New International Version
Then the LORD said to Joshua:
"Tell the Israelites to designate the cities of refuge, as I instructed you through Moses,"
So that anyone who kills a person accidentally and unintentionally may flee there and find protection from the avenger of blood.
When they flee to one of these cities, they are to stand in the entrance of the city gate and state their case before the elders of that city. Then the elders are to admit them into their city and give them a place to live with them.
If the avenger of blood pursues them, the elders must not surrender the accused, because they killed their neighbor unintentionally and without malice aforethought.
"They are to stay in that city until they have stood trial before the assembly and until the death of the high priest who is serving at that time. Then they may go back to their own home in the town from which they fled."
So they set apart 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.
East of the Jordan (on the other side from Jericho) they designated Bezer in the wilderness on the plateau in the tribe of Reuben, Ramoth in Gilead in the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan in the tribe of Manasseh.
Any of the Israelites or any foreigner residing among them who killed someone accidentally could flee to these designated cities and not be killed by the avenger of blood prior to standing trial before the assembly.
THE LORD said also to Joshua,
Say to the Israelites, Appoint among you cities of refuge, of which I spoke to you through Moses
That the slayer who kills anyone accidentally and unintentionally may flee there; and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood. [Num. 35:10ff.]
He who flees to one of those cities shall stand at the entrance of the gate of the city and explain his case to the elders of that city; they shall receive him to [the protection of] that city and give him a place to dwell among them.
If the avenger of blood pursues him, they shall not deliver the slayer into his hand, because he killed his neighbor unintentionally, having had no hatred for him previously.
And he shall dwell in that city until he has been tried before the congregation and until the death of him who is the high priest in those days. Then the slayer shall return to his own city from which he fled and to his own house.
And they set apart and consecrated Kedesh in Galilee in the hill country of Naphtali and Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim and Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the hill country of Judah.
Beyond the Jordan east of Jericho they appointed Bezer in the wilderness tableland from the tribe of Reuben, and Ramoth in Gilead from the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan from the tribe of Manasseh.
These cities were for all the Israelites and the stranger sojourning among them, that whoever killed a person unintentionally might flee there and not be slain by the avenger of blood until he had been tried before the congregation.
King James Version
The LORD also spake unto Joshua, saying,
Speak to the children of Israel, saying, Appoint out for you cities of refuge, whereof I spake unto you by the hand of Moses:
That the slayer that killeth any person unawares and unwittingly may flee thither: and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood.
And when he that doth flee unto one of those cities shall stand at the entering of the gate of the city, and shall declare his cause in the ears of the elders of that city, they shall take him into the city unto them, and give him a place, that he may dwell among them.
And if the avenger of blood pursue after him, then they shall not deliver the slayer up into his hand; because he smote his neighbour unwittingly, and hated him not beforetime.
And he shall dwell in that city, until he stand before the congregation for judgment, and until the death of the high priest that shall be in those days: then shall the slayer return, and come unto his own city, and unto his own house, unto the city from whence he fled.
And they appointed Kedesh in Galilee in mount Naphtali, and Shechem in mount Ephraim, and Kirjatharba, which is Hebron, in the mountain of Judah.
And on the other side Jordan by Jericho eastward, they assigned Bezer in the wilderness upon the plain out of the tribe of Reuben, and Ramoth in Gilead out of the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan out of the tribe of Manasseh.
These were the cities appointed for all the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them, that whosoever killeth any person at unawares might flee thither, and not die by the hand of the avenger of blood, until he stood before the congregation.
Becoming a Christian
Would you like to experience forgiveness and new life from the God of the Bible,
who calls every person to believe that he sent his son Jesus Christ
to make this possible?
The Bible explains why everyone needs to receive forgiveness and is called to serve
Jesus Christ. The consistency of the Bible story, which was authored by people living
thousands of years apart from diverse cultures and even different languages, is
often cited as evidence of divine inspiration. Wikipedia has a list of many
prophesies which have come true.
The story of God's plan to restore his relationship with us can be summarised in eight
famous Bible verses below.
- In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
- All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
- God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
- Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
- If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
- For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.
- But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
- Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
The truth in these verses is simple, yet to embrace it means letting go of all our personal hopes and
dreams and embracing God's greater purpose for our lives instead,
a purpose far above anything we could dream or imagine.
This is the most important decision you will ever make, because it affects not just the rest of
your life here on earth, but what comes after as well. Don't put it off until too late. If you
died tonight make the decision to spend eternity with your loving Father in Heaven.
If you're wondering what to do next as a new Christian, check out these helpful suggestions from Mary Fairchild on About.com: