True, the custom originated as an elimination rite (see D.P. Wright, “Deuteronomy 21:1–9 as a Rite of Elimination,” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 49 [1987], pp. 387–403). In the present form, however, nothing is said about removal of impurity or sin by the priest (as in Leviticus 14:53, 16:22) or about the transferal of evil to the open country (Leviticus 16:22 and Mesopotamian incantations [cf. Wright, “Deuteronomy,” p. 402]).