Deuteronomy 19 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 When God, your God, throws the nations out of the country that God, your God, is giving you and you settle down in their cities and houses, 1 When the LORD your God has destroyed the nations whose land he is giving you, and when you have driven them out and settled in their towns and houses,
2 you are to set aside three easily accessible cities in the land that God, your God, is giving you as your very own. 2 then set aside for yourselves three cities centrally located in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess.
3 Divide your land into thirds, this land that God, your God, is giving you to possess, and build roads to the towns so that anyone who accidentally kills another can flee there. 3 Build roads to them and divide into three parts the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, so that anyone who kills a man may flee there.
4 This is the guideline for the murderer who flees there to take refuge: He has to have killed his neighbor without premeditation and with no history of bad blood between them. 4 This is the rule concerning the man who kills another and flees there to save his life--one who kills his neighbor unintentionally, without malice aforethought.
5 For instance, a man goes with his neighbor into the woods to cut a tree; he swings the ax, the head slips off the handle and hits his neighbor, killing him. He may then flee to one of these cities and save his life. 5 For instance, a man may go into the forest with his neighbor to cut wood, and as he swings his ax to fell a tree, the head may fly off and hit his neighbor and kill him. That man may flee to one of these cities and save his life.
6 If the city is too far away, the avenger of blood racing in hot-blooded pursuit might catch him since it's such a long distance, and kill him even though he didn't deserve it. It wasn't his fault. There was no history of hatred between them. 6 Otherwise, the avenger of blood might pursue him in a rage, overtake him if the distance is too great, and kill him even though he is not deserving of death, since he did it to his neighbor without malice aforethought.
7 Therefore I command you: Set aside the three cities for yourselves. 7 This is why I command you to set aside for yourselves three cities.
8 When God, your God, enlarges your land, extending its borders as he solemnly promised your ancestors, by giving you the whole land he promised them 8 If the LORD your God enlarges your territory, as he promised on oath to your forefathers, and gives you the whole land he promised them,
9 because you are diligently living the way I'm commanding you today, namely, to love God, your God, and do what he tells you all your life; and when that happens, then add three more to these three cities 9 because you carefully follow all these laws I command you today--to love the LORD your God and to walk always in his ways--then you are to set aside three more cities.
10 so that there is no chance of innocent blood being spilled in your land. God, your God, is giving you this land as an inheritance - you don't want to pollute it with innocent blood and bring bloodguilt upon yourselves. 10 Do this so that innocent blood will not be shed in your land, which the LORD your God is giving you as your inheritance, and so that you will not be guilty of bloodshed.
11 On the other hand, if a man with a history of hatred toward his neighbor waits in ambush, then jumps him, mauls and kills him, and then runs to one of these cities, that's a different story. 11 But if a man hates his neighbor and lies in wait for him, assaults and kills him, and then flees to one of these cities,
12 The elders of his own city are to send for him and have him brought back. They are to hand him over to the avenger of blood for execution. 12 the elders of his town shall send for him, bring him back from the city, and hand him over to the avenger of blood to die.
13 Don't feel sorry for him. Clean out the pollution of wrongful murder from Israel so that you'll be able to live well and breathe clean air. 13 Show him no pity. You must purge from Israel the guilt of shedding innocent blood, so that it may go well with you.
14 Don't move your neighbor's boundary markers, the longstanding landmarks set up by your pioneer ancestors defining their property. 14 Do not move your neighbor's boundary stone set up by your predecessors in the inheritance you receive in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess.
15 You cannot convict anyone of a crime or sin on the word of one witness. You need two or three witnesses to make a case. 15 One witness is not enough to convict a man accused of any crime or offense he may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.
16 If a hostile witness stands to accuse someone of a wrong, 16 If a malicious witness takes the stand to accuse a man of a crime,
17 then both parties involved in the quarrel must stand in the Presence of God before the priests and judges who are in office at that time. 17 the two men involved in the dispute must stand in the presence of the LORD before the priests and the judges who are in office at the time.
18 The judges must conduct a careful investigation; if the witness turns out to be a false witness and has lied against his fellow Israelite, 18 The judges must make a thorough investigation, and if the witness proves to be a liar, giving false testimony against his brother,
19 give him the same medicine he intended for the other party. Clean the polluting evil from your company. 19 then do to him as he intended to do to his brother. You must purge the evil from among you.
20 People will hear of what you've done and be impressed; that will put a stop to this kind of evil among you. 20 The rest of the people will hear of this and be afraid, and never again will such an evil thing be done among you.
21 Don't feel sorry for the person: It's life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot. 21 Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.