Why Is the Manslayer Exiled Until the Death of the High Priest?

Why Is the Manslayer Exiled Until the Death of the High Priest?
Written by Jim Staley
The question asked in this article's title is one many people ask when they come to Numbers 35. When it comes to the Avenger of Blood commandments in the Torah, there are two different scenarios. The first is where someone intentionally takes the life of another. In that case, the person is not allowed to flee to one of the six cities of refuge that were scattered among the 48 Levitical cities. He was tried and put to death by the nearest relative of the one murdered, called the Avenger of Blood. The other scenario is where someone accidentally takes the life of another. In that case, the nearest relative has the right to avenge the blood of the one who died by killing the man who killed his relative. But if the man who accidentally took the life makes it to a city of refuge in time he is saved from the Avenger of Blood. Once he arrives, the elders determine his liability through a trial. If he has no liability and the death was a true accident he is not exiled and no one can touch him. He is free. If it is determined that he does have some liability he is exiled to the city of refuge until the high priest of Israel dies. The explanation Judaism gives for this is that no man can actually know to what degree someone is liable for an accident and thus cannot know how long to exile him. So they leave it up to Yahweh to determine when the high priest shall die. That's the practical and literal definition of the text.
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Got a Mole Problem?

Got a Mole Problem?
Written by Jim Staley

Numbers 31

Have you ever had a mole problem? One that just keeps coming back and ruining your yard or garden? They seem to go away for a while and then come back with vengeance. I recently learned that moles love grub worms and they seek them more than any other food. I personally have a mole that just won't stay out of my garden. An old timer told me that all you have to do is get rid of the grub worms (thereby removing its food source) and it will move on. And because moles are like besetting sins that just don't seem to go away, I got to thinking about this week's Torah Portion and the "mole problem" that the Israelites had with the Midianites. So. If you've got a mole problem in your life, this article might be for you. 

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Vow vs. Oath

Vow vs. Oath
Written by Jim Staley

Mattot (Matos): Vow vs. Oath

MAKING A VOW OR OATH

Read Numbers 30.

What immediately jumps out at you from reading this chapter? What seems to be the driving point that Yahweh is wanting to impress upon them? And finally, what is the original intent behind the plain black text that we can apply for today?

I think it's pretty clear that the main point He's trying to make is that making a vow or an oath is very important to Him and to our fellow man. But amazingly, a "vow" and an "oath" are two different words in the Hebrew language.

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