35 2 Unto the Levites are given cities and suburbs. 11 The cities of refuge. 16 The law of murder. 30 For one man’s witness shall no man be condemned.

And the Lord spake unto Moses in the plain of Moab by Jordan, toward Jericho, saying,

(A)Command the children of Israel, that they give unto the [a]Levites of the inheritance of their possession, [b]cities to dwell in: ye shall give also unto the Levites the suburbs of the cities round about them.

So they shall have the cities to dwell in, and their suburbs shall be for their cattle, and for their substance, and for all their beasts.

And the suburbs of the cities, which ye shall give unto the Levites, from the wall of the city outward shall be a thousand cubits round about.

And ye shall measure without the city of the East side, [c]two thousand cubits: and of the South side, two thousand cubits: and of the West side, two thousand cubits: and of the North side, two thousand cubits: and the city shall be in the midst: this shall be the measure of the suburbs of their cities.

And of the cities which ye shall give unto the Levites, (B)there shall be six cities for refuge, which ye shall appoint, that he which killeth, may flee thither: and to them ye shall add two and forty cities more.

All the cities which ye shall give to the Levites, shall be eight and forty cities: them shall ye give with their suburbs.

And concerning the cities which ye shall give, of the possession of the children of Israel: of many ye shall take more, and of few ye shall take less: everyone shall give of his cities unto the Levites, according to his inheritance, which he inheriteth.

¶ And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, (C)When ye be come over Jordan into the land of Canaan,

11 Ye shall appoint you cities, to be cities of refuge for you, that the slayer, which slayeth any person unawares, may flee thither.

12 And these cities shall be for you a refuge from thy [d]avenger, that he which killeth, die not, until he stand before the Congregation in judgment.

13 And of the cities which ye shall give, six cities shall ye have for refuge.

14 Ye shall appoint three [e]on this side Jordan, and ye shall appoint three cities in the land of (D)Canaan which shall be cities of refuge.

15 These six cities shall be a refuge for the children of Israel, and for the stranger, and for him that dwelleth [f]among you, that everyone which killeth any person unawares, may flee thither.

16 (E)And if one [g]smite another with an instrument of iron that he die, he is a murderer, and the murderer shall die the death.

17 Also if he smite him by casting a [h]stone, wherewith he may be slain, and he die, he is a murderer, and the murderer shall die the death.

18 Or if he smite him with an hand weapon of wood, wherewith he may be slain, if he die, he is a murderer, and the murderer shall die the death.

19 The revenger of the blood himself shall slay the murderer: when he meeteth him, he shall slay him.

20 But if he thrust him (F)of hate, or hurl at him by laying of wait, that he die,

21 Or smite him through enmity with his hand, that he die, he that smote him shall die the death: for he is a murderer: the revenger of the blood shall slay the murderer when he meeteth him.

22 But if he pushed him [i]unadvisedly, and (G)not of hatred, or cast upon him [j]anything, without laying of wait,

23 Or any stone (whereby he might be slain), and saw him not, or caused it to fall upon him, and he die, and was not his enemy, neither sought him any harm,

24 Then the Congregation shall judge between the slayer and the [k]avenger of blood according to these laws.

25 And the Congregation shall deliver the slayer out of the hand of the avenger of blood, and the Congregation shall restore him unto the city of his refuge, whither he was fled: and he shall abide there unto the death of the [l]high Priest, which is anointed with the holy oil.

26 But if the slayer come without the borders of the city of his refuge, whither he was fled,

27 And the revenger of blood find him without the borders of the city of his refuge, and the revenger of blood slay the [m]murderer, he shall be guiltless,

28 Because he should have remained in the city of his refuge, until the death of the high Priest: and after the death of the high Priest, the slayer shall return unto the land of his possession.

29 So these things shall be a [n]law of judgment unto you, throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

30 Whosoever killeth any person, the Judge shall slay the murderer, through (H)witnesses: but (I)one witness shall not testify against a person to cause him to die.

31 Moreover ye shall take no recompense for the life of the murderer, which is [o]worthy to die: but he shall be put to death.

32 Also ye shall take no recompense for him that is fled to the city of his refuge, that he should come again, and dwell in the land, before the death of the high Priest.

33 So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye shall dwell: for [p]blood defileth the land: and the land cannot be [q]cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it.

34 Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit, for I dwell in the midst thereof: For I the Lord dwell among the children of Israel.

Footnotes

  1. Numbers 35:2 Because they had no inheritance assigned them in the land of Canaan.
  2. Numbers 35:2 God would have them scattered through all the land, because the people might be preserved by them in the obedience of God and his Law.
  3. Numbers 35:5 So that in all were three thousand, and in the compass of these two thousand, they might plant and sow.
  4. Numbers 35:12 Meaning, from the next of the kindred, who ought to pursue the cause.
  5. Numbers 35:14 Among the Reubenites, Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh, Deut. 4:41.
  6. Numbers 35:15 Hebrew, among them.
  7. Numbers 35:16 Wittingly, and willingly.
  8. Numbers 35:17 That is, with a big and dangerous stone: in Hebrew, with a stone of his hand.
  9. Numbers 35:22 Or, suddenly.
  10. Numbers 35:22 Hebrew, instrument.
  11. Numbers 35:24 That is, his next kinsman.
  12. Numbers 35:25 Under this figure is declared, that our sins could not be remitted, but by the death of the high Priest Jesus Christ.
  13. Numbers 35:27 By the sentence of the Judge.
  14. Numbers 35:29 A law to judge murders done either of purpose, or unadvisedly.
  15. Numbers 35:31 Which purposely hath committed murder.
  16. Numbers 35:33 Or, murder.
  17. Numbers 35:33 So God is mindful of the blood wrongfully shed, that he maketh his dumb creatures to demand vengeance thereof.