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Deuteronomy 21:1-9 World English Bible (WEB)

21 If someone is found slain in the land which Yahweh your God gives you to possess, lying in the field, and it isn’t known who has struck him; then your elders and your judges shall come out, and they shall measure to the cities which are around him who is slain. It shall be that the elders of the city which is nearest to the slain man shall take a heifer of the herd, which hasn’t been worked with, and which has not drawn in the yoke. The elders of that city shall bring the heifer down to a valley with running water, which is neither plowed nor sown, and shall break the heifer’s neck there in the valley. The priests the sons of Levi shall come near; for them Yahweh your God has chosen to minister to him, and to bless in Yahweh’s name; and according to their word shall every controversy and every assault be decided. All the elders of that city, who are nearest to the slain man, shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley. They shall answer and say, “Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it. Forgive, Yahweh, your people Israel, whom you have redeemed, and don’t allow innocent blood among your people Israel.” The blood shall be forgiven them. So you shall put away the innocent blood from among you, when you shall do that which is right in Yahweh’s eyes.

World English Bible (WEB)

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Deuteronomy 21:1-9 New International Version (NIV)

Atonement for an Unsolved Murder

21 If someone is found slain, lying in a field in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess, and it is not known who the killer was, your elders and judges shall go out and measure the distance from the body to the neighboring towns. Then the elders of the town nearest the body shall take a heifer that has never been worked and has never worn a yoke and lead it down to a valley that has not been plowed or planted and where there is a flowing stream. There in the valley they are to break the heifer’s neck. The Levitical priests shall step forward, for the Lord your God has chosen them to minister and to pronounce blessings in the name of the Lord and to decide all cases of dispute and assault. Then all the elders of the town nearest the body shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley, and they shall declare: “Our hands did not shed this blood, nor did our eyes see it done. Accept this atonement for your people Israel, whom you have redeemed, Lord, and do not hold your people guilty of the blood of an innocent person.” Then the bloodshed will be atoned for, and you will have purged from yourselves the guilt of shedding innocent blood, since you have done what is right in the eyes of the Lord.

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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