Cities for the Levites

35 (A)Now the Lord spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab, by the Jordan opposite Jericho, saying, “Command the sons of Israel that they give to the Levites from the inheritance of their possession cities to live in; and you shall give to the Levites pasture lands around the cities. The cities shall be theirs to live in; and their pasture lands shall be for their cattle and for their equipment and for all their other animals.

“The pasture lands of the cities which you are to give to the Levites shall extend from the wall of the city [a]outward a thousand cubits around. You shall also measure outside the city on the east side two thousand cubits, on the south side two thousand cubits, on the west side two thousand cubits, and on the north side two thousand cubits, with the city in the center. This shall become theirs as pasture lands for the cities.

Cities of Refuge

The cities which you shall give to the Levites shall be the (B)six cities of refuge, which you shall provide for the one who commits manslaughter to flee to; and in addition to them you shall give forty-two cities. The total number of the cities which you are to give to the Levites shall be (C)forty-eight cities, [b]together with their pasture lands. (D)As for the cities which you shall give them from the possession of the sons of Israel, you shall take more from the larger, and you shall take fewer from the smaller; each shall give some of his cities to the Levites in proportion to his inheritance which he possesses.”

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 10 (E)Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 11 (F)then you shall select for yourselves cities to be your (G)cities of refuge, so that the one who commits manslaughter by [c]killing a person (H)unintentionally may flee there. 12 (I)The cities shall [d]serve you as a refuge from the avenger, so that the one who commits manslaughter does not die until he stands before the congregation for [e]trial. 13 So the cities which you are to provide shall be six cities of refuge for you. 14 You (J)shall provide three cities across the Jordan, and three cities [f]in the land of Canaan; they are to be cities of refuge. 15 These six cities shall be a refuge for the sons of Israel, for the stranger, and for the foreign resident among them; so that anyone who [g]kills a person (K)unintentionally may flee there.

16 (L)But if he struck him with an iron object, so that he died, he is a murderer; the murderer must be put to death. 17 And if he struck him with a stone in the hand, by which he would die, and as a result he did die, he is a murderer; the murderer (M)must be put to death. 18 Or if he struck him with a wooden object in the hand, by which he would die, and as a result he did die, he is a murderer; the murderer must be put to death. 19 The blood avenger himself shall put the murderer to death; he himself shall put him to death when he meets him. 20 Now (N)if he pushed him in hatred, or he threw something at him [h](O)with malicious intent, and as a result he died, 21 or if he struck him with his hand with hostility, and as a result he died, the one who struck him must be put to death; he is a murderer. The blood avenger shall put the murderer to death when he meets him.

22 (P)But if he pushed him suddenly, without hostility, or threw any object at him without [i]malicious intent, 23 or had any [j]deadly stone, and without looking he dropped it on him so that he died, while he was not his enemy nor was he seeking [k]to harm him, 24 then (Q)the congregation shall judge between the one who fatally struck the victim and the blood avenger in accordance with these ordinances. 25 And the congregation shall save the one who committed manslaughter from the hand of the blood avenger, and the congregation shall return him to his city of refuge to which he fled; and he shall live in it until the death of the high priest who was anointed with the holy oil. 26 But if at any time [l]he goes beyond the border of his city of refuge to which he flees, 27 and the blood avenger finds him outside the border of his city of refuge, and the blood avenger kills [m]him, he [n]will not be guilty of bloodshed, 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 one who committed manslaughter may return to the land of his property.

29 ‘These things shall be a (R)statutory ordinance for you throughout your generations in all your dwelling places.

