Thus you will banish the shedding of innocent blood from among you, by doing what Adonai sees as right. Haftarah Shof’tim: Yesha‘yahu (Isaiah) 51:12–52:12 [Messianic adaptation: conclude the reading at 53:12]B’rit Hadashah suggested readings for Parashah Shof’tim: Mattityahu (Matthew) 5:38–42; 18:15–20; Acts 3:13–26; 7:35–53; 1 Corinthians 5:9–13; 1 Timothy 5:17–22; Messianic Jews (Hebrews) 10:28–31
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.
Then you will have ·removed [banished; purged] from yourselves the guilt of ·murdering an innocent person [innocent blood], because you will be doing what ·the Lord says is right [L is right/virtuous in the eyes of the Lord].
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. * * *
Forsooth thou shalt be alien, or unguilty, from the blood of the innocent which is shed, when thou hast done that that the Lord commanded. (And so thou shalt be free from any guilt for the innocent blood which is shed, when thou hast done what the Lord commanded.)
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