Deuteronomy 21

compiled and written by Gary Kukis

Deuteronomy 21:1–23

Regulations about Murder, Marriage and Rebellious Sons


These studies are designed for believers in Jesus Christ only. If you have exercised faith in Christ, then you are in the right place. If you have not, then you need to heed the words of our Lord, Who said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten [or, uniquely-born] Son, so that every [one] believing [or, trusting] in Him shall not perish, but shall be have eternal life! For God did not send His Son into the world so that He should judge the world, but so that the world shall be saved through Him. The one believing [or, trusting] in Him is not judged, but the one not believing has already been judged, because he has not believed in the Name of the only-begotten [or, uniquely-born] Son of God.” (John 3:16–18). “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life! No one comes to the Father except through [or, by means of] Me!” (John 14:6).


Every study of the Word of God ought to be preceded by a naming of your sins to God. This restores you to fellowship with God (1John 1:8–10). If there are people around, you would name these sins silently. If there is no one around, then it does not matter if you name them silently or whether you speak aloud.



Document Navigation

Preface

Quotations

Outline of Chapter

Charts, Graphics, Short Doctrines

Doctrines Alluded to

Chapters Alluded to

Dictionary of Terms

Introduction

First Verse

Addendum

A Complete Translation

Chapter Word Clouds



Links to the completed chapters of Deuteronomy are found here (HTML) (PDF). This chapter is a part of that study.

 

Sometime ago, I did a verse-by-verse exegesis of the books of the Pentateuch, and, in my opinion, did not really give these books the full treatment that they deserved. Here, I am going back and redoing the book of Deuteronomy. All of the information from that previous study will be included in here and this study will eventually supplant the shorter study of the book of Deuteronomy (HTML) (PDF). From time to time, there will be concepts and exegetical material which will be repeated, because I do not always do a good job in the end editing this material.

 

One more thing: it is not necessary that you read the grey Hebrew exegesis tables. They are set apart from the rest of the study so that you can easily skip over them. Footnote However, if you ever doubt a translation of a phrase or a verse, these translation tables will tell you exactly where that translation came from.


Preface:


There are many chapter commentaries on the book of Deuteronomy. This will be the most extensive examination of Deuteronomy 21 available, where you will be able to examine in depth every word of the original text. Every attempt has been made to make this both a complete and self-contained study. Therefore, all references, vocabulary, and related concepts should be found within this extensive study. Easy access links to more in-depth studies of some vocabulary words, concepts and doctrines are also provided.


Quotations:


This should be the most extensive examination of Deut. 21 available, where you will be able to examine in depth every word of the original text.


Outline of Chapter 21:

 

Introduction

 

         vv.     1–9           Ceremony for the Unsolved Murder

         vv.    10–14         Taking a Wife from Enemy Captives

         vv.    15–17         The Protocol of Inheritance

         vv.    18–21         The Execution of the Disobedient Teen

         vv.    22–23         Defiling the Land with a Hanging Corpse

 

Addendum


Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines:

 

         Preface               Quotations

         Introduction         Matthew Henry’s Overview of Deuteronomy 21

         Introduction         The Prequel of Deuteronomy 21

         Introduction         The Principals of Deuteronomy 21

         Introduction         The Places of Deuteronomy 21

         Introduction         A Synopsis of Deuteronomy 21

         Introduction         Studying the Mosaic Law

 

         v.       2              Legalistic Confusion Associated with Deuteronomy 21:2

         v.       3              Why is an animal taken to sacrifice from this city?

         v.       4              The Parallels Between the Heifer and Jesus

         v.       8              Scofield’s Doctrine of Redemption

         v.      10              Deuteronomy 21:10–14 Rape—a forced marriage? (Graphic)

         v.      13              The Procedure for a Captive Woman to Become an Israelite Wife

         v.      13              The Protections Afforded Captive Women

         v.      13              The Pulpit Commentary on the Protection of Women in War

         v.      13              Three Short Points from the Pulpit Commentary

         v.      13              The Captive Wife is a Type

         v.      14              Is this the loophole for legitimate illegitimate sex in the Bible?

         v.      14              The Pulpit Commentary Summary of Deuteronomy 21:10–14

         v.      14              Interpreting the Captive Wife in Deuteronomy 21:10–14

         v.      14              Applying the Captive Wife to Today’s Standards

         v.      14              Deuteronomy and the Law of God

         v.      15              The Abbreviated Doctrine of the Firstborn

         v.      17              Jesus is the Firstborn

         v.      17              Understanding and Interpreting Deuteronomy 21:15–17

         v.      17              A Modern-Day Application of Deuteronomy 21:15–17

         v.      18              Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge References for Parental Authority

         v.      21              Purging Evil from Israel’s Midst

         v.      21              Deuteronomy 21:18–21 (graphic)

         v.      21              Deuteronomy 21:18–21 (graphic #2)

         v.      21              Stoning the Rebellious Teen

         v.      21              Applying the Principle of the Disobedient Son to Today

         v.      21              Increase in Juvenile Crime graphic

         v.      21              What do we learn from executing the disobedient teen today?

         v.      21              Three Things which Liberals Find to be Particularly Odious in Deuteronomy 21

         v.      23              The Dual Authorship of the Holy Scriptures

 

         Addendum          Why Deuteronomy 21 is in the Word of God

         Addendum          What We Learn from Deuteronomy 21

         Addendum          A Complete Translation of Deuteronomy 21

         Addendum          Word Cloud of Deut. 21 from the Kukis “Not So Literal” Translation

         Addendum          Word Cloud of the Exegesis of Deuteronomy 21


Chapter Outline

 

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines

Forward

Doctrines Covered and Alluded to

Chapters of the Bible Alluded To

Psalms Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

Other Chapters of the Bible Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

Definition of Terms

Introduction

Text

Addendum

www.kukis.org

 

Exegetical Studies in Deuteronomy


Doctrines Covered

Doctrines Alluded To

The Dual Authorship of Scripture

Firstborn

Inspiration

Polygamy

 

 

Slave Market of Sin

Typology


Chapters of the Bible Alluded To

 

 

 

 


Psalms Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

 

 

 

 


Other Chapters of the Bible Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

 

 

 

 


Many who read and study this chapter are 1st or 2nd generation students of R. B. Thieme, Jr., so that much of this vocabulary is second nature. One of Bob’s contributions to theology is a fresh vocabulary along with a number of concepts which are theologically new or reworked, yet still orthodox. Therefore, if you are unfamiliar with his work, the definitions below will help you to fully understand all that is being said. In addition to this, I will use a number of other more traditional technical theological terms which will be used and defined. Also, I have developed a few new terms and concepts as well.

Definition of Terms

Rebound (Restoration to fellowship with God)

In the New Testament, this is naming your sins to God, so that you are both restored to temporal fellowship with God and are then filled with the Spirit of God. In the Old Testament, naming your sins to God would result in a restoration of fellowship and, in some cases, the empowerment of the Holy Spirit once again (the Holy Spirit was not given to all Old Testament believers).

Redemption

Jesus Christ, by His blood on the cross, has purchased us.

Slave Market of Sin

We illustrate the doctrine of redemption, is by picturing yourself being sold as a slave in a slave market. You are unable to purchase yourself, as you do not have the wherewithal to purchase yourself. A slave does not have the money to purchase himself (he lacks the coin of the realm, so to speak). Only someone who is not inside of this slave market (a non-slave) can purchase you. No fellow slave can look you over and say, "I'd like to purchase this one." This is because he is in the same boat that you are in. He cannot purchase himself and he certainly cannot purchase you. Jesus Christ does not have a sin nature and He has not committed any personal sins, so that He can purchase us from the slave market of sin.


This concept is actually based upon the real historical example, where God purchased the Israelites from Egypt, and brought them out of bondage.

Type, Antitype, Typical

A type is a preordained representation wherein certain persons, events, and institutions of the O.T. stand for corresponding persons, events, and institutions of the N.T. Types are pictures or object lessons by which God has taught His redemptive plan. They are a shadow of things to come, not the image of those things (Col. 2:17 Heb. 8:5 10:1). Footnote See the Doctrine of Typology (HTML) (PDF) (WPD).

Some of these definitions are taken from

http://gracebiblechurchwichita.org/?page_id=1556

http://www.bibledoctrinechurch.org/?subpages/GLOSSARY.shtml

http://rickhughesministries.org/content/Biblical-Terms.pdf

http://www.gbible.org/index.php?proc=d4d

http://www.wordoftruthministries.org/termsanddefs.htm

http://www.realtime.net/~wdoud/topics.html

http://www.theopedia.com/


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An Introduction to Deuteronomy 21


I ntroduction: Deut. 21 continues with a set of laws and legal matters, many of which Moses has come up with, being the Supreme Court Judge over all the Israelites for 40 years in the wilderness between Egypt and the land of Canaan. What is forgotten about Moses is (1) he was trained in the law and had probably studied the laws of several different nations and (2) he has probably encountered hundreds of different court cases, requiring him to make some general rulings which can become future guidelines for Israel as a nation.


The topics covered in Deut. 21 are not clarifications of the Law handed down by God to Moses; in fact, this portion of God’s Word has no parallel anywhere else. Little matter—this is still the Word of God. Moses did not run out of things to say and decided to just start making up laws off the top of his head. He did not think, you know, this topic wasn’t covered yet; let me make a ruling on it. He spoke (or, read from his notes) as inspired by God the Holy Spirit. And this portion of the Word of God is as inspired and is as meaningful as any other portion.


This passage begins interestingly enough with a dead body which has been disposed of out in a field. At first what appears to be required as a ceremony on behalf of the man who has been slain but which is actually performed on behalf of the city as part of an oath that no one in the nearest city committed the murder and no one in the city is a witness to same.


The next portion of Deuteronomy 21 deals with taking a captive woman for yourself as a wife. This Israelites would be involved in war for the next several years and God would allow for them to choose a wife from among the peoples whom they have conquered.


Thirdly, we deal with rules of inheritance under a polygamous marriage; and fourthly, the Bible reveals the simple key to dealing with rebellious teenagers. Finally, although an execution is public, the Bible forbids leaving the corpse of the criminal out to hang throughout the evening.


Fenton Farrar makes an interesting suggestion, which I discounted, at first. He says Footnote that the first 9 verses of this chapter have been misplaced and belong in Deut. 19 after v. 21 (others suggest the same thing). If these 9 verses are removed, then there is an interesting progression through Deut. 20 and 21. Deut. 20 deals with warfare, and Deut. 21:10–14 continue with that theme, suggesting that, when a war has been won, sometimes there are captives, and that single Israelite men might choose a wife from the captives (actually, this is not really confined to single Israelite men, suggesting that even a married man could take from the captives another wife—although that is not specifically stated).


Then we go from a man taking a wife, to the situation where a man has two wives and children from these two wives. He cannot play favorites which his children and place the child of the wife he loves above those children of the wife that he does not love (obviously, if a man takes a second wife, it is because his relationship with his present wife has soured somewhat).


Since we are talking about children, what about the disobedient child—the boy that both parents agree cannot be controlled? The Bible allows for that child to be executed, if both parents agree. In this way, this child is an example to other disobedient children.


Finally, since he is an example to other children, some criminals are hung on a tree, after they are executed, as an example to the people of that city. However, the city is not allowed to let the body be hung up overnight; it must be removed and buried.


So what we have here is a very interesting progression of laws and examples, where one leads to the next (with the exception of the first 9 verses, which does not appear to fit here). As an aside, only Fenton Farrar appears to make this assertion (although see his footnote explanation).


This is not much different from my own.

Matthew Henry’s Overview of Deuteronomy 21

In this chapter provision is made,

I.       For the putting away of the guilt of blood from the land, when he that shed it had fled from justice (Deut. 21:1–9).

II.      For the preserving of the honour of a captive maid (Deut. 21:10–14).

III.     For the securing of the right of a first–born son, though he were not a favourite (Deut. 21:15–17).

IV.     For the restraining and punishing of a rebellious son (Deut. 21:18–21).

V.      For the maintaining of the honour of human bodies, which must not be hanged in chains, but decently buried, even the bodies of the worst malefactors (Deut. 21:22, Deut. 21:23).

From Matthew Henry, Commentary on the Whole Bible; from e-Sword, Deut. 21 chapter commentary.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


It is important to understand what has gone before.

The Prequel of Deuteronomy 21

Moses led two groups of Jews out of Egypt—adult slaves and their children (age 20 and below). Although these people, after being led out of Egypt and seeing many signs and miracles, they still rejected God’s provision and God’s direction. God told them to go into the land from the south and take it, and they refused, being afraid of the giants in the land.


As a result of their negative volition toward God’s orders, God took them further away from the Land of Promise, and they cooled their heels in the desert area between Israel and Egypt for the next 38½ years. During this time, all of the adults—Gen X—died the sin unto death (Moses, Joshua and Caleb being the notable exceptions); and their children—the Generation of Promise—came of age while living out in the desert.


Moses was going to lead these young men from the desert into the land of Canaan, except that he made a terrible mistake at the very end, striking a rock in order to get water, when God told him to merely speak to the rock (this destroyed the concept of type and antitype—Moses was to strike one rock one time, and that would produce the living waters for the children of Israel—Ex. 17). Instead, Moses, upset with the people, struck a second rock for water (Num. 20). For that reason—because he disobey God and thereby confused a type—Moses was unable to bring the children of Israel into the Land of Promise.


Most of the book of Deuteronomy is a set of sermons delivered by Moses to the children of Israel before they cross over into the Land of Promise.


What is really remarkable with the book of Deuteronomy is, in Exodus through Numbers, Moses is very careful to distinguish between God speaking and him speaking. That is, Moses wanted it to be very clear when God was laying down the law as over against when Moses was giving some historical narrative.


However, when we come to the book of Deuteronomy, Moses speaks to the people of Israel with divine authority. That is, the laws, code, and regulations found in the book of Deuteronomy are presented with the same authority as the laws given directly from God.

This prequel is identical to that found in Deut. 22.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


We need to know who the people are who populate this chapter.

The Principals of Deuteronomy 21

Characters

Commentary

Moses

This is a part of several sermon which Moses gave to the people of Israel. These are the last sermons of Moses, as he will not travel over into Canaan with his people.

Generation of promise

After 40 years, the adults who left Egypt under the command of Moses have all died the sin unto death. The only ones who remain are their children, who are now adults and are ready to enter into the Land of Promise (Canaan).

The people who follow are not actual people, but semi-fictional examples, much like saying, “Okay, let’s say that Charley Brown did this.” There is no actual Charley Brown doing something; but, a few years or decades later, there might be a Lucy Van Pelt who does the thing the Charley Brown is said to do. Then the principles laid out by Moses would then be applied to Miss Van Pelt.

There is certainly the possibility that Moses dealt with cases like this as a supreme court judge over the Israelites out in the desert.

Elders, judges, Levites

These are those given legal authority in their region where a murder has been committed, but the killer cannot be ascertained.

A soldier and his wife taken from the captives of Israel

Soldiers of Israel are given the option of taking a wife from the foreign women who have been taken captive after a war. The text tells us what he can and cannot do.

The husband with two wives and several children

A man cannot favor the children of his favorite wife; he must give each child his due, regardless of his feelings toward the child’s mother.

The mother and father and their disobedient son

If two parents have a child whom they cannot control, they can bring him to the city council to be executed. The procedure for this is described.

The corpse of a criminal

Although it is sometimes the desire of a population to hang the corpse of a particularly heinous criminal on some tree to rot, God does not allow for that. The dead body must be buried on that day he was executed.

Moses and the people listening are actual historical figures. Those named after are examples—Moses may have known a court case like this or he may have considered that such a court case might come up.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


This way you can understand the places which are named in this chapter.

The Places of Deuteronomy 31

Places

Description

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Here is what to expect from Deuteronomy 21:

A Synopsis of Deuteronomy 21

The first nine verses deal with a murder which is unsolved. The victim is associated with the nearest city and an animal is judged and executed rather than the criminal who committed the murder. This is an indication that all crimes (and sins) must be dealt with by a righteous God. As mentioned earlier, this portion of Deut. 21 might be misplaced. Vv. 1–9

The Bible allows for a women, taken as captives from a beaten country, to be taken as a wives by any of the soldiers who defeated her country. This describes exactly how this can be done and what cannot be done. This is a very misunderstood portion of Scripture and some translations even misinterpret the meaning of this passage. Vv. 10–14

What happens if a man has two wives, and they both have born him children? Can he show preference to the children of his favorite wife? Of course not! Vv. 15–17

Let’s say parents have so much trouble with one of their children that they cannot control him. What are their options? One option is to bring him before the city court and have him executed. Vv. 18–21

Finally, when it comes to displaying the corpse of a criminal as a deterrent, that body cannot be left up on display for more than that one day. It must be removed and buried before nightfall. Vv. 22–23

Like all chapters of the Word of God, you need more than just the simple plot outline to understand what God wants us to know.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Studying the Mosaic Law

 

If Christ is the end of Law for righteousness to everyone that believes (Rom. 10:4) and if we are justified by faith rather than by the works of the Law (Rom. 3:28 Gal. 2:16), then why do we study the Mosaic Law at all? Why don’t we simply make the determination, I am a believer in the Church Age; so this has nothing to do with me?

 

When studying any of the books of the Law (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers or Deuteronomy), we need to be concerned with three principles: (1) accurately interpreting the law which is before us; (2) if there are there any contemporary applications of this law; and (3) if is there anything in the law which is typical of Jesus Christ and His work on the cross. It is understanding the Mosaic Law as it relates to these 3 principles which makes the Mosaic Law relevant to us today.

 

Accurately interpreting the Law:

 

As has become clear with the Kaplan translation, the Rabbis and Jewish theologians over the years completely warped and confused the issues of the Law. To give a few examples: they managed to come up with hundreds of examples of how to define works on the Sabbath, which turned a wonderful celebration of God into a legalistic holiday gotcha. At the same time, a Jewish man who worked on Saturday was to be executed, by order of the Mosaic Law. However, the rabbis had developed so many laws and regulations concerning the Sabbath that no one could keep up with them all, and no one could go their entire life without violating the Sabbath (by their rules and regulations). Logically, nearly every Jew should have been executed for violation of the Sabbath.

 

Another distortion of the Mosaic Law by the rabbis: in Deut. 21:18–21, a child who could not be controlled could be taken before the court of the city and executed. For reasons that make little sense to me, this was later confined, by the rabbis, to ages 13 through 13¼. However, there is nothing in that passage which even suggests such a restriction.

 

There are also misinterpretations codified in many translations—the idea that a soldier could take a female captive home, have sex with her after a month, and then discard her at any time after that (see the Good News Bible, the Easy to Read Version, God’s Word™ or the Bible in Basic English for Deut. 21:10–14); or the idea that a rapist could, by law, marry his rape victim (see the Expanded Bible, Kaplan translation, the NET Bible and the NIV ©2011—along with Today’s NIV and the New International Readers Version—of Deut. 22:25–29). These mistranslations, which are misinterpretations of these passages, put God and His Word in a bad light. These passages must be correctly interpreted and understood.

 

Application of the Mosaic Law

 

There are many things found in the Mosaic Law which we will never see in modern society—the execution of disobedient teens (Deut. 21:18–21) or the execution of those who violate the Sabbath (Ex. 31:14). Is it our duty as believers to try to institute such laws in society? Should we elect representatives who promise that they will start executing disobedient teens? If not, why not; and if not, why study these laws at all?

 

Not everything in the Bible is written to us, nor should we expect to take every law in the Bible and turn it into the law of the land for our present-day society. Paul, for instance, nowhere suggests such a thing, but, instead, tells us that we are not under the Law (see the book of Galatians).

 

However, on the other hand, it is very likely that many of these laws will be the law of the land during the Millennium. Furthermore, there are proper applications which we should be able to make, spring-boarding from these laws to their possible application in modern society.

 

Types and Antitypes

 

Finally, many of these laws—certainly all of the ceremonial ones—look forward to the ministry of Jesus Christ and His death on our behalf on the cross. In perhaps every case they are typical—that is, the people of that day did not sacrifice a lamb without spot and blemish and think, “This will be the sacrifice of the Messiah for us.” However, God the Father knows the future, and therefore gives such laws which, when associated with events in the New Testament, suddenly become clear as typical of these future events.

 

Conclusion

 

Therefore, every attempt will be made to correctly interpret each law as presented by God (Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers) or by Moses (Deuteronomy); the essence of each law will be examined and up-to-date, modern-day applications will be given, whenever possible; and, when a passage is clearly typical of our Savior, that will be pointed out, will all pertinent parallels clearly laid out.


One of the fascinating aspects of the book of Deuteronomy is, this is just Moses teaching and some of these things come directly from his experience of dealing with the people of Israel as their leader. What he says in this book is taken as if from the mouth of God. Jewish tradition may call the book of Deuteronomy the second law, but it is never considered to be of a secondary nature. Christians and Jews alike view these words of Moses to be every bit as inspired as the rest of the books of the Pentateuch.


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Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Ceremony for the Unsolved Murder


As mentioned earlier, several translators suggest that these first 9 verses are out of place and better placed in Deut. 19. This allows for a more logical flow from Deut. 20 to 21. See the note which goes along with this first verse in The Voice.


Kukis slavishly literal:

 

Kukis moderately literal:

For is found a slain man in the ground (which Yehowah your Elohim is giving to you to possess her), lying in the field and he is not known who killed him.

Deuteronomy

21:1

When a slain man is found on the ground (which [land] Yehowah your Elohim is giving to you to inherit it), lying in an unpopulated area and it is not known who killed him,...

Kukis not so literal:

If a man is found slain on the ground, in the land that Jehovah your God is giving you, and that man is lying dead in an unpopulated area, and it is not known who killed him,...


Here is how others have translated this verse:

 

Ancient texts:                       Note: I compare the Hebrew text to English translations of the Latin, Syriac and Greek texts, using the Douay-Rheims translation Footnote ; George Lamsa’s translation, and Sir Lancelot Charles Lee Brenton’s translation as revised and edited by Paul W. Esposito, respectively. I often update these texts with non-substantive changes (e.g., you for thou, etc.). I often use the text of the Complete Apostles’ Bible instead of Brenton’s translation, because it updates the English text.

 

The Septuagint was the earliest known translation of a book (circa 200 b.c.). Since this translation was made before the textual criticism had been developed into a science and because different books appear to be translated by different men, the Greek translation can sometimes be very uneven.

 

When there are serious disparities between my translation and Brenton’s (or the text of the Complete Apostles’ Bible), I look at the Greek text of the Septuagint (the LXX) to see if a substantive difference actually exists (and I reflect these changes in the English rendering of the Greek text). I use the Greek LXX with Strong’s numbers and morphology available for e-sword. The only problem with this resource (which is a problem for similar resources) is, there is no way to further explore Greek verbs which are not found in the New Testament. Although I usually quote the Complete Apostles’ Bible here, I have begun to make changes in the translation when their translation conflicts with the Greek and note what those changes are.

 

The Masoretic text is the Hebrew text with all of the vowels (vowel points) inserted (the original Hebrew text lacked vowels). We take the Masoretic text to be the text closest to the original. However, differences between the Masoretic text and the Greek, Latin and Syriac are worth noting and, once in a great while, represent a more accurate text possessed by those other ancient translators.

 

In general, the Latin text is an outstanding translation from the Hebrew text into Latin and very trustworthy (I say this as a non-Catholic). Unfortunately, I do not read Latin—apart from some very obvious words—so I am dependent upon the English translation of the Latin (principally, the Douay-Rheims translation).

 

Underlined words indicate differences in the text.

 

Bracketed portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls are words, letters and phrases lost in the scroll due to various types of damage. Underlined words or phrases are those in the Dead Sea Scrolls but not in the Masoretic text.

 

The Targum of Onkelos is actually the Pentateuchal Targumim, which are The Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan Ben Uzziel. On the Pentateuch With The Fragments of the Jerusalem Targum From the Chaldee by J. W. Etheridge, M.A. Taken from http://targum.info/targumic-texts/pentateuchal-targumim/ and first published in 1862.


