1 WHEN THE Lord your God has cut off the nations whose land the Lord your God gives you, and you dispossess them and dwell in their cities and in their houses,
2 You shall set apart three cities for yourselves in the land which the Lord your God gives you to possess.
3 You shall prepare the road and divide into three parts the territory of your land which the Lord your God gives you to possess, so that any manslayer can flee to them.
4 And this is the case of the slayer who shall flee there in order that he may live. Whoever kills his neighbor unintentionally, for whom he had no enmity in time past–
5 As when a man goes into the wood with his neighbor to hew wood, and his hand strikes with the ax to cut down the tree, and the head slips off the handle and lights on his neighbor and kills him–he may flee to one of those cities and live;
6 Lest the avenger of the blood pursue the slayer while his [mind and] heart are hot with anger and overtake him, because the way is long, and slay him even though the slayer was not worthy of death, since he had not been at enmity with him previously.
7 Therefore I command you, You shall set apart three [refuge] cities.
8 And if the Lord your God enlarges your territory, as He has sworn to your fathers to do, and gives you all the land which He promised to your fathers to give,
9 If you keep all these commandments to do them, which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God and to walk always in His ways, then you shall add three other cities to these three,
10 Lest innocent blood be shed in your land, which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance, and so blood guilt be upon you.
11 But if any man hates his neighbor and lies in wait for him, and attacks him and wounds him mortally so that he dies, and the assailant flees into one of these cities,
12 Then the elders of his own city shall send for him and fetch him from there and give him over to the avenger of blood, so that he may die.
13 Your eyes shall not pity him, but you shall clear Israel of the guilt of innocent blood, that it may go well with you.
14 You shall not remove your neighbor's landmark in the land which the Lord your God gives you to possess, which the men of old [the first dividers of the land] set.
15 One witness shall not prevail against a man for any crime or any wrong in connection with any sin he commits; only on the testimony of two or three witnesses shall a charge be established.
16 If a false witness rises up against any man to accuse him of wrongdoing,
17 Then both parties to the controversy shall stand before the Lord, before the priests and the judges who are in office in those days.
18 The judges shall inquire diligently, and if the witness is a false witness and has accused his brother falsely,
19 Then you shall do to him as he had intended to do to his brother. So you shall put away the evil from among you.
20 And those who remain shall hear and [reverently] fear, and shall henceforth commit no such evil among you.
21 Your eyes shall not pity: it shall be life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.