Ezra, after the wisdom of thy God, that is in thine hand, set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people that are beyond the river, all such as know the laws of thy God. Ezra 7:25

    P176: Appoint judges and officers of the court - Dt 16:18

  61. At least two witnesses are required to convict someone of a crime.
  62. At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death. Deuteronomy 17:6

    One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established. Deuteronomy 19:15

    In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. 2 Corinthians 13:1

    N288: Don't convict on the testimony of a single witness - Dt 19:15

  63. Punish false witnesses by doing to them what they falsely accused the defendant of doing.
  64. If a false witness rise up against any man to testify against him that which is wrong; Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the Lord, before the priests and the judges, which shall be in those days; And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother; Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the evil away from among you. Deuteronomy 19:16-19
    P180: Condemn witnesses who testify falsely - Dt 19:19

  65. If you find a murder victim, have the elders decapitate a heifer, wash their hands, and say, "Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it."
  66. If one be found slain in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee to possess it, lying in the field, and it be not known who hath slain him: Then thy elders and thy judges shall come forth, and they shall measure unto the cities which are round about him that is slain: And it shall be, that the city which is next unto the slain man, even the elders of that city shall take an heifer, which hath not been wrought with, and which hath not drawn in the yoke; And the elders of that city shall bring down the heifer unto a rough valley, which is neither eared nor sown, and shall strike off the heifer's neck there in the valley: And the priests the sons of Levi shall come near; for them the Lord thy God hath chosen to minister unto him, and to bless in the name of the Lord; and by their word shall every controversy and every stroke be tried: And all the elders of that city, that are next unto the slain man, shall wash their hands over the heifer that is beheaded in the valley: And they shall answer and say, Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it. Be merciful, O Lord, unto thy people Israel, whom thou hast redeemed, and lay not innocent blood unto thy people of Israel's charge. And the blood shall be forgiven them. So shalt thou put away the guilt of innocent blood from among you, when thou shalt do that which is right in the sight of the Lord. Deuteronomy 21:1-9
    P181: Eglah Arufah (the law of breaking the neck of a heifer) - Dt 21:4
    N309: Don't plough a valley where Eglah Arufah was done - Dt 21:4
    Punishment: Whipping

  67. Don't let unbelievers settle disputes between believers.
  68. Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? 1 Corinthians 6:1-7


  1. Don't curse the ruler of your people.
  2. Nor curse the ruler of thy people. Exodus 22:28

    Curse not the king, no not in thy thought. Ecclesiastes 10:20

    Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people. Acts 23:5

    N316: Don't curse a ruler - Ex 22:28
    Punishment: Whipping

  3. Accept as king whomever God chooses.
  4. When thou art come unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me; Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the Lord thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee. Deuteronomy 17:14-15a
    P173: Appoint a King - Dt 17:15

  5. Don't accept a stranger as your king.
  6. Thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother. Deuteronomy 17:15b
    N362: Don't appoint a king not born an Israelite - Dt 17:15

  7. The king shall not have too many horses.
  8. He [the king] shall not multiply horses to himself. Deuteronomy 17:16a
    N363: A king may not own many horses - Dt 17:16

  9. The king shall not take the people to Egypt.
  10. He [the king] shall not ... cause the people to return to Egypt ... forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way..Deuteronomy 17:16b

  11. The king shall not have too many wives.
  12. Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away. Deuteronomy 17:17a
    N364: A king may not take many wives - Dt 17:17

  13. The king shall not have too much silver and gold.
  14. Neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.. Deuteronomy 17:17b
    N365: A king may not amass great personal wealth - Dt 17:17

  15. The king must write down all of the commandments.
  16. When he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book. Deuteronomy 17:18
    P17: The king must write a scroll of law - Dt 17:18

  17. The king must read the commandments every day of his life.
  18. He [the king] shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them. Deuteronomy 17:19

  19. Fear the king.
  20. Fear .. the king. Proverbs 24:21

  21. Don't try to overthrow the king.
  22. Give not ... thy ways to that which destroyeth kings. Proverbs 31:3

  23. Keep the king's commandment.
  24. (It's like an oath to God.)
    Keep the king's commandment, and that in regard of the oath of God. Ecclesiastes 8:2

  25. Don't be hasty to leave the king's sight.
  26. Be not hasty to go out of his [the king's] sight. Ecclesiastes 8:3

  27. Obey God rather than men.
  28. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. Acts 5:29

  29. Submit to the authority of the government.
  30. (Or you'll go to hell.)
    Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. Romans 13:1-2

    Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates. Titus 3:1

    Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. Hebrews 13:17

    Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. 2 Peter 2:13-14

  31. Don't obey the laws and commandments of men.
  32. Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances ... after the commandments and doctrines of men? Colossians 2:10-22