Ancient texts:

 

Targum (trans. By Cook)        If a male be found slain upon the ground, unburied, in the land which the Lord your God giveth you to inherit, lying down, and not hanged on a tree in the field, nor floating on the face of the water; and it be not known who did kill him:...

Latin Vulgate                          When there will be found in the land, which the Lord your God will give you, the corpse of a man slain, and it is not known who is guilty of the murder,...

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        For is found a slain man in the ground (which Yehowah your Elohim is giving to you to possess her), lying in the field and he is not known who killed him.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    If a person is 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;...

Septuagint (Greek)                And if one should be found slain with the sword in the land, which the Lord your God gives you to inherit, having fallen in the field, and they do not know who has killed him,...

 

Significant differences:           The Latin lacks to inherit it in the first sentence, which is found in the Hebrew. The targum, as is often the case, has several additional phrases.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           Unsolved homicides

If a corpse is found on the ground the Lord your God is giving you to possess, lying in a field, and the identity of the killer is unknown,.

Contemporary English V.       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.

Easy English                          Rules about murder, marriage and sons who refuse to obey

You may find the dead body of a man that is lying in a field. Someone has killed him, in the country that the *Lord your God is giving to you.

Easy-to-Read Version            “In the land that the Lord your God is giving you, a man might be found murdered in a field. But no one knows who killed him.

Good News Bible (TEV)         "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.

The Message                         If a dead body is found on the ground, this ground that GOD, your God, has given you, lying out in the open, and no one knows who killed him,...

New Century Version             A Person Found Murdered

Suppose someone is found murdered, lying in a field in the land the Lord your God is giving you as your own, and no one knows who killed the person.

New Living Translation           Cleansing for Unsolved Murder

"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.

The Voice                               Moses: If a murder victim is found lying on the ground in the open field, anywhere in the territory the Eternal your God is giving you to live in, and no one knows who the killer was, then perform a special ceremony to remove the bloodguilt from your land.

Israelite teachers and scribes are fond of organizing material using mnemonic devices. If two writings share a key word, phrase, or idea, it is considered clever and attractive to put them next to one another. This principle is applied often as the first law in Deuteronomy 21:1 begins by using some Hebrew words similar to those at the end of the last law in the previous group. Even though the second law in 21:10 is really about marriage, it begins, "When you go to battle against your enemies," transitioning from the warfare laws. The third law follows because it starts by talking about marriage, even though it's really about the inheritance rights of sons. And the next law also talks about sons-except that they're so disobedient, they need to be executed. So the final law in the group is about executions. These language techniques are intended to help the Israelites memorize the laws.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          'And if anyone is found murdered with a knife, and [his body is] left in a field in the land that Jehovah your God is giving you to inherit, and no one knows who did it;...

Beck’s American Translation When a Murderer Isn’t Known

“If you find anyone lying murdered in a field in the country the Lord your God gives you to possess, but nobody knows who killed him,...

Christian Community Bible     Laws and rights

If the corpse of a slain man is found in the land which Yahweh, your God, will give you, and it is not known who killed him, 2 your judges and leaders shall go out to mea sure the distance between the victim and the surrounding cities to 3 determine which city is nearest to the dead man. Vv. 2–3a are included for context.

God’s Word                         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,...

New Advent (Knox) Bible       When, in this land of thine, a dead man's body is found and there is no knowing who slew him,...

New American Bible              "If the corpse of a slain man is found lying in the open on the land which the LORD, your God, is giving you to occupy, and it is not known who killed him,... [1-9] This paragraph is best read immediately after Deut 19:21. The slain man may not necessarily have been murdered; he may have been killed by a wild beast. But the blood of the slain cries out to God from the soil where it was shed; cf Genesis 4:10. Therefore a religious ceremony of propitiation is here prescribed in order to avert God's anger on the community.

New American Bible (R.E.)    Absolution of Untraced Murder.

If the corpse of someone who has been slain is found lying in the open, in the land the LORD, your God, is giving you to possess, and it is not known who killed the person,... [21:1-9] This law has to do with absolving the community of bloodguilt that accrues to it and to the land when a homicide occurs and the murderer cannot be identified and punished.

NIRV                                      What to Do When You Don't Know Who Killed Someone

Suppose you find someone who has been killed. The body is lying in a field in the land the Lord your God is giving you to take as your own. But no one knows who the killer was.

New Simplified Bible              »This is what you must do if you find a murder victim lying in a field in the land that Jehovah your God is giving you. If no one knows who committed the murder,...

Today’s NIV                          Atonement for an Unsolved Murder

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,...


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      When the desecrated are found fallen in the field in the property which Yahweh your God gives you to possess it, but knowing not who smote him:...

Bible in Basic English             If, in the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you come across the dead body of a man in the open country, and you have no idea who has put him to death:...

The Expanded Bible              A Person Found Murdered

Suppose ·someone is found murdered [La corpse], lying in a field in the land the Lord your God is giving you as your ·own [possession], and no one knows who ·killed [Lstruck] the person.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 When a corpse was found fallen in a field in the land which your Ever-living God gives you to possess, and it is not known how killed,... F.F. has a “restored order” for this chapter of Deuteronomy. Not sure if I will cover that or not. He places this passage after Deut. 19:21. Footnote: These first nine verses of Ch. xxi. have been evidently misplaced by some transcriber, and should be at the end of Ch. xix., as I now place them, as they complete the subject dealt with by Moses. I therefore restore them to their proper position. The reader, however, will probably ask my reasons for these alterations which I make in the arrangement of the text in Ch. xix.- xxi. They are as follows: I had always felt that the accepted order of the matter had become confused by some very ancient transcribers, and therefore consulted scholars whom I believed to be fully competent to assist me in a rectification, by which I proposed to bring the thought of the speeches of Moses in those chapters to a perfectly consecutive current of meaning. All agreed with me that the old text had been confused, but would not venture to decide whether my new proposed arrangements were correct. I was disappointed, so at last appealed to my talented friend the Reverend John Bowen, B.D., Rector of St. Lawrence, Pembrokeshire, who is an accomplished Classic and Oriental Scholar, and he kindly consented to co-operate with me, and I accepted his exact and careful amendments to my suggestions, feeling convinced that they were right. The confusion of the text at the various points noted in my margin, I think, arose at the time when our present t< xt was copied on to a roll of skins, from the original stone plates or tablets upon which Moses engraved the Speeches for record in the Ark of Witnesses, as stated by Aliazer, his Editor, in Ch. xxxiii., v. 24, of Deuteronomy. The Scribe then evidently confused the order of the plates. The fact that the various passages implicated contain about the same number of words, I take as an indication that my view is the right one. My learned and judicious friend, the Rev. J. Bowen, however, informs me that a previous commentator upon this part of Deuteronomy, who had noted the confusion in the records, has suggested an even earlier period for its origination. He believed, and Mr. Bowen seems to agree with him, that it was made at the time when, in accordance with the command of Moses, the Law was engraved, " deeply cut," upon the pillars set up, and covered with some enduring chemical plaster, in the Yale of the Jordan, upon the passage of Joshua and his Army. That there the autographic tablets of Moses were in these paragraphs misarranged, and subsequent transcribers tailed to rectify the error. I leave my readers to decide which theory has the best weight of evidence to support it. - F. F.

NET Bible®                             Laws Concerning Unsolved Murder

If a homicide victim [Heb "slain [one]." The term חָלָל (khalal) suggests something other than a natural death (cf. Num. 19:16; Num. 23:24; Jer. 51:52; Eze. 26:15; Eze. 30:24; Eze. 31:17–18).] should be found lying in a field in the land the Lord your God is giving you [The Hebrew text includes "to possess it," but this has not been included in the translation for stylistic reasons.], and no one knows who killed [Heb "struck," but in context a fatal blow is meant; cf. NLT "who committed the murder."] him,... When it comes to making an actual material change to the text, the NET Bible® is pretty good about indicating this. Since most of these corrections will be clear in the more literal translations below and within the Hebrew exegesis itself, I will not continue to list every NET Bible® footnote.

NIV, ©2011                             Atonement for an Unsolved Murder

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,.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           "If, in the land ADONAI your God is giving you to possess, a murder victim is found lying in the countryside; and the perpetrator of the murder is not known;...

exeGeses companion Bible   THE TORAH ON UNKNOWN ASSASSINS

When you find someone pierced

on the soil Yah Veh your Elohim gives you to possess

- fallen in the field

and know not who pierced him:...

Kaplan Translation                 The Unsolved Murder

[This is what you must do] when a corpse is found fallen in the field in the land that God your Lord is giving you to occupy, and it is not known who the murderer is. The Kaplan Translation, particularly in Exodus through Deuteronomy, takes note of historic rabbinic opinions.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           If one be found slain in ha'adamah which Hashem Eloheicha giveth thee to possess it, lying in the sadeh, and it be not known who hath slain him;...


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    In case someone mortally wounded is found on the ground that Yahweh your Elohim is giving to you to tenant it, having fallen in the field, and it is not known who smote him fatally,...

Context Group Version          If one is found slain in the land { or earth } which YHWH your God gives you to possess it, lying in the field, and it is not known who has struck him;...

English Standard V. – UK       Atonement for Unsolved Murders

"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,...

The Geneva 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:... This law declares how horrible murder is, seeing that because of one man a whole country will be punished, unless remedy is found.

Green’s Literal Translation    If one is found slain in the land which Jehovah your God is giving to you, to possess it, lying in the field, and it is not known who has struck him;...

NASB                                     Expiation of a Crime

"If a slain person is found lying in the open country in the land which the Lord your God gives you to [a]possess, and it is not known who has struck him,...

New King James Version       The Law Concerning Unsolved Murder

"If anyone is found slain, lying in the field in the land which the Lord your God is giving you to possess, and it is not known who killed him,...

New RSV                               If, in the land that the Lord your God is giving you to possess, a body is found lying in open country, and it is not known who struck the person down,...

Syndein/Thieme                     If one be found slain in the land which Jehovah/God your 'Elohim/Godhead gives you to possess it, lying in the field, and it be not known who has 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 Updated LT             “When one is found slain on the ground which Jehovah your God is giving to you to possess it—fallen in a field—it is not known who has struck him [down].

 

The gist of this verse:          A murder victim is found, but there are no witnesses and no suspects.


Deuteronomy 21:1a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kîy (כִּי) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

explanatory or temporal conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

BDB gives this list of definitions: 1) that, for, because, when, as though, as, because that, but, then, certainly, except, surely, since; 1a) that; 1a1) yea, indeed; 1b) when (of time); 1b1) when, if, though (with a concessive force); 1c) because, since (causal connection); 1d) but (after negative); 1e) that if, for if, indeed if, for though, but if; 1f) but rather, but; 1g) except that; 1h) only, nevertheless; 1i) surely; 1j) that is; 1k) but if; 1l) for though; 1m) forasmuch as, for therefore.

mâtsâʾ (מָצָא) [pronounced maw-TSAW]

to acquire, to be found, to be detected, to be discovered, to be present, to exist

3rd person masculine singular, Niphal imperfect

Strong’s #4672 BDB #592

châlâl (חָלָל) [pronounced chaw-LAWL]

slain, fatally wounded, wounded, pierced; from a verb which means to bore, to pierce

masculine singular noun (or adjective)

Strong’s #2491 BDB #319

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

ʾădâmâh (אֲדָמָה) [pronounced uh-daw-MAWH]

ground, soil, dirt, earth, tillable earth, land, surface of the earth

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #127 BDB #9

With a voluntative, cohortative or jussive, the wâw conjunction means that, so that. It expresses intention. The wâw conjunction can express informal inference or consequence (so, then, therefore); especially at the beginning of a speech. The wâw conjunction can connect alternative cases or contrasting ideas and be properly rendered or, but, yet. The wâw conjunction can also be rendered for.


Translation: When a slain man is found on the ground... There will be the problem of an unsolved homicide which occurs now and again. That is what Moses is speaking of here. A man is found dead, lying on the ground.


Murders like this defiled the land. Num. 35:33–34 So you shall not defile the land in which you are. For blood defiles the land. And the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed in it, except by the blood of him that shed it. So do not defile the land which you shall inhabit, in which I dwell. For I Jehovah dwell among the sons of Israel. (MKJV) Therefore, because this defiled the land that God gave them, the people of Israel cannot simply ignore such a crime that has taken place. The guilt for this sin had to be dealt with, even though the one responsible for this crime is not known.


Deuteronomy 21:1b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced uh-SHER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun; sometimes the verb to be is implied

Strong's #834 BDB #81

YHWH (יהוה) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

ʾĚlôhîym (אלֹהִים) [pronounced el-o-HEEM]

God; gods, foreign gods, god; rulers, judges; superhuman ones, angels; transliterated Elohim

masculine plural noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #430 BDB #43

nâthan (נָתַן) [pronounced naw-THAHN]

is giving, granting, is placing, putting, setting; is making

Qal active participle

Strong's #5414 BDB #678

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

yârash (שיָרַ) [pronounced yaw-RASH]

to possess, to take possession of, to occupy a geographical area [by driving out the previous occupants], to take possession of anyone [or their goods]; to inherit, to possess; to expel, to drive out

Qal infinitive construct with the 3rd person feminine singular suffix

Strong’s #3423 BDB #439


Translation:...(which [land] Yehowah your Elohim is giving to you to possess it),... Moses inserts that this is the land which God is giving to the Jews. This means that he is giving laws and application of law for their time when in the Land of Promise.


At this point in time, the Jews are on the east side of the Jordan, getting ready to cross over into the Land of Promise to take it. Moses has come up with some additional laws which would be helpful to them in the new land.


Moses reminds them that God has given them this land; they will be able to walk into the Land of Promise and take it.


Deuteronomy 21:1c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

nâphal (נָפַל) [pronounced naw-FAHL]

falling, lying; is dying a violent death, being brought down

Qal active participle

Strong's #5307 BDB #656

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

sâdeh (שָׂדֶה) [pronounced saw-DEH]

field, land, country, open field, open country; an unpopulated area

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #7704 BDB #961


Translation: ...lying in an unpopulated area... The word here is sâdeh (שָׂדֶה) [pronounced saw-DEH], which means field, land, country, open field, open country; an unpopulated area. Strong’s #7704 BDB #961. This means that there are no witnesses and likely that there is no physical evidence which can be evaluated.


This is logical that a murderer would attempt his crimes outside of a populated area, so that there are no witnesses, thus making a conviction much more difficult. In this way, the murderer might not even be suspected.


Deuteronomy 21:1d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lôʾ (לֹא or לוֹא) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

yâdaʿ (יָדַע) [pronounced yaw-DAHĢ]

to be known, to become known; to be instructed, to be taught by experience, to be punished

3rd person masculine singular, Niphal perfect

Strong’s #3045 BDB #393

mîy (מִי) [pronounced mee]

who, whom; whose, whomever; what; occasionally rendered how, in what way

pronominal interrogative; the verb to be may be implied

Strong’s #4310 BDB #566

nâkâh (נָכָה) [pronounced naw-KAWH]

to smite, to assault, to hit, to strike, to strike [something or someone] down, to defeat, to conquer, to subjugate

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil perfect with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong #5221 BDB #645


Translation: ...and it is not known who killed him,... If there is anyone in this vicinity, they are unaware of the killing or unaware of who might have killed this person who is found.


Moses is saying that this incident cannot be ignored. They cannot simply open up a file box on this murder, keep in it a few pieces of physical evidence, and then file it away.


This ceremony will temporarily cover over the crime, as there will come a time for the paying of all debts and the administration of punishment for every crime. Isa. 26:21 For behold, Jehovah comes out of His place to punish the people of the earth for their iniquity; the earth also shall reveal her blood, and shall no more cover her dead. We may think of this as God finding the murderer and shaking him and punishing him; but the way that this is accomplished is, Jesus Christ will die for that sin; Jesus Christ will pay for the penalty by His substitutionary death. In many ways, this ceremony will reflect the manner in which our sins are dealt with.


The first verse reads: When a slain man is found on the ground (which [land] Yehowah your Elohim is giving to you to inherit it), lying in an unpopulated area and it is not known who killed him,... This chapter begins like the prologue of a murder mystery. The scene here is an unsolved murder. The body was found out in a field and there are no witnesses and no suspects.


——————————


And have come forth your elders and your judges and they have measured unto the cities which [are] round about the slain [one].

Deuteronomy

21:2

...then your elders and your judges will come out and they will measure to the cities which [are] near to [lit., round about] the slain man.

...then your elders and judges will come out and measure to the cities which are near to the dead man.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                ...then two of the sages will proceed from the chief court of judgment, and three of your judges, and will measure to the surrounding cities which lie on the four quarters from the (spot where) the dead man (is found);...

Latin Vulgate                          ...Your ancients and judges will go out, and will measure from the place where the body lies the distance of every city round about:...

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And have come forth your elders and your judges and they have measured unto the cities which [are] round about the slain [one].

Peshitta (Syriac)                    ...Then your elders and your judges shall come forth, and they shall measure the distance to the cities which are round about him that is slain; ...

Septuagint (Greek)                ...then your elders and your judges shall come forth, and shall measure the distances of the cities round about the slain man.

 

Significant differences:           The targum adds a lot of prose; the ancient translations, however, are very similar to the Hebrew.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Contemporary English V.       The judges and other leaders from the towns around there must find out what town is the closest to where the body was found.

Easy English                          You may not know who has killed him. Then this is what you must do: Your leaders and *judges must measure how far the dead man is from the nearest towns.

Easy-to-Read Version            Then your leaders and judges must come out and measure the distance to the towns around the person that was killed.

Good News Bible (TEV)         Your leaders and judges are to go out and measure the distance from the place where the body was found to each of the nearby towns.

New Life Bible                        ...then your leaders and judges will go out and see how far it is to the cities that are around the dead man.

New Living Translation           In such a case, your elders and judges must measure the distance from the site of the crime to the nearby towns.

The Voice                               5 Send for the priests, the descendants of Levi, the ones the Eternal your God chose to serve Him and to bless His name, because they're the ones who settle disputes and handle cases of injury like this [Verse 5 has been moved forward to aid in comprehension.]. 2 Have your elders and judges measure the distance from the body to the nearby cities. V. 5 is included here for context.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          ... your elders and judges must go there and measure the distances from the slain man to the cities round about.

New Advent (Knox) Bible       ...elders and judges must betake themselves to the spot where he lies, and find by measurement which of the neighbouring cities is nearest at hand.

New American Bible (R.E.)    ...your elders and judges shall go out and measure the distances to the cities that are in the neighborhood of the corpse.

NIRV                                      Then your elders and judges will go out and measure how far it is from the body to the nearby towns.

New Jerusalem Bible             ...your elders and scribes must measure the distance between the victim and the surrounding towns,...

Revised English Bible            ...your elders and your judges are to come out and measure the distance to the surrounding towns to establish which is nearest.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      Your elders and your judges proceed, and they measure to the cities around the desecrated.

Bible in Basic English             Then your responsible men and your judges are to come out, and give orders for the distance from the dead body to the towns round about it to be measured;...

The Expanded Bible              Your elders and judges should go to where the ·body [Lcorpse] was found, and they should measure how far it is to the nearby cities.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 ...your chiefs and magistrates shall go and measure to the towns that are round about the corpse,...

NET Bible®                             ...your elders and judges must go out and measure how far it is to the cities in the vicinity of the corpse [Heb "surrounding the slain [one]."].

NIV – UK                                ...your elders and judges shall go out and measure the distance from the body to the neighboring towns.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

exeGeses companion Bible   ...then your elders and your judges come

and measure to the cities all around the pierced:...

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               ...your elders and magistrates shall go out and measure the distances from the corpse to the nearby towns.

Kaplan Translation                 Your elders and judges [A total of five members of the Sanhedrin (Yad, Rotze'ach 9:1).] must go out and measure the distance to the cities around the corpse.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           ...Then thy zekenim and thy shofetim shall come forth, and they shall measure unto the towns which are round about him that is slain;...


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    ...then your elders and your judges will go forth and measure the distance to the cities that are around the mortally wounded one.

English Standard Version      ...then your elders and your judges shall come out, and they shall measure the distance to the surrounding cities.

NASB                                     ...then your elders and your judges shall go out and measure the distance to the cities which are around the slain one.

New RSV                               ...then your elders and your judges shall come out to measure the distances to the towns that are near the body.

Webster’s Bible Translation  ...then your elders and your judges shall come forth, and they shall measure to the cities which are round about him who is slain:...

Young’s Updated LT             Then have your elders and your judges gone out and measured unto the cities which are round about the slain one.

 

The gist of this verse:          Elders and judges will come out and determine which city is closest to the corpse.


Deuteronomy 21:2a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

yâtsâʾ (יָצָא) [pronounced yaw-TZAWH]

to go [come] out, to go [come] forth; to rise; to flow, to gush up [out]

3rd person masculine plural, Qal perfect

Strong's #3318 BDB #422

zeqênîym (זְקֵנִים) [pronounced zê-kay-NEEM]

old men; elders; chiefs, respected ones

masculine plural adjective; used as a substantive; with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #2205 BDB #278

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

shâphaţ (שָפַט) [pronounced shaw-FAHT]

those judging, the ones judging [governing]; judges, governors

masculine plural, Qal active participle with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #8199 BDB #1047


Translation: ...then your elders and your judges will come out... There is a procedure when a murder has occurred, but there are no suspects. The elders and judges will come out, in part to look over the scene and consider the situation. Although that is not said, that is likely a part of this.


The elders represented the people in general; the men who were respected in their community; men who were older and wiser in almost all affairs. The judges were those who tried the various legal cases and had been elected or appointed (recall that there was never a specific method given for their office). With the priests represented in v. 5, we have people taken from all sectors of society in this matter.


Therefore, the elders represent the citizens in general while the judges represent the government leadership.


Deuteronomy 21:2b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

mâdad (מָדַד) [pronounced maw-DAHD]

to stretch out, to extend; to measure

3rd person masculine plural, Qal perfect

Strong’s #4058 BDB #551

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

ʿîyr (עִיר) [pronounced ģeer]

encampment, city, town

feminine plural noun with the definite article

Strong's #5892 BDB #746

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced uh-SHER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun; sometimes the verb to be is implied

Strong's #834 BDB #81

çâbîyb (סָבִיב) [pronounced sawb-VEEBV]

those surrounding, surrounders; places round about, a circuit; all around; on every side

substantive

Strong’s #5439 BDB #686

châlâl (חָלָל) [pronounced chaw-LAWL]

slain, fatally wounded, wounded, pierced; from a verb which means to bore, to pierce

masculine singular noun (or adjective) with the definite article

Strong’s #2491 BDB #319


Translation: ...and they will measure to the cities which [are] near to [lit., round about] the slain man. Their purpose is stated here, that they would determine how far away the nearest cities are. This would imply that people of that era had a way to measure long distances, although that method is not clearly laid out for us.


Israel will begin as a series of hamlets which will be held together through a road system and through the headship of Jesus Christ, so it would be most likely that the city nearest the body would contain the person or persons responsible for the death.


All that is being determined here is jurisdiction; to which city did this crime belong? Law enforcement agencies practice this sort of thing all the time.


Bear in mind what might happen while this is occurring—these elders who fan out in various directions may come across physical evidence or even across the man who committed this deed. So, even though the intention of this “measuring exercise” is to execute an animal vicariously for this crime, there is the slight possibility that the true killer might be found by this act.


Vv. 1–2 read: When a slain man is found on the ground (which [land] Yehowah your Elohim is giving to you), lying in an unpopulated area and it is not known who killed him, then your elders and your judges will come out and they will measure to the cities which [are] near to [lit., round about] the slain man. There is an unsolved and unsolvable murder. There are no witnesses and no suspects. Therefore, this murder must be dealt with, as all crime must be punished, even if the guilty person is not known. The first thing to determine is, which city is nearest to this man. This presupposes and lot of small cities throughout the Land of Promise, which there would be (see Joshua 15, for example).


