1 And the LORD spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab beside Jordan, [at] Jericho, saying,
2 Command the sons of Israel that they give to the Levites, from the land of their possessions cities to live in. And you shall give to the Levites suburbs for the cities all around them.
3 And they shall have the cities to live in. And their open lands shall be for their cattle, and for their goods, and for all their animals.
4 And the open lands of the cities which you shall give to the Levites [shall reach] from the wall of the city and outward a thousand cubits all around.
5 And you shall measure from outside 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. And the city [shall be] in the middle. This shall be to them the open land of the cities.
6 And among the cities which you shall give to the Levites there [shall be] six cities for refuge, which you shall appoint for the manslayer, so that he may flee there. And you shall add forty-two cities to them.
7 All the cities which you shall give to the Levites, forty-eight cities. You shall give them with their open land.
8 And the cities which you shall give [shall be] of the possessions of the sons of Israel. You shall give many from those who have many. But from those who have few you shall give few. Everyone shall give of his cities to the Levites according to his inheritance which he inherits.
9 And the LORD spoke to Moses saying,
10 Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, When you have come over Jordan into the land of Canaan,
11 then you shall choose cities to be cities of refuge for you, so that the slayer who kills any person through error may flee there.
12 And they shall be to you cities for refuge from the avenger, so that the manslayer does not die until he stands before the congregation in judgment.
13 And of those cities which you shall give, you shall have six cities for refuge.
14 You shall give three cities on this side Jordan, and you shall give three cities in the land of Canaan to be cities of refuge.
15 These six cities shall be a refuge for the sons of Israel, and for the stranger, and for anyone who stays among them, so that everyone who kills any person through error may flee there.
16 And if he strikes him with an instrument of iron, so that he dies, he [is] a murderer. The murderer shall surely be put to death.
17 And if he strikes him by throwing a stone, with which he may die, and if he dies, he [is] a murderer. The murderer shall surely be put to death.
18 Or [if] he strikes him with a hand weapon of wood, with which he may die, and if he dies, he is a murderer. The murderer shall surely be put to death.
19 The revenger of blood himself shall kill the murderer. When he meets him, he shall kill him.
20 And if he stabs him from hatred, or hurls at him by lying in wait, so that he dies,
21 or in hatred strikes him with his hand so that he dies, he who struck [him] shall surely he put to death. He [is] a murderer. The revenger of blood will kill the murderer when he meets him.
22 But if he thrusts him suddenly without hatred, or has thrown something on him without lying in wait,
23 or with any stone with which a man may die if he does not see, and throws [it] upon him so that he dies, and was not his enemy, neither sought his harm,
24 then the congregation shall judge between the one who kills and the revenger of blood according to these judgments.
25 And the congregation shall deliver the one who kills out of the hand of the revenger of blood. And the congregation shall send him back to the city of his refuge, to which he had fled. And he shall stay in it until the death of the high priest who was anointed with the holy oil.
26 But if the one who killed shall at any time come outside the border of the city of his refuge to which he had fled,
27 and if the avenger of blood finds him outside the borders of the city of his refuge, and if the avenger of blood kills the slayer, he shall not be guilty of blood,
28 because he should have remained in the city of his refuge until the death of the high priest. But after the death of the high priest the one who killed shall return to the land of his possession.
29 So these [things] shall be for a statute of judgment to you throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
30 Whoever kills any person, the murderer shall be put to death by the mouth of witnesses. But one witness shall not testify against any person [to cause him] to die.
31 And you shall take no ransom for the life of a murderer who [is] guilty of death. But he shall surely be put to death.
32 And you shall take no ransom [for him] who has fled to the city of his refuge, to return to live in the land until the death of the [high] priest.
33 So you shall not defile the land in which you [are]. For blood defiles the land. And the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed in it, except by the blood of him that shed it.
34 So do not defile the land which you shall inhabit, in which I dwell. For I the LORD dwell among the sons of Israel.