Add parallel Print Page Options

Cities of Refuge(A)

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 10 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: (B)‘When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 11 then (C)you shall appoint cities to be cities of refuge for you, that the manslayer who kills any person accidentally may flee there. 12 (D)They shall be cities of refuge for you from the avenger, that the manslayer may not die until he stands before the congregation in judgment. 13 And of the cities which you give, you shall have (E)six cities of refuge. 14 (F)You shall appoint three cities on this side of the Jordan, and three cities you shall appoint in the land of Canaan, which will be cities of refuge. 15 These six cities shall be for refuge for the children of Israel, (G)for the stranger, and for the sojourner among them, that anyone who kills a person accidentally may flee there.

16 (H)‘But if he strikes him with an iron implement, so that he dies, he is a murderer; the murderer shall surely be put to death. 17 And if he strikes him with a stone in the hand, by which one could die, and he does die, he is a murderer; the murderer shall surely be put to death. 18 Or if he strikes him with a wooden hand weapon, by which one could die, and he does die, he is a murderer; the murderer shall surely be put to death. 19 (I)The[a] avenger of blood himself shall put the murderer to death; when he meets him, he shall put him to death. 20 (J)If he pushes him out of hatred or, (K)while lying in wait, hurls something at him so that he dies, 21 or in enmity he strikes him with his hand so that he dies, the one who struck him shall surely be put to death. He is a murderer. The avenger of blood shall put the murderer to death when he meets him.

22 ‘However, if he pushes him suddenly (L)without enmity, or throws anything at him without lying in wait, 23 or uses a stone, by which a man could die, throwing it at him without seeing him, so that he dies, while he was not his enemy or seeking his harm, 24 then (M)the congregation shall judge between the manslayer and the avenger of blood according to these judgments. 25 So the congregation shall deliver the manslayer from the hand of the avenger of blood, and the congregation shall return him to the city of refuge where he had fled, and (N)he shall remain there until the death of the high priest (O)who was anointed with the holy oil. 26 But if the manslayer at any time goes outside the limits of the city of refuge where he fled, 27 and the avenger of blood finds him outside the limits of his city of refuge, and the avenger of blood kills the manslayer, he shall not be guilty of [b]blood, 28 because he should have remained in his city of 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 ‘And these things shall be (P)a statute of judgment to you throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 30 Whoever kills a person, the murderer shall be put to death on the (Q)testimony of witnesses; but one witness is not sufficient testimony against a person for the death penalty. 31 Moreover you shall take no ransom for the life of a murderer who is guilty of death, but he shall surely be put to death. 32 And you shall take no ransom for him who has fled to his city of refuge, that he may return to dwell in the land before the death of the priest. 33 So you shall not pollute the land where you are; for blood (R)defiles the land, and no [c]atonement can be made for the land, for the blood that is shed on it, except (S)by the blood of him who shed it. 34 Therefore (T)do not defile the land which you inhabit, in the midst of which I dwell; for (U)I the Lord dwell among the children of Israel.’ ”

Read full chapter

Footnotes

  1. Numbers 35:19 A family member who is to avenge the victim
  2. Numbers 35:27 Murder
  3. Numbers 35:33 Lit. covering

42 (A)that the manslayer might flee there, who kills his neighbor unintentionally, without having hated him in time past, and that by fleeing to one of these cities he might live:

Read full chapter