But since an innocent person was murdered, we beg you, our Lord, to accept this sacrifice and forgive Israel. We are your people, and you rescued us. Please don’t hold this crime against us.” If you obey the Lord and do these things, he will forgive Israel.
Lord, ·remove this sin from [make atonement for] your people Israel, whom you have ·saved [redeemed; ransomed]. Don’t ·blame your people, the Israelites, for the murder of this innocent person [L place the guilt of innocent blood in the midst of your people Israel].” And so the murder will be ·paid [atoned] for.
If a dead body is found on the ground, this ground that God, your God, has given you, lying out in the open, and no one knows who killed him, your leaders and judges are to go out and measure the distance from the body to the nearest cities. The leaders and judges of the city that is nearest the corpse will then take a heifer that has never been used for work, never had a yoke on it. The leaders will take the heifer to a valley with a stream, a valley that has never been plowed or planted, and there break the neck of the heifer. The Levitical priests will then step up. God has chosen them to serve him in these matters by settling legal disputes and violent crimes and by pronouncing blessings in God’s name. Finally, all the leaders of that town that is nearest the body will wash their hands over the heifer that had its neck broken at the stream and say, “We didn’t kill this man and we didn’t see who did it. Purify your people Israel whom you redeemed, O God. Clear your people Israel from any guilt in this murder.”
That will clear them from any responsibility in the murder. By following these procedures you will have absolved yourselves of any part in the murder because you will have done what is right in God’s sight.
Absolve, O Lord, your people Israel, whom you have redeemed, and do not let the guilt of shedding innocent blood remain in the midst of your people Israel.” Thus they shall be absolved from the guilt of bloodshed,
Accept this payment for the sin of your people Israel. Lord, you have set your people free. Don’t hold them guilty for spilling the blood of someone who hasn’t done anything wrong.” That will pay for the death of that person.
Provide atonement, O Lord, for Your people Israel, whom You have redeemed, and do not lay innocent blood to the charge of Your people Israel.’ And atonement shall be provided on their behalf for the blood.
Eternal, please cover the wickedness of Your people Israel, the ones You delivered from slavery. Please don’t consider your people Israel guilty of shedding innocent blood!” If this ceremony is performed, that city will be forgiven for the blood that was shed near it.
Lord, be merciful to thy people Israel, whom thou hast again-bought, and areckon thou not innocent blood in the midst of thy people Israel. And the guilt of blood shall be done away from them. (Lord, be merciful to thy people Israel, whom thou hast bought back, or hast redeemed, and put thou not the guilt of innocent blood on thy people Israel. And so the guilt for the innocent blood shall be done away from them.)
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