Devarim (Deuteronomy) 17:7: “The hand of the witnesses shall be first against him to put him to death, and the hand of all the people last. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.”
Sin, evil, and abomination are like an all consuming fire – if it is not snuffed out at the very beginning, it can destroy everything! This was the concern of the Father as he related it to Mosheh (Moses) and the Children of Yisra’el – the presence of sin in the camp can destroy the whole of it if it is left unchecked and unpunished, so it must be “purged.”
The word “purge” is translated from the Hebrew word “ba’ar בּער” (H1197 – bah-ar) which means “to kindle, that is, consume (by fire or by eating), bring (put, take) away, burn, (cause to) eat (up), feed, heat, kindle, set ([on fire]), waste, and/or purge.”
The pictographical meaning of the word is “inside the watchman” or “knowing inside of man/the head of man.” We also get a picture of what happened to Adam in the Garden of Eden – when you insert knowledge (ayin) into the heart of the son (bar), it sparks something that is all consuming to the ruination of the man. Hence the reason why kindling or consuming by fire is equally important in the definition and the first instance of the word:
The first instance of Ba’ar:
Shemoth (Exodus) 3:2: “And the Messenger of יהוה appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. And he looked and saw the bush burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed.”
– We see here the resultant of kindling fire and its consuming nature, which is ultimately seen in the Hebrew word for fire which is “eysh” which means “the strong consumer.” Yet, to Mosheh’s surprise, the fire which he saw from a distance did not consume, for it was not really a fire at all, but the shekinah (emitting aura of light and brilliance) of the Messenger of Yahweh (or as it is translated in the KJV – “Angel of the L-rd”).
Devarim instances of “purge/Ba’ar”:
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 13:5: That prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death, because he has spoken rebellion against Yahweh your Elohim, who brought you out of the land of Mitzrayim, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to draw you aside out of the way which the Yahweh your Elohim commanded you to walk in. So shall you purge/put away the evil from the midst of you.
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 17:5-7, 12-13:
(5) Then shall you bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto your gates, even that man or that woman, and shall stone them with stones, till they die.
(6) At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.
(7) The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So thou shalt purge the evil from amongst you.
(12) And the man that will do presumptuously, and will not hearken unto the priest that stands to minister there before Yahweh your Elohim, or unto the judge, even that man shall die: and you shall purge/put away the evil from Yisra’el.
(13) And all the people shall hear, and fear, and do no more presumptuously.
Devarim (Deuteronomy) 22:22: If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shall you purge the evil from Yisra’el.
Other instances: Deu 19:13, 19; 21:9,21; 22:24
Our Heavenly Father is not heartless and desired that no one perish:
Yechezeq’el (Ezekiel) 18:23: “Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked,” declares the Yahweh Elohim, “rather than that he should turn from his ways and live?
Yechezeq’el (Ezekiel) 18:32: “For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” declares Yahweh Elohim. “Therefore, repent and live.”
Yochanan (John) 3:17: “For Elohim did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”
But He did desire that we walk in His ways so that we may live. Hence the reason for the heavily consequential language – sin corrupts absolutely and if it is not “purged,” it consumes and destroys everything it touches. Purge the evil from yourself, so that you may walk in the freedom of the Father’s love and live. Shalom Aleichem!