Sin and crime both affect the population where the sins or crimes are committed. Therefore, the ceremony which expiated the crime must occur in association with the people of that area where the crime occurred. This is why measurements are taken to find the city closest to the crime.


You certainly do not need to study what follows; read enough to see that all kinds of things are read into this text which are not there.

Legalistic Confusion Associated with Deuteronomy 21:2

Then your elders and your judges will come out...


From the city or cities near to which the murder was committed, to make inquiry about it, and expiation for it; so Aben Ezra interprets it of the elders of the cities near, but others understand it of the elders of the great sanhedrim at Jerusalem; so the Targum of Jonathan,"then shall go out from the great sanhedrim two of thy wise men, and three of thy judges;''and more expressly the Misnah (l),"three go out from the great sanhedrim in Jerusalem;''R. Judah says five,"it is said "thy elders" two, and "thy judges" two,''and there is no sanhedrim or court of judicature equal (or even), therefore they add to them one more.

...and they will measure to the cities which [are] near to [lit., round about] the slain man.


Maimonides (m) says, they do not behead the heifer for, nor measure, but to a city in which there is a sanhedrim: if it is found between two cities (that is, at an equal distance), both bring two heifers (Maimonides (n) says they bring one between them, which is most reasonable); but the city of Jerusalem does not bring an heifer to be beheaded: the reason is, because it was not divided to the tribes (o). This measuring, one would think, should be only necessary when it was not certain which was the nearest city; and yet Maimonides (p) says, even when it was found on the side of a city, which was certainly known to be nearest, they measured; the command, he observes, is to measure.

The point here is, there are a great many opinions put together by the rabbis which have no place as standing as accurate commentary. They are the laws of men rather than of God, which Jesus condemned (Matt. 23:1–39).

Both quotations from Dr. John Gill, John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible; from e-Sword, Deut. 21:2 (which has the references from which these opinions were mined).


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


What we have here is not difficult: When a slain man is found on the ground (which [land] Yehowah your Elohim is giving to you), lying in an unpopulated area and it is not known who killed him, then your elders and your judges will come out and they will measure to the cities which [are] near to [lit., round about] the slain man. There is an unsolved murder, and representatives of the people and of the government are brought out to determine which city has jurisdiction and, therefore, which city will be considered in the sphere of responsibility. How all of the other hoo-hah listed above was developed is beyond me, and exceeds the scope of Scripture.


——————————


And he has been the city the near unto the slain [one] and have taken elders of the city the that an heifer of a herd which has not been worked in her, which has not been drawn in a yoke.

Deuteronomy

21:3

And it has been, the nearest city to the slain man—the elders of that city will take a heifer of the herd, [one] which has not been made to work [and one] which has not been drawn by a yoke.

Once the nearest city to the slain man has been determined, the elders from that city will take a heifer which has not been yoked or made to work.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                ...and the city which is nearest to the dead man, being the suspected one, let the chief court of justice take means for absolution (or disculpation). Let the sages, the elders of that city, take an heifer from the herd, not commixed, an heifer of the year, which hath not been wrought with nor hath drawn in the yoke:...

Latin Vulgate                          ...And the ancients of that city which they shall perceive to be nearer than the rest, shall take a heifer of the herd, that hath not drawn in the yoke, nor ploughed the ground,...

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And he has been the city the near unto the slain [one] and have taken elders of the city the that an heifer of a herd which has not been worked in her, which has not been drawn in a yoke.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    ...And the elders of the city which is nearest to the slain man shall take a heifer which has never been used for work nor has pulled in the yoke,...

Septuagint (Greek)                And it shall be that the city which is nearest to the slain man, the elders of that city shall take a heifer of the herd, which has not labored, and which has not borne a yoke.

 

Significant differences:           The targum, as usual, has a lot of extra text. The Latin appears to condense the text somewhat (based upon the English translation from the Latin).


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           Once it is determined which city is closest to the dead body, its elders must take a young cow that hasn't been used or yet pulled a plow,...

Contemporary English V.       The leaders from that town will go to their cattle herds and choose a young cow that has never been put to work.

Easy English                          Then the leaders from the nearest town must take a young cow that has never pulled a plough.

Easy-to-Read Version            When you learn which town is nearest to the dead man, the leaders of that town must take a cow from their herds. It must be a cow that never had a calf. And it must be a cow that has never been used for work.

Good News Bible (TEV)         Then the leaders of the town nearest to where the body was found are to select a young cow that has never been used for work.

The Message                         The leaders and judges of the city that is nearest the corpse will then take a heifer that has never been used for work, never had a yoke on it.

New Century Version             The elders of the city nearest the body must take a young cow that has never worked or worn a yoke,...

New Life Bible                        The leaders of the city that is nearest to the dead man will take a young cow from the cattle. The cow must never have been worked or pulled a plow.

New Living Translation           When the nearest town has been determined, that town's elders must select from the herd a young cow that has never been trained or yoked to a plow.

The Voice                               The elders of the city that's closest to the body will have jurisdiction and offer a special sacrifice. Have them take a heifer that has never been put to work pulling a yoke,...


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          And from whichever city is nearest to him, the elders of that city must choose a heifer from the herd that has never worn a yoke or been worked,...

Christian Community Bible     ...to 3 determine which city is nearest to the dead man.

And the leaders of that city shall take a calf that has never been used for work or borne a yoke. The last word of v. 2 is included for context.

New Advent (Knox) Bible       It is for the elders of the nearest city to do what must be done. They will choose out from the herd a heifer that has never borne yoke or ploughed furrow,...

New American Bible              When it is established which city is nearest the corpse, the elders of that city shall take a heifer that has never been put to work as a draft animal under a yoke,...

New American Bible (R.E.)    When it is established which city is nearest the corpse, the elders of that city shall take a heifer that has never been put to work or worn a yoke;... Num. 19:2-3.

NIRV                                      The elders from the town that is nearest to the body will get a young cow. It must never have been used for work. It must never have pulled a load.

New Jerusalem Bible             ...and establish which town is the nearest to the victim. The elders of that town must then take a heifer that has not yet been put to work or used as a draught animal under the yoke.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      The elders of that city that are nearest to the desecrated take an oxen heifer which never served, and which never followed the yoke.

Bible in Basic English             And whichever town is nearest to the body, the responsible men of that town are to take from the herd a young cow which has never been used for work or put under the yoke;...

The Expanded Bible              The elders of the city nearest the body must take a ·young cow [heifer] that has never worked or ·worn [Lpulled] a yoke,...

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 Then the head man of that town shall take a heifer from the herd, which has not worked, —which has not drawn wheels,...

HCSB                                     The elders of the city nearest to the victim are to get a cow that has not been yoked or used for work.

NET Bible®                             Then the elders of the city nearest to the corpse [Heb "slain [one]."] must take from the herd a heifer that has not been worked - that has never pulled with the yoke -...


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           After it has been determined which town is the closest, the leaders of that town are to take a young female cow that has never been put to work or yoked for use as a draft animal.

exeGeses companion Bible   ...and so be it,

the city nearest to the pierced,

even the elders of that city

take a heifer of the oxen which neither served

nor drawn in the yoke;...

Judaica Press Complete T.    And it will be, that from the city closer to the corpse, the elders of that city shall take a calf with which work has never been done, and that has never drawn a yoke,...

Kaplan Translation                 The elders of the city closest to the corpse must then bring a female calf [Under two years old (Yad, Rotze'ach 10:2).], which has never been worked, and which has never drawn a load with a yoke.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           ...And it shall be, that the town which is next unto the slain man, even the zekenim of that town shall take a heifer, which hath not been worked with, and which hath not pulled the ol (yoke);...


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    And it will come to be that of the city nearest to the mortally wounded one, the elders of that city will take a heifer of the herd by which no one has been served and which has not drawn in a yoke.

Context Group Version          ...and it shall be, that the city which is nearest to the slain man, even the elders of that city shall take a heifer of the herd, which has not been produced with, and which has not drawn in the yoke;...

English Standard Version      And the elders of the city that is nearest to the slain man shall take a heifer that has never been worked and that has not pulled in a yoke.

New RSV                               The elders of the town nearest the body shall take a heifer that has never been worked, one that has not pulled in the yoke;...

Webster’s Bible Translation  ...And it shall be [that] the city [which is] next to the slain man, even the elders of that city shall take a heifer which hath not been wrought with, [and] which hath not drawn in the yoke;...

World English Bible                ...and it shall be, that the city which is nearest to the slain man, even the elders of that city shall take a heifer of the herd, which hasn't been worked with, and which has not drawn in the yoke;...

Young’s Updated LT             And it has been, the city which is near unto the slain one, even the elders of that city have taken a heifer of the herd, which has not been wrought with, which has not drawn in the yoke.

 

The gist of this verse:          The ceremony will begin with a heifer taken from the city nearest the slain man; and this must be a heifer which has not been worked before or had a yoke upon it.


Deuteronomy 21:3a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hâyâh (הָיָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

Without a specific subject and object, the verb hâyâh often means and it will come to be, and it will come to pass, then it came to pass (with the wâw consecutive). It may be more idiomatically rendered subsequently, afterwards, later on, in the course of time, after which. Generally, the verb does not match the gender whatever nearby noun could be the subject (and, as often, there is no noun nearby which would fulfill the conditions of being a subject).

ʿîyr (עִיר) [pronounced ģeer]

encampment, city, town

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #5892 BDB #746

qârôb (קָרֹב) or qârôwb (קָרוֹב) [pronounced kaw-ROBV]

near [in place or time], contiguous, imminent, within a short pace; short, shortness; near in relation, intimate acquaintance; that which is familiar to us; one who brings aide to another; soon, presently

masculine adjective; can be used as a substantive with the definite article

Strong’s #7138 BDB #898

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

châlâl (חָלָל) [pronounced chaw-LAWL]

slain, fatally wounded, wounded, pierced; from a verb which means to bore, to pierce

masculine singular noun (or adjective) with the definite article

Strong’s #2491 BDB #319


Translation: And it has been, the nearest city to the slain man... People will determine which city is nearest to the man who has been murdered. This is the city of primary jurisdiction as well as the city which will be associated with the crime in terms of responsibility.


A substitute will be taken from this city—a substitute for the person who did this deed (the assumption is, the person who committed this crime lives in the nearest city). Now, quite obviously, we do not know that to be true, nor is the Bible asserting that the killer had to come from the nearest city. That is simply to city to be associated with the crime.


The idea is that every crime and every misdeed must be paid for. There is nothing wrong done by man that God may overlook. If the true criminal here is not determined, then a substitute must be punished. And when our sins are judged, God cannot overlook any of them. That would be a compromise to His righteousness and justice.


Deuteronomy 21:3b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lâqach (לָקַח) [pronounced law-KAHKH]

to take, to take away, to take in marriage; to seize

3rd person plural, Qal perfect

Strong’s #3947 BDB #542

zeqênîym (זְקֵנִים) [pronounced zê-kay-NEEM]

old men; elders; chiefs, respected ones

masculine plural adjective; construct form

Strong’s #2205 BDB #278

ʿîyr (עִיר) [pronounced ģeer]

encampment, city, town

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #5892 BDB #746

hûwʾ (הוּא) [pronounced hoo]

that; this; same

masculine singular, demonstrative pronoun with a definite article

Strong’s #1931 BDB #214

ʿegelâh (עֶגְָה) [pronounced ģege-LAW]

heifer

feminine singular construct

Strong’s #5697 BDB #722

bâqâr (בָּקָר) [pronounced baw-KAWR]

bull, cow, ox, collectively: herd, cattle, oxen

masculine singular collective noun

Strong’s #1241 BDB #133


Translation: ...—the elders of that city will take a heifer of the herd,... There are some details left out here; when that city has been determined, then the original elders and judges will go to that city and tell the elders of that city to get a heifer. This heifer is going to be the substitutionary beast which will be executed on behalf of the criminal who killed the man in this narrative.


Bear in mind that, Moses is just making up a scenario or he is dealing with a previous case history which he has come across, and he is going to tell the Israelites what needs to be done in case something like this happens.


This is a heifer who has never been worked nor has never had a yoke upon her. The last time that there was a call for a sacrifice of an animal which had not been yoked was in Num. 19:2 in the ordinance of the red heifer, immediately prior to the thirty-eight silent years. This was also related to purification from contact with the dead. In this context, the town itself, due to its proximity to the crime, is considered unclean.


Again, an unsolved murder cannot be allowed to simply stand, and eventually fade from view. It must be dealt with, if only ceremonially.


Deuteronomy 21:3c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced uh-SHER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun; sometimes the verb to be is implied

Strong's #834 BDB #81

lôʾ (לֹא or לוֹא) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

ʿâbad (עָבַד) [pronounced ģawb-VAHD]

to be worked; to be under very hard bondage [labor, servitude]

3rd person masculine singular, Pual perfect

Strong's #5647 BDB #712

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity with the 3rd person feminine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #88


Translation:...[one] which has not been made to work... This is a heifer which has not yet been made to work.


This is an odd construction here. Heifer is a feminine singular noun, but the verb is a masculine singular with a preposition and the feminine singular suffix. I don’t quite get this, as the verb is in the passive stem, which would mean that this was done to the heifer.


The idea here is, they could not take a heifer from this city who was worn out and worthless. This had to be a valuable animal, an animal of worth. When a sacrifice was required by God, it could not be a sacrifice of something which was no longer needed in that city.


Deuteronomy 21:3d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced uh-SHER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun; sometimes the verb to be is implied

Strong's #834 BDB #81

lôʾ (לֹא or לוֹא) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

mâshake (מָשַ) [pronounced maw-SHAHKe]

to draw out, to lure, to drag, to continue with something, to proceed to, to march to

2nd person feminine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #4900 BDB #604

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

ʿôl (עֹל) [pronounced ģohl]

yoke

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #5923 BDB #760


Translation:...[and one] which has not been drawn by a yoke. This is a heifer who has never been made to be pulled along with an yoke.


Unlike the previous phrase, here the verb is a feminine singular verb, as we would expect.


Again, the innocent beast taken for this ritual could not be a beast who had given its time, and was ready to be killed anyway. This had to be a heifer whose worth or value had not yet been utilized.


Vv. 1–3 read: When a slain man is found on the ground (which [land] Yehowah your Elohim is giving to you), lying in an unpopulated area and it is not known who killed him,then your elders and your judges will come out and they will measure to the cities which [are] near to [lit., round about] the slain man. And it has been, the nearest city to the slain man—the elders of that city will take a heifer of the herd, [one] which has not been made to work [and one] which has not been drawn by a yoke.


Now, why, in this city—which may not even be the city of the criminal—is an animal taken?

Why is an animal taken to sacrifice from this city?

1.      No sin and no crime may go unpunished. God must deal with every sin committed by a people.

2.      Now, quite obviously, there is not going to be a ceremony done every time a person thinks some evil thought, but there were ceremonies for rebound in the Levitical offerings.

3.      The idea that no criminal act may go unpunished is parallel to God not allowing any sin to go unpunished.

4.      God is perfect justice and perfect righteousness. He is unable to view sin and simply disregard it.

5.      God cannot view a criminal act as heinous as murder without dealing with it.

6.      God must deal with every sin and every crime; otherwise, God is not God.

7.      Therefore, God requires from the nearest city a sacrifice to cover this crime.

8.      As a city, there are laws and behavior which must be taught to each successive generation. The implication here is, this city did not pass along these values clearly to the next generation.

9.      The heifer sacrificed cannot be a useless animal or an animal which has been completely used up; this must be an animal which is valuable to the city. Hence, it cannot have done work or borne a yoke.

10.    Therefore, an heifer must be taken in substitute for the actual murderer, who is presumably from this city.

And, it ought to be obvious, that the substitutionary nature of this sacrifice points forward to Jesus Christ, Who will (future from this sermon) die for our sins.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


——————————


And will lead down elders of the town the this the heifer unto a valley ever-flowing which he does not work in him and he is not sown. And have broken there [the neck of] the heifer in the valley.

Deuteronomy

21:4

The elders of that town will lead the heifer down into an ever flowing torrent, which (valley) has not been tilled and which (valley) has not been sown. There they will break the neck of the heifer in the torrent valley.

The elders of that town will lead this heifer down into well-watered valley which has not been plowed or sown. There, in that valley, they will break the neck of the heifer.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                ...and the sages of that city will bring the heifer down into an uncultivated field, where the ground has not been tilled by work, nor sowed; and let them there behead the heifer from behind her with an axe (or knife, dolch) in the midst of the field.

Latin Vulgate                          And they shall bring her into a rough and stony valley, that never was ploughed, nor sown: and there they shall strike off the head of the heifer.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And will lead down elders of the town the this the heifer unto a valley ever-flowing which he does not work in him and he is not sown. And have broken there [the neck of] the heifer in the valley.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And the elders of that city shall bring down the heifer to a barren valley which has never been ploughed nor sown, and shall slaughter the heifer there in the valley;...

Septuagint (Greek)                And the elders of that city shall bring down the heifer into a rough valley, which has not been tilled and is not sown, and they shall slay the heifer in the valley.

 

Significant differences:           The Latin appears to leave out the elders of this town leading the heifer.

 

The Hebrew appears to have the neck of the heifer broken. The Latin and targum both have the heifer being beheaded; the Syriac and Greek only speak of it being slain (based upon the English translations). The Hebrew verb found here is a rare one.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           ...and those elders will take the cow down to a ravine with a flowing stream-one that has not been plowed or planted-and they will break the cow's neck right there in the river valley.

Contemporary English V.       They and some of the priests will take this cow to a nearby valley where there is a stream, but no crops. Once they reach the valley, the leaders will break the cow's neck. The priests must be there, because the LORD your God has chosen them to be his special servants at the place of worship. The LORD has chosen them to bless the people in his name and to be judges in all legal cases, whether property or injury is involved. The CEV incorporates several verses here.

Easy English                          They must lead her down to a valley that no one has ploughed or planted. There must be a stream full of water. There they must break her neck.

Easy-to-Read Version            The leaders of that town must then bring the cow down to a valley with running water. It must be a valley that has never been plowed or had anything planted in it. Then the leaders must break the cow’s neck there in that valley.

Good News Bible (TEV)         They are to take it down to a spot near a stream that never runs dry and where the ground has never been plowed or planted, and there they are to break its neck.

New Century Version             ...and they must lead her down to a valley that has never been plowed or planted, with a stream flowing through it. There they must break the young cow's neck.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          ...then lead it into a valley that has never been tilled or planted, and slaughter the heifer there.

God’s Word                         The leaders of that city will bring the heifer down to a river, to a location where the land hasn't been plowed or planted. At the river they must break the heifer's neck.

New Advent (Knox) Bible       ...and in some wild and rugged glen, that was never ploughed or sown, this heifer must have its neck broken.

New American Bible              ...and bringing it down to a wadi with an everflowing stream at a place that has not been plowed or sown, they shall cut the heifer's throat there in the wadi.

New American Bible (R.E.)    ...the elders of that city shall bring the heifer down to a wadi with an everflowing stream at a place that has not been plowed or sown, and shall break the heifer's neck there in the wadi.

NIRV                                      The elders must lead it down into a valley. The valley must not have been farmed. There must be a stream flowing through it. There in the valley the elders must break the cow's neck.

New Jerusalem Bible             The elders of that town must bring the heifer down to a permanently flowing river, to a spot that has been neither ploughed nor sown, and there by the river they must break the heifer's neck.

New Simplified Bible              »The elders of that city will bring the heifer down to a river, to a location where the land has not been plowed or planted. At the river they must break the heifer's neck.

Today’s NIV                          ...and lead it down to a valley that has not been plowed or planted and where there is a flowing stream. There in the valley they are to break the heifer's neck.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      The elders of that city descend the heifer which never served and never sowed into an everflowing riverbed, and behead the heifer in the riverbed.

Bible in Basic English             And they are to take the cow into a valley where there is flowing water, and which is not ploughed or planted, and there the neck of the cow is to be broken:...

The Expanded Bible              ...and they must lead her down to a ·valley [wadi] that has never been plowed or planted, with a ·stream [wadi] flowing through it. There they must break the ·young cow's [heifer's] neck.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 ...—and the head man of that town shall cause the heifer to be taken down to a vale with a constantly flowing brook, which has not been cultivated nor reaped, and break the neck of the heifer at the brook.

NET Bible®                             ...and bring the heifer down to a wadi with flowing water [The combination “a wadi with flowing water” is necessary because a wadi (נַחַל, nakhal) was ordinarily a dry stream or riverbed. For this ritual, however, a perennial stream must be chosen so that there would be fresh, rushing water.], to a valley that is neither plowed nor sown [The unworked heifer, fresh stream, and uncultivated valley speak of ritual purity - of freedom from human contamination.]. There at the wadi they are to break the heifer's neck

NIV, ©2011                             3 Then the elders of the town nearest the body shall take a heifer that has never been worked and has never worn a yoke 4 and lead it down to a valley that has not been plowed or planted and where there is a flowing stream. There in the valley they are to break the heifer's neck. V. 3 is included for context.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           The leaders of that town are to bring the heifer down to a vadi with a stream in it that never dries up, to a place that is neither plowed nor sown; and they are to break the cow's neck there in the vadi.

exeGeses companion Bible   ...and the elders of that city

descend the heifer to a perennial wadi,

- neither served nor seeded

and break the neck of the heifer there in the wadi:...

Judaica Press Complete T.    ...and the elders of that city shall bring the calf down to a rugged valley, which was neither tilled nor sown, and there in the valley, they shall decapitate the calf.

Kaplan Translation                 The elders of the city shall bring the calf to a swiftly flowing [Yad, Rotze'ach 9:2; Ralbag; HaKethav VeHaKabbalah) Ethan in Hebrew; cf. Exodus 14:27, Psalms 74:15 (Chizzkuni). Or, 'harsh' (Sotah 45b; Rashi; cf. Numbers 21:24), 'fertile' (Radak, Sherashim; cf. Amos 5:24), or, 'rough' (Septuagint).] stream [(Yad, Rotze'ach; Radak, Sherashim; cf. Midrash Aggadah). Nachal in Hebrew. Or, 'valley' (Rashi; Septuagint), 'field' (Targum Yonathan), or, 'wadi' (Ibn Janach). See above note.], [the land around which [(Chizzkuni; cf. Minchath Chinukh 531).]] must never be [(Sefer HaMitzvoth, Negative 309; Makkoth 22a). There is a question as to whether the forbidden distance around the place where the calf was killed must be four cubits or fifty cubits (Yerushalmi, Sotah 9:5).] worked or sown. There at the stream, they shall decapitate [Araph in Hebrew (see Yerushalmi, Sotah 9:5). See note on Exodus 13:13. However, there is a Midrashic opinion, that the calf is merely struck on the back of the neck so that it will run away and find the house of the murderer (Midrash Aggadah; Bachya).] the calf.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           ...And the zekenim of that town shall bring down the heifer unto a wadi with running water, which is neither plowed nor sown, and shall break the heifer's neck there in the wadi;...


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    The elders of that city will bring the heifer down to a perennial watercourse by which no one was served and it was not sown, and they will behead the heifer there in the watercourse.

Darby Translation                  ...and the elders of that city shall bring down the heifer unto an ever-flowing watercourse, which is not tilled, nor is it sown, and shall break the heifer's neck there in the watercourse;...

Emphasized Bible                  ...and the elders of that city shall take down the heifer into a ravine with an everflowing stream, which is neither tilled nor sown,—and shall behead there the heifer in the ravine.

The Geneva Bible                  And the elders of that city shall bring down the heifer unto a rough valley, which is neither eared nor sown, and shall strike off the heifers neck there in the valley. That the blood shed of the innocent beasts in a solitary place, might make them abhor the fact.

Green’s Literal Translation    And the elders of that city shall bring the heifer down to an ever-flowing stream, which is not plowed nor sown. And they shall break the heifer's neck there by the stream.

