June 06, 2007

Breadcrumb: He said, she said

According to Num. 35:30, murderers must be put to death. Given the somewhat primitive forensic techniques available to the ancient Israelites, this was usually done based on witness testimony. However, the Israelites realized that animosity between two people could lead to false accusations and false testimony. Thus, the text requires that to convict and execute a murderer, there must be at least two witnesses; one isn't enough. Given that the penalty for murder is death, this is actually a fairly practical safeguard to prevent false convictions.

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