Cities of Refuge.
VERSE 1. The LORD spoke to Joshua, saying,
VERSE 2. “Speak to the children of Israel, saying, ‘Assign the cities of refuge, of which I spoke to you by Moses,
the cities of refuge. If you accidentally killed someone, you ran to one of six cities of refuge. There you had asylum.
spoke to you by Moses. The cities of refuge are described in four books of the Old Testament:
The fact that the Cities of Refuge are described in four different books of the Bible attests to their importance.
VERSE 3. that the man slayer who kills any person accidentally or unintentionally may flee there. They shall be to you for a refuge from the avenger of blood.
kills any person accidentally or unintentionally. If you accidentally killed someone, you ran to one of six cities of refuge. There you had asylum.
the avenger of blood. In the case of murder, the nearest relative of the victim becomes the avenger of blood. Their mission is to kill the guilty party.
VERSE 4. He shall flee to one of those cities, and shall stand at the entrance of the gate of the city, and declare his case in the ears of the elders of that city. They shall take him into the city with them, and give him a place, that he may live among them.
He shall flee to one of those cities. They had to race to the nearest shelter without delay.
declare his case in the ears of the elders. Upon arriving, the accidental murderer was to present his case to the elders of the city.
VERSE 5. If the avenger of blood pursues him, then they shall not deliver up the man slayer into his hand; because he struck his neighbor unintentionally, and didn’t hate him before.
VERSE 6. He shall dwell in that city until he stands before the congregation for judgment, until the death of the high priest that shall be in those days. Then the man slayer shall return, and come to his own city, and to his own house, to the city he fled from.’ ”
until he stands before the congregation for judgment. There will be a formal trial in the presence of the assembly.
VERSE 7. They set apart Kedesh in Galilee in the hill country of Naphtali, Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and Kiriath Arba (also called Hebron) in the hill country of Judah.
These three are on the west side of the Jordan River: Kedesh, Shechem, and Kiriath Arba.
VERSE 8. Beyond the Jordan at Jericho eastward, they assigned Bezer in the wilderness in the plain out of the tribe of Reuben, Ramoth in Gilead out of the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan out of the tribe of Manasseh.
These three are on the west side of the Jordan River: Bezer, Ramoth, and Golan.
VERSE 9. These were the appointed cities for all the children of Israel, and for the alien who lives among them, that whoever kills any person unintentionally might flee there, and not die by the hand of the avenger of blood, until he stands trial before the congregation.
and for the alien who lives among them. The Cities of Refuge are for all people, both Jewish and non-Jewish.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.