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Cities of Refuge(A)

20 Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Say to the children of Israel, ‘Choose refuge cities, as I told you through Moses, so that anyone who kills a person without intent and unknowingly may flee there. They shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood.

“ ‘The refugee can flee to one of these cities then stand at the entrance of the city gate and tell his case to the city elders. They will take him into the city and give him a place to stay, and he will live with them. When the avenger of blood comes after him, they shall not hand over the manslayer to him, for he struck down his neighbor unintentionally with no premeditated malice. He shall live in that city until he stands before the congregation for judgment, until the death of the high priest serving at that time. Then the manslayer may return to his home and to his city from which he had fled.’ ”

They selected Kedesh in Galilee in the hill country of Naphtali, Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the hill country of Judah. Across the Jordan east of Jericho, they selected Bezer in the wilderness plain from the tribe of Reuben, Ramoth in Gilead from the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan from the tribe of Manasseh. These were the cities designated for all the children of Israel and resident foreigners living among them, to which anyone who killed someone inadvertently could flee and not die at the hand of the avenger of blood until he stood before the congregation.