AVENGER OF BLOOD
In Hebrew this expression is go·ʼelʹ had·damʹ. The Hebrew word go·ʼelʹ (which has been applied to a blood avenger) is a participle of ga·ʼalʹ, meaning “recover; reclaim; buy back; repurchase; redeem.” (Ex 15:13; Ps 69:18; Le 25:25; Isa 43:1; Ps 72:14) In Hebrew law the term applied to the nearest male relative, who was under obligation to avenge the blood of one who had been killed. (Nu 35:19) The term go·ʼelʹ also designated a kinsman with the right to repurchase (or redeem).—Le 25:48, 49; Ru 2:20, ftn; see REPURCHASE, REPURCHASER.
The avenging of blood is based on the mandate regarding the sanctity of blood and human life stated to Noah wherein Jehovah said: “Your blood of your souls shall I ask back . . . from the hand of each one who is his brother, shall I ask back the soul of man. Anyone shedding man’s blood, by man will his own blood be shed, for in God’s image he made man.” (Ge 9:5, 6) A deliberate murderer was to be put to death by “the avenger of blood,” and no ransom was to be accepted for such a murderer.—Nu 35:19-21, 31.
Jehovah will see to it that the innocent blood of all his faithful servants is avenged in due time.—De 32:43; Re 6:9-11.
Jehovah’s just laws made a clear distinction between willful and accidental killing. For the latter, cities of refuge were lovingly provided for the protection of accidental manslayers from avengers of blood. (Nu 35:6-29; De 19:2-13; Jos 20:2-9) Also, legal courts were established to hear cases involving questions of bloodguilt.—De 17:8, 9; 2Ch 19:10.