New RSV                               ...the elders of that town shall bring the heifer down to a wadi with running water, which is neither ploughed nor sown, and shall break the heifer's neck there in the wadi.

Third Millennium Bible            ...and the elders of that city shall bring down the heifer unto a rough valley, which is neither eared nor sown, and shall strike off the heifer's neck there in the valley.

Webster’s Bible Translation  And the elders of that city shall bring down the heifer to a rough valley, which is neither tilled nor sown, and shall strike off the heifer's neck there in the valley;...

World English Bible                ...and the elders of that city shall bring down the heifer to a valley with running water, which is neither plowed nor sown, and shall break the heifer's neck there in the valley.

Young’s Updated LT             And the elders of that city have brought down the heifer unto a hard valley, which is not tilled nor sown, and have beheaded there the heifer in the valley.

 

The gist of this verse:          The elders are to take this heifer to a valley which is not been tilled nor sown with seed, and break the neck of the heifer there.


Deuteronomy 21:4a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

yârad (יָרַד) [pronounced yaw-RAHD]

to cause to go down, to cause to come down, to bring down, to lead down

3rd person plural, Hiphil perfect

Strong’s #3381 BDB #432

zeqênîym (זְקֵנִים) [pronounced zê-kay-NEEM]

old men; elders; chiefs, respected ones

masculine plural adjective; construct form

Strong’s #2205 BDB #278

ʿîyr (עִיר) [pronounced ģeer]

encampment, city, town

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #5892 BDB #746

hûwʾ (הוּא) [pronounced hoo]

that; this; same

masculine singular, demonstrative pronoun with a definite article

Strong’s #1931 BDB #214

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ʿegelâh (עֶגְָה) [pronounced ģege-LAW]

heifer

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #5697 BDB #722


Translation: The elders of that town will lead the heifer down... The elders of the city closest to the unsolved murder will lead this heifer down into a valley.


It is unclear whether the other elders came from, but this time, we are dealing with the elders from the city closest to the dead body. They have taken a heifer from their city and they will lead this heifer.


Deuteronomy 21:4b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

nachal (נַחַל) [pronounced NAHKH-al]

brook, torrent; valley

masculine singular noun

Strong's #5158 BDB #636

ʾêthân (אֵתָן) [pronounced â-thawn]

 perennial, ever-flowing, permanent, constant; well-established

masculine singular adjective

Strong's #386 (#388?) BDB #450

This is a word used primarily of water; however, in reference to a nation or a person, this is one which has been around for a long time in a position of importance.


Translation: ...into an ever flowing torrent,... The valley is called perennial, ever-flowing, well-established; and what is suggested is, there is always water in this valley, in the torrent which runs through.


There are two words used to describe this valley: the word is nachal (נַחַל) [pronounced NAHKH-al], which is a torrent of rushing water through a narrow channel. Since a torrent or a river tends to run through a valley area, this word is also used to refer to the valley that a river might run through. Strong's #5158 BDB #636. In this verse, it is further modified by the adjective ʾêthân (אֵתָן) [pronounced â-thawn] and which means perennial, ever-flowing, and therefore, permanent. Strong's #386 BDB #450 (Strong’s places this with the aleph’s and BDB with the yod’s). Therefore, this is a river which is continual; it does not dry up.

 

Clarke: [This is] a rapid stream, probably passing through a piece of uncultivated ground where the elders of the city were to strike off the head of the heifer, and to wash their hands over her in token of their innocence. The spot of ground on which this sacrifice was made must be uncultivated, because it was considered to be a sacrifice to make atonement for the murder, and consequently would pollute the land. Footnote


The analogy would be to Jesus Christ, from Whom flow waters of everlasting; with Whom is great refreshment. As Jesus told the Samaritan women at the well: "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." (John 4:14b–15). This ever-flowing torrent indicates that there is to be chosen a river or stream wherein there is always water.


The heifer is going to represent the criminal and die in the stead of the criminal. Quite obviously, this parallels Jesus drying on our behalf, the Just for the unjust.


Deuteronomy 21:4c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced uh-SHER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun; sometimes the verb to be is implied

Strong's #834 BDB #81

lôʾ (לֹא or לוֹא) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

ʿâbad (עָבַד) [pronounced ģawb-VAHD]

to be worked, to be tilled [as land]; to make oneself a servant; to be served [as a king]

3rd person masculine singular, Niphal imperfect

Strong's #5647 BDB #712

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #88


Translation: ...which (valley) has not been tilled... The valley that they need to go to is a valley which has never been tilled. This is parallel to Jesus Christ, Who has committed no sins. There are no furrows in Him.


Deuteronomy 21:4d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lôʾ (לֹא or לוֹא) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

zâra‛ (זָרַא) [pronounced zaw-RAH]

 to be scattered [dispersed, sown]; metaphorically of a woman to be made fruitful; to [be caused to] conceive, to [become, be made] pregnant

3rd person masculine singular, Niphal imperfect

Strong's #2232 BDB #281


Translation: ...and which (valley) has not been sown. This is a valley where seed has never been sown. Again, this is analogous to the Lord Jesus Christ, in Whom there was no sin nature.

 

The Pulpit Commentary: The valley...through which a stream flowed, as is evident from its being described as neither...tilled nor sown; a place which had not been profaned by the hand of man, but was in a state of nature. Footnote


So, we want a place of great refreshment, but a place not plowed or seeded by man; all symbolic references to the Lord Jesus Christ.


Deuteronomy 21:4e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʿâraph (עָרַף) [pronounced ģaw-RAHF]

to break the neck of an animal; figuratively to overthrow, to destroy; originally to pluck, to seize, to pull

3rd person plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #6202 BDB #791

This verb is a homonym; the other meanings are to drip, to drop [down]. This suggests the original meaning probably diverged into two branches. This word is not found very often in the Bible with either meaning.

My version of e-sword mis-identifies this word as Strong’s #6203 (which word does occur in this verse). However, both Owen and qBible.com agree on the verb.

shâm (שָם) [pronounced shawm]

there; at that time, then; therein, in that thing

adverb of place

Strong’s #8033 BDB #1027

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ʿegelâh (עֶגְָה) [pronounced ģege-LAW]

heifer

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #5697 BDB #722

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

nachal (נַחַל) [pronounced NAHKH-al]

brook, torrent; valley

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #5158 BDB #636


Translation: There they will break the neck of the heifer in the torrent valley. The neck of the heifer is broken, representing judgment which is brought upon the heifer, who is obviously innocent of any sort of charge. The heifer has never been yoked and the heifer has never plowed; so, the heifer represents Jesus as separate from the sin nature of man.


This heifer suffers for the crime of the murder. A heifer which has not worked is taken to a valley which has not been worked—a valley with rushing water—and has her neck broken there. The verb is ʿâraph (עָרַף) [pronounced ģaw-RAHF] and we have only had this verb twice before in Ex. 13:13 34:20. This was related to the consecration of the firstborn. Actually, if the firstborn of a donkey has not been redeemed, then the neck of the firstborn donkey is broken. I don’t believe that beheading is the sense of this word. Strong’s #6202 BDB #791.


Breaking the neck is judgment upon the innocent. Quite obviously, the heifer did not commit this crime, so this is the innocent dying on behalf of the guilty.

 

Keil and Delitzsch: Breaking the neck...was a symbolical infliction of the punishment that should have been borne by the murderer, upon the animal which was substituted for him. Footnote


The dead person’s killer was not found, therefore he is not redeemed in the death of the killer. Therefore, the breaking of a neck is the substitution. The heifer which bears this guilt had to be one full of growth and strength, and had not yet been ceremonially profaned by human use. Footnote A death is required for the innocent shedding of blood, as per Gen. 9:5–6. So this sacrifice both speaks of an unprofaned Christ and a substitutionary punishment. The unusual mode of sacrifice distinguishes this animal from the sin-offering, where blood must be shed. Finally, the rushing water speaks of the cleansing which takes place.


The heifer and its killing is a type of Christ; particularly typical of His crucifixion.

The Parallels Between the Heifer and Jesus

The Heifer (Deut. 21:3–4) = the type

Jesus = the antitype

And it has been, the nearest city to the slain man—the elders of that city will take a heifer of the herd,...

There is a nearness or a closeness which must be established. Jesus must be fully man in order to die for our sins. For God is one, and there is one Mediator of God and of men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time (1Tim. 2:5–6; MKJV).

...[one] which has not been made to work...

This cannot be a sacrifice that is worn out; it cannot be the sacrifice of a man who has sinned.

...[and one] which has not been drawn by a yoke.

This cannot be a sacrifice of one under the control of the sin nature. For He has made Him who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2Cor. 5:21; MKJV).

The elders of that town will lead the heifer down into an ever flowing torrent,...

Jesus is the river of ever-flowing waters, always offering us refreshment from this life of evil. “The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him." (John 7:38; HCSB)

...which (valley) has not been tilled...

Jesus cannot be a man of sin. Christ committed no sin, nor was guile found in His mouth (1Peter 2:22).

...and which (valley) has not been sown.

Jesus cannot have a sin nature. For such a high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners and made higher than the heavens, who does not need, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice daily, first for his own sins and then for the people's sins. For He did this once for all, when He offered up Himself (Heb. 7:26–27; MKJV).

There they will break the neck of the heifer in the torrent valley.

Jesus is our substitute, the innocent dying for the guilty; the Just for the unjust. For Christ also once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, indeed being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the Spirit (1Peter 3:18; MKJV).

No sin, no crime, no offense can be overlooked. God’s justice is perfect. No one can die for our sins, apart from Jesus, Who is perfect and undeserving of any judgment.

Each passage in the book of the Law should have some meaning, and this is what we take out of the first few verses of this chapter—the heifer being a type of Christ.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


——————————


And have come forth the priests, sons of Levi, for in them has chosen Yehowah your Elohim to serve Him and to bless in a name of Yehowah. And by their mouth is every dispute and every injury [determined].

Deuteronomy

21:5

The priests, the sons of Levi, will come forward, for Yehowah your Elohim has chosen in them to serve Him and to bless in the name of Yehowah. Furthermore, by their mouth is every dispute and every injury [settled].

Also in this case, the priests, the sons of Levi, will come forward, for Jehovah your God chose them to serve Him and to give their blessings in His name. Furthermore, they will determine the outcome of every dispute and every injury.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And the priests the sons of Levi shall draw near; for the Lord your God has chosen them to minister to Him, and to bless Israel in His Name, and according to their words to resolve every judgment, and in any plague of leprosy to shut up, and pronounce concerning it;...

Latin Vulgate                          And the priests the sons of Levi shall come, whom the Lord thy God hath chosen to minister to him, and to bless in his name, and that by their word every matter should be decided, and whatsoever is clean or unclean should be judged.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And have come forth the priests, sons of Levi, for in them has chosen Yehowah your Elohim to serve Him and to bless in a name of Yehowah. And by their mouth is every dispute and every injury [determined].

Peshitta (Syriac)                    ...And the priests the sons of Levi shall come near, for them the LORD your God has chosen to minister to him, and to bless in the name of the LORD; and by their word shall every lawsuit and every attack be tried...

Septuagint (Greek)                And the priests, the Levites, shall come near, because the Lord God has chosen them to stand by Him, and to bless in His name, and by their word shall every controversy and every stroke be decided.

 

Significant differences:           The Greek has stand by rather than minister to, serve. Both the targum and the Latin add a lot of extra words at the end of this verse. The Syriac seems to add an additional word at the end, which seems to be called for.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           Then the priests, the descendants of Levi, will step forward because the Lord your God selected them to minister for him and to bless in the Lord's name, and because every legal dispute and case of assault is decided by them.

Easy English                          The *priests from the family of Levi must go there too. The *Lord your God has chosen them to do his work. They must also decide what is right and wrong among you.

Easy-to-Read Version            The priests, the descendants of Levi, must also go there. (The Lord your God has chosen these priests to serve him and to bless people in his name. The priests will decide who is right in every argument where a person is hurt.)

Good News Bible (TEV)         The levitical priests are to go there also, because they are to decide every legal case involving violence. The LORD your God has chosen them to serve him and to pronounce blessings in his name.

The Message                         The Levitical priests will then step up. GOD has chosen them to serve him in these matters by settling legal disputes and violent crimes and by pronouncing blessings in GOD's name.

New Berkeley Version           The priestly sons of Levi must come forward, for they have been chosen by the Lord your God to be His ministers to bless in His name, and, by their decisions, to settle every dispute and every case of assault,...

New Century Version             The priests, the sons of Levi, should come forward, because they have been chosen by the Lord your God to serve him and to give blessings in the Lord's name. They are the ones who decide cases of quarreling and attacks.

New Life Bible                        Then the religious leaders, the sons of Levi, will come near for the Lord your God has chosen them to serve Him and to bring good in the name of the Lord. Every question about what is right and every fight will be decided upon by them.

New Living Translation           Then the Levitical priests must step forward, for the Lord your God has chosen them to minister before him and to pronounce blessings in the Lord's name. They are to decide all legal and criminal cases.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Thereafter, the Levite priests must go there (because they're the ones who Jehovah has chosen to represent Him and to praise His Name), and whatever they decide must stand.

Christian Community Bible     The priests, descendants of Levi, shall be present for they were chosen by Yahweh to minister and give the blessings in his name, and they are those who decide on all lawsuits or criminal cases.

God’s Word                         The priests, the descendants of Levi, must come forward. The LORD your God has chosen them to serve him as priests and to bless people in the LORD'S name. Their decision is final in all cases involving a disagreement or an assault.

New Advent (Knox) Bible       Priests must be there, of Levi's race; these are the men whom the Lord thy God has chosen to minister to him, and give their blessing in his name, and also to decide between right and wrong, clean and unclean.

New American Bible              The priests, the descendants of Levi, shall also be present, for the LORD, your God, has chosen them to minister to him and to give blessings in his name, and every case of dispute or violence must be settled by their decision.

New American Bible (R.E.)    The priests, the descendants of Levi, shall come forward, for the LORD, your God, has chosen them to minister to him and to bless in the name of the LORD, and every case of dispute or assault shall be for them to decide.

NIRV                                      The priests, who are sons of Levi, will step forward. The Lord your God has chosen them to serve him. He wants them to bless the people in his name. He wants them to decide all cases that have to do with people arguing and attacking others.

New Jerusalem Bible             The priests, the sons of Levi, will then step forward, these being the men whom Yahweh your God has chosen to serve him and to bless in Yahweh's name, and it being their business to settle all cases of dispute or of violence.

Today’s NIV                          The priests, the sons of Levi, shall step forward, for the LORD your God has chosen them to minister and to pronounce blessings in the name of the LORD and to decide all cases of dispute and assault.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      Approach the priests of the sons of Levi over any argument and any plague. Yahweh your God chose them to minister to him, and to have blessing in the name of Yahweh by their mouth.

Bible in Basic English             Then the priests, the sons of Levi, are to come near; for they have been marked out by the Lord your God to be his servants and to give blessings in the name of the Lord; and by their decision every argument and every blow is to be judged:....

The Expanded Bible              The priests, the sons of Levi, should come forward, because they have been chosen by the Lord your God to serve him and to give blessings in the Lord's name. They are the ones who decide cases of ·quarreling [accusation] and attacks.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 Then the priests of the sons of Levi shall approach, —for the Lord your God chose them to officiate, and to bless the name of the Ever-living, and every contention and every dispute shall be decided by them, with all the Magistrates of the surrounding towns;....

NET Bible®                             Then the Levitical priests [Heb "the priests, the sons of Levi."] will approach (for the Lord your God has chosen them to serve him and to pronounce blessings in his name [Heb "in the name of the Lord." See note on Deut 10:8. The pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons to avoid redundancy.], and to decide [Heb "by their mouth."] every judicial verdict [Heb "every controversy and every blow."]).

NIV, ©2011                             The Levitical priests shall step forward, for the Lord your God has chosen them to minister and to pronounce blessings in the name of the Lord and to decide all cases of dispute and assault.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           Then the cohanim, who are L'vi'im, are to approach; for ADONAI your God has chosen them to serve him and to pronounce blessings in the name of ADONAI; they will decide the outcome of every dispute and matter involving violence.

exeGeses companion Bible   ...and the priests the sons of Levi come near;

for Yah Veh your Elohim

chooses them to minister to him

and to bless in the name of Yah Veh;

and by their mouth

is every dispute and every plague:...

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               The priests, sons of Levi, shall come forward; for the Lord your God has chosen them to minister to Him and to pronounce blessing in the name of the Lord, and every lawsuit and case of assault [Or, “skin affection”; compare Deut. 24:8] is subject to their ruling.

Judaica Press Complete T.    And the kohanim, the sons of Levi, shall approach, for the Lord, your God, has chosen them to serve Him and to bless in the Name of the Lord, and by their mouth shall every controversy and every lesion be judged.

Kaplan Translation                 The priests from the tribe of Levi shall then come forth. (It is these [priests] whom God has chosen to serve Him and to pronounce blessings in God's name, and who are entrusted to decide in cases of litigation and leprous signs.).

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And the kohanim the Bnei Levi shall come near; for them Hashem Eloheicha hath chosen to minister unto Him, and to bless in the Shem of Hashem; and by their word shall every controversy and every assault be tried;...

The Scriptures 1998              “And the priests, the sons of Lĕwi, shall come near, for יהוה your Elohim has chosen them to serve Him and to bless in the Name of יהוה, and by their mouth every strife and every stroke is tried.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                And the priests, the sons of Levi, shall come near, for the Lord your God has chosen them to minister to Him and to bless in the name [and presence] of the Lord, and by their word shall every controversy and every assault be settled.

Concordant Literal Version    Then the priests, the sons of Levi, will come close, for Yahweh your Elohim has chosen them to minister to Him and to bless in the name of Yahweh, and at their bidding every contention and every assault shall come to be settled.

Context Group Version          And the priests, the sons of Levi, shall come near; for YHWH your God has chosen them to minister to him, and to esteem in the name of YHWH; and according to their word shall every controversy and every stroke be.

English Standard Version      Then the priests, the sons of Levi, shall come forward, for the LORD your God has chosen them to minister to him and to bless in the name of the LORD, and by their word every dispute and every assault shall be settled.

New King James Version       Then the priests, the sons of Levi, shall come near, for the Lord your God has chosen them to minister to Him and to bless in the name of the Lord; by their word every controversy and every assault shall be settled.

New RSV                               Then the priests, the sons of Levi, shall come forward, for the Lord your God has chosen them to minister to him and to pronounce blessings in the name of the Lord, and by their decision all cases of dispute and assault shall be settled.

World English Bible                The priests the sons of Levi shall come near; for them Yahweh your God has chosen to minister to him, and to bless in the name of Yahweh; and according to their word shall every controversy and every stroke be.

Young’s Updated LT             “And the priests, sons of Levi, have come nigh—for on them has Jehovah your God fixed to serve Him, and to bless in the name of Jehovah, and by their mouth is every strife, and every stroke.

 

The gist of this verse:          The priests will be called in to make final judgments on strife and assaults.


Deuteronomy 21:5a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâgash (נָגַש) [pronounced naw-GASH]

to draw near, to be brought near

3rd person plural, Niphil perfect

Strong's #5066 BDB #620

kôhên (כֹּהֵן) [pronounced koh-HANE]

priest

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong's #3548 BDB #463

bânîym (בָּנִים) [pronounced baw-NEEM]

sons, descendants; children; people; sometimes rendered men

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Lêvîy (לֵוִי) [pronounced lay-VEE]

joined to, attached; garland, crown; and is transliterated Levi

masculine singular, proper noun

Strong’s #3878 BDB #532


Translation: The priests, the sons of Levi, will come forward,... In this and in every problem, the priests will play a part. This is both a criminal problem and a spiritual problem (all criminal problems are spiritual problems).


As we have often seen, the closer we are to the literal translation, the better chance we have to determine what is being said here. First, sons of Levi is not preceded by a definite article. As we have seen several times, the Levites are not synonymous with the priesthood. The priests are a subset of the Levites, through Aaron. The sons of Amram were Aaron and Moses. And Aaron was set apart to sanctify him as most holy, he and his sons forever, to burn incense before the face of Yehowah , to minister to Him and to bless in His name forever (1Chron. 23:13). The verse, as is often the case in the Hebrew, begins with the verb, which is followed by the subject—in this case, the priests, sons of Levi. That verb is nâgash (נָגַש) [pronounced naw-GASH] and it means come near, draw near, approach in the Qal stem; here, it is found in the Niphal, which is the passive. The priests will be brought near, or drawn near. The Niphal is often used in worship. Strong's #5066 BDB #620. The next portion of the verse reads, literally, for them has chosen Yehowah your [singular] God to serve Him [or, minister to Him] and to bless in [the] name of Yehowah. This portion of the verse explains why they are chosen for this task. Their qualifications are that God specifically chose them, the priests, to serve Him and to bless others in His name.


Interestingly enough, we do not have clear legal training for the priests laid out in the Bible; but it is clear, by the time of Jesus, there was some sort of training which was available, as so many of the religious types seemed to know when Jesus was violating the Law (He never did). We may assume that, originally, the training was in the Word of God; but, then as rabbis continued to add their views on this and that passage, that an entire system of legalistic theology was built upon the truth, and was barely related to the truth.


On the one hand, I can appreciate the importance of legal training; on the other hand, given the liberal judges which we have which dismiss cases and give out light sentences for child abuse, I am not sure that the training does them much good.


Deuteronomy 21:5b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kîy (כִּי) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

explanatory or temporal conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #88

bâchar (בָּחַר) [pronounced baw-KHAHR]

to choose; Gesenius also lists to prove, to try, to examine, to approve, to choose, to select; to love, to delight in [something], to desire

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #977 BDB #103

YHWH (יהוה) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

ʾĚlôhîym (אלֹהִים) [pronounced el-o-HEEM]

God; gods, foreign gods, god; rulers, judges; superhuman ones, angels; transliterated Elohim

masculine plural noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #430 BDB #43

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

shârath ( ׂשָרַת) [pronounced shaw-RAHTH]

to serve, to minister

Piel infinitive construct with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #8334 BDB #1058


Translation: ...for Yehowah your Elohim has chosen in them to serve Him... The Levites had several responsibilities, and one of them included criminal prosecution. However, in this case, no one was being prosecuted, as this was an unsolved homicide.


Deuteronomy 21:5c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

bârake (בָּרַ) [pronounced baw-RAHKe]

to invoke God, to praise, to celebrate, to adore, to bless [God]; to bless [men], to invoke blessings; to bless [as God, man and other created things], therefore to cause to prosper, to make happy; to salute anyone [with a blessing]; to curse

Piel infinitive construct

Strong’s #1288 BDB #138

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

shêm (שֵם) [pronounced shame]

name, reputation, character; fame, glory; celebrated; renown; possibly memorial, monument

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #8034 BDB #1027

YHWH (יהוה) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


Translation: ...and to bless in the name of Yehowah. It appears that the Levites were to keep Israel tethered to God and to their dependence upon Him. Their ministry was closely involved with the spiritual life of Israel.


Deuteronomy 21:5d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʿal (עַל) [pronounced ģahl]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of relative proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

peh (פֶּה) [pronounced peh]

mouth [of man, animal; as an organ of speech]; opening, orifice [of a river, well, etc.]; edge; extremity, end

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #6310 BDB #804

hâyâh (הָיָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

kôl (כֹּל) [pronounced kohl]

every, each, all of, all; any of, any

masculine singular construct not followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

rîyb (רִיב) [pronounced reebv]

strife, dispute, controversy, legal contention, forensic cause; an argument used in a public discussion or debate

masculine singular noun

Strong's #7379 BDB #936

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

kôl (כֹּל) [pronounced kohl]

every, each, all of, all; any of, any

masculine singular construct not followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

negaʿ (נֶעַע) [pronounced NEH-gahģ]

bruise, injury, wound; swelling, eruption [on the skin]; mark [from a plague]; stripes [from beating]

masculine singular noun

Strong's #5061 BDB #619


Translation: Furthermore, by their mouth is every dispute and every injury [settled]. It was quite common to have the elders of the city decide court cases; however, here, it is the Levites who appear to be involved in settling court cases. However, in the next verse, it will be clear that there is some participation by the elders in this situation as well.


