17:8 If a matter is too difficult for you to judge – bloodshed, 12 legal claim, 13 or assault 14 – matters of controversy in your villages 15 – you must leave there and go up to the place the Lord your God chooses. 16 17:9 You will go to the Levitical priests and the judge in office in those days and seek a solution; they will render a verdict. 17:10 You must then do as they have determined at that place the Lord chooses. Be careful to do just as you are taught. 17:11 You must do what you are instructed, and the verdict they pronounce to you, without fail. Do not deviate right or left from what they tell you. 17:12 The person who pays no attention 17 to the priest currently serving the Lord your God there, or to the verdict – that person must die, so that you may purge evil from Israel. 17:13 Then all the people will hear and be afraid, and not be so presumptuous again.
17:14 When you come to the land the Lord your God is giving you and take it over and live in it and then say, “I will select a king like all the nations surrounding me,” 17:15 you must select without fail 18 a king whom the Lord your God chooses. From among your fellow citizens 19 you must appoint a king – you may not designate a foreigner who is not one of your fellow Israelites. 20 17:16 Moreover, he must not accumulate horses for himself or allow the people to return to Egypt to do so, 21 for the Lord has said you must never again return that way. 17:17 Furthermore, he must not marry many 22 wives lest his affections turn aside, and he must not accumulate much silver and gold. 17:18 When he sits on his royal throne he must make a copy of this law 23 on a scroll 24 given to him by the Levitical priests. 17:19 It must be with him constantly and he must read it as long as he lives, so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and observe all the words of this law and these statutes and carry them out. 17:20 Then he will not exalt himself above his fellow citizens or turn from the commandments to the right or left, and he and his descendants will enjoy many years ruling over his kingdom 25 in Israel.
[17:1] 2 tn The Hebrew word תּוֹעֵבָה (to’evah, “an abomination”; cf. NAB) describes persons, things, or practices offensive to ritual or moral order. See M. Grisanti, NIDOTTE 4:314-18; see also the note on the word “abhorrent” in Deut 7:25.
[17:3] 5 tc The MT reads “and to the sun,” thus including the sun, the moon, and other heavenly spheres among the gods. However, Theodotion and Lucian read “or to the sun,” suggesting perhaps that the sun and the other heavenly bodies are not in the category of actual deities.
[17:8] 16 tc Several Greek recensions add “to place his name there,” thus completing the usual formula to describe the central sanctuary (cf. Deut 12:5, 11, 14, 18; 16:6). However, the context suggests that the local Levitical towns, and not the central sanctuary, are in mind.
[17:18] 23 tn Or “instruction.” The LXX reads here τὸ δευτερονόμιον τοῦτο (to deuteronomion touto, “this second law”). From this Greek phrase the present name of the book, “Deuteronomy” or “second law” (i.e., the second giving of the law), is derived. However, the MT’s expression מִשְׁנֶה הַתּוֹרָה הַזֹּאת (mishneh hattorah hazzo’t) is better rendered “copy of this law.” Here the term תּוֹרָה (torah) probably refers only to the book of Deuteronomy and not to the whole Pentateuch.
[17:18] 24 tn The Hebrew term סֵפֶר (sefer) means a “writing” or “document” and could be translated “book” (so KJV, ASV, TEV). However, since “book” carries the connotation of a modern bound book with pages (an obvious anachronism) it is preferable to render the Hebrew term “scroll” here and elsewhere.