Bible: Deut 21:1-9

Laws Concerning Unsolved Murder

21:1 If a homicide victim 1  should be found lying in a field in the land the Lord your God is giving you, 2  and no one knows who killed 3  him, 21:2 your elders and judges must go out and measure how far it is to the cities in the vicinity of the corpse. 4  21:3 Then the elders of the city nearest to the corpse 5  must take from the herd a heifer that has not been worked – that has never pulled with the yoke 21:4 and bring the heifer down to a wadi with flowing water, 6  to a valley that is neither plowed nor sown. 7  There at the wadi they are to break the heifer’s neck. 21:5 Then the Levitical priests 8  will approach (for the Lord your God has chosen them to serve him and to pronounce blessings in his name, 9  and to decide 10  every judicial verdict 11 ) 21:6 and all the elders of that city nearest the corpse 12  must wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley. 13  21:7 Then they must proclaim, “Our hands have not spilled this blood, nor have we 14  witnessed the crime. 15  21:8 Do not blame 16  your people Israel whom you redeemed, O Lord, and do not hold them accountable for the bloodshed of an innocent person.” 17  Then atonement will be made for the bloodshed. 21:9 In this manner you will purge out the guilt of innocent blood from among you, for you must do what is right before 18  the Lord.

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