Deuteronomy 21:6
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Then all the elders of the town nearest the body shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley,

New Living Translation
"The elders of the town must wash their hands over the young cow whose neck was broken.

English Standard Version
And all the elders of that city nearest to the slain man shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley,

New American Standard Bible
"All the elders of that city which is nearest to the slain man shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley;

King James Bible
And all the elders of that city, that are next unto the slain man, shall wash their hands over the heifer that is beheaded in the valley:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
All the elders of the city nearest to the victim will wash their hands by the stream over the young cow whose neck has been broken.

International Standard Version
All the elders of the city nearest the dead body are to wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley,

NET Bible
and all the elders of that city nearest the corpse must wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley.

New Heart English Bible
All the elders of that city, who are nearest to the slain man, shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley;

GOD'S WORD® Translation
All the leaders from the city which was nearest the murder victim must wash their hands over the dead heifer.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And all the elders of that city, who are nearest unto the slain man, shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley.

New American Standard 1977
“And all the elders of that city which is nearest to the slain man shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley;

Jubilee Bible 2000
And all the elders of that closest city next to the dead man shall wash their hands over the heifer that is beheaded in the valley.

King James 2000 Bible
And all the elders of that city, that are nearest unto the slain man, shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley:

American King James Version
And all the elders of that city, that are next to the slain man, shall wash their hands over the heifer that is beheaded in the valley:

American Standard Version
And all the elders of that city, who are nearest unto the slain man, shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley;

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the ancients of that city shall come to the person slain, and shall wash their hands over the heifer that was killed in the valley,

Darby Bible Translation
And all the elders of that city, that are nearest unto him that is slain, shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck is broken in the watercourse,

English Revised Version
and all the elders of that city, who are nearest unto the slain man, shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley:

Webster's Bible Translation
And all the elders of that city that are next to the slain man, shall wash their hands over the heifer that is beheaded in the valley:

World English Bible
All the elders of that city, who are nearest to the slain man, shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley;

Young's Literal Translation
and all the elders of that city, who are near unto the slain one, do wash their hands over the heifer which is beheaded in the valley,
Study Bible
The Atonement for an Unsolved Murder
5"Then the priests, the sons of Levi, shall come near, for the LORD your God has chosen them to serve Him and to bless in the name of the LORD; and every dispute and every assault shall be settled by them. 6"All the elders of that city which is nearest to the slain man shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley; 7and they shall answer and say, 'Our hands did not shed this blood, nor did our eyes see it.…
Cross References
Matthew 27:24
When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but that instead a riot was breaking out, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd. "I am innocent of this man's blood," he said. "You shall bear the responsibility."

Deuteronomy 21:7
and they shall answer and say, 'Our hands did not shed this blood, nor did our eyes see it.

2 Samuel 3:29
"May it fall on the head of Joab and on all his father's house; and may there not fail from the house of Joab one who has a discharge, or who is a leper, or who takes hold of a distaff, or who falls by the sword, or who lacks bread."
Treasury of Scripture

And all the elders of that city, that are next to the slain man, shall wash their hands over the heifer that is beheaded in the valley:

wash their hands Washing the hands was anciently a symbolical action, denoting that the person was innocent of the crime in question.

Job 9:30 If I wash myself with snow water, and make my hands never so clean;

Psalm 19:12 Who can understand his errors? cleanse you me from secret faults.

Psalm 26:6 I will wash my hands in innocence: so will I compass your altar, O LORD:

Psalm 51:2,7,14 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin…

Psalm 73:13 Truly I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocence.

Jeremiah 2:22 For though you wash you with nitre, and take you much soap, yet your …

Matthew 27:24,25 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a …

Hebrews 9:10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal …

Verse 6. - The elders of that city. The elders, by the significant act of washing their hands, indicated that they threw off from them, utterly repudiated, the charge of blood-guiltiness on the part of the town which they represented (cf. Psalm 26:6; Psalm 73:13; Matthew 27:24). And all the elders of that city that are next unto the slain man,.... The whole court of judicature belonging to it, all the magistracy of it; even though there were an hundred of them, Maimonides (x) says:

shall wash their hands over the heifer that is beheaded in the valley: in token of their innocence, and this they did not only for themselves, but for the whole city, being the representatives of it; see Psalm 26:6. Some think that this is a confirmation of the sense embraced by some, that it was a strong stream to which the heifer was brought; and there might be a stream of water here, and a valley also; though it would be no great difficulty to get from the city, which was near, a sufficient quantity of water to wash the hands of the elders with. This may denote the purification of sin by the blood of Christ, when it is confessed over him; and shows that priests and elders, ministers of the word, as well as others, stand in need of it; and that even those concerned in the death of Christ shared in the benefits of it.

(x) Hilchot Rotzeach, c. 9. sect. 3.21:1-9 If a murderer could not be found out, great solemnity is provided for putting away the guilt from the land, as an expression of dread and detesting of that sin. The providence of God has often wonderfully brought to light these hidden works of darkness, and the sin of the guilty has often strangely found them out. The dread of murder should be deeply impressed upon every heart, and all should join in detecting and punishing those who are guilty. The elders were to profess that they had not been any way aiding or abetting the sin. The priests were to pray to God for the country and nation, that God would be merciful. We must empty that measure by our prayers, which others are filling by their sins. All would be taught by this solemnity, to use the utmost care and diligence to prevent, discover, and punish murder. We may all learn from hence to take heed of partaking in other men's sins. And we have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, if we do not reprove them.
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