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Parashas Shof'tim, 19:10:

וְלֹא יִשָּׁפֵךְ דָּם נָקִי בְּקֶרֶב אַרְצְךָ

And 21:8:

וְאַל־תִּתֵּן דָּם נָקִי בְּקֶרֶב עַמְּךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל

And then Ki Savo 27:25:

לְהַכּוֹת נֶפֶשׁ דָּם נָקִי

However, back in Shof'tim, 19:13:

וּבִעַרְתָּ דַם־הַנָּקִי מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל

… which uses the definite variant of "דַּם־נָקִי", not of "דָּם נָקִי".

Why is "דָּם נָקִי" (literally "innocent blood") used in most places and (a form of) "דַּם־נָקִי" (literally "blood of an innocent") used in 19:13?
Is there a difference in meaning between "דָּם נָקִי" and "דַּם־נָקִי"?

(I'm asking about "דָּם נָקִי" vs. "דַּם־נָקִי", not about definite vs. indefinite.)

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Have you looked for further examples in Nakh? –  Double AA Aug 19 '13 at 0:22
    
@DoubleAA, I did, and examples of both forms exist IIRC, but I didn't jot down where they are. The above are IIRC all the examples in Ta. –  msh210 Aug 19 '13 at 0:23

1 Answer 1

דָּם נָקִי means clean (innocent) blood, and דַּם־הַנָקִי means blood of the clean (innocent). therefore in this context,

וּבִעַרְתָּ דַם־הַנָּקִי מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל

which is talking about a event in past-tense,(avenging a already murdered man) there is a "object" (person) in discussion, and a "ה" (the) is appropriate.

and when using דם attached to another word, it has a patach, which weakens the emphasis on the word דם as standing alone, and makes it mean "blood of the clean" (innocent), where "clean" is the main description, and "blood" is added on to it.

NOTE: you may want to move this to Biblical Hermeneutics

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