1 And the Lord spoke unto Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan opposite Jericho, saying,
2 Command the children of Israel, that they give unto the Levites from the inheritance of their possession cities to dwell in; and an open space for the cities round about them shall ye give also unto the Levites.
3 And the cities shall serve them to dwell in; and their open spaces shall be for their cattle, and for their goods, and for all their requirements.
4 And the open spaces of the cities, which ye shall give unto the Levites, shall reach from the wall of the city and outward a thousand cubits round about.
5 And ye shall measure from without 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, with the city in the midst: this shall be to them the open spaces of the cities.
6 And the cities which ye shall give unto the Levites shall be the six cities of refuge, which ye shall appoint that the manslayer may flee thither; and in addition to them shall ye give forty and two cities.
7 All the cities which ye shall thus give to the Levites shall be forty and eight cities, they with their open spaces.
8 And the cities which ye shall give of the possession of the children of Israel, from the tribe that hath many shall ye give many; but from the one that hath few shall ye give few: every one according to its inheritance which it may inherit shall give of its cities unto the Levites.
9 And the Lord spoke unto Moses. saying,
10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye have passed over the Jordan into the land of Canaan:
11 Then ye shall appoint unto yourselves proper cities, that they be cities of refuge for you; and thither shall flee the manslayer who killeth any person at unawares.
12 And these cities shall be unto you for a refuge from the avenger; that the manslayer die not, until he have stood before the congregation for trial.
13 And the cities which ye shall give, shall be six cities of refuge unto you;
14 Three of these cities shall ye give on this side of the Jordan, and the three other cities shall ye give in the land of Canaan: cities of refuge shall they be.
15 For the children of Israel, and for the stranger, and for the sojourner among them, shall these six cities be for a refuge: that every one may flee thither that killeth any person at unawares.
16 And if he have smitten him with an instrument of iron, so that he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death.
17 And if he have smitten him with a stone which one can take in the hand, wherewith he may die, and he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death.
18 Or if he have smitten him with an article of wood, which one can take in the hand, wherewith he may die, and he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death.
19 The avenger of the blood himself shall slay the murderer; when he meeteth him, shall he slay him.
20 And if he push against him out of hatred, or he have hurled at him any thing by lying in wait, that he die;
21 Or if in enmity he have smitten him with his hand, that he died, he that smote him shall surely be put to death; for he is a murderer: the avenger of the blood shall slay the murderer, when he meeteth with him.
22 But if he have pushed against him accidentally without enmity, or have cast upon him any thing without lying in wait,
23 Or with any stone wherewith a man may die, without seeing him, and he have let it fall upon him that he died; whereas he was not his enemy, and did not seek his harm:
24 Then shall the congregation judge between the slayer and the avenger of the blood according to these institutions;
25 And the congregation shall deliver the manslayer out of the hand of the avenger of the blood, and the congregation shall restore him to the city of his refuge, whither he had fled; and he shall abide in it until the death of the highpriest, who hath been anointed with the holy oil.
26 But if the manslayer should at any time pass the boundary of the city of his refuge, whither he may have fled;
27 And the avenger of the blood should find him beyond the boundary of the city of his refuge, and the avenger of the blood should kill the manslayer: he shall not be guilty of blood;
28 Because in the city of his refuge shall be remain until the death of the highpriest; but after the death of the highpriest the manslayer may return unto the land of his possession.
29 And these things shall be unto you for a statute of justice throughout your generations, in all your dwellings.
30 Whoever it be that killeth a person, according to the testimony of witnesses shall the murderer be put to death; but one witness shall not testify against any person to cause him to die.
31 Moreover ye shall take no redemption money for the person of a murderer, who is guilty of death; but he shall surely be put to death.
32 And ye shall take no redemption money for him that hath fled to the city of his refuge, that he should come again to dwell in the land, until the death of the priest.
33 And ye shall not defile the land wherein ye are; for the blood it is which defileth the land: and no atonement can be made unto the land for the blood which hath been shed therein, except through the blood of him that hath shed it.
34 And ye shall not render unclean the land which ye inhabit, in the midst of which I dwell; for I the Lord dwell in the midst of the children of Israel.