The Levites’ Cities
Dt 4:41–43; 19:1–14; Jos 20:1–9
1#Nu 22:1And the Lord spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho, saying: 2#Jos 14:3–4; Eze 48:8Command the children of Israel, and they will give to the Levites of the inheritance of their possession cities to dwell in, and you will give the Levites pasturelands around the city. 3The cities will be for them to dwell in, and their pasturelands will be for their livestock, and for their property, and for all their animals.
4The pasturelands of the cities, which you will give to the Levites, will reach from the wall of the city and beyond one thousand cubits#About 1,500 feet, or 450 meters. all around. 5You will measure from without the city on the east side two thousandcubits,#About 3,000 feet, or 900 meters. and on the south side twothousand cubits,and onthewestsidetwo thousandcubits, and on the north side two thousand cubits, and the city will be in the middle. This will be for them the pasturelands of the cities.
Cities of Refuge
6#Jos 21:3; 21:13Among the cities which you will give to the Levites there will be six cities of refuge, which you will appoint for the manslayer, that he may flee there, and to them you will add forty-two cities. 7So all the cities which you will give to the Levites will be forty-eight cities. You will give them with their pasturelands. 8#Nu 26:54; 33:54The cities which you shall give shall be from the possession of the children of Israel. From the larger tribes you shall give many, and from the smaller tribes you shall give few. Each tribe, in proportion to the inheritance that it receives, shall give of its cities to the Levites.
9The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 10Speak to the children of Israel and say to them: When you are crossing over the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 11#Ex 21:13; Jos 20:2then you shall designate cities as your cities of refuge, so that a manslayer who unintentionally kills a person may flee there. 12#Dt 19:6; Jos 20:3–6The cities will be for you a refuge from the avenger, so that the manslayer does not die until he stands trial before the assembly. 13The cities which you designate shall be your six cities of refuge. 14You will give three cities across the Jordan, and three cities you will give in the land of Canaan, which will be cities of refuge. 15#Nu 15:16For the children of Israel, and for the stranger, and for the foreign sojourner among them will be six cities. These will be for a refuge. Everyone that unintentionally kills any person may flee there.
16#Lev 24:17If he strikes him with an instrument of iron, so that he dies, he is a murderer. The murderer shall surely be put to death. 17If he strikes him with a stone in hand, by which hecould die, and he dies, he is a murderer. The murderer shall surely be put to death. 18Or if he strikes him with a weapon of wood in hand, by which he could die, and he dies, he is a murderer. The murderer shall surely be put to death. 19#Nu 35:21; Dt 19:6The avenger of blood himself will slay the murderer. When he meets him, he will slay him. 20#Ex 21:14; Dt 19:11But if he pushed him out of hatred, or threw something at him, lying in wait, so he dies, 21or in hatred struck him with his hand, so he died, he that struck him shall surely be put to death, because he is a murderer. The avenger of blood will slay the murderer when he meets him.
22#Ex 21:13; Nu 35:11But if he pushed him suddenly without hatred, or threw anything at him without lying in wait, 23or used a stone that may cause death, unintentionally throwing it at him, resulting in death, though they were not enemies, and was not trying to harm him, 24#Jos 20:6; Nu 35:12then the assembly will judge between the manslayer and the avenger of blood according to these judgments. 25#Ex 29:7; Lev 4:3And the assembly will deliver the manslayer out of the hand of the avenger of blood, and the assembly will restore him to the city of his refuge where he fled, and he will dwell in it until the death of the high priest, who was anointed with the holy oil.
26But if the manslayer will go out at any time beyond the border of the city of his refuge where he fled, 27and the avenger of blood finds him outside the borders of the city of his refuge, and the avenger of blood kills the manslayer, he will not be guilty of blood, 28because the manslayer should have remained in the city of his refuge until the death of the high priest. But after the death of the high priest the manslayer may return to the land of his possession.
29#Nu 27:11So these things will be for a statute of judgment to you throughout your generations in all your dwelling places.
30#Dt 19:15; Mt 18:16Whoever kills a person, the murderer will be put to death by the testimony of witnesses, but one witness will not testify against a person for death.
31And you will not take a ransom for the life of a murderer who is guilty of death, but he will surely be put to death.
32You will not take a ransom for him who fled to the city of his refuge, that he should come out again to dwell in the land, until the death of the priest.
33#Mic 4:11; Ge 9:6So you will not defile the land which you are in, because blood defiles the land, and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed in it, except by the blood of him that shed it. 34#Nu 5:3So do not defile the land which you are dwelling in, where I am residing, because I the Lord am residing among the children of Israel.