Strife here is the Hebrew word rîyb (רִיב) [pronounced reebv], which means, strife, dispute, controversy, legal contention, forensic cause; an argument used in a public discussion or debate. These would refer to civil action between various citizens of Israel—a dispute about property, for instance. Strong's #7379 BDB #936.


The second noun is negaʿ (נֶעַע) [pronounced NEH-gahģ], which means, bruise, injury, wound; swelling, eruption [on the skin]; mark [from a plague]; stripes [from beating]. These refer to injuries or harm done from one Israelite to another. Strong's #5061 BDB #619.


It is at this point that many translators become creative. We have the common conjunction and a prepositional phrase followed by the absolute status quo verb to be, in the Qal imperfect. Literally, it is: and in accordance with their mouth is [or, shall be]. There is no verb for settle. They are giving testimony, which will be the final testimony as to the disposition of the case. The case will be on account of their mouth or in accordance with their mouth. Because of the high responsibility that God has placed upon them, what they say will be what is. Perhaps, I should say, what it is. We finish with: every dispute and every assault [or, bruise, or injury]. In other words, they are chosen because of their solemn profession to give testimony and what they say is the end of the matter. This is it.


Recall when a legal matter is appealed to the higher authorities in Deut. 17:9–11: “So you will come to the priests, the Levites, and the judge who is in this days and you will inquire, and they will declare the verdict in the case and you will do according to the mouth of the verdict which they declare to you from that place which Yehowah chooses; and you will be careful to observe according to al that they teach you. According to the mouth of the law which they teach you, and according to the verdict which hey tell you, you will do; you will not turn aside from the word which they declare to you, to the right or the left.” When there is a the strong possibility of perjury being committed against one who stands accused of a crime, “...then both the men who have the dispute will stand before the face of Yehowah, before the face of the priests and the judges who are in those days, and the judges will investigate [the matter] thoroughly, and if the witness is a false witness—he has accused his brother falsely; then you would do to him as he had intended to do to his brother. In this way you will purge the evil from among you.” (Deut. 19:17–19). These are the ones chosen by God to judge in His stead.


Finally, notice that these men in authority in their service do one of two things in God’s stead: they bless or they judge—when we stand before Jesus Christ at the great white throne, we will be blessed if we stand upon His righteousness and we will be judged if we stand upon our own (Rev. 20:11–15). These are essentially the two dispositions of our case at death. These who judge in His stead have an analogous authority on earth.


The Levites are brought in to have another set of eyes placed on this situation; one might say that they are brought out for oversight. This does not mean that the elders are up to anything, but the Levites are there just in case they are.


——————————


And all elders of the city the that near unto the slain [one] will wash their [two] hands over the heifer the broken neck one in the valley.

Deuteronomy

21:6

Then the elders of that city nearest to the slain man will wash their hands over the heifer [with] the broken neck in the valley.

Then the elders of that city which is nearest to the slain man, they will wash their hands in the valley over the heifer with the broken neck.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                ...and all the elders of the city lying nearest to the dead man shall wash their hands over the heifer which hath been cut off in the field,...

Latin Vulgate                          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,...

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And all elders of the city the that near unto the slain [one] will wash their [two] hands over the heifer the broken neck one in the valley.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And all the elders of that city which is nearest to the slain man shall wash their hands over the heifer which is slaughtered in the valley;...

Septuagint (Greek)                And all the elders of that city who draw near to the slain man shall wash their hands over the head of the heifer which was slain in the valley;...

 

Significant differences:           The targum has field instead of valley.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           All the elders of the city closest to the corpse will wash their hands over the cow whose neck was broken in the river valley.

Contemporary English V.       The town leaders will wash their hands over the body of the dead cow...

Easy English                          All the leaders of that town must wash their hands over the cow whose neck they have broken. Someone has done a bad thing. But nobody knows who has done it. When an *Israelite washed his hands in clean water, he was showing something to everyone: He had not done the bad thing, nor agreed to it.

Easy-to-Read Version            All the leaders of the town nearest the murdered man must wash their hands over the cow that had its neck broken in the valley.

Good News Bible (TEV)         Then all the leaders from the town nearest the place where the murdered person was found are to wash their hands over the cow...

The Message                         Finally, all the leaders of that town that is nearest the body will wash their hands over the heifer that had its neck broken at the stream...

New Century Version             Then all the elders of the city nearest the murdered person should wash their hands over the young cow whose neck was broken in the valley.

New Life Bible                        All the leaders of that city nearest to the dead man will wash their hands over the young cow 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.

The Voice                               Then in the presence of the priests, have those city elders wash their hands over the heifer's corpse and take an oath: "Our hands didn't shed this blood, and our eyes never saw who did. V. 7 is included for context.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

God’s Word                         All the leaders from the city which was nearest the murder victim must wash their hands over the dead heifer.

New American Bible (R.E.)    Then all the elders of that city nearest the corpse shall wash their hands [a symbolic gesture in protestation of one's own innocence when human blood is unjustly shed; cf. Mt 27:24.] over the heifer whose neck was broken in the wadi, shall declare, "Our hands did not shed this blood [the blood of the slain, or the bloodguilt effected by the killing.], and our eyes did not see the deed. V. 7 is included for context.

NIRV                                      Then all of the elders from the town that is nearest to the body will wash their hands. They will wash them over the young cow whose neck they broke in the valley.

New Jerusalem Bible             All the elders of the town nearest to the victim of murder must then wash their hands in the stream, over the slaughtered heifer.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      All the elders of that city nearest the desecrated wash their hands over the beheaded heifer in the riverbed.

Bible in Basic English             And all the responsible men of that town which is nearest to the dead man, washing their hands over the cow whose neck was broken in the valley,...

The Expanded Bible              Then all the elders of the city nearest the ·murdered person [Lcorpse] should wash their hands over the ·young cow [heifer] whose neck was broken in the ·valley [wadi].

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 Then the priests of the sons of Levi shall approach, —for the Lord your God chose them to officiate, and to bless the name of the Ever-living, and every contention and every dispute shall be decided by them, with all the Magistrates of the surrounding towns; —to the corpse and wash their hands over the broken-necked heifer at the brook,.. V. 5 is included for context.

NET Bible®                             ...and all the elders of that city nearest the corpse [Heb "slain [one]."] must wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley [Heb "wadi," a seasonal watercourse through a valley.].

NIV – UK                                Then all the elders of the town nearest the body shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley, and they shall declare: "Our hands did not shed this blood, nor did our eyes see it done. V. 7 is included for context.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           All the leaders of the town nearest the murder victim are to wash their hands over the cow whose neck was broken in the vadi.

exeGeses companion Bible   ...and all the elders of the city near the pierced,

baptize their hands over the heifer

whose neck they broke in the wadi:...

Judaica Press Complete T.    And all the elders of that city, who are the nearest to the corpse, shall wash their hands over the calf that was decapitated in the valley;...

Kaplan Translation                 All the elders of the city closest to the corpse shall wash their hands over the decapitated calf at the stream.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And all the zekenim of that town, that are next unto the slain man, shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley;...


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    Then all the elders of that city, the ones nearest to the mortally wounded one, shall wash their hands over the beheaded heifer in the watercourse,...

Context Group Version          And 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;...

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,...

 

Green’s Literal Translation    And all the elders of that city nearest to the one slain shall wash their hands by the stream, over the heifer whose neck was broken.

New RSV                               All the elders of that town nearest the body shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the wadi...

Young’s Updated LT             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.

 

The gist of this verse:          The elders of the city nearest the slain man were to wash their hands over the heifer which was offered as a substitute for punishment for the criminal act.


Deuteronomy 21:6a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

kôl (כֹּל) [pronounced kohl]

with a plural noun, it is rendered all of, all; any of

masculine singular construct with a masculine plural noun

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

zeqênîym (זְקֵנִים) [pronounced zê-kay-NEEM]

old men; elders; chiefs, respected ones

masculine plural adjective; construct form

Strong’s #2205 BDB #278

ʿîyr (עִיר) [pronounced ģeer]

encampment, city, town

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #5892 BDB #746

hûwʾ (הוּא) [pronounced hoo]

that; this; same

masculine singular, demonstrative pronoun with a definite article

Strong’s #1931 BDB #214

qârôb (קָרֹב) or qârôwb (קָרוֹב) [pronounced kaw-ROBV]

near [in place or time], contiguous, imminent, within a short pace; short, shortness; near in relation, intimate acquaintance; that which is familiar to us; one who brings aide to another; soon, presently

masculine adjective; can be used as a substantive with the definite article

Strong’s #7138 BDB #898

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

châlâl (חָלָל) [pronounced chaw-LAWL]

slain, fatally wounded, wounded, pierced; from a verb which means to bore, to pierce

masculine singular noun (or adjective) with the definite article

Strong’s #2491 BDB #319

râchats (רָחַץ) [pronounced raw-BAHTS]

to wash, to bathe (oneself), to wash off (away); possibly to declare oneself innocent

3rd person plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #7364 BDB #934

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

yâdayim (יָדַיִם) [pronounced yaw-dah-YIHM]

[two] hands; both hands figuratively for strength, power, control of a particular person

feminine dual noun with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #3027 BDB #388

ʿal (עַל) [pronounced ģahl]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of relative proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

ʿegelâh (עֶגְָה) [pronounced ģege-LAW]

heifer

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #5697 BDB #722


Translation: Then the elders of that city nearest to the slain man will wash their hands over the heifer... Washing their hands suggested that they were not guilty and that there was nothing more than they could do. They certainly wanted to find the murderer, but there was no CSI at that time.


This is a solemn ceremony over which both the elders of the city and the priests of the city give their solemn testimonies. The sacrifice indicates that this is done before God. The ceremony indicates that they have had nothing to do with the matter and do not know anything about the matter at hand. The washing of the hands is a symbolic declaration to both innocence and the final disposition of a matter. Their innocence will be proclaimed in v. 7; and we all recall the famous washing of the hands by Pontius Pilate: And when Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands in front of the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of this Man’s blood—see yourselves.” (Matt. 27:24; see Psalm 26:6 as well).


Again, one can see God the Holy Spirit speaking through Moses. Pontius Pilate will allow the Romans to crucify Jesus on the demands of the Jews, but he will wash his hands of the situation. This is much like the elders washing their hands over the heifer. It is a parallel situation which looks forward to what would happen 1500 years hence.


Their hands, as elders, were clean, after this ceremonial washing. The people of that city were now cleared of this crime, ceremonially speaking. This does not mean that they had anything to do with committing the crime; but they are a part of the community associated with the crime and what happens in the community affects the entire community.


Deuteronomy 21:6b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ʿâraph (עָרַף) [pronounced ģaw-RAHF]

the one with the broken neck; figuratively the overthrown one, the destroyed one

feminine singular, Qal passive participle with the definite article

Strong’s #6202 BDB #791

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

nachal (נַחַל) [pronounced NAHKH-al]

brook, torrent; valley

masculine singular noun with the definite article; pausal form

Strong's #5158 BDB #636


Translation:...[with] the broken neck in the valley. This simply identifies the heifer as the one whose neck was broken, which was done in leu of the criminal. The valley simply indicates where all of this took place.


——————————


And they have testified and they said, “Our [two] hands did not shed the blood the this and our [two] eyes did not see.

Deuteronomy

21:7

They will then testify, saying, “Our hands did not shed this blood and our eyes did not see [what happened].

They will then testify, saying, “We did not murder this man nor did we see what happened.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                ...and shall answer and say: It is manifest before the Lord that this hath not come by our hands, nor have we absolved him who shed this blood, nor have our eyes beheld.

Jerusalem targum                  Nor have our eyes seen who it is who hath shed it.

Latin Vulgate                          And shall say: Our hands did not shed this blood, nor did our eyes see it.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And they have testified and they said, “Our [two] hands did not shed the blood the this and our [two] eyes did not see.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And they shall answer and say, Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen the victim.

Septuagint (Greek)                ...and they shall answer and say, Our hands have not shed this blood, and our eyes have not seen it.

 

Significant differences:           As usual, the targum has a lot of additional text.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           They will then solemnly state: "Our hands did not shed this blood. Our eyes did not see it happen.

Contemporary English V.       ...and say, "We had no part in this murder, and we don't know who did it.

Easy English                          And they will say, "We did not kill the man. We did not see anyone kill him.

Easy-to-Read Version            These leaders must say, ‘We did not kill this man. And we did not see it happen.

Good News Bible (TEV)         ...and say, 'We did not murder this one, and we do not know who did it.

The Message                         ...and say, "We didn't kill this man and we didn't see who did it.

New Century Version             They should declare: "We did not kill this person, and we did not see it happen.

New Life Bible                        Then they will say, 'Our hands have not killed him. Our eyes have not seen it.

New Living Translation           Then they must say, `Our hands did not shed this person's blood, nor did we see it happen.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          'Then all the elders of that city who went out to the murdered man must wash their hands over the head of the heifer that was slaughtered in the valley and say, Our hands didn't shed this blood and our eyes didn't witness it. V. 6 is included for context.

God’s Word                         Then they must make this formal statement: "We didn't commit this murder, and we didn't witness it.

New Advent (Knox) Bible       And the elders of this neighbouring city, close to the dead man [`Close to'; literally, in the Latin, `coming close to', but it does not appear from the context that the dead body was present when the heifer was slaughtered.], will wash their hands over the heifer that lies slain in the glen, protesting, Not ours the hand that shed this blood; our eyes never witnessed the deed; be merciful, Lord, to Israel, the people thou hast claimed for thyself; do not charge Israel, thy own people, with guilt because it is stained with an innocent man's blood. So shall they be quit of all blame for the murder. Vv. 6 and 8 are included for context.

New American Bible              Then all the elders of that city nearest the corpse shall wash their hands [Wash their hands: a symbolic gesture in protestation of one's own innocence when human blood is unjustly shed; cf ? Matthew 27:24] over the heifer whose throat was cut in the wadi, and shall declare, 'Our hands did not shed this blood [This blood: the blood of the slain man as symbolized by the heifer's blood.], and our eyes did not see the deed. Absolve, O LORD, your people Israel, whom you have ransomed, and let not the guilt of shedding innocent blood remain in the midst of your people Israel.' Thus they shall be absolved from the guilt of bloodshed, and you shall purge from your midst the guilt of innocent blood, that you may prosper for doing what is right in the sight of the LORD. Vv. 6, 8 and 9 are included for context.

NIRV                                      They'll say to the Lord, "We didn't kill that person. We didn't see it happen.

New Jerusalem Bible             They must pronounce these words, "Our hands have not shed this blood and our eyes have seen nothing.

New Simplified Bible              »They will answer: ‘Our hands did not shed this blood, nor did we see it.

Today’s NIV                          Then all the elders of the town nearest the body shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley, and they shall declare: "Our hands did not shed this blood, nor did our eyes see it done. V. 6 is included for context.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      They will answer and say, "Our hands never spilled this blood, and our eyes never saw it.

Bible in Basic English             Will say, This death is not the work of our hands and our eyes have not seen it.

The Expanded Bible              They should declare: "·We did not kill this person [LOur hands did not spill this blood], and ·we [Lour eyes] did not see it happen.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 ...and asseverate and say; “Our hands have not shed this blood, and our eyes did not see it.

NET Bible®                             Then they must proclaim, "Our hands have not spilled this blood, nor have we [Heb "our eyes." This is a figure of speech known as synecdoche in which the part (the eyes) is put for the whole (the entire person).] witnessed the crime [Heb "seen"; the implied object (the crime committed) has been specified in the translation for clarity.].


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           Then they are to speak up and say, 'This blood was not shed by our hands, nor have we seen who did it.

exeGeses companion Bible   ...and they answer and say,

Neither our hands poured this blood,

nor our eyes seen.

Judaica Press Complete T.    And they shall announce and say, "Our hands did not shed this blood, nor did our eyes see this crime."

Kaplan Translation                 [The elders] [(Sotah 46a; Yad, Rotze'ach 9:3).] shall speak up and say, 'Our hands have not spilled this blood, and our eyes have not witnessed it.'

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And they shall answer and say, Yadeinu (our hands) are not guilty of shefach dahm (shedding blood), neither have our eyes seen it.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    ...and they will respond and say: Our hands, they have not shed this blood, and our eyes, they have not seen it.

Emphasized Bible                  ...and shall respond, and say,—Our hands, shed not this blood, neither did, our eyes, see the deed.

English Standard Version      ...and they shall testify, 'Our hands did not shed this blood, nor did our eyes see it shed.

NASB                                     ...and they shall answer and say, `Our hands did not shed this blood, nor did our eyes see it.

New RSV                               ...and they shall declare: `Our hands did not shed this blood, nor were we witnesses to it.

World English Bible                ...and they shall answer and say, Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it.

Young's Literal Translation     And they have answered and said, Our hands have not shed this blood, and our eyes have not seen.

 

The gist of this verse:          The elders, after washing their hands, must take an oath that they did not kill this man and that they did not know who did.


Deuteronomy 21:7a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʿânâh (עָנָה) [pronounced ģaw-NAWH]

to answer, to respond; to speak loudly, to speak up [in a public forum]; to testify; to sing, to chant, to sing responsively

3rd person plural, Qal perfect

Strong's #6030 BDB #772

It is reasonable to render this speak [or, answer] loudly, speak up [in a public forum]. ʿânâh occasionally has a very technical meaning of giving a response in court, and could be rendered testify. in some contexts, this word can mean to sing. BDB lists this on p. 777.

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think; to command; to promise; to explain; to intend

3rd person plural, Qal perfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

yâdayim (יָדַיִם) [pronounced yaw-dah-YIHM]

[two] hands; both hands figuratively for strength, power, control of a particular person

feminine dual noun with the 1st person plural suffix

Strong's #3027 BDB #388

lôʾ (לֹא or לוֹא) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

shâphake (שָפַ) [pronounced shaw-FAHKe]

to pour, to pour out, to shed; to heap up [on a mound]

3rd person plural, Qal perfect

Strong’s #8210 BDB #1049

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

dâm (דָּם) [pronounced dawm]

blood, often visible blood; bloodshed, slaughter; bloodguilt; blood of the grape [wine]

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #1818 BDB #196

zeh (זֶה) [pronounced zeh]

here, this, this one; thus; possibly another

masculine singular demonstrative adjective with a definite article

Strong’s #2088, 2090 (& 2063) BDB #260


Translation: They will then testify, saying, “Our hands did not shed this blood... These elders here now give their own testimony before God and before all that they had no hand in the killing of this man.


Who are the elders taking an oath before? This is why the Levites were brought in. They are taking an oath before the Levites, who are representatives of God in this matter.


Deuteronomy 21:7b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʿêynayim (עֵינַיִם) [pronounced ģay-nah-YIM]

eyes, two eyes, literal eye(s), spiritual eyes; face, appearance, form; surface

feminine dual noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #5869 (and #5871) BDB #744

lôʾ (לֹא or לוֹא) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

râʾâh (רָאָה) [pronounced raw-AWH]

to see, to look, to look at, to view, to behold; to observe; to perceive, to understand, to learn, to know

3rd person plural, Qal perfect

Strong's #7200 BDB #906


Translation: ...and our eyes did not see [what happened]. They also testify that they did not see what happened. This would include that they were not aware of any plots which may have been hatched to kill this man.


The authorities in that area, the judges and the elders, are called upon to give testimony concerning the slain person found in the field nearest them. They give sworn testimony before God in a solemn ceremony that they were personally not involved and that they know nothing of this matter.


——————————


Forgive [or, cover over] Your people Israel, whom You have redeemed, O Yehowah, and do not give blood innocent in a midst of Your people Israel.” And has pardoned to them the blood.

Deuteronomy

21:8

Forgive [lit., cover over] Your people Israel, whom You have purchased, O Yehowah, and You will not place innocent blood in the midst of Your people, Israel.” Therefore, the bloodguilt has been pardoned for them.

Forgive Your people Israel, O Jehovah, those whom You have purchased, and do not place guilt in the midst of Your innocent people, Israel.” Therefore, they have been pardoned for this murder.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And the priests shall say: Let there be expiation for thy people Israel, whom Thou, O Lord, hast redeemed, and lay not the guilt of innocent blood upon Thy people Israel; but let him who hath done the murder be revealed. And they shall be expiated concerning the blood; but straightway there will come forth a swarm of worms from the excrement of the heifer, and spread abroad, and move to. the place where the murderer is, and crawl over him: and the magistrates shall take him, and judge him. So shall you, O house of Israel, put away from among you whosoever sheds innocent blood, that you may do what is right before the Lord. This includes v. 9, but it is difficult to determine where that actually begins.

Latin Vulgate                          Be merciful to your people Israel, whom you have redeemed, O Lord, and lay not innocent blood to their charge, in the midst of your people Israel. And the guilt of blood will be taken from them.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        Forgive [or, cover over] Your people Israel, whom You have redeemed, O Yehowah, and do not give blood innocent in a midst of Your people Israel.” And has pardoned to them the blood.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    Pardon, O LORD, thy people Israel, whom thou hast saved, and lay not innocent blood upon thy people Israel. And the guilt of blood shall be forgiven them.

Septuagint (Greek)                Be merciful to Your people Israel, O Lord, whom You have redeemed, that innocent blood may not be charged on Your people Israel; and atonement shall be provided on their behalf for the blood.

 

Significant differences:           The targum is filled with extra text, which include excrement of the heifer.

 

The Syriac has saved rather than redeemed. The Hebrew has in a midst of; the Syriac has upon and the Greek has on instead.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           Lord, please forgive your people Israel, whom you saved. Don't put the guilt of innocent bloodshed on your people Israel."

Then the bloodguilt will be forgiven them.

Contemporary English V.       But since an innocent person was murdered, we beg you, our LORD, to accept this sacrifice and forgive Israel. We are your people, and you rescued us. Please don't hold this crime against us." If you obey the LORD and do these things, he will forgive Israel.

Easy English                          Please accept this animal as a gift, *Lord, from your people *Israel, that you saved from Egypt. This man has not done anything wrong. But do not think that we have killed him." So you will pay the price for the murder because you kill the young cow. Then God will not remember this bad thing against you.

Easy-to-Read Version            Lord, you saved Israel. We are your people. Now make us pure [Or, "make atonement." The Hebrew word means "to cover," "to hide," or "to erase sins."]. Don’t blame us for killing an innocent man.’ In this way, those men will not be blamed for killing an innocent man.

Good News Bible (TEV)         LORD, forgive your people Israel, whom you rescued from Egypt. Forgive us and do not hold us responsible for the murder of an innocent person.'

The Message                         Purify your people Israel whom you redeemed, O GOD. Clear your people Israel from any guilt in this murder." That will clear them from any responsibility in the murder.

New Century Version             Lord, remove this sin from your people Israel, whom you have saved. Don't blame your people, the Israelites, for the murder of this innocent person." And so the murder will be paid for.

New Life Bible                        O Lord, forgive Your people Israel whom You have set free. Do not put the guilt of killing a man who did no wrong on Your people Israel.' And they will be forgiven from the guilt of the man's death.

New Living Translation           O Lord, forgive your people Israel whom you have redeemed. Do not charge your people with the guilt of murdering an innocent person.' Then they will be absolved of the guilt of this person's blood.

The Voice                               Eternal, please cover the wickedness of Your people Israel, the ones You delivered from slavery. Please don't consider your people Israel guilty of shedding innocent blood!" If this ceremony is performed, that city will be forgiven for the blood that was shed near it.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Be merciful to Your people IsraEl whom You have redeemed, O Lord, so that Your people IsraEl aren't held responsible for this innocent blood. And by doing this, the blood will have been paid for by them.

