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,
then your elders and your judges shall come out, and they shall measure the distance to the surrounding cities.
And the elders of the city that is nearest to the slain man shall take a heifer z that has never been worked and that has not pulled in a yoke.
And the elders of that city shall bring the heifer down to a valley with running water, which is neither plowed nor sown, and shall break the heifer's neck there in the valley.
Then the priests, the sons of Levi, shall come forward, for the Lord your God has chosen a them to minister to him and to bless in the name of the Lord, and b by their word every dispute and every assault shall be settled.
And all the elders of that city nearest to the slain man c shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley,
and they shall testify, 'Our hands did not shed this blood, nor did our eyes see it shed.
Accept atonement, O Lord, for your people Israel, whom you have redeemed, and d do not set the guilt of innocent blood in the midst of your people Israel, so that their blood guilt be atoned for.'
So e you shall purge the guilt of innocent blood from your midst, when you do what is right in the sight of the Lord.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
This is the statute of the law that the Lord has commanded: Tell the people of Israel to bring you a red heifer without defect, in which there is no blemish, and on which a yoke has never come.
At that time the Lord set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the Lord to stand before the Lord to minister to him and to bless in his name, to this day.
Deuteronomy 17:8 - 9
If any case arises requiring decision between one kind of homicide and another, one kind of legal right and another, or one kind of assault and another, any case within your towns that is too difficult for you, then you shall arise and go up to the place that the Lord your God will choose.
Then both parties to the dispute shall appear before the Lord, before the priests and the judges who are in office in those days.
I wash my hands in innocence and go around your altar, O Lord.
All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence.
So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, "I am innocent of this man's blood; see to it yourselves.
Therefore they called out to the Lord, "O Lord, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not on us innocent blood, for you, O Lord, have done as it pleased you.
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.