From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
God does not accept defective animals for sacrifice. Basically, this just means that God likes only the best of everything. It's about an image, people. Once you start letting in substandard goats, everything falls apart.
Stone anyone who tries to get you to worship other gods, but make sure you have two or three witnesses so you can convict the offender. Yep, this is some community-based law here. The idea is to create a community standard, and then use community members to enforce it.
For difficult judicial decisions, go directly to the temple. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Do exactly as the priests tell you. Hmmm… whose power is enhanced by this passage?
Somebody should use Verses 14-20 as a political tool. Go read verses 14-20. We'll wait.
In these verses, we find out that the people are allowed to choose a king. Just one caveat: the king can't have too many horses or wives or too much money. This isn't a democracy, but it is a check on the character of the king. The idea is that if you're going to give someone absolute power, you should give it to the right man.
These verses also sound like a criticism of Solomon, who had many wives, a ton of money, and was said to be beholden to his foreign wives' religious practices. It's pretty much taking a direct hit at the guy—people do this all the time in the U.S., right?
Nothing like a great rhetorical strategy to get your point across.