Christian Community Bible     Forgive, O Yahweh, your people of Israel whom you rescued, and do not charge them with this shedding of innocent blood.”

God’s Word                         LORD, make peace with your people Israel, whom you freed. Don't let the guilt of this unsolved murder remain among your people Israel." Then there will be peace with the LORD despite the murder.

New Advent (Knox) Bible       ...be merciful, Lord, to Israel, the people thou hast claimed for thyself; do not charge Israel, thy own people, with guilt because it is stained with an innocent man's blood. So shall they be quit of all blame for the murder.

New American Bible (R.E.)    Absolve, O LORD, your people Israel, whom you have redeemed, and do not let the guilt of shedding innocent blood remain in the midst of your people Israel." Thus they shall be absolved from the guilt of bloodshed, and you shall purge the innocent blood from your midst, and do what is right in the eyes of the LORD. V. 9 is included for context. Dt 19:13.

NIRV                                      Accept this payment for the sin of your people Israel. Lord, you have set your people free. Don't hold them guilty for spilling the blood of someone who hasn't done anything wrong." That will pay for the death of that person.

New Jerusalem Bible             O Yahweh, forgive your people Israel whom you have redeemed, and let no innocent blood be shed among your people Israel. May this bloodshed be forgiven them!"

New Simplified Bible              »‘Forgive your people Israel, whom you have redeemed, O Jehovah. Do not hold us responsible for the murder of an innocent person.’ Forgive them of bloodguilt.

Revised English Bible            Accept expiation, O Lord, for your people Israel whom you redeemed, and do not let the guilt of innocent blood rest upon your people Israel: let this bloodshed be expiated on their behalf.’

Today’s NIV                          Accept this atonement for your people Israel, whom you have redeemed, LORD, and do not hold your people guilty of the blood of an innocent person." And the bloodshed will be atoned for.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      Yahweh, atone for Israel and your people that you ransomed, and never give innocent blood to the center of your people Israel. Atone them by the blood."

Bible in Basic English             Have mercy, O Lord, on your people Israel whom you have made free, and take away from your people the crime of a death without cause. Then they will no longer be responsible for the man's death.

The Expanded Bible              Lord, ·remove this sin from [make atonement for] your people Israel, whom you have ·saved [redeemed; ransomed]. Don't ·blame your people, the Israelites, for the murder of this innocent person [Lplace the guilt of innocent blood in the midst of your people Israel]." And so the murder will be ·paid [atoned] for.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 Cover it to the people of Israel whom you have chosen, Lord, and lay not innocent blood on the breast of Your people of Israel.” Then the blood shall be covered for them, and you will burn the innocent blood from amongst you,... A portion of v. 9 is included for context.

HCSB                                     LORD, forgive Your people Israel You redeemed, and do not hold the shedding of innocent blood against them.' Then they will be absolved of responsibility for bloodshed.

NET Bible®                             Do not blame [Heb "Atone for."] your people Israel whom you redeemed, O Lord, and do not hold them accountable for the bloodshed of an innocent person.” [Heb "and do not place innocent blood in the midst of your people Israel."] Then atonement will be made for the bloodshed.

New Heart English Bible        Forgive, LORD, your people Israel, whom you have redeemed, and do not allow innocent blood in the midst of your people Israel." The blood shall be forgiven them.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           ADONAI, forgive your people Isra'el, whom you redeemed; do not allow innocent blood to be shed among your people Isra'el.' And they will be forgiven this bloodshed.

exeGeses companion Bible   Kapar/Atone, O Yah Veh,

to your people Yisra El whom you redeemed;

and give not innocent blood

midst your people Yisra El.

- and the blood kapars/atones.

Judaica Press Complete T.    "Atone for Your people Israel, whom You have redeemed, O Lord, and lay not the guilt of innocent blood among your people Israel." And so the blood shall be atoned for them.

Kaplan Translation                 [The priests shall then say,] 'Forgive [Or, 'reveal the truth' (Midrash Aggadah; Bachya).] Your people, whom You, God, have liberated. Do not allow [the guilt for] innocent blood to remain with your people Israel.'

The blood shall thus be atoned for.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           Kapper (atone), O Hashem, for Thy people Yisroel, whom Thou hast redeemed, and lay not dahm naki (innocent blood) unto the charge of Thy people Yisroel. And the shefach dahm shall be atoned for.

The Scriptures 1998              ‘O יהוה, forgive Your people Yisraʼĕl, whom You have redeemed, and do not allow innocent blood in the midst of Your people Yisraʼĕl.ʼ And the blood-guilt shall be pardoned to them.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                Forgive, O Lord, Your people Israel, whom You have redeemed, and do not allow the shedding of innocent blood to be charged to Your people Israel. And the guilt of blood shall be forgiven them.

Concordant Literal Version    Make a propitiatory shelter for Your people, Israel, whom You have ransomed, Yahweh, and let not guilt for the blood of the innocent remain among Your people, Israel. Thus a propitiatory shelter for them will be made concerning this bloodshed.

Context Group Version          Forgive, O YHWH, your people Israel, whom you have ransomed, and don't allow innocent blood [ to remain ] in the midst of your people Israel. And the blood shall be forgiven them.

Darby Translation                  Forgive thy people Israel, whom thou, Jehovah, hast redeemed, and lay not innocent blood to the charge of thy people Israel; and the blood shall be expiated for them.

Emphasized Bible                  Be propitious unto thy people Israel whom thou hast redeemed, O Yahweh, and do not impute innocent blood in the midst of thy people Israel. So shall they obtain propitiation for the guilt of shedding blood.

English Standard Version      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.'

The Geneva Bible                  Be merciful, O LORD, unto thy people Israel, whom thou hast redeemed, and lay not innocent blood unto thy people of Israels charge. And the blood shall be forgiven them. This was the prayer, which the priests made in the audience of the people.

Green’s Literal Translation    O Jehovah, be merciful to Your people Israel, whom You have redeemed, and do not allow innocent blood in the midst of Your people Israel. And the blood shall be forgiven them.

NASB                                     Forgive [Lit Cover over, atone for] Your people Israel whom You have redeemed, O Lord, and do not place the guilt of innocent blood in the midst of Your people Israel.' And the bloodguiltiness shall be forgiven [Lit covered over, atoned for] them.

New King James Version       Provide atonement, O Lord, for Your people Israel, whom You have redeemed, and do not lay innocent blood to the charge of Your people Israel.' And atonement shall be provided on their behalf for the blood.

New RSV                               Absolve, O Lord, your people Israel, whom you redeemed; do not let the guilt of innocent blood remain in the midst of your people Israel.' Then they will be absolved of blood-guilt.

Third Millennium Bible            Be merciful, O LORD, unto Thy people Israel, whom Thou hast redeemed, and lay not innocent blood unto Thy people of Israel's charge.' And the blood shall be forgiven them.

Updated Bible Version 2.11   Forgive, O Yahweh, your people Israel, whom you have redeemed, and don't allow innocent blood [to remain] in the midst of your people Israel. And the blood will be forgiven them.

World English Bible                Forgive, Yahweh, your people Israel, whom you have redeemed, and don't allow innocent blood to remain in the midst of your people Israel. The blood shall be forgiven them.

Young’s Updated LT             Receive atonement for Your people Israel, whom You have ransomed, O Jehovah, and suffer not innocent blood in the midst of Your people Israel; and the blood has been pardoned to them.

 

The gist of this verse:          The elders complete the oath and the crime is therefore covered over and not charged to Israel.


Deuteronomy 21:8a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kâphar (כָּפַר) [pronounced kaw-FAHR]

cover, cover over [with]; spread over; appease, placate, pacify; pardon, expiate; atone for; give [grant] forgiveness

2nd person masculine singular, Piel imperative

Strong's #3722 BDB #497

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

ʿam (עַם) [pronounced ģahm]

people; race, tribe; family, relatives; citizens, common people; companions, servants; entire human race; herd [of animals]

masculine singular collective noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5971 BDB #766

Yiserâʾêl (יִשְׂרַאֵל) [pronounced yis-raw-ALE]

God prevails; contender; soldier of God; transliterated Israel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3478 & #3479 BDB #975

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced uh-SHER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun; sometimes the verb to be is implied

Strong's #834 BDB #81

pâdâh (פָּדָה) [pronounced paw-DAWH]

to ransom, to purchase, to redeem; to let go [set free]; to preserve, to deliver [from danger]

2nd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #6299 BDB #804

YHWH (יהוה) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


Translation: Forgive [lit., cover over] Your people Israel, whom You have purchased, O Yehowah,... This is what the elders will ask of God. They ask for forgiveness for this murder which has occurred. In the Old Testament, forgiveness was a covering over of sin.

 

Wesley: Though there was no mortal guilt in this people, yet there was a ceremonial uncleanness in the land, which was to be expiated and forgiven. Footnote


The word used here is kâphar (כָּפַר) [pronounced kaw-FAHR], which means cover, cover over [with]; spread over; appease, placate, pacify; pardon, expiate; atone for; give [grant] forgiveness in the Piel imperative. Strong's #3722 BDB #497. You will note the emphasis on a covering over. This is because Jesus Christ did not offer Himself up yet, in time, for sin. So sins were, until the cross, covered over. They were always there, but covered so that they could not be seen.


In the Old Testament, God is said to have redeemed Israel from Egypt. In many ways, their many decades of slavery was payment enough for their release. However, this is all a shadow of the redemption of Jesus Christ, Who will pay for our sins on the cross. The purchase of Israel from Egypt is the type; the redemption of our souls by the cross is the antitype.


Scofield was a genius when it came to brevity.

Scofield’s Doctrine of Redemption

Redemption: (Exodus type) Summary. Exodus is the book of redemption and teaches:

 

1.      Redemption is wholly of God (Ex. 3:7 Ex. 3:8 John 3:16).

2.      Redemption is through a person. (See Scofield’s notes for Ex. 2:2). (John 3:16 John 3:17).

3.      Redemption is by blood (Ex. 12:13 Ex. 12:23 Ex. 12:27 1Peter 1:18).

4.      Redemption is by power (Ex. 6:6 Ex. 13:14 Rom. 8:2). (See Scofield’s notes for Isa. 59:20). (See Scofield Rom. 3:24).

5.      The blood of Christ redeems the believer from the guilt and penalty of sin. (1Peter 1:18) as the power of the Spirit delivers from the dominion of sin. (Rom. 8:2 Eph. 2:2).

From Scofield’s notes for Ex. 14:30 accessed September 13, 2013.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


God could require many things of Israel because He had purchased them and took them out of slavery. In the same way, God requires a great many things of us, because He has purchased us from the slave market of sin (HTML) (PDF), and has given us life.


Deuteronomy 21:8b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lôʾ (לֹא or לוֹא) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

nâthan (נָתַן) [pronounced naw-THAHN]

to give, to grant, to place, to put, to set; to make

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #5414 BDB #678

All of the BDB meanings for the Qal stem of nâthan are as follows: 1) to give, put, set; 1a) (Qal); 1a1) to give, bestow, grant, permit, ascribe, employ, devote, consecrate, dedicate, pay wages, sell, exchange, lend, commit, entrust, give over, deliver up, yield produce, occasion, produce, requite to, report, mention, utter, stretch out, extend; 1a2) to put, set, put on, put upon, set, appoint, assign, designate; 1a3) to make, constitute.

dâm (דָּם) [pronounced dawm]

blood, often visible blood; bloodshed, slaughter; bloodguilt; blood of the grape [wine]

masculine singular noun

Strong's #1818 BDB #196

nâqîy (נָקִי) [pronounced naw-KEE]

acquitted, clean, cleared, free from [guilt, obligations, punishment], unpunished, guiltless, innocent

masculine singular adjective

Strong’s #5355 BDB #667

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

qereb (קֶרֶב) [pronounced KEH-rebv]

midst, among, from among [a group of people]; an [actual, physical] inward part; the inner person with respect to thinking and emotion; as a faculty of thinking or emotion; heart, mind, inner being; entrails [of sacrificial animals]

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #7130 BDB #899

With the bêyth preposition, it means in the midst of, among, into the midst of (after a verb of motion).

ʿam (עַם) [pronounced ģahm]

people; race, tribe; family, relatives; citizens, common people; companions, servants; entire human race; herd [of animals]

masculine singular collective noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5971 BDB #766

Yiserâʾêl (יִשְׂרַאֵל) [pronounced yis-raw-ALE]

God prevails; contender; soldier of God; transliterated Israel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3478 & #3479 BDB #975


Translation: ...and You will not place innocent blood in the midst of Your people, Israel.” This appears to be lacking a word—we would say, ...and You will not place [the guilt for] innocent blood in the midst of Your people, Israel.” The word blood can also mean bloodguilt. So, how does you understand that concept of blood guilt with the word innocent? The innocent blood is the person who has been killed, and these elders are asking God not to place the guilt for this into the midst of Israel (in particular, into the midst of that particular city).


In this verse, the elders are continuing to speak. They ask for atonement or forgiveness of their town, as they are Israelites, ransomed, or paid for, by God. Then we have the adjective nâqîy (נָקִי) [pronounced naw-KEE] and it means acquitted, cleared, free from, unpunished. Strong’s #5355 BDB #667. Blood here stands for blood-guilt, as it does in the next verse. It is the guilt from the murder.


We may extrapolate from this that Moses, along with the people, understood that God could hold a geographical area guilty for sins which are committed in that area. This goes along with blessing by association and cursing by association, as we have studied in the past.


Most of the translations see this as the end of the testimony that the elders are supposed to make.


This completes the oath that the elders were supposed to take, after the ceremony of the heifer: They will then testify, saying, “Our hands did not shed this blood and our eyes did not see [what happened]. Forgive Your people Israel, whom You have purchased, O Yehowah, and You will not place innocent blood in the midst of Your people, Israel.” (Vv. 7–8a; Kukis nearly literal) Then this will all be concluded with: Therefore, the bloodguilt has been pardoned for them. By this [lit., and], you will purge the innocent blood from your midst, for you will do the right [thing] in the sight of Yehowah. (Vv. 8b–9; Kukis nearly literal)


Deuteronomy 21:8c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

kâphar (כָּפַר) [pronounced kaw-FAHR]

to be covered over [with], to be covered [with]; to be pardoned; to obtain forgiveness; to be expiated of a sin or crime

3rd person masculine singular, Nithpael imperfect

Strong's #3722 BDB #497

That is a Nithpael, found only here with this verb.

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

dâm (דָּם) [pronounced dawm]

blood, often visible blood; bloodshed, slaughter; bloodguilt; blood of the grape [wine]

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #1818 BDB #196


Translation: Therefore, the bloodguilt has been pardoned for them. You will notice both the passive verb combined with a change in person (the 3rd person masculine plural suffix). What is being forgiven is the crime or the sin of the murder.


Again we have kâphar (כָּפַר) [pronounced kaw-FAHR], which indicates a covering over of something, rather than complete and total forgiveness. The people of that nearby city will be pardoned for this crime which was committed.


This ceremony is not for the dead person but for the forgiveness and the covering over of the people of this town. There has been a murder and it is obvious that someone has done it. It is not going to be solved, so, after testimony has been taken, the sins of the town are taken away by this ceremony. “So you will not pollute the land in which you are; for blood pollutes the land and no expiation can be made for the land for the blood that is shed on it, except by the blood of him who shed it. And you will not defile the land in which you live, in the midst of which I dwell; for I Yehowah am dwelling in the midst of the sons of Israel.” (Num. 35:33–34). The key is that we must be removed from all vestiges of sin. And they called on Yehowah and said, “We earnestly pray, O Yehowah, do not let us perish on account of this man’s life, and do not put innocent blood upon us; for You, O Yehowah, have done as You please.” (Jonah 1:14).


——————————


And you will purge the blood the innocent from your midst for you will do the right [thing] in the [two] eyes of Yehowah.

Deuteronomy

21:9

By this [lit., and], you will purge the innocent blood from your midst, for you will do the right [thing] in the sight of Yehowah.

By doing this, you will purge the innocent blood from your midst, for you will do what is right before Jehovah.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                So shall you, O house of Israel, put away from among you whosoever sheds innocent blood, that you may do what is right before the Lord.

Latin Vulgate                          And you will be free from the innocent”s blood, that was shed, when you will have done what the Lord has commanded you.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And you will purge the blood the innocent from your midst for you will do the right [thing] in the [two] eyes of Yehowah.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    So shall you put away the guilt of innocent blood from among you, when you shall do that which is right in the sight of the LORD.

Septuagint (Greek)                And you shall take away innocent blood from among you, if you should do that which is good and pleasing before the Lord your God.

 

Significant differences:           The Latin has from among you rather than that was shed. The targum also throws in some extra words and leaves out from among you.

 

The Latin also has something different than doing that which is right before the Lord.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           But you must remove [Or burn] innocent bloodshed from your community; do only what is right in the Lord's eyes.

Easy English                          You will show that you have made yourselves right with God. You have not done this bad thing. And God has seen that you have done the right thing.

Easy-to-Read Version            In this way, you will do the right thing. And you will remove that guilt from your group.

Good News Bible (TEV)         And so, by doing what the LORD requires, you will not be held responsible for the murder.

The Message                         By following these procedures you will have absolved yourselves of any part in the murder because you will have done what is right in GOD's sight.

New Century Version             Then you will have removed from yourselves the guilt of murdering an innocent person, because you will be doing what the Lord says is right.

New Life Bible                        So you must take away the guilt of taking the life of a good man by doing what is right in the eyes of the Lord.

New Living Translation           By following these instructions, you will do what is right in the Lord's sight and will cleanse the guilt of murder from your community.

The Voice                               You will remove the bloodguilt from your nation because you've done what the Eternal considers right.

The Hebrew practice of kipper is when one party makes a gift to another in order to reestablish a good relationship between two parties and remove bloodguilt. The emphasis is not so much on the gift itself (although it should be a worthy one), but on the first party's desire for reconciliation. When the kipper is a sacrificial animal resolving an offense that would otherwise be settled according to the principle of "a life for a life," the death of the animal is a substitution for what should have been the death of the murderer. This situation helps Christians understand what the sacrificial system provides for Israel before the Lord and what Jesus does for us on the cross. His death is a substitutionary sacrifice, but it is also a kipper, a gift that reestablishes our relationship with God.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          For, you must remove all innocent blood from among yourselves, if you wish to do what is good and pleasing before Jehovah your God.

Beck’s American Translation And so an atonement will be made for this bloodshed. You must get rid of the shedding of innocent blood if you are to do what the LORD considers right.”

Christian Community Bible     So they shall be absolved from this blood; you shall have removed from your midst the guilt of innocent blood and have done what is right in the eyes of Yahweh.

God’s Word                         This is how you will get rid of the guilt of an unsolved murder by doing what the LORD considers right.

New Advent (Knox) Bible       Do my bidding, and the guilt of blood wrongfully shed shall never rest upon thee.

New American Bible              Absolve, O LORD, your people Israel, whom you have ransomed, and let not the guilt of shedding innocent blood remain in the midst of your people Israel.' Thus they shall be absolved from the guilt of bloodshed, and you shall purge from your midst the guilt of innocent blood, that you may prosper for doing what is right in the sight of the LORD. V. 8 included for context.

NIRV                                      So you will get rid of the guilt of killing someone who didn't do anything wrong. That's because you have done what is right in the Lord's eyes.

New Jerusalem Bible             You must banish all shedding of innocent blood from among you, if you mean to do what is right in the eyes of Yahweh.

New Simplified Bible              »Remove the guilt of innocent blood from your midst. Do what is right in the eyes of Jehovah’s.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      You ignite the innocent blood from your center when you do right in the eyes of Yahweh.

Bible in Basic English             So you will take away the crime of a death without cause from among you, when you do what is right in the eyes of the Lord.

The Expanded Bible              Then you will have ·removed [banished; purged] from yourselves the guilt of ·murdering an innocent person [innocent blood], because you will be doing what ·the Lord says is right [Lis right/virtuous in the eyes of the Lord].

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 ...and you will burn the innocent blood from amongst you, —for you must practice justice in the eyes of the Ever-living.

NET Bible®                             In this manner you will purge out the guilt of innocent blood from among you, for you must do what is right before [Heb "in the eyes of" (so ASV, NASB, NIV).] the Lord.

NIV, ©2011                             Accept this atonement for your people Israel, whom you have redeemed, Lord, and do not hold your people guilty of the blood of an innocent person." Then the bloodshed will be atoned for, and you will have purged from yourselves the guilt of shedding innocent blood, since you have done what is right in the eyes of the Lord. V. 8 is included for context.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           Thus you will banish the shedding of innocent blood from among you, by doing what ADONAI sees as right.

exeGeses companion Bible   Thus you burn the innocent blood from among you,

when you work straight in the eyes of Yah Veh.

Kaplan Translation                 You shall thus rid yourself of [the guilt of] [(Ibn Ezra)] innocent blood in your midst, since you will have done that which is morally right in God's eyes.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           So shalt thou put away the guilt of dahm naki from among you, when thou shalt do that which is right in the sight of Hashem.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    So you yourself shall eradicate the shedding of innocent blood from among you, for you shall do what is upright in the eyes of Yahweh.

English Standard Version      So you shall purge the guilt of innocent blood from your midst, when you do what is right in the sight of the LORD.

Green’s Literal Translation    And you shall put away the innocent blood from among you, for you shall do that which is right in the eyes of Jehovah.

NASB                                     So you shall remove the guilt of innocent blood from your midst, when you do what is right in the eyes of the Lord.

Young’s Updated LT             And you will put away the innocent blood out of your midst, for you will that which is right in the eyes of Jehovah.

 

The gist of this verse:          This ceremony will absolve the community of the guilt of this crime.


Deuteronomy 21:9a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾattâh (אַתָּה) [pronounced aht-TAW]

you (often, the verb to be is implied)

2nd person masculine singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #859 BDB #61

bâʿar (בָּעַר) [pronounced baw-ĢAHR]

to burn; to completely consume; to de-pasture; to take away, to [utterly] remove, to purge; to devour, to devastate

2nd person masculine singular, Piel imperfect

Strong’s #1197 BDB #128

dâm (דָּם) [pronounced dawm]

blood, often visible blood; bloodshed, slaughter; bloodguilt; blood of the grape [wine]

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #1818 BDB #196

nâqîy (נָקִי) [pronounced naw-KEE]

acquitted, clean, cleared, free from [guilt, obligations, punishment], unpunished, guiltless, innocent

masculine singular adjective with the definite article

Strong’s #5355 BDB #667

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, of, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

qereb (קֶרֶב) [pronounced KEH-rebv]

midst, among, from among [a group of people]; an [actual, physical] inward part; the inner person with respect to thinking and emotion; as a faculty of thinking or emotion; heart, mind, inner being; entrails [of sacrificial animals]

masculine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #7130 BDB #899


Translation: By this [lit., and], you will purge the innocent blood from your midst,... There is a slightly interesting change of person here. I would have expected Moses to continue using the 2nd person masculine plural here, referring to the people of the city near where the murdered man was found; but Moses uses the 2nd person masculine singular throughout. Therefore, this can be understood as Moses referring either nation Israel or to each individual of that city (it cannot refer to the city, as that is a feminine singular noun).


Deuteronomy 21:9b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kîy (כִּי) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

explanatory or temporal conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

ʿâsâh (עָשָֹה) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare, to manufacture

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #6213 BDB #793

yâshâr (יָשָר) [pronounced yaw-SHAWR]

right, correct, accurate, lacking in contradictions, upright, straight, uniform, having internal integrity, even

feminine singular adjective which acts like a substantive; with a definite article

Strong’s #3477 BDB #449

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

ʿêynayim (עֵינַיִם) [pronounced ģay-nah-YIM]

eyes, two eyes, literal eye(s), spiritual eyes; face, appearance, form; surface

feminine dual construct

Strong’s #5869 (and #5871) BDB #744

Together, the bêyth preposition and the construct form ʿîynêy (י̤ני.ע) [pronounced ģee-NAY], literally mean in the eyes of; it can be understood to mean in the opinion of, in the thinking of, in the estimation of; as ____ sees things to be, in the sight of.

