Deuteronomy 19
1 “When Yahweh your God has exterminated#Literally “cut off” the nations concerning whom Yahweh your God is giving to you their land, and you have dispossessed them, and you have settled in their towns and in their houses, 2you shall set apart three cities for you in the midst of your land that Yahweh your God is giving to you to take possession of it. 3You shall prepare the roads#Hebrew “road” for yourselves, and you shall divide the regions of your land into thirds that Yahweh your God gives you as a possession, so that it will be available for any manslayer to flee there.#Literally “it shall be to flee there all/anyone killing”
4“Now this is the case of the manslayer who may flee there and live there who has killed his neighbor unintentionally,#Literally “with no knowledge” and he did not hate him previously.#Literally “from yesterday and the day before” 5For example,#Literally “And as” when somebody goes with his neighbor into the forest to cut wood, and the iron head slips from the handle of the tool and strikes his neighbor and he dies, then he may flee to one of these cities, and so he may live. 6He does this lest the avenger of blood might pursue after the killer, because he is hot with anger#Literally “is hot his heart” and he overtakes him, because it is a long distance to the city of refuge, and so he kills him,#Literally “he strikes him down as to his life/soul” but he did not deserve a death sentence,#Literally “for him there was not a judgment of death” because he was not hating him before.#Literally “from yesterday and the day before” 7Therefore I am commanding you, saying,#Literally “to say” ‘You shall set apart three cities.’ 8Then if Yahweh your God enlarges your territory just as he swore to your ancestors#Or “fathers” and gives#Hebrew “will give” to you all the land that he promised#Literally “spoke” to give to your ancestors,#Or “fathers” 9then if you diligently observe this entire commandment#Literally “if you observe all of the commandment the this to do it” that I am commanding you today#Literally “the day” by loving Yahweh your God and by going#Or “walking” in his ways at all times,#Literally “all of the days” then you shall add three more cities for yourselves to these three. 10Do this so that innocent blood will not be shed#Hebrew “is not shed” in the midst of your land that Yahweh your God is giving to you as an inheritance and thereby bloodguilt would be on you.#Hebrew “shall be on you,” but conditional sense of imperfect is clear
11But if someone hates#Hebrew “is hating” his neighbor and lies in wait for him and rises up#Or “gets up” against him and murders him,#Literally “and strikes him mortally with regard to his life and he dies” and the murderer flees to one of these cities, 12then the elders of his city shall send and take him from there, and they shall give him into the hand of the avenger of blood, and he shall be put to death. 13Your eye shall not take pity on him, and you shall purge the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, so that good will be directed toward you.#Literally “and good shall be for you” or “it shall be good for you”
14“You shall not move the boundary marker of your neighbor that former generations#Literally “the first settlers/ancestors” set up on your property in the land that Yahweh your God is giving to you to take possession of it. 15The testimony of a single witness may not be used to convict#Literally “Not shall get up only a single witness against a man” with respect to any crime and for any wrongdoing in any offense that a person#Hebrew “he” committed; on the evidence#Literally “mouth” of two witnesses or on the evidence#Literally “mouth” of three witnesses a charge shall be sustained.#Literally “shall be established a case/charge” 16If a malicious witness#Literally “a witness of violence” gets up to accuse#Literally “against” anyone to testify against him falsely, 17then the two men to whom the legal dispute pertains#Literally “who for them are the legal dispute” shall stand before#Literally “to the face of” Yahweh, before#Literally “to the face of” the priests and the judges who are in office in those days. 18Then judges shall make a thorough inquiry, and if it turns out#Or “in fact” that the witness is a false witness and he testified falsely against his brother, 19then you shall do to him as he meant#Or “planned” to do to his brother, and so you shall purge the evil from your midst. 20And the rest#Literally “and those remaining” shall hear and shall fear, and they shall not continue to do such a thing again#Literally “and they shall not do again to do again” as this evil thing in your midst. 21You must show no pity:#Literally “And not take pity your eye” life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.”
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