Deuteronomy 21:1
New International Version
If someone is found slain, lying in a field in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess, and it is not known who the killer was,

New Living Translation
"When you are in the land the LORD your God is giving you, someone may be found murdered in a field, and you don't know who committed the murder.

English Standard Version
“If in the land that the LORD your God is giving you to possess someone is found slain, lying in the open country, and it is not known who killed him,

Berean Study Bible
If one is found slain, lying in a field in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess, and it is not known who killed him,

New American Standard Bible
"If a slain person is found lying in the open country in the land which the LORD your God gives you to possess, and it is not known who has struck him,

King James Bible
If one be found slain in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it, lying in the field, and it be not known who hath slain him:

Christian Standard Bible
"If a murder victim is found lying in a field in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess, and it is not known who killed him,

Contemporary English Version
Suppose the body of a murder victim is found in a field in the land the LORD your God is giving you, and no one knows who the murderer is.

Good News Translation
"Suppose someone is found murdered in a field in the land that the LORD your God is going to give you, and you do not know who killed him.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
If a murder victim is found lying in a field in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess, and it is not known who killed him,

International Standard Version
"If a murder victim is found fallen in the open country of the land that the LORD your God is about to give you to possess, and it is not known who killed him,

NET Bible
If a homicide victim should be found lying in a field in the land the LORD your God is giving you, and no one knows who killed him,

New Heart English Bible
If one be found slain in the land which the LORD your God gives you to possess it, lying in the field, and it isn't known who has struck him;

GOD'S WORD® Translation
This is what you must do if you find a murder victim lying in a field in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. If no one knows who committed the murder,

JPS Tanakh 1917
If one be found slain in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it, lying in the field, and it be not known who hath smitten him;

New American Standard 1977
“If a slain person is found lying in the open country in the land which the LORD your God gives you to possess, and it is not known who has struck him,

Jubilee Bible 2000
When one is found dead in the land which the LORD thy God gives thee to inherit, lying in the field, and it is not known who has slain him,

King James 2000 Bible
If one be found slain in the land which the LORD your God gives you to possess, lying in the field, and it is not known who has slain him:

American King James Version
If one be found slain in the land which the LORD your God gives you to possess it, lying in the field, and it be not known who has slain him:

American Standard Version
If one be found slain in the land which Jehovah thy God giveth thee to possess it, lying in the field, and it be not known who hath smitten him;

Brenton Septuagint Translation
And if one be found slain with the sword in the land, which the Lord thy God gives thee to inherit, having fallen in the field, and they do not know who has smitten him;

Douay-Rheims Bible
When there shall be found in the land, which the Lord thy God will give thee, the corpse of a man slain, and it is not known who is guilty of the murder,

Darby Bible Translation
If one be found slain in the land which Jehovah thy God giveth thee to possess, lying in the field, [and] it be not known who hath smitten him,

English Revised Version
If one be found slain in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it, lying in the field, and it be not known who hath smitten him:

Webster's Bible Translation
If one shall be found slain in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it, lying in the field, and it be not known who hath slain him:

World English Bible
If one be found slain in the land which Yahweh your God gives you to possess it, lying in the field, and it isn't known who has struck him;

Young's Literal Translation
'When one is found slain on the ground which Jehovah thy God is giving to thee to possess it -- fallen in a field -- it is not known who hath smitten him,
Study Bible
The Atonement for an Unsolved Murder
1If one is found slain, lying in a field in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess, and it is not known who killed him, 2your elders and judges must come out and measure the distance from the victim to the neighboring cities.…
Cross References
Genesis 4:10
"What have you done?" replied the LORD. "The voice of your brother's blood cries out to Me from the ground.

Deuteronomy 19:10
Thus innocent blood will not be shed in the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, so that you will not be guilty of bloodshed.

Deuteronomy 20:20
But you may destroy the trees that you know do not produce fruit. Use them to build siege works against the city that is waging war against you, until it falls.

Deuteronomy 21:2
your elders and judges must come out and measure the distance from the victim to the neighboring cities.

Treasury of Scripture

If one be found slain in the land which the LORD your God gives you to possess it, lying in the field, and it be not known who has slain him:

Psalm 5:6
Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.

Psalm 9:12
When he maketh inquisition for blood, he remembereth them: he forgetteth not the cry of the humble.

Proverbs 28:17
A man that doeth violence to the blood of any person shall flee to the pit; let no man stay him.