YHWH (יהוה) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


Translation: ...for you will do the right [thing] in the sight of Yehowah. Moses is expecting that each person will do that which is right in the sight of Yehowah their God. That which is right is following this particular set of instructions.


This ceremony is what is expected of them. As long as their testimony is true—they have done what is right in the eyes of God—then there will be no guilt imputed to the city. Again, all association with sin must be removed: “You will not pity him [one who has committed murder], but you will purge the blood of the innocent from Israel, that it may go well with you.” (Deut. 19:13). So there is no confusion here; the substitutionary animal sacrifice is purely symbolic and typical. If the real murderer is later discovered, he is not off the hook because of this ceremony. He would still have to stand trial and face the ultimate punishment.


——————————


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Taking a Wife from Enemy Captives


deuteronomy-rape-forced-marriage.jpg

We are now on a completely new topic. We go from an unpunished murder to falling in love with your enemy. The enemies spoken of here must be those who are outside the land of Canaan, as “Only in the cities of these people that Yehowah your God is giving you as an inheritance, you will not leave alive anything that breathes, but you will completely destroy them, the Hittite and the Amorite, the Canaanite and the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite, as Yehowah your God has commanded you.” (Deut. 20:14).


Deuteronomy 21:10–14 Rape—a forced marriage? (Graphic). From Discover-the-truth.com; Footnote accessed December 27, 2013.


As was suggested in the introduction, these first 9 verses might be better placed elsewhere in Deuteronomy, and, by that, this passage would follow organically from Deut. 20. In Deut. 20, there are a host of laws and regulations to be associated with going to war; and this passage deals with the prisoner march after the war.


When you go to war against your enemies and gives him Yehowah your Elohim to your hand and you have taken captive his captive; and you have seen in the captivity a woman of a beautiful of striking figure and you have desire for her and you have taken to yourself for a woman.

Deuteronomy

21:10–11

When you go to war against your enemies and Yehowah your Elohim gives them into your hands and you have taken them captive. You [may] see among the captives a beautiful woman with a striking figure, and you have a desire for her and you [want to] take [her] for yourself to wife.

When you go to war against your enemies and Jehovah your God gives them into your hands, and you have then taken your enemy into captivity. It may be that a woman with a beautiful figure among these prisoners captures your attention and you have a great desire to take her as your wife.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                WHEN you go out to war against your enemies, and the Lord your God shall deliver them into your hands, and you take some of them captive: if you see in the captivity a woman of fair countenance, and you approve of her, and would take her to you to wife;...

Latin Vulgate                          If you go out to fight against your enemies, and the Lord your God deliver them into your hand, and you lead them away captives, And see in the number of the captives a beautiful woman, and love her, and wilt have her to wife,...

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        When you go to war against your enemies and gives him Yehowah your Elohim to your hand and you have taken captive his captive; and you have seen in the captivity a woman of a beautiful of striking figure and you have desire for her and you have taken to yourself for a woman.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    When you go forth to war against your enemies, and the LORD your God delivers them into your hands, and you take them captive, And see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you desire her, and would have her for yourself as a wife;...

Septuagint (Greek)                And if when you go out to war against your enemies, the Lord your God should deliver them into your hands, and you should take their spoil, and should see among the spoil a woman beautiful in countenance, and should desire her, and take her to yourself for a wife,...

 

Significant differences:           The Hebrew goes from masculine plural enemies to God delivering him into your hand. The English translation of the targum, Latin, Syriac and Greek all differ from this, although it is possible that they agree in those languages (in the Greek, it is him, but hand is still plural). Such differences are not a big deal.

 

The Latin appears to add a word or two before captives. The English translation from the Latin uses the word love, where desire or attraction are more appropriate.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           Foreign wives

When you wage war against your enemies and the Lord hands them over to you and you take prisoners, if you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you fall in love with her and take her as your wife,...

Contemporary English V.       From time to time, you men will serve as soldiers and go off to war. The LORD your God will help you defeat your enemies, and you will take many prisoners. One of these prisoners may be a beautiful woman, and you may want to marry her. But first you must bring her into your home, and have her shave her head, cut her nails, get rid of her foreign clothes, and start wearing Israelite clothes. She will mourn a month for her father and mother, then you can marry her. This includes vv. 12–13.

Easy English                          When you marry a woman whom you have taken in war

When you go to war against your enemies, the *Lord your God will deliver them to you. You will take some of them to keep for yourselves. You may see among them a beautiful woman that you like. Then you can make her your wife.

Easy-to-Read Version            “You might fight against your enemies, and the Lord your God might let you defeat them. You might carry your enemies away as captives. You might see a beautiful woman among the captives that you want to be your wife.

Good News Bible (TEV)         "When the LORD your God gives you victory in battle and you take prisoners, you may see among them a beautiful woman that you like and want to marry.

New Century Version             Captive Women as Wives

When you go to war against your enemies, the Lord will help you defeat them so that you will take them captive. If you see a beautiful woman among the captives and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife.

New Life Bible                        "When you go out to battle against those who hate you, and the Lord your God gives them to you, and you make them go with you, and you see a beautiful woman and have a desire for her as a wife,...

New Living Translation           Marriage to a Captive Woman

"Suppose you go out to war against your enemies and the Lord your God hands them over to you, and you take some of them as captives. And suppose you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you are attracted to her and want to marry her.

The Voice                               Moses: When you go to battle against your enemies and the Eternal, your True God, enables you to defeat them and take them captive, you may see a beautiful woman among the captives and be attracted to her and want to marry her.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          'And when you're going to war against your enemies and Jehovah your God allows you to conquer them and carry away loot; and if you then notice a woman with a pretty face among the captives whom you want to take as your woman;...

Beck’s American Translation If You Marry a Prisoner

“When you go out to fight with your enemies and the LORD your God puts them in your hands and you take them prisoners and you see among the prisoners a beautiful woman with whom you fall in love, you may marry her.

Christian Community Bible     When you go to war against your enemies, and Yahweh, your God, delivers them over to you, if you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you fall in love with her and desire to have her as your wife, you shall bring her to your house. A portion of v. 12 is included for context.

New Advent (Knox) Bible       When the Lord gives thee victory over thy enemies in battle, and thou bringest back prisoners, dost thou see among them a woman so fair that she wins thy heart, and thou wouldst marry her?

New American Bible              "When you go out to war against your enemies and the LORD, your God, delivers them into your hand, so that you take captives, if you see a comely woman among the captives and become so enamored of her that you wish to have her as wife, ...

New American Bible (R.E.)    Marriage with a Female Captive.

When you go out to war against your enemies and the LORD, your God, delivers them into your power, so that you take captives, if you see a beautiful woman among the captives and become so enamored of her that you wish to have her as a wife,... Dt 20:14.

NIRV                                      Getting Married to a Woman Who Is Your Prisoner

Suppose you go to war against your enemies. And the Lord your God hands them over to you and you take them as prisoners. Then you notice a beautiful woman among them. If you like her, you can get married to her.

Today’s NIV                          Marrying a Captive Woman

When you go to war against your enemies and the LORD your God delivers them into your hands and you take captives, if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      When you proceed to war toward your enemies and Yahweh your God gives them in your hands, and you capture captives, and see with the captives a beautiful formed woman, and yearn for her, and you take her as your woman:...

Bible in Basic English             When you go out to war against other nations, and the Lord your God gives them up into your hands and you take them as prisoners; If among the prisoners you see a beautiful woman and it is your desire to make her your wife;...

The Expanded Bible              Captive Women as Wives

When you go to war against your enemies, the Lord will ·help you defeat them [Lgive them into your hands] so you will take them captive. If you see a beautiful woman among the captives and ·are attracted to [desire; fall in love with] her, you may take her as your wife.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 When you advance to war with your enemies, and your Ever-living God gives them into your hand, and you take them captive, and see amongst the captives there is a beautiful woman, and you have a desire for her to take her to yourself as a wife, you shall take her into the sanctuary of your house,...

NET Bible®                             Laws Concerning Wives

When you go out to do battle with your enemies and the Lord your God allows you to prevail [Heb "gives him into your hands."] and you take prisoners, if you should see among them [Heb "the prisoners." The pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons, to avoid redundancy.] an attractive woman whom you wish to take as a wife,...

NIV, ©2011                             Marrying a Captive Woman

When you go to war against your enemies and the Lord your God delivers them into your hands and you take captives, if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           "When you go out to war against your enemies, and ADONAI your God hands them over to you, and you take prisoners, and you see among the prisoners a woman who looks good to you, and you feel attracted to her and want her as your wife;...

exeGeses companion Bible   THE TORAH ON THE CAPTURED WOMAN

When you go to war against your enemies

and Yah Veh your Elohim gives them in your hands

and you capture them,

and among the captives, see a woman fair in form

and are attached to her,

and you take her as your woman;...

Kaplan Translation                 Woman Captives

When you wage war against your enemies, God will give you victory over them, so that you will take captives. If you see a beautiful woman among the prisoners and desire her, you may take her as a wife [He can marry her immediately if she agrees to convert to Judaism (Yevamoth 47b; Yad, Melakhim 8:5). However, some maintain that he must still wait three months before being intimate with her (Kesef Mishneh ad loc.). See note on Deuteronomy 21:13.].

Orthodox Jewish Bible           [KI TETZE]

When thou goest forth to milchamah against thine enemies, and Hashem Eloheicha hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive, And seest among the captives an eshet yefat to'ar (a woman who is beautiful of form), and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to be thy wife;...


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    When you go forth for battle against your enemy, and Yahweh your Elohim delivers him into your hand, and you capture his captives, and you see among the captives a woman of lovely shape and are attached to her and take her to yourself as a wife,...

English Standard V. – UK       Marrying Female Captives

"When you go out to war against your enemies, and the Lord your God gives them into your hand and you take them captive, and you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you desire to take her to be your wife, and you bring her home to your house, she shall shave her head and pare her nails. V. 12 is included for context.

NASB                                     Domestic Relations

"When you go out to battle against your enemies, and the Lord your God delivers them into your hands and you take them away captive, and see among the captives a beautiful woman, and have a desire for her and would take her as a wife for yourself, then you shall bring her home to your house, and she shall shave her head and trim [Lit do] her nails. V. 12 is included for context.

New King James Version       Female Captives

"When you go out to war against your enemies, and the Lord your God delivers them into your hand, and you take them captive, and you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and desire her and would take her for your wife, then you shall bring her home to your house, and she shall shave her head and trim her nails. V. 12 is included for context.

A Voice in the Wilderness      When you go out to war against your enemies, and Jehovah your God has delivered them into your hand, and you have taken them captive, and you see among the captives a woman with a beautiful figure, and desire her and would take her for your wife,...

Young’s Updated LT             “When you go out to battle against your enemies, and Jehovah your God has given them into your hand, and you have taken captive its captivity; and you have seen in the captivity a woman of fair form, and you have delighted in her, and you have taken to you for a wife.

 

The gist of this verse:          If after winning a battle, you as a soldier notice a beautiful woman among the prisoners whom you desire, you may take her to be your wife.


Deuteronomy 21:10a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kîy (כִּי) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

explanatory or temporal conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

yâtsâʾ (יָצָא) [pronounced yaw-TZAWH]

to go [come] out, to go [come] forth; to rise; to flow, to gush up [out]

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #3318 BDB #422

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

milechâmâh (מִלְחָמָה) [pronounced mil-khaw-MAW]

battle, war, fight, fighting; victory; fortune of war

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #4421 BDB #536

ʿal (עַל) [pronounced ģahl]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of relative proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

ʾâyab (אָיַב) [pronounced aw-YABV]

enemy, the one being at enmity with you; enmity, hostility

masculine plural, Qal active participle with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #340 & #341 BDB #33

As a singular substantive, this is spelled ʾôyêb (אֹיֵב) [pronounced oh-YAYBV]. As Strong’s #340, this is the Qal active participle of the verb; as Strong’s #341, this is the substantive. It is precisely the same word, despite the different Strong’s #’s.


Translation: When you go to war against your enemies... Moses sets up another situation. These situations are very specific, and if they occur or if something like this occurs, then we apply the principles which we take from this situation.


Moses continues to speak using 2nd person masculine singular verbs and suffixes. So, even though I would have thought to use a masculine plural here, for the people of Israel to go to war, Moses speaks to individuals who are going to war. So Moses is speaking to the individual soldier here.


Enemies is in the plural, but it will be reduced to a singular as well.


Deuteronomy 21:10b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

nâthan (נָתַן) [pronounced naw-THAHN]

to give, to grant, to place, to put, to set; to make

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #5414 BDB #678

YHWH (יהוה) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

ʾĚlôhîym (אלֹהִים) [pronounced el-o-HEEM]

God; gods, foreign gods, god; rulers, judges; superhuman ones, angels; transliterated Elohim

masculine plural noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #430 BDB #43

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

yâd (יָד) [pronounced yawd]

hand; figuratively for strength, power, control

feminine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #3027 BDB #388


Translation: ...and Yehowah your Elohim gives them into your hands... I took a few liberties in translating this text. It actually reads that Yehowah your Elohim gives him into your hand... So the enemies are reduced to a masculine singular, looking at their army as a whole. So this is all very personalized, as in, Jehovah your God has given him into your [2nd person masculine singular suffix] hand... God sees to the overall victory; but each man take a part in the war, and Moses is speaking now to individual men.


Finding a singular here, where we expect to find a plural is known as a heterosis Footnote [pronounced HEHT-eh-ROH-sis] of number, where there is an exchange of one thing for another—in this case, an exchange of the singular for the plural (we expected a masculine plural suffix, but get a masculine singular suffix here instead). This is not necessarily something which is done for emphasis, but could simply be a peculiarity of Moses’ speaking.


The people of Israel would enter into the Land of Promise and they would take it. God not only gave them permission; God required this of them. Now, although there would be a wholesale slaughter of some of their enemies, some would be taken as captives (which meant, they would become slaves).


In case you are concerned at this time about, what if there are believers among these people they defeat?  This was covered in Deut. 20:10 When you approach a city to fight against it, you must make an offer of peace. People knew who the Israelites were. They knew that God led them out of Egypt and then purified them in the desert (they may not have known what God was doing to them in the desert, but they knew that Israel walked out of Egypt, under a great many signs and wonders, and then went into the desert). So when the Jews came knocking on the front door of the city, the people in the city knew who they were and knew about their God.


Throughout the Old Testament, there are examples of individuals and peoples from other countries who placed their faith in Yehowah Elohim, the God of Israel. There is no reason to think that those named in the Bible make up an exhaustive list.


Deuteronomy 21:10c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

shâbâh (שָבָה) [pronounced shawb-VAW]

to lead away captives, to take captive

2nd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #7617 BDB #985

shebîy (שְבִי) [pronounced sheb-VEE]

captives, captivity

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #7628 BDB #985


Translation: ...and you have taken them captive. ... We continue with the masculine singular nouns and suffixes. This soldier is leading away captive his captive, which refers to the entire enemy army. Moses speaks to the individual soldier almost as if he has done it; but each man plays a part here.


It was taken for granted in the ancient world that a conquering army could take as slaves the people who have been conquered. Deut. 20:13–14 Yahweh your God having handed it over to you, you will put the whole male population to the sword. But the women, children, livestock and whatever the town contains by way of spoil, you may take for yourselves as plunder. You will feed on the spoils of the enemies whom Yahweh your God has handed over to you. (NJB mostly)


However, this needs to be taken in context with the entirety of this passage: 'When you advance on a town to attack it, first offer it peace-terms. If it accepts these and opens its gates to you, all the people inside will owe you forced labour and work for you. But if it refuses peace and gives battle, you must besiege it. Yahweh your God having handed it over to you, you will put the whole male population to the sword. But the women, children, livestock and whatever the town contains by way of spoil, you may take for yourselves as plunder. You will feed on the spoils of the enemies whom Yahweh your God has handed over to you. That is how you will treat towns far away and not belonging to the nations near you. But as regards the towns of those peoples whom Yahweh your God is giving you as your heritage, you must not spare the life of any living thing. Instead, you must lay them under the curse of destruction: Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, as Yahweh your God has commanded, so that they may not teach you to do all the detestable things which they do to honour their gods: in doing these, you would sin against Yahweh your God.’ (Deut. 20:10–18; NJB mostly). Apart from those whom God has dedicated to the sword—to be destroyed—the Jews were to take a different tact with the people whom they had to war with.


Deuteronomy 21:11a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

râʾâh (רָאָה) [pronounced raw-AWH]

to see, to look, to look at, to view, to behold; to observe; to perceive, to understand, to learn, to know

2nd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #7200 BDB #906

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

shibeyâh (שִבְיָה) [pronounced shibe-YAW

 exiles, captivity, captives; state of captivity

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #7633 BDB #986

ʾîshshâh (אִשָּה) [pronounced eesh-SHAW]

woman, wife

feminine singular construct

Strong's #802 BDB #61

yâpheh (יָפֶה) [pronounced yaw-FEH]

fair, beautiful, attractive; handsome

feminine singular construct

Strong’s #3303 BDB #421

tôʾar (תֹּאַר) [pronounced TOH-ahr]

a striking figure, an eye-catching form, a form which stands out, which catches your eye, which gets your attention; a form

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #8389 BDB #1061


Translation: ...You [may] see among the captives a beautiful woman with a striking figure,... What you see is a woman of form. The masculine noun is tôʾar (תֹּאַר) [pronounced TOH-ahr] and it appears to refer to a striking figure, an eye-catching form or, simply, a form. It is a word used of males (Gen. 39:6 1Kings 1:6), cattle in dreams (Gen. 41:18), children (Judges 8:18) and of women (Gen. 29:17). Generally speaking, it is a form which stands out, which catches your eye, which gets your attention. BDB refers to is as something gazed at. Strong’s #8389 BDB #1061.


Many of those in the service have some control over those whom they take prisoner, and when one army defeats another, that army and their people are often taken into captivity as slaves.


As an aside, this was a legitimate reason for slavery. One country beats down another country, and they take their territory and take them all into captivity. This is an extreme example. Many times, when one army defeated another army, then their people were allowed to remain in their homes, and they often paid tribute (a tax) to those who defeated them. At other times, all or much of the population is destroyed, like dealing with a pack of rabid dogs.


In war, this could have been precipitated by those who have been beaten; this may have been an ongoing struggle which continued for many years; and this may have been a result of aggression by the conquering army. However, it is more rare for a conquering army to come in and take everyone away into slavery.


The Jews did fight some wars of aggression; and when this is studied, this is often over very degenerate peoples. When Israel took the land, they did fight a war of aggression, but they also offered terms of peace from the outset, which few took them up on it.


In general, the Jews did not take many captives when they invaded the Land of Promise (Joshua 6:17–18). And they were not to intermarry with those people either (Deut. 7:3). However, there were no doubt some exceptions (Joshua 2:1–21) and this principle in vv. 10–14 would be applied mostly to Israel fighting wars with the surrounding countries.


In the situation herein described, the Jews have defeated an army and their particular people are not controllable or God has required for them to be taken into slavery. There is the possibility that a soldier might see a woman among these people whom he desires. This is a woman, even though taken in slavery, looks quite remarkable to him. She stands out from the crowd to him.


Deuteronomy 21:11b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

châshaq (חָשַק) [pronounced khaw-SHAHK]

to join together, to cleave to; to be attached to, to long for, to burn in love for; to love

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #2836 BDB #365

Often followed by the bêyth preposition.

It’s use in Deut. 21:11 suggests that this is a superficial desire rather than a deep love.

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity with the 3rd person feminine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #88


Translation: ...and you have a desire for her... The soldier has a great desire for this woman. He has seen her, and he cannot stop thinking about her.


The word châshaq (חָשַק) [pronounced khaw-SHAHK] (also found in Deut. 7:7 10:15) is combined with the prefixed preposition bêyth. Together, they mean placed his love in, set his love with (taking into account the preposition which follows). This verb means to join together, to cleave to; to be attached to, to long for, to burn in love for; to love and is commonly combined with the bêyth preposition. Strong's #2836 BDB #365. Since the soldier looks at this woman and is strongly drawn to her, quite obviously this is not a deep abiding love, but a strong desire.


Quite obviously, what is presented here is somewhat of a superficial desire, but this is the way that God made men. We see an attractive woman and we are attracted. The captures both our attention and our imagination. However, God, through Moses, will not allow this desire to result in the abuse of the woman who is desired. God does not allow a captive woman to be taken as a mistress or as a sex slave.


So, you have rounded up all of the captives and there is a person that you observe among the captives that catches your eye. In fact, you are so taken by her beauty that you even think to yourself, that’s the kind of woman I would marry. This passage gives a procedure for doing such a thing.


When the Israelites slaughtered Midian, they were allowed to keep alive the young women who were virgins for themselves (Num. 31:16–18).


Deuteronomy 21:11c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lâqach (לָקַח) [pronounced law-KAHKH]

to take, to take away, to take in marriage; to seize

2nd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #3947 BDB #542

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

ʾîshshâh (אִשָּה) [pronounced eesh-SHAW]

woman, wife

feminine singular noun

Strong's #802 BDB #61


Translation: ...and you [want to] take [her] for yourself to wife. Instead of sending such a woman into slavery, the soldier is allowed to take the woman as a wife.


Although we in modern society believe that the woman ought to have a say in this, it is reasonable to suppose that, when this is put to the woman, she has some say in the matter. It is unlikely that she is completely forced into this arrangement. However, Moses does not go into detail at this point.

 

Clarke: No forcible possession was allowed even in this case, when the woman was taken in war, and was, by the general consent of ancient nations, adjudged as a part of the spoils. The person to whose lot or share such a woman as is here described fell, might, if he chose, have her for a wife on certain conditions; but he was not permitted to use her under any inferior character. Footnote


For those who know women, when a woman is made to do something which she finds unequivocally unpleasant, she has her ways of making her feelings known. Few people are surprised by how a woman really feels. So, even though this aspect is not really discussed, and even though it does not appear that she is given a choice in the matter, there will be a period of time of adjustment, which certainly will allow her the opportunity to indicate how she feels about this entire matter. The soldier who wants this woman, will spend a month with her, and it will become very clear during that month’s time how this woman feels about him, his God, and Israel.


Although this may seem odd to us today, it is not really all that odd. For the Israelites at that day and time, taking captives of those defeated would be a usual thing. Although we tend to take male soldiers captive today, it is not unusual for our own soldiers to develop friendships and even find love with women of the area where they are fighting. I don’t know what the percentages are, but some men are naturally attracted to exotic women (women of another country). Therefore, just as a Vietnam vet might carry anger toward the Vietnamese for many decades, other Vietnam vets have married Vietnamese women and have developed lifelong families which have continued here in the United States. My point being is, this is not all that odd. It is going to happen in war, and Moses is giving an approach to this which will protect both the woman and Israel.


You will note what is never allowed—the Jewish soldiers are not allowed to go in and rape the women of the enemy. This destroys the soul of the soldier who does such a thing.


——————————


And you have brought her unto a midst of your house and she has shaved her head and she has fashioned her nails and she has put off her garment of captivity from upon her. And she has remained in your house and she has wept for her father and her mother a month of days and after so you will go in unto her and you have married her and she has become to you for a woman.

Deuteronomy

21:12–13

Then you will bring her into the midst of your home and she will shave her head, fashion her nails, and remove her captivity clothing from upon her. She will remain in your home and she will weep for [both] her father and her mother for a full month. Afterwards, you will go in unto her and you have [therefore] married her and she has become your wife.

You will bring this woman into your home and she will shave her head, cut back her nails, and remove the captivity clothing that she was wearing. She will remain in your home for a full month while she mourns for her mother and father. After this, you will go in unto her and have, by this, married her and she has become your wife.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                ...then you will take her into your house, and let her cut off the hair of her head, pare her nails, and put off the dress of her captivity, and, dipping herself, become a proselyte in your house, and weep on account of the idols of the house of her father and mother. And you will wait three months to know whether she be with child; and afterwards you may go to her, endow her, and make her your wife.

