Numbers 35 New Life Version (NLV)
Cities for the Levites
35 The Lord said to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan near Jericho, 2 “Tell the people of Israel to give the Levites cities to live in from the land they receive. And give the Levites fields around the cities. 3 The cities will be theirs to live in. Their fields will be for their cattle and flocks and for all their animals. 4 The fields you give the Levites should be around the cities, from the city walls out 500 long steps. 5 And you should number 1,000 long steps from the city on the east side, on the south side, on the west side, and on the north side, with the city in the center. These fields around the cities will belong to them for their animals. 6 The cities you give the Levites will be the six cities where people can go to be safe. They will be where a man may run to if he has killed another person. And give them forty-two other cities, added to these. 7 Give forty-eight cities in all to the Levites, together with their fields. 8 Take more cities from the larger families of Israel to give to the Levites. And take less cities from the smaller families. Each should give some of its cities to the Levites by how much land is received.”
The Cities to Be a Safe Place
9 Then the Lord said to Moses, 10 “Say to the people of Israel, ‘When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 11 choose which cities are to be the ones where you can run to be safe. The man who has killed a person without meaning to may run there. 12 The cities will be a safe place for you from the one who wants to punish you. So the one who has killed a person may not die until the people decide if he is guilty or not. 13 The cities you give will be your six cities where you can go to be safe. 14 Give three cities on the east side of the Jordan and three cities in the land of Canaan. They will be the cities where you can go to be safe. 15 These six cities will be safe places for the people of Israel and for the stranger and for the one who visits them. Anyone who kills a person without meaning to may run there.
16 ‘But if he killed him with an iron object, then he is guilty. For sure the killer will be put to death. 17 If he knocked him down with a stone so that he died, he is guilty. For sure the killer will be put to death. 18 Or if he hit him with a piece of wood in his hand so that he died, he is guilty. For sure the killer will be put to death. 19 The man who wants to punish him for the killing will put the killer to death. He will put him to death when he meets him. 20 If the killer has pushed him because he hated him, or has thrown something at him after waiting for him, and because of this he died, 21 or if he hit him down with his hand because he hated him and killed him, for sure the one who killed him must be put to death. He is guilty. The man who wants to punish him for the killing will put him to death when he meets him.
22 ‘But if he pushed him without planning to and without hating him, or threw something at him without having waited for him, 23 or he threw a stone without seeing him, killing him without hating him or meaning to hurt him, 24 then the people will decide by these Laws between the killer and the one who wants to punish him. 25 The people will save the killer from the man who wants to punish him. And they will return him to his city where he had gone to be safe. He will live in it until the death of the head religious leader who was set apart with the holy oil. 26 But if the man who killed another person at sometime goes outside his city where he went to be safe, 27 then the man who wants to punish him will not be guilty of blood if he finds him outside the safe city and kills him. 28 Because the man should have stayed in his city to be safe until the death of the head religious leader. But after the head religious leader dies, the man who killed another person may return to his own land.
29 ‘These things will be a Law to you and to all your children-to-come in all your homes. 30 If anyone kills a person, the killer must be put to death by what is told by those who saw the killing. But no person may be put to death because of what one person says. 31 You must not take pay to save the life of a killer who is guilty of death. But he must be put to death. 32 You must not take pay for him who has run to his city to be safe, so that he may return to live in the land before the death of the religious leader. 33 You must not make the land where you live unclean. The land is not holy when people are killed. And only the blood of him who is guilty can pay to make the land free from the blood that has fallen on it. 34 Do not make the land where you live unclean, in the place where I live. For I the Lord am living among the people of Israel.’”