Lexicon
If
כִּי־ (kî-)
Conjunction
Strong's Hebrew 3588: A relative conjunction

[one] is found
יִמָּצֵ֣א (yim·mā·ṣê)
Verb - Nifal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 4672: To come forth to, appear, exist, to attain, find, acquire, to occur, meet, be present

slain,
חָלָ֗ל (ḥā·lāl)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2491: Pierced, polluted

lying
נֹפֵ֖ל (nō·p̄êl)
Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5307: To fall, lie

in a field
בַּשָּׂדֶ֑ה (baś·śā·ḏeh)
Preposition-b, Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7704: Field, land

in the land
בָּאֲדָמָה֙ (bā·’ă·ḏā·māh)
Preposition-b, Article | Noun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 127: Ground, land

the LORD
יְהוָ֨ה (Yah·weh)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3068: LORD -- the proper name of the God of Israel

your God
אֱלֹהֶ֜יךָ (’ĕ·lō·he·ḵā)
Noun - masculine plural construct | second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 430: gods -- the supreme God, magistrates, a superlative

is giving
נֹתֵ֤ן (nō·ṯên)
Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5414: To give, put, set

you
לְךָ֙ (lə·ḵā)
Preposition | second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew

to possess,
לְרִשְׁתָּ֔הּ (lə·riš·tāh)
Preposition-l | Verb - Qal - Infinitive construct | third person feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3423: To occupy, to seize, to rob, to inherit, to expel, to impoverish, to ruin

and it is not
לֹ֥א (lō)
Adverb - Negative particle
Strong's Hebrew 3808: Not, no

known
נוֹדַ֖ע (nō·w·ḏa‘)
Verb - Nifal - Perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3045: To know

who
מִ֥י (mî)
Interrogative
Strong's Hebrew 4310: Who?, whoever, in oblique construction with prefix, suffix

killed him,
הִכָּֽהוּ׃ (hik·kā·hū)
Verb - Hifil - Perfect - third person masculine singular | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5221: To strike
XXI.

Deuteronomy 21:1-9. UNDETECTED HOMICIDES.

(1) If one be found slain--It is remarkable that in our own time the most effectual remedy against outrages of which the perpetrators cannot be discovered is a fine upon the district in which they occur.

(2) Thy elders and thy judges shall come forth.--Rashi says these were to be special commissioners, members of the great Sanhedrin.

(3-4) An heifer, which hath not been wrought with . . . a rough valley which is neither eared nor sown.--Rashi's note on this is curious: "The Holy One, blessed be He! said, 'A yearling heifer which hath borne no fruit shall come and be beheaded in a place which yieldeth no fruit, to atone for the murder of the man whom they did not suffer to bear fruit.' Some have thought that the valley was neither to be eared (ploughed) nor sown from that time forward." The verbs are not past in the Hebrew, and the words may bear this meaning. If so, the district in which the murder occurred would be mulcted in that portion of land for ever.

(5) And the priests.--See on Deuteronomy 21:8.

(7) Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it.--"Not that the chief magistrates of the city are supposed to have shed this blood; but that they have not contrived or procured the murder by any maintenance or partnership in the deed" (Rashi). We cannot but feel how impossible such solemn public declarations would be if the murderer had been harboured by the inhabitants of the place.

(8) Be merciful, O Lord.--In the sense of the publican's prayer in St. Luke 18 "be propitiated," literally, cover. The mercy seat is the "covering" of the Law, which protects Israel from it. The sacrifices are a "covering" for the sinner from a punishment of sin. According to Rashi, the prayer in the eighth verse is spoken by the priests; and it seems probable enough. No part in the transaction is assigned to them, unless it be this. And their presence was certainly necessary.

And the blood shall be forgiven them.--Literally, shall be covered for them. Not the same expression as Leviticus 4:20; Leviticus 4:26; Leviticus 4:31; Leviticus 4:35. But we can hardly follow the Jewish commentators into the question whether, if the perpetrator of the murder were afterwards discovered, the blood of the heifer which had been shed already could be allowed to atone for it, so that the murderer need not be punished.

Verses 1-9. - If a body was found lying dead from a wound, and it was not known by whom the wound had been inflicted, the whole land would be involved in the guilt of the murder, unless it was duly expiated as here directed. First, the elders and judges (presumably of the neighboring towns; of Josephus, 'Antiq.' 4:8, 16) were to meet, the former as magistrates representing the communities, the latter as administrators of the law, and were to measure the distance from the body of the slain man to each of the surrounding towns, in order to ascertain which was the nearest. This ascertained, upon that town was to be laid the duty of expiating the crime. 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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