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Deuteronomy 17:14-20 New English Translation (NET Bible)

Provision for Kingship

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,” 15 you must select without fail[a] a king whom the Lord your God chooses. From among your fellow citizens[b] you must appoint a king—you may not designate a foreigner who is not one of your fellow Israelites.[c] 16 Moreover, he must not accumulate horses for himself or allow the people to return to Egypt to do so,[d] for the Lord has said you must never again return that way. 17 Furthermore, he must not marry many[e] wives lest his affections turn aside, and he must not accumulate much silver and gold. 18 When he sits on his royal throne he must make a copy of this law[f] on a scroll[g] given to him by the Levitical priests. 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. 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[h] in Israel.

Footnotes:

  1. Deuteronomy 17:15 tn The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute for emphasis, indicated in the translation by the words “without fail.”
  2. Deuteronomy 17:15 tn Heb “your brothers,” but not referring to siblings (cf. NIV “your brother Israelites”; NLT “a fellow Israelite”). The same phrase also occurs in v. 20.
  3. Deuteronomy 17:15 tn Heb “your brothers.” See the preceding note on “fellow citizens.”
  4. Deuteronomy 17:16 tn Heb “in order to multiply horses.” The translation uses “do so” in place of “multiply horses” to avoid redundancy (cf. NAB, NIV).
  5. Deuteronomy 17:17 tn Heb “must not multiply” (cf. KJV, NASB); NLT “must not take many.”
  6. Deuteronomy 17:18 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 hazzoʾt) 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.
  7. Deuteronomy 17:18 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.
  8. Deuteronomy 17:20 tc Heb “upon his kingship.” Smr supplies כִּסֵא (kiseʾ, “throne”) so as to read “upon the throne of his kingship.” This overliteralizes what is a clearly understood figure of speech.
New English Translation (NET)

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