The start of perek 21 (1-9) is devoted to an ostensibly odd topic, known as the eglah arufah. Briefly, if a corpse is found between two cities and the murderer is unknown, then there is an entire ceremony involving offering a cow in the valley between the cities, with a form of confession verbalised by the elders of the nearest city to the corpse. What exactly is going on here? The Ibn Ezra writes that the ceremony is aimed at atoning for the sins of the town nearest to where the corpse was found, for had they been free of sin, such a thing would never have happened in close proximity to them. The Rambam takes a different and more rational approach. In his Moreh Nevuchim (3:40 - cited by the Ramban here), the Rambam writes that this grand ceremony publicises the murder,

which should lead to the killer being discovered (since everyone will be talking about it and everyone will be trying to find out who the murderer was). The Ramban, however, explains that this entire ceremony is a form of korban, and as such comes to achieve certain levels of atonement and closeness to HaShem,

with its deeper facets hidden from our understanding and knowledge.

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