Deuteronomy 21:6

And all the elders of that city, that are nearest unto the slain man, shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley:
All Commentaries on Deuteronomy 21:6 Go To Deuteronomy 21

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Wash. This was intended to testify that they were not guilty of the blood which had been shed, and that they wished to remove the punishment of it from themselves upon the head of the heifer, (Calmet) the representative of the unknown murderer. So Pilate conformed to this custom, when he condemned Christ on the bare accusation of the Jews; (Matthew xxvii. 24) and the priest, at mass, washes his hands, as an emblem of that innocence, with which he ought to approach to the holy of holies. (Haydock) Asterius was stricken with lightning, for touching the altar of Jupiter without having washed his hands. (Natal. Myth. i. 10. 14.) The pagans generally purified themselves with fumigations, or by sprinkling sea water upon their bodies. Achilles ordered the things which had been used to purify the Greeks, at the siege of Troy, to be thrown into the sea, as being unclean. (Iliad i.)
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Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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