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12 The elders of his own city must send for him and remove him from there to deliver him over to the blood avenger[a] to die. 13 You must not pity him, but purge from Israel the guilt of shedding innocent blood,[b] so that it may go well with you.

Laws Concerning Witnesses

14 You must not encroach on your neighbor’s property,[c] which will have been defined[d] in the inheritance you will obtain in the land the Lord your God is giving you.[e]

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  1. Deuteronomy 19:12 tn The גֹאֵל הַדָּם (goʾel haddam, “avenger of blood”) would ordinarily be a member of the victim’s family who, after due process of law, was invited to initiate the process of execution (cf. Num 35:16-28). See R. Hubbard, NIDOTTE 1:789-94.
  2. Deuteronomy 19:13 sn Purge out the blood of the innocent. Because of the corporate nature of Israel’s community life, the whole community shared in the guilt of unavenged murder unless and until vengeance occurred. Only this would restore spiritual and moral equilibrium (Num 35:33).
  3. Deuteronomy 19:14 tn Heb “border.” Cf. NRSV “You must not move your neighbor’s boundary marker.”
  4. Deuteronomy 19:14 tn Heb “which they set off from the beginning.”
  5. Deuteronomy 19:14 tn The Hebrew text includes “to possess it.” This phrase has been left untranslated to avoid redundancy.

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