|Then the LORD said: "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great, and their sin so grave, that I must go down and see whether or not their actions fully correspond to the cry against them that comes to me. I mean to find out." While the two men walked on farther toward Sodom, the LORD remained standing before Abraham. Then Abraham drew nearer to him and said: "Will you sweep away the innocent with the guilty? Suppose there were fifty innocent people in the city; would you wipe out the place, rather than spare it for the sake of the fifty innocent people within it? Far be it from you to do such a thing, to make the innocent die with the guilty, so that the innocent and the guilty would be treated alike! Should not the judge of all the world act with justice?" The LORD replied, "If I find fifty innocent people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake." Abraham spoke up again: "See how I am presuming to speak to my Lord, though I am but dust and ashes! What if there are five less than fifty innocent people? Will you destroy the whole city because of those five?" "I will not destroy it," he answered, "if I find forty-five there." But Abraham persisted, saying, "What if only forty are found there?" He replied, "I will forebear doing it for the sake of the forty." Then he said, "Let not my Lord grow impatient if I go on. What if only thirty are found there?" He replied, "I will forebear doing it if I can find but thirty there." Still he went on, "Since I have thus dared to speak to my Lord, what if there are no more than twenty?" "I will not destroy it," he answered, "for the sake of the twenty." But he still persisted: "Please, let not my Lord grow angry if I speak up this last time. What if there are at least ten there?" "For the sake of those ten," he replied, "I will not destroy it." The LORD departed as soon as he had finished speaking with Abraham, and Abraham returned home.
Abraham journeyed on to the region of the Negeb, where he settled between Kadesh and Shur. While he stayed in Gerar, he said of his wife Sarah, "She is my sister." So Abimelech, king of Gerar, sent and took Sarah. But God came to Abimelech in a dream one night and said to him, "You are about to die because of the woman you have taken, for she has a husband." Abimelech, who had not approached her, said: "O Lord, would you slay a man even though he is innocent? He himself told me, 'She is my sister,' and she herself also stated, 'He is my brother.' I did it in good faith and with clean hands." God answered him in the dream: "Yes, I know you did it in good faith. In fact, it was I who kept you from sinning against me; that is why I did not let you touch her. Therefore, return the man's
wife - as a spokesman he will intercede for you - that your life may be saved. If you do not return her, you can be sure that you and all who are yours will certainly die."
As Judah and his brothers reentered Joseph's house, he was still there; so they flung themselves on the ground before him. "How could you do such a thing?" Joseph asked them. "You should have known that such a man as I could discover by divination what happened." Judah replied: "What can we say to my lord? How can we plead or how try to prove our innocence? God has uncovered your servants' guilt. Here we are, then, the slaves of my
lord - the rest of us no less than the one in whose possession the goblet was found." "Far be it from me to act thus!" said Joseph. "Only the one in whose possession the goblet was found shall become my slave; the rest of you may go back safe and sound to your father."
You shall keep away from anything dishonest. The innocent and
the just you shall not put to death, nor shall you acquit the
guilty. [EX 23:7]
"But if the LORD, your God, enlarges your territory, as he swore to your fathers, and gives you all the land he promised your fathers he would give in the event that you carefully observe all these commandments which I enjoin on you today, loving the LORD, your God, and ever walking in his ways: then add three cities to these three. Thus, in the land which the LORD, your God, is giving you as a heritage, innocent blood will not be shed and you will not become guilty of bloodshed."
Do not look on him with pity, but purge from Israel the stain
of shedding innocent blood, that you may prosper. [DEUT 19:13]
'Absolve, O LORD, your people Israel, whom you have ransomed, and let not the guilt of shedding innocent blood remain in the midst of your people Israel.' Thus they shall be absolved from the guilt of bloodshed, and you shall purge from your midst the guilt of innocent blood, that you may prosper for doing what is right in the sight of the LORD.
'Cursed be he who accepts payment for slaying an innocent man!'
And all the people shall answer, 'Amen!' [DEUT 27:25]
Jonathan then spoke well of David to his father Saul, saying to him: "Let not your majesty sin against his servant David, for he has committed no offense against you, but has helped you very much by his deeds. When he took his life in his hands and slew the Philistine, and the LORD brought about a great victory for all Israel through him, you were glad to see it. Why, then, should you become guilty of shedding innocent blood by killing David without cause?" Saul heeded Jonathan's plea and swore, "As the LORD lives, he shall not be killed."
"And when the LORD carries out for my lord the promise of success he has made concerning you, and appoints you as commander over Israel, you shall not have this as a qualm or burden on your conscience, my lord, for having shed innocent blood or for having avenged yourself personally. When the LORD confers this benefit on your lordship, remember your handmaid."
