Deuteronomy 19:1-13

Laws Concerning Cities of Refuge

1“When a  the  Lord your God cuts off the nations whose land the  Lord your God is giving you, and you dispossess them and dwell in their cities and in their houses, 2 b  you shall set apart three cities for yourselves in the land that the  Lord your God is giving you to possess. 3You shall measure the distances
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and divide into three parts the area of the land that the  Lord your God gives you as a possession, so that any manslayer can flee to them.

4This is the provision for d  the manslayer, who by fleeing there may save his life. If anyone kills his neighbor unintentionally without having hated him in the past 5as when someone goes into the forest with his neighbor to cut wood, and his hand swings the axe to cut down a tree, and the head slips from the handle and strikes his neighbor so that he dies—he may flee to one of these cities and live, 6lest e  the avenger of blood in hot anger pursue the manslayer and overtake him, because the way is long, and strike him fatally, though the man did not deserve to die, since he had not hated his neighbor in the past. 7Therefore I command you, You shall set apart three cities. 8 f  And if the  Lord your God enlarges your territory g  as he has sworn to your fathers, and h  gives you all the land that he promised to give to your fathers 9provided you are careful to keep all this commandment, which I command you today, by loving the  Lord your God and by walking ever in his waysi  then you shall add three other cities to these three, 10lest innocent blood be shed in your land that the  Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance, and so the guilt of bloodshed be upon you.

11“But if anyone hates his neighbor and lies in wait for him and attacks him j  and strikes him fatally so that he dies, and he flees into one of these cities, 12then the elders of his city shall send and take him from there, and hand him over to the avenger of blood, so that he may die. 13 k  Your eye shall not pity him l  but you shall purge the guilt of innocent blood
Or  the blood of the innocent
from Israel, so that it may be well with you.

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