1 When the LORD thy God hath cut off the nations, whose land the LORD thy God giveth thee, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their cities, and in their houses;
2 Thou shalt set apart three cities for thee in the midst of thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it.
3 Thou shalt prepare thee a way, and divide the bounds of thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee to inherit, into three parts, that every slayer may flee there.
4 And this is the case of the slayer, who shall flee there, that he may live: Whoever killeth his neighbour unintentionally, whom he hated not in time past;
5 As when a man goeth into the forest with his neighbour to hew wood, and his hand maketh a stroke with the axe to cut down the tree, and the head slippeth from the helve, and falleth upon his neighbour, that he dieth; he shall flee to one of these cities, and live:
6 Lest the avenger of blood shall pursue the slayer, while his heart is hot, and overtake him, because the way is long, and slay him; though he was not worthy of death, inasmuch as he hated him not in time past.
7 Therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt set apart three cities for thee.
8 And if the LORD thy God shall enlarge thy land, as he hath sworn to thy fathers, and give thee all the land which he promised to give to thy fathers;
9 If thou shalt keep all these commandments to do them, which I command thee this day, to love the LORD thy God, and to walk ever in his ways; then shalt thou add three cities more for thee, besides these three:
10 That innocent blood may not be shed in thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, and so blood be upon thee.
11 But if any man shall hate his neighbour, and lie in wait for him, and rise up against him, and smite him mortally that he dieth, and he shall flee into one of these cities:
12 Then the elders of his city shall send and bring him from there, and deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die.
13 Thy eye shall not pity him, but thou shall remove the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, that it may be well with thee.
14 Thou shalt not remove thy neighbour’s landmark, which they of old time have set in thy inheritance, which thou shalt inherit in the land that the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it.
15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.
16 If a false witness shall rise up against any man to testify against him that which is wrong;
17 Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges, who shall be in those days;
18 And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness is a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother;
19 Then shall ye do to him, as he had thought to do to his brother: so shalt thou remove the evil from among you.
20 And those who remain shall hear, and fear, and shall henceforth commit no more any such evil among you.
21 And thy eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.