Later David heard of it and said: "Before the LORD; I and my kingdom are forever innocent. May the full responsibility for the death of Abner, son of Ner, be laid to Joab and to all his family. May the men of Joab's family never be without one suffering from a discharge, or a leper, or one unmanly, one falling by the sword, or one in need of bread!"
But David replied to Rechab and his brother Baanah, sons of
Rimmon the Beerothite: "As the LORD lives, who rescued me from all difficulty, in Ziklag I seized and put to death the man who informed me of Saul's death, thinking himself the bearer of good news for which I ought to give him a reward. How much more now, when wicked men have slain an innocent man in bed at home, must I hold you responsible for his death and destroy you from the earth!"
The woman of Tekoa answered him, "Let me and my family be to blame, my lord king; you and your throne are innocent." Then the king said, "If anyone says a word to you, have him brought to me, and he shall not touch you again." But she went on to say, "Please, your majesty, keep in mind the LORD your God, that the avenger of blood may not go too far in destruction and that my son may not be done away with." He replied, "As the LORD lives, not a hair of your son shall fall to the ground."
And the LORD requited me according to my justice, according to
my innocence in his sight. [2SAM 22:25]
"If a man sins against his neighbor and is required to take an oath sanctioned by a curse, when he comes and takes the oath before your altar in this temple, listen in heaven; take action and pass judgment on your servants. Condemn the wicked and punish him for his conduct, but acquit the just and establish his innocence."
In addition to the sin which he caused Judah to commit,
Manasseh did evil in the sight of the LORD, shedding so much
innocent blood as to fill the length and breadth of Jerusalem.
This befell Judah because the LORD had stated that he would inexorably put them out of his sight for the sins Manasseh had committed in all that he did; and especially because of the innocent blood he shed, with which he filled Jerusalem, the LORD would not forgive.
"When any man sins against his neighbor and is required to take an oath of execration against himself, and when he comes for the oath before your altar in this temple, listen from heaven: take action and pass judgment on your servants, requiting the wicked man and holding him responsible for his conduct, but absolving the innocent and rewarding him according to his virtue."
And now, O Lord, to you I turn my face and raise my eyes. Bid me to depart from the earth, never again to hear such insults. "You know, O Master, that I am innocent of any impure act with a man, And that I have never defiled my own name or my father's name in the land of my exile."
[Taken from TOBIT 3:12-15]
"Often, too, the fair speech of friends entrusted with the administration of affairs has induced many placed in authority to become accomplices in the shedding of innocent blood, and has involved them in irreparable calamities by deceiving with malicious slander the sincere good will of rulers."
The citadel became an ambush against the sanctuary, and a wicked adversary to Israel at all times. And they shed innocent blood around the sanctuary; they defiled the sanctuary.
Daniel, for his innocence, was delivered from the jaws of
lions. [1MACC 2:60]
Menelaus, who was the cause of all the trouble, the king acquitted of the charges, while he condemned to death those poor men who would have been declared innocent even if they had pleaded their case before Scythians. Thus, those who had prosecuted the case for the city, for the people, and for the sacred vessels, quickly suffered unjust punishment.
They implored the Lord to look kindly upon his people, who were being oppressed on all sides; to have pity on the temple, which was profaned by godless men; to have mercy on the city, which was being destroyed and about to be leveled to the ground; to hearken to the blood that cried out to him; to remember the criminal slaughter of innocent children and the blasphemies uttered against his name; and to manifest his hatred of evil.
And the LORD said to Satan, "Have you noticed my servant
Job, and that there is no one on earth like him, faultless and
upright, fearing God and avoiding evil? He still holds fast to his
innocence although you incited me against him to ruin him without
cause." [JOB 2:3]
Then his wife said to him, "Are you still holding to your innocence? Curse God and die." But he said to her, "Are even you going to speak as senseless women do? We accept good things from God; and should we not accept evil?" Through all this, Job said nothing sinful.
Reflect now, what innocent person perishes? Since when are the upright destroyed? As I see it, those who plow for mischief and sow trouble, reap the same.
If it be a question of strength, he is mighty; and if of judgment, who will call him to account? Though I were right, my own mouth might condemn me; were I innocent, he might put me in the wrong. Though I am innocent, I myself cannot know it; I despise my life.
If you set your heart aright and stretch out your hands toward him, If you remove all iniquity from your conduct,
and let not injustice dwell in your tent, Surely then you may lift up your face in innocence; you may stand firm and unafraid.
My lot is described as evil, and I am made a byword of the people; their object lesson I have become. My eye has grown blind with anguish, and all my frame is shrunken to a shadow. Upright men are astonished at this, and the innocent aroused against the wicked. Yet the righteous shall hold to his way, and he who has clean hands increase in strength.
