The Fourth Book of Moses, Called Numbers

Chapter 35

Forty-eight cities for the Levites, with their suburbs, and the measure thereof, 1-5. Six of them are to be cities of refuge, 6-8. The laws of murder and manslaughter, 9-30. No satisfaction for murder, 31-34.

1 And the LORD spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan near Jericho, saying, 2 "Command the children of Israel that they give to the Levites of the inheritance of their possession cities to dwell in. And you shall also give to the Levites suburbs for the cities around them. 3 And they shall have the cities to dwell in. And their suburbs shall be for their cattle, for their goods, and for all their beasts.

4 "And the suburbs of the cities which you shall give to the Levites shall reach from the wall of the city and outward one thousand cubits on all sides. 5 And you shall measure from outside the city on the east side two thousand cubits, and on the south side two thousand cubits, and on the west side two thousand cubits, and on the north side two thousand cubits, and the city shall be in the midst. This shall be to them the suburbs of the cities.

6 "And among the cities which you shall give to the Levites there shall be six cities for refuge, which you shall appoint for the man-slayer so that he may flee there. And to them you shall add forty-two cities. 7 So all the cities which you shall give to the Levites shall be forty-eight cities. You shall give them with their suburbs. 8 And the cities which you shall give shall be of the possession of the children of Israel. From those who have many you shall give many, but from those who have few you shall give few. Everyone shall give some of his cities to the Levites according to his inheritance which he inherits."

9 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 10 "Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, 'When you have passed over the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 11 You shall appoint for yourselves cities to be cities of refuge for you so that the slayer may flee there who kills any person unintentionally. 12 And they shall be to you cities for refuge from the avenger so that the man-slayer may not die until he stands before the congregation in judgment. 13 And of these cities which you shall give, six cities you shall have for refuge. 14 You shall give three cities on this side of the Jordan and three cities you shall give in the land of Canaan, which shall be cities of refuge. 15 These six cities shall be a refuge for the children of Israel, for the stranger, and for the sojourner among them so that everyone who kills any person unintentionally may flee there.

16 'And if he smites him with an instrument of iron so that he dies, he is a murderer. The murderer shall surely be put to death. 17 And if he smites him by throwing a stone, by which he may die, and he dies, he is a murderer. The murderer shall surely be put to death. 18 Or if he smites him with a hand-weapon of wood, with which he may die, and he dies, he is a murderer. The murderer shall surely be put to death. 19 The avenger of blood himself shall slay the murderer. When he meets him, he shall slay him. 20 But if he thrusts him of hatred, or hurls at him by laying in wait so that he dies, 21 Or in enmity smites him with his hand so that he dies, he who smote him shall surely be put to death, for he is a murderer. The avenger of blood shall slay the murderer when he meets him.

22 'But if he thrusts him suddenly without enmity, or casts upon him anything without laying in wait, 23 Or with any stone, by which a man may die, not seeing him, and casts it upon him so that he dies, and was not his enemy, neither sought his harm, 24 Then the congregation shall judge between the slayer and the avenger of blood according to these judgments. 25 And the congregation shall deliver the slayer out of the hand of the avenger of blood, and the congregation shall restore him to the city of his refuge where he had fled. And he shall abide in it to the death of the high priest who was anointed with the holy oil. 26 But if the slayer at anytime comes outside the border of the city of his refuge where he had fled, 27 And the avenger of blood finds him outside the borders of the city of his refuge, and the avenger of blood kills the slayer, he shall not be guilty of blood, 28 Because he should have remained in the city of his refuge until the death of the high priest. But after the death of the high priest the slayer shall return into the land of his possession.

29 'So these things shall be for a statute of judgment to you throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

30 'Whoever kills any person, the murderer shall be put to death by the mouth of witnesses. But one witness shall not testify against any person to cause him to die. 31 Moreover, you shall take no satisfaction 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 satisfaction for him who has fled to the city of his refuge, that he should come back to dwell in the land until the death of the priest. 33 So you shall not pollute the land in which you are, for blood defiles the land, and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed in it, but by the blood of him who shed it. 34 Therefore, do not defile the land which you inhabit, in which I dwell, for I, the LORD, dwell among the children of Israel.'"

Commentary

Matthew Henry Commentary - Numbers, Chapter 35

Notes

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