English Standard Version
You shall not pollute the land in which you live, for blood pollutes the land, and no atonement can be made for the land for the blood that is shed in it, except by the blood of the one who shed it.
King James Bible
So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: for blood it defileth the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it.
American Standard Version
So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: for blood, it polluteth the land; and no expiation can be made for the land for the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it.
Defile not the land of your habitation, which is stained with the blood of the innocent: neither can it otherwise be expiated, but by his blood that hath shed the blood of another.
English Revised Version
So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: for blood, it polluteth the land: and no expiation can be made for the land for the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it.
Webster's Bible Translation
So ye shall not pollute the land in which ye are: for blood it defileth the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed in it, but by the blood of him that shed it.
Numbers 35:33 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
If he left the city of refuge before this, and the avenger of blood got hold of him, and slew him outside the borders (precincts) of the city, it was not to be reckoned to him as blood (דּם לו אין, like דּמים לו אין, Exodus 22:1). But after the death of the high priest he might return "into the land of his possession," i.e., his hereditary possession (cf. Leviticus 27:22), sc., without the avenger of blood being allowed to pursue him any longer.
In these regulations "all the rigour of the divine justice is manifested in the most beautiful concord with His compassionate mercy. Through the destruction of life, even when not wilful, human blood had been shed, and demanded expiation. Yet this expiation did not consist in the death of the offender himself, because he had not sinned wilfully." Hence an asylum was provided for him in the free city, to which he might escape, and where he would lie concealed. This sojourn in the free city was not to be regarded as banishment, although separation from house, home, and family was certainly a punishment; but it was a concealment under "the protection of the mercy of God, which opened places of escape in the cities of refuge from the carnal ardour of the avenger of blood, where the slayer remained concealed until his sin was expiated by the death of the high priest." For the fact, that the death of the high priest was hereby regarded as expiatory, as many of the Rabbins, fathers, and earlier commentators maintain (see my Comm. on Joshua, p. 448), is unmistakeably evident from the addition of the clause, "who has been anointed with the holy oil," which would appear unmeaning and superfluous on any other view. This clause points to the inward connection between the return of the slayer and the death of the high priest. "The anointing with the holy oil was a symbol of the communication of the Holy Ghost, by which the high priest was empowered to act as mediator and representative of the nation before God, so that he alone could carry out the yearly and general expiation for the whole nation, on the great day of atonement. But as his life and work acquired a representative signification through this anointing with the Holy Ghost, his death might also be regarded as a death for the sins of the people, by virtue of the Holy Ghost imparted to him, through which the unintentional manslayer received the benefits of the propitiation for his sin before God, so that he could return cleansed to his native town, without further exposure to the vengeance of the avenger of blood" (Comm. on Joshua, p. 448). But inasmuch as, according to this view, the death of the high priest had the same result in a certain sense, in relation to his time of office, as his function on the day of atonement had had every year, "the death of the earthly high priest became thereby a type of that of the heavenly One, who, through the eternal (holy) Spirit, offered Himself without spot to God, that we might be redeemed from our transgressions, and receive the promised eternal inheritance (Hebrews 9:14-15). Just as the blood of Christ wrought out eternal redemption, only because through the eternal Spirit He offered Himself without spot to God, so the death of the high priest of the Old Testament secured the complete deliverance of the manslayer form his sin, only because he had been anointed with the holy oil, the symbol of the Holy Ghost."
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
the land cannot be cleansed. Heb. there can be no expiation for the land
And the LORD said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground.
"Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.
And you shall accept no ransom for him who has fled to his city of refuge, that he may return to dwell in the land before the death of the high priest.
lest innocent blood be shed in your land that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance, and so the guilt of bloodshed be upon you.
and they shall testify, 'Our hands did not shed this blood, nor did our eyes see it shed.
Accept atonement, O LORD, for your people Israel, whom you have redeemed, and do not set the guilt of innocent blood in the midst of your people Israel, so that their blood guilt be atoned for.'
that the violence done to the seventy sons of Jerubbaal might come, and their blood be laid on Abimelech their brother, who killed them, and on the men of Shechem, who strengthened his hands to kill his brothers.
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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.