These men said to God, "Depart from us!" and, "What can the Almighty do to us?" (Yet he had filled their houses with good things! But far be from me the mind of the impious!) The just look on and are gladdened, and the innocent deride them: "Truly these have been destroyed where they stood, and such as were left, fire has consumed!" Come to terms with him to be at peace. In this shall good come to
you: Receive instruction from his mouth, and lay up his words in
your heart. If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored; if you put iniquity far from your tent, And treat raw gold like dust, and the fine gold of Ophir as pebbles from the brook, Then the Almighty himself shall be your gold and your sparkling silver. For then you shall delight in the Almighty and you shall lift up your face toward God. You shall entreat him and he will hear you, and your vows you shall fulfill. When you make a decision, it shall succeed for you, and upon your ways the light shall shine. For he brings down the pride of the haughty, but the man of humble mien he saves. God delivers him who is innocent; you shall be delivered through cleanness of hands.
How can a man be just in God's sight, or how can any woman's
child be innocent? [JOB 25:4]
Far be it from me to account you right; till I die I will not
renounce my innocence. [JOB 27:5]
Though he heap up silver like dust and store away mounds of clothing, What he has stored the just man shall wear, and the innocent shall divide the silver.
Let God weigh me in the scales of justice; thus will he know my
innocence! [JOB 31:6]
"I am clean and without transgression; I am innocent;
there is no guilt in me." [JOB 33:9]
Bring the malice of the wicked to an end; uphold the innocent,
O God of justice, who tries hearts and minds. [PS 7:10]
LORD, who may abide in your tent? Who may dwell on your holy mountain?
Whoever walks without blame, doing what is right, speaking truth from the heart; Who does not slander a neighbor, does no harm to another, never defames a friend; Who disdains the wicked, but honors those who fear the LORD; Who keeps an oath despite the cost, lends no money at interest, accepts no bribe against the innocent.
Whoever acts like this shall never be shaken. [PS 15:1-5]
Who can detect heedless failings? Cleanse me from my unknown faults. But from willful sins keep your servant; let them never control me.
Then shall I be blameless, innocent of grave sin. Let the words of my mouth meet with your favor, keep the thoughts of my heart before you, LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
I do not sit with deceivers, nor with hypocrites do I mingle. I hate the company of evildoers; with the wicked I do not sit. I will wash my hands in innocence and walk round your altar, LORD, Lifting my voice in thanks, recounting all your wondrous deeds. LORD, I love the house where you dwell, the tenting-place of your glory.
Such, then, are the wicked, always carefree, increasing their wealth.
Is it in vain that I have kept my heart clean, washed my hands in innocence? For I am afflicted day after day, chastised every morning. Had I thought, "I will speak as they do," I would have betrayed your people. Though I tried to understand all this, it was too difficult for me, Till I entered the sanctuary of God and came to understand their end.
You set them, indeed, on a slippery road; you hurl them down to ruin. How suddenly they are devastated; undone by disasters forever!
Can unjust judges be your allies, those who create burdens in the name of law, Those who conspire against the just and condemn the innocent to death? No, the LORD is my secure height, my God, the rock where I find refuge, Who will turn back their evil upon them and destroy them for their wickedness. Surely the LORD our God will destroy them!
My son, should sinners entice you, and say, "Come along with us!
Let us lie in wait for the honest man, let us, unprovoked, set a trap for the innocent; Let us swallow them up, as the nether world does, alive, in the prime of life, like those who go down to the pit! All kinds of precious wealth shall we gain, we shall fill our houses with booty; Cast in your lot with us, we shall all have one
purse!" - My son, walk not in the way with them, hold back your foot from their path!
There are six things the LORD hates, yes, seven are an abomination to him; Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood; A heart that plots wicked schemes, feet that run swiftly to evil, The false witness who utters lies, and he who sows discord among brothers.
It is wrong to fine an innocent man, but beyond reason to
scourge princes. [PROV 17:26]
Even by his manners the child betrays whether his conduct is
innocent and right. [PROV 20:11]
The way of the culprit is crooked, but the conduct of the
innocent is right. [PROV 21:8]
These were their thoughts, but they erred; for their wickedness blinded them, And they knew not the hidden counsels of God; neither did they count on a recompense of holiness nor discern the innocent souls' reward.
For the witchery of paltry things obscures what is right and
the whirl of desire transforms the innocent mind. [WISDOM 4:12]
When I was young and innocent, I sought wisdom. She came to me in her beauty, and until the end I will cultivate her.
It is I, I, who wipe out, for my own sake, your offenses; your sins I remember no more. Would you have me remember, have us come to trial? Speak up, prove your innocence! Your first father sinned; your spokesmen rebelled against me Till I repudiated the holy gates, put Jacob under the ban, and exposed Israel to scorn.
Their webs cannot serve as clothing, nor can they cover themselves with their works.
