Biblical Principle #249: Israel Not to Accept Ransom for Murder

Biblical Principles List


Under the Law of Moses, God told Israel not to accept a ransom for the life of a murderer who deserved to die.


We have previously established the consequences that the Law of Moses prescribed for various situations involving murder. One special instruction that deserves its own Principle is not accepting a ransom payment to spare the guilty from death.

31 Moreover, you shall accept no ransom for the life of a murderer subject to the death penalty, for he shall be put to death. 32 Also you shall accept no ransom from one who fled to one of the cities of refuge, that he may again return to dwell in the land before the death of the high priest.

Numbers 35:31-32 OSB

GOD is just. All sin must be punished. Therefore, GOD hates the perversion of justice.

Moses reminded Israel about GOD’s character in this way when he said:

12 “So now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the commandments of the Lord your God and His ordinances I command you today for your good? 14 Indeed, heaven and heaven of heaven belong to the Lord your God, also the earth and everything in it. 15 The Lord chose your fathers to love them; and He chose their seed after them, you above all nations, as it is this day. 16 Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and do not be stiff-necked any longer. 17 For the Lord your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe. 18 He administers justice for the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, and loves the resident alien, giving him food and clothing. 19 Therefore, love the resident aliens, for you were resident aliens in the land of Egypt. 20 You shall fear the Lord your God; you shall serve Him, and hold fast to Him, and take oaths in His name. 21 He is your boast and your God, who did these great and glorious things for you, the things you saw with your own eyes. 22 Your fathers went down to Egypt with seventy-five souls, and now, the Lord your God made you as the stars of heaven in multitude.

Deuteronomy 10:12-22 OSB

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