Deuteronomy 19:13

13 1Your eye shall not pity him, 2but you shall purge the guilt of innocent blood[a] from Israel, so that it may be well with you.

Deuteronomy 19:13 Meaning and Commentary

Deuteronomy 19:13

Thine eye shall not pity him
This is not said to the avenger of blood, who is not to be supposed to have any pity or compassion on such a person, but to the elders, judges, and civil magistrates of the city to which he belonged, who took cognizance of his case; these were to show him no favour on account of his being a citizen, a neighbour, a relation or friend, or a rich man, or on any account whatever; but without favour or affection were to judge him and put him to death as a murderer; see ( Numbers 35:21 ) ,

but thou shall put away the guilt of innocent blood from Israel;
by which they would be defiled, and be liable to punishment for it; see ( Numbers 35:33 Numbers 35:34 ) , the Targum of Jonathan is,

``shall put away those that shed innocent blood out of Israel;''

put them away by death:

that it may go well with thee;
with the whole land and its inhabitants, and with the city particularly, and the magistrates, and men of it, to which the murderer condemned to death belonged, being continued in the enjoyment of all temporal blessings and mercies.

Deuteronomy 19:13 In-Context

11 "But if anyone hates his neighbor and lies in wait for him and attacks him and strikes him fatally so that he dies, and he flees into one of these cities,
12 then the elders of his city shall send and take him from there, and hand him over to the avenger of blood, so that he may die.
13 Your eye shall not pity him, but you shall purge the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, so that it may be well with you.
14 "You shall not move your neighbor's landmark, which the men of old have set, in the inheritance that you will hold in the land that the LORD your God is giving you to possess.
15 "A single witness shall not suffice against a person for any crime or for any wrong in connection with any offense that he has committed. Only on the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses shall a charge be established.

Cross References 2

  • 1. See Deuteronomy 7:16
  • 2. Deuteronomy 21:9; Numbers 35:33; [1 Kings 2:31]

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or the blood of the innocent
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.