    Not giving heed to ... commandments of men. Titus 1:14

  33. Let people who will not work starve to death.
  34. If any would not work, neither should he eat. 2 Thessalonians 3:10

  35. Remember those who rule over you.
  36. Remember them which have the rule over you. Hebrews 13:7

  37. Honor the king.
  38. Honour the king. 1 Peter 2:17


  1. Don't tax priests, Levites, singers, porters, Nethinim, or ministers of the house of God.
  2. Also we certify you, that touching any of the priests and Levites, singers, porters, Nethinims, or ministers of this house of God, it shall not be lawful to impose toll, tribute, or custom, upon them. ... Blessed be the LORD God of our fathers, which hath put such a thing as this in the king's heart. Ezra 7:24-27

Foreign Affairs

  1. Don't walk in the manners of the nations that God destroyed for you.
  2. God abhorred those people and their bad manners. (That's why he killed them.)
    Ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them. Leviticus 20:23

  3. When God takes land from other people and gives it to you, don't make any treaties with them.
  4. (Kill them all instead.)
    When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee ... thou shalt make no covenant with them. Deuteronomy 7:1-2
    N48: Don't make a covenant with the seven nations of Canaan - Dt 7:2-3

  5. Lend money to other nations.
  6. Thou shalt lend unto many nations. Deuteronomy 15:6a

  7. Don't borrow money from other nations.
  8. Thou shalt not borrow [from other nations]. Deuteronomy 15:6b

  9. Don't learn to do the abominations of other nations.
  10. When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. Deuteronomy 18:9

  11. An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD.
  12. To enter into the congregation of the Lord you must prove that you have no Ammonite or Moabite ancestors for at least ten generations (and perhaps forever).
    An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the LORD for ever. Deuteronomy 23:3

    The Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God for ever. Nehemiah 13:1

    N53: Don't intermarry with a male Ammonite or Moabite - Dt 23:4
    Punishment: Whipping

  13. Don't seek the peace or prosperity of Ammonites or Moabites.
  14. An Ammonite or Moabite ... thou shalt not seek their peace nor their prosperity all thy days for ever. Deuteronomy 23:3-6
    N56: Don't offer peace to Ammon and Moab - Dt 23:7

  15. Don't abhor Edomites.
  16. Thou shalt not abhor an Edomite; for he is thy brother. Deuteronomy 23:7a

  17. Don't abhor Egyptians.
  18. Thou shalt not abhor an Egyptian; because thou wast a stranger in his land. Deuteronomy 23:7b

  19. The grandchildren of Egyptians (and maybe Edomites) may enter the congregation of the Lord.
  20. Thou shalt not abhor an Edomite; for he is thy brother: thou shalt not abhor an Egyptian; because thou wast a stranger in his land. The children that are begotten of them shall enter into the congregation of the LORD in their third generation. Deuteronomy 23:7-8
    N54: Don't exclude the descendants of Esau - Dt 23:8
    N55: Don't exclude the descendants of Egyptians - Dt 23:8


  1. Don't unknowingly swear to do something evil or good.
  2. (When you find out about it, you will be guilty.)
    If a soul swear, pronouncing with his lips to do evil, or to do good, whatsoever it be that a man shall pronounce with an oath, and it be hid from him; when he knoweth of it, then he shall be guilty. Leviticus 5:4

  3. Don't swear falsely in God's name.
  4. Ye shall not swear by my name falsely. Leviticus 19:12
    N61: Not violating a shebuat bittui (oath of utterance) - Lev 19:12
    Punishment: Whipping

  5. Swear in God's name.
  6. Thou shalt ... swear by his name. Deuteronomy 6:13, 10:20

    Swear by my name. Jeremiah 12:16

    P7: Take an oath by God's name - Dt 10:12

  7. Don't swear by the name of any other god.
  8. Neither make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause to swear by them. Joshua 23:7

  9. Swear to God.
  10. He that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth. Isaiah 65:16

  11. Swear that the Lord lives.
  12. Thou shalt swear, The LORD liveth, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness. Jeremiah 4:2

Promises and Vows

  1. Men must keep their promises.
  2. If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth. Numbers 30:2
    N157: Don't infringe on any oral obligation, even if undertaken without an oath - Num 30:2
    Punishment: Whipping

  3. If you make a vow to the Lord, you must keep it.
  4. When thou shalt vow a vow unto the LORD thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the LORD thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee. ... That which is gone out of thy lips thou shalt keep and perform; even a freewill offering, according as thou hast vowed unto the LORD thy God, which thou hast promised with thy mouth. Deuteronomy 23:21-23

    When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Ecclesiastes 5:4

    P94: Fulfill all oral commitments - Dt 23:24
    N155: Don't delay payment of vows - Dt 23:22