Cities of Refuge1 a “When the Lord your God cuts off the nations, whose land the Lord your God gives you, and you dispossess them and settle in their cities and in their houses, 2 b you shall set aside three cities for yourself in the midst of your land, which the Lord your God gives you to ▼
▼ Lit possess itpossess. 3 “You shall prepare the ▼
▼ Lit roadroads for yourself, and divide into three parts the territory of your land which the Lord your God will give you as a possession, ▼
▼ Lit and it shall be for every manslayer to flee thereso that any manslayer may flee there. 4 f “Now this is the case of the manslayer who may flee there and live: when he ▼
▼ Lit smiteskills his friend ▼
▼ Lit without knowledgeunintentionally ▼
▼ Lit and he was not hating him previouslynot hating him previously— 5 as when a man goes into the forest with his friend to cut wood, and his hand ▼
▼ Lit is thrust withswings the axe to cut down the tree, and the iron head slips off the ▼
▼ Lit woodhandle and ▼
▼ Lit findsstrikes his friend so that he dies— he may flee to one of these cities and live; 6 otherwise the avenger of blood might pursue the manslayer ▼
▼ Lit while his heart is hotin the heat of his anger, and overtake him, because the way is long, and ▼
▼ Lit smite him in the soultake his life, though he was not deserving of death, since he had not hated him previously. 7 “Therefore, I command you, saying, ‘You shall set aside three cities for yourself.’ 8 “If the Lord your God o enlarges your territory, just as He has sworn to your fathers, and gives you all the land which He ▼
▼ Lit spokepromised to give your fathers— 9 if you ▼
▼ Lit keep...to do itcarefully observe all this commandment which I command you today r to love the Lord your God, and to walk in His ways always— s then you shall add three more cities for yourself, besides these three. 10 “So innocent blood will not be shed in the midst of your land which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance, and t bloodguiltiness be on you. 11 “But u if there is a man who hates his neighbor and lies in wait for him and rises up against him and strikes ▼
▼ Lit him in the soulhim so that he dies, and he flees to one of these cities, 12 then the elders of his city shall send and take him from there and deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die. 13 ▼
▼ Lit Your eye, x “You shall not pity him, but y you shall purge the blood of the innocent from Israel, that it may go well with you.
Laws of Landmark and Testimony14 z “You shall not move your neighbor’s boundary mark, which the ancestors have set, in your inheritance which you will inherit in the land that the Lord your God gives you to ▼
▼ Lit possess itpossess. 15 ab “A single witness shall not rise up against a man on account of any iniquity or any sin ▼
▼ Lit in any sin, which he sinswhich he has committed; on the ▼
▼ Lit mouth of two witnesses, or by the mouth of threeevidence of two or three witnesses a matter shall be confirmed. 16 ae “If a malicious witness rises up against a man to ▼
▼ Lit testify againstaccuse him of ▼
▼ Lit turning asidewrongdoing, 17 then both the men who have the dispute shall stand ah before the Lord, before the priests and the judges who will be in office in those days. 18 “The judges ai shall investigate thoroughly, and if the witness is a false witness and he has ▼
▼ Lit testified againstaccused his brother falsely, 19 then ak you shall do to him just as he had intended to do to his brother. Thus you shall purge the evil from among you. 20 al “The rest will hear and be afraid, and will never again do such an evil thing among you. 21 “Thus ▼
▼ Lit your eye, an you shall not show pity: ao life for life, ap eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.
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