Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Genesis 4:8-10 Part Two: The Avenger of Blood and The Cities of Refuge.

Last time, I ended with a pretty bold statement, that your salvation depends on knowing the difference between manslaughter and premeditated murder and how the law looks at it. Lets first look at what the bible says about the punishment of those who kill another.

“Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he the man”

Genesis 9:6

Here we have G-d decreeing that murderers were to forfeit their own lives: However, and more definitively, in Exodus 21:12-14,22-23; Leviticus 24:17; Numbers 35:16-21, the law requires the death penalty in cases of premeditated murder. In either case, a close relative could avenge his death whether it was manslaughter or premeditated murder. It was his right. As a matter of fact, the victim's nearest relative was expected to avenge his death. The nearest relative is called the Go'el ha dam", the Avenger of Blood.

His duties included avenging the death of the near relative and redeeming the property or the person of a relative that had fallen into debt. We’ll go further into detail about the Go’el when we get to the book of Ruth. However, in the case of unintentional homicide, which we call manslaughter, the Cities of Refuge were set up. Six Cities of Refuge were provided for those who killed without any forethought or on accident. They could live there without fear, without any retaliation, until the reigning High Priest died, provided that they could prove their case of manslaughter to the judges or elders who sat at the gate (Num. 35: 9-34; Deut. 19: 1-13 and Joshua 20). After the High Priest died, he was free of all punishment.

Before we go any further, I need to remind everyone of John 5:39 and Matthew 5:17.

” Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”

” Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. ”

When Adam and Eve disobeyed G-d, they introduced a death curse for all their descendants. The death curse of sin required the blood sacrifice of an innocent for the redemption of Adam and Eve and all their descendants, including you and me. That innocent sacrifice was Yeshua, who died on the altar of G-d. However, Yeshua was a human being and the Son of G-d requiring the next of kin to avenge his death. Our sins made us responsible for the murder of Yeshua on the cross. Therefore, G-d has every right to be the Avenger of Blood and avenge his death upon us.

The beautiful thing is what Yeshua said upon that altar.

” Then said Jesus, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”

Luke 12:34

We didn’t know that our sins were responsible for Yeshuas death. Therefore, that made his murder, manslaughter, and qualified us for refuge within the City of Refuge. We are due to be avenged for his death unless we take refuge in Yeshua, our City of Refuge. How long? Until the High Priest dies. Yeshua is our High Priest and he died upon the cross making us free from retribution. Praise G-d!! Yeshua is the Word, the Word is Yeshua.

You see. It is important to understand the difference between manslaughter and premeditated murder because the difference saves your mortal soul. Also, understanding the Word of G-d requires knowing how it models the Son of G-d, Yeshua. The more you read and realized this is true, the more you realized that Yeshua is who he said he was. The Messiah and Savior of all mankind.