Their works are evil works, and deeds of violence come from their hands. Their feet run to evil, and they are quick to shed innocent blood;
Their thoughts are destructive thoughts, plunder and ruin are on their highways. The way of peace they know not, and there is nothing that is right in their paths;
Their ways they have made crooked, whoever treads them knows no
peace. [ISA 59:6-8]
You, on whose clothing there is the life-blood of the innocent, whom you found committing no burglary; Yet withal you say, "I am innocent; at least, his anger is turned away from me."
Behold, I will judge you on that word of yours, "I have not sinned."
Only if you thoroughly reform your ways and your deeds; if each of you deals justly with his neighbor; if you no longer oppress the resident alien, the orphan, and the widow; if you no longer shed innocent blood in this place, or follow strange gods to your own harm, will I remain with you in this place, in the land which I gave your fathers long ago and forever.
Thus says the LORD: Do what is right and just. Rescue the
victim from the hand of his oppressor. Do not wrong or oppress the
resident alien, the orphan, or the widow, and do not shed innocent
blood in this place. [JER 22:3]
"But mark well: if you put me to death, it is innocent
blood you bring on yourselves, on this city and its citizens. For
in truth it was the LORD who sent me to you, to speak all these
things for you to hear." [JER 26:15]
"My God has sent his angel and closed the lions' mouths so
that they have not hurt me. For I have been found innocent before
him; neither to you have I done any harm, O king!" [DAN 6:23]
After they were separated one from the other, he called one of them and said: "How you have grown evil with age! Now have your past sins come to term: passing unjust sentences, condemning the innocent, and freeing the guilty, although the Lord says,
'The innocent and the just you shall not put to death.'" [DAN
They rose up against the two elders, for by their own words Daniel had convicted them of perjury. According to the law of Moses, they inflicted on them the penalty they had plotted to impose on their neighbor: they put them to death. Thus was innocent blood spared that day.
Hilkiah and his wife praised God for their daughter Susanna, as
did Joakim her husband and all her relatives, because she was
found innocent of any shameful deed. [DAN 13:61-63]
Then they cried to the LORD: "We beseech you, O LORD, let
us not perish for taking this man's life; do not charge us with
shedding innocent blood, for you, LORD, have done as you saw
fit." [JONAH 1:14]
At that time Jesus was going through a field of grain on the sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick the
heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, "See, your disciples are doing what is unlawful to do on the sabbath." He said to them,
"Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry, how he went into the house of God and ate the bread of offering, which neither he nor his companions but only the priests could lawfully eat? Or have you not read in the law that on the sabbath the priests serving in the temple violate the sabbath and are innocent? I say to you, something greater than the temple is here. If you knew what this meant, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned these innocent men. For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath."
Then Judas, his betrayer, seeing that Jesus had been condemned, deeply regretted what he had done. He returned the thirty pieces of silver
to the chief priests and elders, saying, "I have sinned in betraying innocent blood." They said, "What is that to us? Look to it yourself." Flinging the money into the temple, he departed and went off and hanged himself.
The chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas but to destroy Jesus. The governor said to them in reply, "Which of the two do you want me to release to you?" They answered, "Barabbas!" Pilate said to them, "Then what shall I do with Jesus called Messiah?" They all said, "Let him be crucified!" But he said, "Why? What evil has he done?" They only shouted the louder, "Let him be crucified!" When Pilate saw that he was not succeeding at all, but that a riot was breaking out instead, he took water and washed his hands in the sight of the crowd, saying, "I am innocent of this man's blood. Look to it yourselves." And the whole people said in reply, "His blood be upon us and upon our children."
It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon because of an eclipse of the sun. Then the veil of the temple was torn down the middle. Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit"; and when he had said this he breathed his last. The centurion who witnessed what had happened glorified God and said, "This man was innocent
beyond doubt." When all the people who had gathered for this spectacle saw what had happened, they returned home beating their breasts; but all his acquaintances stood at a distance, including the women who had followed him from Galilee and saw these events.
I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who create dissensions and obstacles, in opposition to the teaching that you learned; avoid them. For such people do not serve our Lord Christ but their own appetites, and by fair and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the innocent.
I rejoice now, not because you were saddened, but because you were saddened into repentance; for you were saddened in a godly way, so that you did not suffer loss in anything because of us. For godly sorrow produces a salutary repentance without regret, but worldly sorrow produces death. For behold what earnestness this godly sorrow has produced for you, as well as readiness for a defense, and indignation, and fear, and yearning, and zeal, and punishment. In every way you have shown yourselves to be innocent in the matter.
Do everything without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation,
among whom you shine like lights in the world, as you hold on to the word of life, so that my boast for the day of Christ may be that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.
It was fitting that we should have such a high priest: holy,
innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, higher than the
heavens. [HEB 7:26]
/ purify / purity [P23]
/ holiness [H14a]
/ graced / graceful [G6]
/ forgiveness [F10]
/ repentance [R4]
/ sins / sinned / sinful / sinner [S18a]
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