The Cities of Refuge
1 # Num 35.9–34Deut 4.41–43Deut 19.1–13 Then the Lord told Joshua 2to say to the people of Israel, “Choose the cities of refuge that I commanded Moses to tell you about. 3A person who kills someone accidentally can go there and escape the one who is looking for revenge. 4He or she can run away to one of these cities, go to the place of judgement at the entrance to the city, and explain to the leaders what happened. Then they will let him or her into the city and give them a place to live in, so that they can stay there. 5If the one looking for revenge follows them there, the people of the city must not hand them over to them. They must protect them because they killed the person accidentally and not out of anger. 6They may stay in the city until they have received a public trial and until the death of the man who is then the High Priest. Then they may go back home to their own town, from which they had run away.”
7So, on the west side of the Jordan they set aside Kedesh in Galilee, in the hill country of Naphtali; Shechem, in the hill country of Ephraim; and Hebron, in the hill country of Judah. 8East of the Jordan, on the desert plateau east of Jericho, they chose Bezer in the territory of Reuben; Ramoth in Gilead, in the territory of Gad; and Golan in Bashan, in the territory of Manasseh. 9These were the cities of refuge chosen for all the people of Israel and for any foreigner living among them. Anyone who killed a person accidentally could find protection there from the one looking for revenge; no one could be killed without first receiving a public trial.