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Wednesday, August 14 2019

A Bible Journey, 207: Frontier Justice

"That whosoever killeth any person at unawares might flee thither, and not die by the hand of the avenger of blood ... he shall dwell in that city, until he stand before the congregation for judgment"

"Frontier justice" (that can happen just as much in a large city as out in the wilderness) is a term that has been used to refer to "taking the law into your own hands," or declaring one's self, or selves, to be "accuser, judge and executioner" all in one. The atrocity has been known since the most-ancient times - a brute form of "law" based on nothing more than whoever is more powerful is the "law" (see also The Origin Of 'Might Makes Right').

As might be expected, many innocent people were killed (there were generally no prisons in the frontier areas, so swift execution was typical) when evidence and an impartial judge were lacking. Sometimes, even when some civilized system of justice existed, if an unruly mob was unwilling to wait for a fair trial, or disagreed with the findings of innocence from a fair trial, a lynching took place - with perhaps the actual guilty person in, or inciting or leading the lynching.

Injustice

The ancient Israelites also knew "frontier justice" (see also A Bible Journey, 200: The Western Frontiers). It would have been no different than anywhere else, before or since. But the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ; see The Real Jesus: The Word Of The LORD God and A Bible Journey, 56: The Sacred Name) gave them a civilized trial system that prevented innocent people from being murdered by an "avenger of blood." The accused person was given refuge until they were given a fair trial.

Justice

The inheritance of the tribe of Levi (see Numbers 3: When Were The Levites Set Apart? and Why Were The Levites The Last To Receive Their Inheritance?) was their service to the LORD, throughout the tribal territories of all of the other tribes of Israel. For that reason, strategically-located Levite cities were designated as those "cities of refuge" i.e. cities of justice.

Cities Of Refuge

"20:1 The LORD also spake unto Joshua [see also A Bible Journey, 188: What Did The LORD Command Joshua To Do?], saying,

20:2 Speak to the children of Israel, saying, Appoint out for you cities of refuge, whereof I spake unto you by the hand of Moses: 20:3 That the slayer that killeth any person unawares and unwittingly may flee thither: and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood.

20:4 And when he that doth flee unto one of those cities shall stand at the entering of the gate of the city, and shall declare his cause in the ears of the elders of that city, they shall take him into the city unto them, and give him a place, that he may dwell among them.

20:5 And if the avenger of blood pursue after him, then they shall not deliver the slayer up into his hand; because he smote his neighbour unwittingly, and hated him not beforetime. 20:6 And he shall dwell in that city, until he stand before the congregation for judgment, and until the death of the high priest that shall be in those days: then shall the slayer return, and come unto his own city, and unto his own house, unto the city from whence he fled.

20:7 And they appointed Kedesh in Galilee in mount Naphtali, and Shechem in mount Ephraim, and Kirjatharba, which is Hebron, in the mountain of Judah.

20:8 And on the other side Jordan by Jericho eastward, they assigned Bezer in the wilderness upon the plain out of the tribe of Reuben, and Ramoth in Gilead out of the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan out of the tribe of Manasseh [see A Bible Journey, 149: The Eastside Israelites].

20:9 These were the cities appointed for all the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them, that whosoever killeth any person at unawares might flee thither, and not die by the hand of the avenger of blood, until he stood before the congregation." (Joshua 20:1-9 KJV)

Fact Finder: How was the "trial" of Jesus of Nazareth actually a lynching by a mob of people who knew that He was innocent of any wrongdoing?
See Innocent Blood

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This Day In History

This Day In History, August 14

405 BC: The Battle of Aegospotami, a naval victory of Sparta over Athens, the final battle of the Peloponnesian War. The Athenian commander, Conon, lost 160 of his 180 ships and the 4,000 of his troops that were captured were all executed.

See also the study series: The Greek Empire: Between The Testaments and The Greek Empire: Alexander Of Macedonia and The Greek Empire: Alexander's March To India and The Greek Empire: Alexander's Horns To The Four Winds and The Greek Empire: The Seleucids and The Abomination of Desolation and The Greek Empire: Cleopatra and The Ptolemies Of Egypt).

Greek Galleys

Athenian Empire

410: Alaric sacked Rome (see also The Roman Border Walls Paradox).

Sack Of Rome

1385: The Battle of Aljubartota. A decisive engagement in which Portuguese forces stopped the Spanish invasion of Portugal led by John I, king of Castile. The victory assured Portugal's independence.

1415: The Battle of Ceuta. Portuguese forces under Henry the Navigator were victorious over the Marinids.

1551: Turkish forces captured Tripoli (for the history of the later Turkish-Ottoman Empire, see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).

1559: Spanish explorer de Luna entered Pensacola Bay, Florida.

Florida

1733: The War of the Polish Succession began.

1784: The first Russian colony in Alaska was founded on Kodiak Island.

Alaska

1893: France became the first country in the world to require motor vehicle registration (see also Steam Power - Planes and Trains and Automobiles and Who Was The First To Fly?).

1900: The Boxer Rebellion in China ended.

1912: U.S. Marines invaded Nicaragua to support the U.S.-installed regime there (communist Russia did the same sort of thing through much of the 20th century e.g. Hungary, Poland, East Germany etc.). The famous terms "banana republic" and "Yankee Go Home" originated from those invasions of countries in South and Central America (see also Send In The Marines).

1916: During the First World War (1914-1918), Romania declared war on Austria-Hungary (see also The Assassination That Triggered Two World Wars).

1941: The Atlantic Charter, a joint declaration issued during the Second World War by Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt (the U.S. at the time still not in the war) after 5 days of conferences aboard warships in the North Atlantic.

1945: Japan formally surrendered at the end of the Second World War (see also Why Was Korea Divided Into North And South?). The war's death toll: 15,000,000 military and 38,000,000 civilian dead.

Japanese Empire

1947: Pakistan was founded when British rule over the region ended and the Asian subcontinent was partitioned into Islamic Pakistan and predominantly Hindu India. Pakistan comprised two portions, West and East, which later became independent Bangladesh.

1973: The secret U.S. bombing of Cambodia ended, marking the end of 12 years of U.S. involvement in Indochina.

Bomber

1980: Gdansk, Poland shipyard workers under the leadership of Lech Walesa began strikes against the communist government.

1994: The terrorist Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, known as "Carlos the Jackal," was captured.

2003: A days-long power blackout began in the northeast U.S. and Canada, affecting 45 million people in the U.S. and 10 million in Ontario. It was caused by a malfunction at a power plant in Ohio that caused a cascade of power failures in power stations around the Great Lakes region. It was the second-largest blackout in history, second only to the 1999 blackout in Brazil.


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