30 (S)If anyone kills a person, the murderer shall be put to death on the [o]testimony of witnesses, but (T)no person shall be put to death on the testimony of only one witness. 31 Moreover, you shall not accept a ransom for the life of a murderer who is [p]condemned to death, but he must be put to death. 32 And you shall not accept a ransom for one who has fled to his city of refuge, so that he may return to live in the land [q]before the death of the priest. 33 (U)So you shall not defile the land in which you live; for blood defiles the land, and no atonement can be made for the land for the blood that is shed on it, except (V)by the blood of the one who shed it. 34 So you shall not (W)defile the land in which you live, in the midst of which (X)I dwell; for I the Lord am dwelling in the midst of the sons of Israel.’”

Inheritance by Marriage

36 (Y)Now the heads of the fathers’ households of the family of the sons of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of the sons of Joseph, came forward and spoke before Moses and before the leaders, the heads of the fathers’ households of the sons of Israel, and they said, “The Lord commanded my lord to give the land by lot to the sons of Israel as an inheritance, and my lord (Z)was commanded by the Lord to give the inheritance of our brother Zelophehad to his daughters. But if they [r]marry one of the sons of the other tribes of the sons of Israel, their inheritance will be withdrawn from the inheritance of our fathers and will be added to the inheritance of the tribe to which they belong; so it will be withdrawn from our allotted inheritance. And when the (AA)jubilee of the sons of Israel takes place, then their inheritance will be added to the inheritance of the tribe to which they belong; so their inheritance will be withdrawn from the inheritance of the tribe of our fathers.”

Then Moses commanded the sons of Israel in accordance with the [s]word of the Lord, saying, “The tribe of the sons of Joseph is right in its statements. (AB)This is [t]what the Lord has commanded regarding the daughters of Zelophehad, saying, ‘Let them marry [u]whomever they wish; only they must marry within the family of the tribe of their father.’ So (AC)no inheritance of the sons of Israel will [v]be transferred from tribe to tribe, for the sons of Israel shall each [w]retain possession of the inheritance of the tribe of his fathers. (AD)And every daughter who comes into possession of an inheritance of any tribe of the sons of Israel shall marry one of the family of the tribe of her father, so that the sons of Israel may each possess the inheritance of his fathers. So no inheritance will [x]be transferred from one tribe to another tribe, for the tribes of the sons of Israel shall each [y]retain possession of its own inheritance.”

10 Just as the Lord had commanded Moses, so the daughters of Zelophehad did: 11 (AE)Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Noah, the daughters of Zelophehad married their uncles’ sons. 12 They married those from the families of the sons of Manasseh the son of Joseph, and their inheritance [z]remained with the tribe of the family of their father.

13 (AF)These are the commandments and the ordinances which the Lord commanded to the sons of Israel through Moses in the plains of Moab, by the Jordan opposite Jericho.

Footnotes

  1. Numbers 35:4 Lit and outward
  2. Numbers 35:7 Lit them together with
  3. Numbers 35:11 Lit fatally striking
  4. Numbers 35:12 Lit be to you
  5. Numbers 35:12 Lit judgment
  6. Numbers 35:14 Lit you shall give in
  7. Numbers 35:15 Lit strikes
  8. Numbers 35:20 Lit in pursuit
  9. Numbers 35:22 Lit pursuit
  10. Numbers 35:23 Lit stone by which he would die
  11. Numbers 35:23 Lit his harm
  12. Numbers 35:26 Lit the one who committed manslaughter
  13. Numbers 35:27 Lit the one who committed manslaughter
  14. Numbers 35:27 Lit he has no bloodguilt
  15. Numbers 35:30 Lit mouth
  16. Numbers 35:31 Lit guilty
  17. Numbers 35:32 Or until
  18. Numbers 36:3 Lit become wives to, and so throughout the ch
  19. Numbers 36:5 Lit mouth
  20. Numbers 36:6 Lit the word which
  21. Numbers 36:6 Lit the good one in their eyes
  22. Numbers 36:7 Lit turn about
  23. Numbers 36:7 Lit cling to
  24. Numbers 36:9 Lit turn about
  25. Numbers 36:9 Lit cling to
  26. Numbers 36:12 Lit was to the