Numbers Chapter 35  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Bible: Numbers 35
 
Num 35:1(top)
Num 35:2(top)
Num 35:3(top)
Num 35:4(top)
Num 35:5(top)
Num 35:6(top)
Num 35:7(top)
Num 35:8(top)
Num 35:9(top)
Num 35:10(top)
Num 35:11(top)
Num 35:12(top)
Num 35:13(top)
Num 35:14(top)
Num 35:15(top)
Num 35:16

“put to death, yes, put to death.” The Hebrew text doubles the verb for emphasis, using the figure of speech polyptoton, and this figure occurs five times in this chapter (Num. 35:16, 17, 18, 21, 31). [For more on polyptoton and the way it is translated, see commentary on Gen. 2:16].

Murderers are to be put to death. [For more on the death penalty, see commentary on Exod. 21:12].

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Num 35:17(top)
Num 35:18(top)
Num 35:19

“avenger of blood.” The ancient world did not have a police force to keep people safe. The best personal safety came from being a member of a large and powerful family, clan, or tribe that would seek revenge if anything happened to one of their members. If a family member was harmed, the person who avenged that family members was called “the avenger of blood” (cp. Num. 35:19-29; Deut. 19:6-12; Josh. 20:2-9).

The problem with the system was that, as has often happened in trials throughout the millennia, different people feel very differently when someone is killed. To some the killing was justified, to others it was unjustified murder. So one person would kill another. Then the avenger of blood from the dead man’s family would kill the killer. Then an avenger of blood from the family of the man just killed would kill that person. And so the pendulum would swing back and forth with people killing one another, and “blood feuds” would often last many generations.

In a case that made it before the king, like in the case of the woman in 2 Samuel 14:1-11, the king could command the killing to stop, but that was only marginally effective because the king’s command did not stop the animosity, which could erupt at any time.

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Num 35:20(top)
Num 35:21

“put to death, yes, put to death.” The Hebrew text doubles the verb for emphasis, using the figure of speech polyptoton (for more on polyptoton and the way it is translated, see commentary on Gen. 2:16).

“The avenger of blood.” The avenger of blood was usually a family member or close relative (see commentary on Ruth 2:20, “kinsman-redeemer”).

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Num 35:22(top)
Num 35:23(top)
Num 35:24(top)
Num 35:25(top)
Num 35:26(top)
Num 35:27(top)
Num 35:28(top)
Num 35:29(top)
Num 35:30(top)
Num 35:31(top)
Num 35:32(top)
Num 35:33(top)
Num 35:34(top)
  

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