1 And HaShem spoke unto Moses in the plains of Moab by the
Jordan at Jericho, saying:
2 'Command the children of Israel, that they give unto the
Levites of the inheritance of their possession cities to dwell in; and open land
round about the cities shall ye give unto the Levites.
3 And the cities shall they have to dwell in; and their open
land shall be for their cattle, and for their substance, and for all their
4 And the open land about the cities, which ye shall give
unto the Levites, shall be from the wall of the city and outward a thousand
cubits round about.
5 And ye shall measure without the city for the east side two
thousand cubits, and for the south side two thousand cubits, and for the west
side two thousand cubits, and for the north side two thousand cubits, the city
being in the midst. This shall be to them the open land about the cities.
6 And the cities which ye shall give unto the Levites, they
shall be the six cities of refuge, which ye shall give for the manslayer to flee
thither; and beside them ye shall give forty and two cities.
7 All the cities which ye shall give to the Levites shall be
forty and eight cities: them shall ye give with the open land about them.
8 And concerning the cities which ye shall give of the
possession of the children of Israel, from the many ye shall take many, and from
the few ye shall take few; each tribe according to its inheritance which it
inheriteth shall give of its cities unto the Levites.'
9 And HaShem spoke unto Moses, saying:
10 'Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them:
When ye pass over the Jordan into the land of Canaan,
11 then ye shall appoint you cities to be cities of refuge
for you, that the manslayer that killeth any person through error may flee
12 And the cities shall be unto you for refuge from the
avenger, that the manslayer die not, until he stand before the congregation for
13 And as to the cities which ye shall give, there shall be
for you six cities of refuge.
14 Ye shall give three cities beyond the Jordan, and three
cities shall ye give in the land of Canaan; they shall be cities of refuge.
15 For the children of Israel, and for the stranger and for
the settler among them, shall these six cities be for refuge, that every one
that killeth any person through error may flee thither.
16 But if he smote him with an instrument of iron, so that he
died, he is a murderer; the murderer shall surely be put to death.
17 And if he smote him with a stone in the hand, whereby a
man may die, and he died, he is a murderer; the murderer shall surely be put to
18 Or if he smote him with a weapon of wood in the hand,
whereby a man may die, and he died, he is a murderer; the murderer shall surely
be put to death.
19 The avenger of blood shall himself put the murderer to
death; when he meeteth him, he shall put him to death.
20 And if he thrust him of hatred, or hurled at him any
thing, lying in wait, so that he died;
21 or in enmity smote him with his hand, that he died; he
that smote him shall surely be put to death: he is a murderer; the avenger of
blood shall put the murderer to death when he meeteth him.
22 But if he thrust him suddenly without enmity, or hurled
upon him any thing without lying in wait,
23 or with any stone, whereby a man may die, seeing him not,
and cast it upon him, so that he died, and he was not his enemy, neither sought
24 then the congregation shall judge between the smiter and
the avenger of blood according to these ordinances;
25 and the congregation shall deliver the manslayer out of
the hand of the avenger of blood, and the congregation shall restore him to his
city of refuge, whither he was fled; and he shall dwell therein until the death
of the high priest, who was anointed with the holy oil.
26 But if the manslayer shall at any time go beyond the
border of his city of refuge, whither he fleeth;
27 and the avenger of blood find him without the border of
his city of refuge, and the avenger of blood slay the manslayer; there shall be
no bloodguiltiness for him;
28 because he must remain in his city of refuge until the
death of the high priest; but after the death of the high priest the manslayer
may return into the land of his possession.
29 And these things shall be for a statute of judgment unto
you throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
30 Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be slain at
the mouth of witnesses; but one witness shall not testify against any person
that he die.
31 Moreover ye shall take no ransom for the life of a
murderer, that is guilty of death; but he shall surely be put to death.
32 And ye shall take no ransom for him that is fled to his
city of refuge, that he should come again to dwell in the land, until the death
of the priest.
33 So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are; for
blood, it polluteth the land; and no expiation can be made for the land for the
blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it.
34 And thou shalt not defile the land which ye inhabit, in
the midst of which I dwell; for I HaShem dwell in the midst of the children of
Sources: Portions copyright © 1997 by Benyamin Pilant, All Rights Reserved
JPS Electronic Edition, based on the 1917 JPS translation, Copyright © 1998 by Larry Nelson, All Rights Reserved