Latin Vulgate                          You will bring her into your house: and she will shave her hair, and pare her nails, And will put off the raiment, wherein she was taken: and will remain in your house, and mourn for her father and mother one month: and after that you will go in unto her, and will sleep with her, and she will be your wife.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And you have brought her unto a midst of your house and she has shaved her head and she has fashioned her nails and she has put off her garment of captivity from upon her. And she has remained in your house and she has wept for her father and her mother a month of days and after so you will go in unto her and you have married her and she has become to you for a woman.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    Then you shall bring her home to your house; and she shall shave her head and pare her nails; And she shall put off the clothes of her captivity and shall remain in your house, and mourn for her father and her mother a full month; and after that you shall go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be your wife.

Septuagint (Greek)                ...and should bring her within your house; then shall you shave her head, and trim her nails, and shall take away her garments of captivity from off her, and she shall abide in your house, and shall mourn her father and mother for a full month; and afterwards you shall go in to her and dwell with her, and she shall be your wife.

 

Significant differences:           A midst of is found in the Hebrew, but not so translated into the Syriac or Latin (or by the targum). The Greek appears to have the man taking away her garments; but the Hebrew, it is the woman who puts off her own garments.

 

The targum has several extra phrases at the very end.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           ...bringing her into your home, she must shave her head, cut her nails, remove her prisoner's clothing, and live in your house, mourning her father and her mother for one month. After that, you may consummate the marriage. You will be her husband, and she will be your wife.

Easy English                          You must bring her into your home. Then she must cut off her hair and cut the hard material at the end of her fingers. And she must change her clothes. Let her live in your house and weep for her parents for a whole month. Then you can become her husband and she can become your wif.

Easy-to-Read Version            You must then bring her into your house. She must shave her head and cut her nails. She must take off the clothes she was wearing that showed she was taken in war. She must stay in your house and be sad about losing her father and her mother for a full month. After that, you may go to her and become her husband. She will be your wife.

The Message                         When you go to war against your enemies and GOD, your God, gives you victory and you take prisoners, and then you notice among the prisoners of war a good-looking woman whom you find attractive and would like to marry, this is what you do: Take her home; have her trim her hair, cut her nails, and discard the clothes she was wearing when captured. She is then to stay in your home for a full month, mourning her father and mother. Then you may go to bed with her as husband and wife. Vv. 10–11 are included for context.

New Century Version             Bring her into your home, where she must shave her head and cut her nails and change the clothes she was wearing when you captured her. After she has lived in your house and cried for her parents for a month, you may marry her. You will be her husband, and she will be your wife.

New Living Translation           If this happens, you may take her to your home, where she must shave her head, cut her nails, and change the clothes she was wearing when she was captured. She will stay in your home, but let her mourn for her father and mother for a full month. Then you may marry her, and you will be her husband and she will be your wife.

The Voice                               Bring her back to your house, and then have her shave her head and cut her nails and exchange her old clothes she was wearing when she was captured for new ones. Let her stay in your house and mourn for her father and mother for a month. Only after that may you, as her husband, have sexual relations with her. She will be your fully legal wife and you her husband.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          ...when you bring her home, you must shave her head, cut her nails, and remove the clothes she was wearing when she was captured. Thereafter, she must be allowed to mourn for her father and mother in your home for a month. Only after that may you may have sex with her, live with her, and take her as your woman.

Christian Community Bible     ...you shall bring her to your house. First, she shall shave her head and clip her nails. She shall take off the dress of a captive and stay in your house. And she will mourn for her father and mother for a month, after which you may have relations with her. So you shall be her husband and she your wife.

God’s Word                         Bring her into your home. She must shave her head, cut her nails, and no longer wear the clothes she was wearing when you captured her. Then she may live in your house and mourn the loss of her father and mother for one month. After that, you may sleep with her. Then you will become husband and wife.

New Advent (Knox) Bible       Take her, then, into thy house; and there she must shave her head and pare her nails close, and lay aside the garb of a captive, that she wore till now. Let her have a month, dwelling in thy house, to bewail the loss of her father and mother; then thou mayest take her to thy bed and make her thy wife.

New American Bible              ...you may take her home to your house. But before she may live there, she must shave her head and pare her nails [Shave her head . . . : these symbolic actions are meant to signify the purification of the woman from her pagan defilement or perhaps the end of her period of mourning for her previous husband.] and lay aside her captive's garb. After she has mourned her father and mother for a full month, you may have relations with her, and you shall be her husband and she shall be your wife.

New American Bible (R.E.)    ...and so you take her home to your house, she must shave her head, cut her nails [these symbolic actions probably signified the transition or change of status of the woman or perhaps the end of her period of mourning for her previous husband or family.], lay aside her captive's garb, and stay in your house, mourning her father and mother for a full month. After that, you may come to her, and you shall be her husband and she shall be your wife.

NIRV                                      Bring her home. Have her shave her head. Have her cut her nails. Have her throw away the clothes she was wearing when she was captured. Let her live in your house and sob over her parents for a full month. Then you can go to her and be her husband. And she will be your wife.

New Jerusalem Bible             'When you go to war against your enemies and Yahweh your God delivers them into your power and you take prisoners, and among the prisoners you see a beautiful woman, and you fall in love with her, and you take her to be your wife and bring her home; she must shave her head and cut her nails, and take off her prisoner's garb; she must stay inside your house and mourn her father and mother for a full month. You may then go to her and be a husband to her, and she will be your wife. Vv. 10–11 are included for context.

New Simplified Bible              »When you go to war with your enemies and Jehovah your God hands them over to you, you may take them captive. »If you see a beautiful woman among the captives and your heart is set on her, you may marry her. »Take her to your home. She should shave her head and cut her nails. »She should no longer wear the clothes she was wearing when you captured her. She may live in your house and mourn the loss of her father and mother for one month. After that you may marry her. Vv. 10–11 are included for context.

Revised English Bible            Bring her into our house; there she must shave her head, pare her nails, and discard the clothes which she had when captured. For a full month she is to stay in your house mourning for her father and mother. After that you may have intercourse with her, and be man and wife.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      Bring her into your house, shave her head, and do her fingernails. She turns the raiment of her captivity from over her, and dwells in your house, weeping for her father and her mother for a moon of days. So afterwards, you come into her, and marry her, and she is your woman.

Bible in Basic English             Then take her back to your house; and let her hair and her nails be cut; And let her take off the dress in which she was made prisoner and go on living in your house and weeping for her father and mother for a full month: and after that you may go in to her and be her husband and she will be your wife.

The Expanded Bible              Bring her into your home, where she must shave her head and cut her nails and change the clothes she was wearing when you captured her. After she has lived in your house and cried for her ·parents [Lfather and her mother] for a month, you may marry her. You will be her husband, and she will be your wife.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 ...you shall take her into the sanctuary of your house, and uncover her head, and pare her nails, and she shall put off the clothing in which she was captured, and reside in your house, and weep for her father and mother the space of a month, and after that you can go to her and marry her, and she shall be your wife.

NET Bible®                             ...you may bring her back to your house. She must shave her head [This requirement for the woman to shave her head may symbolize the putting away of the old life and customs in preparation for being numbered among the people of the Lord. The same is true for the two following requirements.], trim her nails, discard the clothing she was wearing when captured [Heb "she is to.remove the clothing of her captivity" (cf. NASB); NRSV "discard her captive's garb."], and stay [Heb "sit"; KJV, NASB, NRSV "remain."] in your house, lamenting for her father and mother for a full month. After that you may have sexual relations24 with her and become her husband and she your wife.

NIV, ©2011                             Bring her into your home and have her shave her head, trim her nails and put aside the clothes she was wearing when captured. After she has lived in your house and mourned her father and mother for a full month, then you may go to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           ...you are to bring her home to your house, where she will shave her head, cut her fingernails and remove her prison clothing. She will stay there in your house, mourning her father and mother for a full month; after which you may go in to have sexual relations with her and be her husband, and she will be your wife.

exeGeses companion Bible   ...bring her midst your house:

and she shaves her head and works her nails

and she turns aside the clothes of her captivity

and settles in your house;

and weeps over her father and her mother

a moon of days:

and after that you go in to her and marry her

and she becomes your woman.

Judaica Press Complete T.    You shall bring her into your home, and she shall shave her head and let her nails grow. And she shall remove the garment of her captivity from upon herself, and stay in your house, and weep for her father and her mother for a full month. After that, you may be intimate with her and possess her, and she will be a wife for you.

Kaplan Translation                 In such a case [That is, if she does not immediately wish to convert (Yad, ibid.).], when you bring her home, she must shave off her head [To make her less attractive (Ibn Ezra). Also as a sign of purification and new status; see Leviticus 14:8, Numbers 8:7 (Chizzkuni).] and let her fingernails grow [(Targum; Rashi; Yad, Melakhim 8:5). Literally, 'make her nails.' Or, 'cut her fingernails' (Chizzkuni; Septuagint). Both opinions are found in the Talmud (Yevamoth 48a; Sifri; cf. HaKethav VeHaKabbalah).]. She must take off her captive's garb [To remove from her any taint of idolatry (Midrash Aggadah). Also to make her less attractive (Rashi; Rashbam; Ibn Ezra).] and remain in your house a full month [Actually, the man could not marry her for 90 days (Yevamoth 48b; Yad, Melakhim 8:5). He thus would have to wait an additional two months after her mourning period was over.], mourning for her father and mother [As well as their idolatrous religion, which she must abandon (Yevamoth 48b; Yad, Melakhim 8:5; Ramban). This is an act of mercy (Moreh Nevukhim 3:41). This delay also gives the girl a chance to accustom herself to Judaism and refrain from mentioning idolatrous deities (Midrash Aggadah). Thirty days is a normal mourning period; see Numbers 20:29.]. Only then [After converting her to Judaism. She is given 12 months to make up her mind to convert, after which she is sent away (Yad, Melakhim 8:7). However, others maintain that she may be converted against her will (Ramban).] may you be intimate with her and possess her, making her your wife [Some say through a regular marriage ceremony (Yad, Melakhim 8:6), while others maintain that she becomes his wife through intercourse alone (Ramban). In either case, she has the full rights of a wife, as in Exodus 21:10 (Sifri).].

Orthodox Jewish Bible           Then thou shalt bring her home to thine bais, and she shall shave her rosh, and trim her nails; And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine bais, and mourn her av and her em a full month; and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her ba'al, and she shall be thy isha.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                Then you shall bring her home to your house, and she shall shave her head and pare her nails [in purification from heathenism] And put off her prisoner's garb, and shall remain in your house and bewail her father and her mother a full month. After that you may go in to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife.

Concordant Literal Version    ...then you will bring her into the midst of your household, where she will shave her head and pare her nails. She will put away the garment of her captivity from her and dwell in your house. Then she will lament her father and her mother a month of days, and afterward you may come to her and may possess her, and she will become yours as a wife.

Context Group Version          ...then you shall bring her home to your house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails; and she shall put the clothing of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in your house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that you shall go in to her, and be her man { or husband }, and she shall be your woman { or wife }.

The updated Geneva Bible    Then you will bring her home to your house [Signifying that her former life must be changed before she could be joined to the people of God.]; and she will shave her head, and pare her nails; And she will put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and will remain in your house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month [As having renounced parents and country.]: and after that you will go in unto her, and be her husband, and she will be your wife. This was only allowed in the wars, otherwise the Israelites could not marry strangers.

Modern KJV                           ...then you shall bring her home to your house. And she shall shave her head and dress her nails. And she shall put off the clothing of her captivity, and shall remain in your house, and shall sorrow for her father and her mother a full month. And after that you shall go in to her and be her husband, and she shall be your wife.

New King James Version       ...then you shall bring her home to your house, and she shall shave her head and trim her nails. She shall put off the clothes of her captivity, remain in your house, and mourn her father and her mother a full month; after that you may go in to her and be her husband, and she shall be your wife.

New RSV                               When you go out to war against your enemies, and the Lord your God hands them over to you and you take them captive, suppose you see among the captives a beautiful woman whom you desire and want to marry, and so you bring her home to your house: she shall shave her head, pare her nails, discard her captive's garb, and shall remain in your house for a full month, mourning for her father and mother; after that you may go in to her and be her husband, and she shall be your wife. Vv. 10–11 are included for context.

Webster’s updated Bible       Then you will bring her home to your house, and she will shave her head, and pare her nails: And she will put off from her the raiment of her captivity, and will remain in your house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that, you will go in to her, and be her husband, and she will be your wife.

Young’s Updated LT             Then you have brought her in unto the midst of your household, and she has shaved her head, and prepared her nails, and turned aside the raiment of her captivity from off her, and has dwelt in your house, and bewailed her father and her mother a month of days, and afterwards you will go in unto her and have married her, and she has been to you for a wife.

 

The gist of this verse:          You may take this female prisoner into your home, and she will change out of her native clothing, cut off all of her hair, and mourn her parents for a full month. After that, you may have intimate relations with her and make her your wife.


Deuteronomy 21:12a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

bôwʾ (בּוֹא) [pronounced boh]

to take in, to bring [near, against, upon], to come in with, to carry, to cause to come [in], to gather, to bring to pass

2nd person masculine singular, Hiphil perfect with the 3rd person feminine singular suffix

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

tâveke (תָּוֶ) [pronounced taw-VEKE]

midst, among, middle

masculine singular construct

Strong's #8432 BDB #1063

bayith (בַּיִת) [pronounced BAH-yith]

house, residence; household, habitation as well as inward

masculine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #1004 BDB #108


Translation: Then you will bring her into the midst of your home... You are a soldier and you have been struck by the beauty of one of your captives. Most of these captives are removed from their homeland and are going into slavery. However, you have seen a woman in this group who really appeals to you, so you will bring her into your home.


Deuteronomy 21:12b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

gâlach (גָּלַח) [pronounced gaw-LAKH]

to shave [one’s beard or head], to shave off, to cut off; to shave oneself; metaphorically to shave [a land by fire and sword], to devastate

3rd person feminine singular, Piel perfect

Strong’s #1548 BDB #164

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

rôʾsh (רֹאש or רֹאֶש) [pronounced rohsh]

head [of a man, city, state, nation, place, family, priest], top [of a mountain]; chief, prince, officer; front, choicest, best; height [of stars]; sum

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person feminine singular suffix

Strong's #7218 BDB #910


Translation: ...and she will shave her head,... While in your home, she will shave her head. This removes what makes a woman beautiful. Even at this point you may look at this woman and think, “Hmm, maybe I have misjudged this woman’s beauty.”


The shaving of the head represents several things:  it is often a part of a purifying or cleansing ceremony when closely associated with death, as we have seen in Lev. 14:8–9 Num. 6:9 8:7;  it is symbolic of the woman leaving her old life and beginning a new life;  it is symbolic of mourning (v. 13 Isa. 15:2);  it is symbolic of humiliation (2Sam. 10:4–5);  it is symbolic of capture by the enemy (Micah 1:16); it is symbolic of personal disgrace (1Cor. 11:5); and,  it is symbolic of God’s judgment upon a people (Isa. 3:17).


Deuteronomy 21:12c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʿâsâh (עָשָֹה) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare, to manufacture

2nd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #6213 BDB #793

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

tsippôren (צִפֹּרֶן) [pronounced tsip-POH-ren]

 nail [of a finger]; stylus-point, finger-nail; with the point of a diamond

masculine plural noun with the 3rd person feminine singular suffix

Strong’s #6856 BDB #862


Translation: ...fashion her nails,... On the one hand, I would assume her nails, also a symbol of femininity, are cut off as well, along with her hair. However, the verb here means to do, to make and there is no corresponding word which would mean to make shorter. So, by the translation, it sounds as though she does her nails as women do their nails today. Perhaps this in part identifies her as a woman, as her hair has been shorn.


Although most of the translations have that she will cut off her nails, the verb here is the very common verb ʿâsâh (עָשָֹה) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH], which means to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare, to manufacture. Strong's #6213 BDB #793. I realize that this may seem out of place for the woman to shave off her hair, but then to do her nails. Perhaps it is the one aspect of beauty that the woman is allowed here. There is no real agreement from commentators Footnote at this point. The context would seem to indicate that she is to make herself seem less feminine, but the verb suggests that she is making this aspect more feminine. I would lean toward the latter, myself.


Deuteronomy 21:13a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

çûwr (סוּר) [pronounced soor]

to cause to depart, to remove, to cause to go away; to take away; to turn away from

3rd person feminine singular, Hiphil perfect

Strong's #5493 (and #5494) BDB #693

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

sîmelâh (שִׂמְלָה) [pronounced sime-LAW]

[covering, outer] garment, mantle, clothing, cloth

feminine singular construct

Strong’s #8071 BDB #971

shebîy (שְבִי) [pronounced sheb-VEE]

captives, captivity

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person feminine singular suffix

Strong’s #7628 BDB #985

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, of, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

ʿal (עַל) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity with the 3rd person feminine singular suffix

Strong’s #5920, #5921 BDB #752

Together, they mean from upon, from over, from by, from beside, from attachment to, from companionship with, from accompanying [in a protective manner], from adhesion to, from. Some translators rendered this away from.


Translation: ...and remove her captivity clothing from upon her. You may have been taken by this woman by the clothing that she wore, but that is to be replaced. There is no indication that she will run about naked; but she will no longer wear the clothing of her people, which could be quite distinct from the Jews.


Her captive’s clothing is literally her clothing of captivity. This is nothing more or less than the clothes she was wearing when taken captive. She has not been garbed in some sort of a convicts uniform; nor, at capture did she change into anything different.


What appears to be the case is, some women who were taken captive would dress up to be attractive to their captors. Rather than being enslaved, these women would be looking to be taken as wives or as mistresses (not just by the Jews, but by nearly all nationalities). So if a woman was so dressed up, it revealed that she was open to such an arrangement. It could even indicate positive volition toward the God of Israel when being taken prisoner by the Israeli army.

 

Seba, and ancient Jewish writer notes: The daughters of Heathens used to adorn themselves in raiment of silk, and purple, and fine linen, and needlework, to allure and entice men with them; and therefore the law obliges to put off her beautiful garments, and clothe her with old worn out ones, that she might be less agreeable to him; though the putting off her fine clothes, and being clad with sordid ones, might be only as a token of mourning; as it was customary at such times to lay aside richer clothing, and put on sackcloth. Footnote


Therefore, so that the soldier was not blinded by the woman’s beauty, those things which help to enhance the woman’s beauty were removed from her, so that he would have a month to see the woman at her worst and to get to know the soul of this woman.


This is the idea behind these regulations that Moses is imposing here. He is protecting the women captives and he is doing what he can to see that Israel maintains strong marriages based upon a soul connection as over against a physical desire. The physical desire is obviously accommodated, but confined to a marriage where soul rapport has been achieved first.


Deuteronomy 21:13b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

yâshab (יָשַב) [pronounced yaw-SHAHBV]

to remain, to stay; to dwell, to live, to inhabit; to sit

3rd person feminine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #3427 BDB #442

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

bayith (בַּיִת) [pronounced BAH-yith]

house, residence; household, habitation as well as inward

masculine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #1004 BDB #108


Translation: She will remain in your home... She is going to remain in this man’s home over this time. So this man is going to see this woman at her worst.


Like it or not, the Bible treats women much differently than men. On the one hand, you perhaps have noticed that there is very little volition here allowed the woman. On the other hand, you will note that she has been allowed to live and she is not placed into a life of slavery. Her native dress, the captive’s clothing, is also removed. This woman has all of her previous life removed from her—parents, hair and clothing.

 

Gill: The plain meaning is, that when a Jewish soldier was passionately in love with a captive, and was desirous of making her his wife, he was to take her home to his house, where she was to remain, to see whether his passion of love would subside, or the woman become a proselyte, or however till certain rites were observed, and then he was permitted to marry her. Footnote

 

Keil and Delitzsch: The intention of these laws was...to give her time and leisure to loosen herself inwardly from the natural fellowship of her nation and kindred, and to acquire affection towards the fellowship of the people of God, into which she had entered against her will, that her heart might cherish love to the God of Israel, who had given her favour in the eyes of her master, and had taken from her the misery and reproach of slavery. But her master becoming her husband. Footnote

 

Matthew Henry: This was [all] done in token of her renouncing idolatry, and becoming a proselyte to the Jewish religion. The shaving of her head, the paring of her nails, and the changing of her apparel, signified her putting off her former conversation, which was corrupt in her ignorance, that she might become a new creature. She must remain in his house to be taught the good knowledge of the Lord and the worship of him: and the Jews say that if she refused, and continued obstinate in idolatry, he must not marry her. Footnote


Compare to 2Cor. 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? (ESV) This would suggest that some agreement and understanding has been achieved between the victorious soldier and the defeated heathen woman. That is, she has come to believe in the God of Israel.


Deuteronomy 21:13c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

bâkâh (בַּכָה) [pronounced baw-KAW]

to weep [for] (in grief, humiliation, or joy), to weep [bitterly], to weep upon [i.e., to embrace and week], to cry [for], to bewail

3rd person feminine plural, Qal perfect

Strong’s #1058 BDB #113

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ʾâb (אָב)[pronounced awbv]

father, both as the head of a household, clan or tribe; founder, civil leader, military leader

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person feminine singular suffix

Strong’s #1 BDB #3

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ʾêm (אֵם) [pronounced aim]

mother [humans, animals]; grandmother used figuratively for an intimate relationship, for a nation; a metropolis, a great and leading city; metaphorically for the earth; point of departure or division

feminine singular noun with the 2nd person feminine singular suffix

Strong’s #517 BDB #51

yerach (יֶרַח) [pronounced YEH-rakh]

 a month, a lunar month; a new moon

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #3391 (& #3394) BDB #437

yâmîym (יָמִים) [pronounced yaw-MEEM]

days, a set of days; time of life, lifetime; a specific time period, a year

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #3117 BDB #398


Translation: ...and she will weep for [both] her father and her mother for a full month. She will be given a month’s time to mourn for her parents, which was the typical time spend mourning for the loss of a loved one.


She has, out of free choice, come from a heathen culture where her mother and father have despised the God of Israel. This is why this people find themselves at war with Israel.


Every normal person will mourn the passing of their parents, believers or not. In fact, the loss of one’s parents who are unbelievers is much more tragic as they will never be seen again.


After she is given a month to mourn, then the male Israelite is given her as his wife. This gives her time to adjust and to let go the attachments of her former life and to prepare herself for an entirely new life.


For those who believe that one month is really not enough time, one has to keep in mind what is happening here. The woman has just had her city or country defeated and her parents killed (or enslaved); the soldier is not at war, but living at his home all of the time; and these two people, knowing what is expected of them, are making a decision whether or not to spend the rest of their lives together. It is not as if they are going on a few dates over a period of a month. Bear in mind, the woman also probably understands that, if the man does not keep her, then she will be free to go (this is assuming that the soldier has shown her where this is found in the Word of God). This will certainly be a consideration when this woman considers just how cooperative and friendly she will be.


There is something else important about this time frame (which probably could be adjusted somewhat by the individuals involved). Moses did not want to take the chance that, if this couple lives together for too long, they may have sex before committing marriage to one another.


Deuteronomy 21:13d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾachar (אַחַר) [pronounced ah-KHAHR]

after, following, behind; afterwards, after that

preposition/adverb

Strong’s #310 BDB #29

kên (כֵּן) [pronounced kane]

so, therefore, thus; then, afterwards; upright, honest; rightly, well; [it is] so, such, so constituted

properly, an active participle; used primarily as an adverb

Strong's #3651 BDB #485

These two words together literally mean after so; however, they appear to mean afterward, afterwards, after these things, after this, [and] after that. See Gen. 15:14 23:19 25:26 Lev. 14:36 Deut. 21:13 1Sam. 10:5.

bôwʾ (בּוֹא) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter, to advance

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied) with the 3rd person feminine singular suffix