- ¶ THEN the LORD said to Joshua,
- Speak to the children of Israel, saying, Reserve for you cities of refuge, of which I spoke to you through my servant Moses;
- That the slayer who kills any person suddenly and unwittingly may flee there;
and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood.
- And when he that shall flee to one of these cities shall stand at the entrance of the gate of the city, and shall speak to the elders of that city and explain his case, they shall take him into the city with them and give him a place, that he may dwell among them.
- And when the avenger of blood pursues him, then they shall not deliver the slayer into his hand;
because he slew his neighbor unwittingly, and did not hate him beforehand.
- 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 the slayer shall return, and come to his own city and to his own house, to the city from which he fled.
- ¶ So they set apart these cities for the places of refuge: Rakim in Galilee in mount Naphtali, and Shechem in mount Ephraim, and Koriath-arba, which is Hebron, in the mountain of Judah.
- And on the other side of the Jordan, east of Jericho, they assigned Bozer in the wilderness, which is situated upon the plain, from the tribe of Reuben, and Ramoth in Gilead, from the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Mathnin, from the tribe of Manasseh.
- These were the cities set apart for all the children of Israel and for the strangers that sojourned among them, that any one who killed a person unawares might flee there, and not be delivered into the hand of the avenger of blood, until he had stood before the congregation.