Murder can be expiated by the payment of diya or bloodmoney, if the kinsmen of the murdered man consent; they may, however, claim the life of the murderer, and long and troublesome blood feuds often ensue, involving the relatives of both sides for generations.
All-important, too, is the order of ceremonial and the formula of prayer: a mistake or omission or an unpropitious interruption may vitiate the whole ritual, and though such misfortunes may occasionally be expiated by the additional offering of a piaculum, in more serious cases the whole ceremony must be recommenced ab initio.
His infidelity to his wife and his harshness towards his son Carlino are blemishes on a splendid career, but he more than expiated these faults by his tragic end.
As contrasted with the baru or soothsaying priest, as he is called by Zimmern, we have the asipu, who was the priestmagician who dealt in conjurations (siptu), whereby diseases were removed, spells broken, or in expiations whereby sins were expiated.
The holiness of Israel centres in the sanctuary, and round the sanctuary stand the priests, who alone can approach the most holy things without profanation, and who are the guardians of Israel's sanctity, partly by protecting the one meeting-place of God and man from profane contact, and partly as the mediators of the continual atoning rites by which breaches of holiness are expiated.