1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan near 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 you shall give also unto the Levites pasture lands for the cities round about them. 3 And the cities shall they have to dwell in; and their pasture lands shall be for their cattle, and for their livestock, and for all their animals. 4 And the pasture lands of the cities, which you shall give unto 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 midst: this shall be to them the pasture lands for the cities.
6 And among the cities which you shall give unto the Levites there shall be six cities for refuge, which you shall appoint for the manslayer, that he may flee there: and to them you shall add forty and two cities. 7 So all the cities which you shall give to the Levites shall be forty and eight cities: them shall you give with their pasture lands. 8 And the cities which you shall give shall be from the possession of the children of Israel: from them that have many you shall give many; but from them that have few you shall give few: every one shall give from his cities unto the Levites according to his inheritance which he inherits.
9 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying, 10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When you are come over Jordan into the land of Canaan; 11 Then you shall appoint you cities to be cities of refuge for you; that the slayer may flee there, who kills any person unintentionally. 12 And they shall be unto you cities for refuge from the avenger; that the manslayer die not, until he stands before the congregation in judgment. 13 And of these cities which you shall give, six cities shall you have for refuge. 14 You shall give three cities on this side of Jordan, and three cities shall you give in the land of Canaan, which shall be cities of refuge. 15 These six cities shall be a refuge, both for the children of Israel, and for the stranger, and for the sojourner among them: that every one that kills any person unintentionally may flee there.
16 But 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 with throwing a stone, by which he may die, and 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, by which he may die, and he dies, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death. 19 The avenger of blood himself shall slay the murderer: when he meets him, he shall slay him. 20 But if he pushes him from hatred, or hurls at him by lying in wait, that he dies; 21 Or in enmity strikes him with his hand, that he dies: he that struck him shall surely be put to death; for he is a murderer: the avenger of blood shall slay the murderer, when he meets him.
22 But if he pushes him suddenly without enmity, or has cast upon him anything without lying in wait, 23 Or used any stone, by which a man may die, seeing him not, and cast it upon him, that he dies, and was not his enemy, neither sought his harm: 24 Then the congregation shall judge between the slayer and the avenger of blood according to these judgments: 25 And the congregation shall deliver the slayer out of the hand of the avenger of blood, and the congregation shall restore him to the city of his refuge, where he had fled: and he shall abide in it until the death of the high priest, who was anointed with the holy oil.
26 But if the slayer shall at any time come outside the border of the city of his refuge, where he had fled; 27 And the avenger of blood finds him outside the borders of the city of his refuge, and 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 slayer shall return into the land of his possession. 29 So these things shall be for a statute of judgment unto 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 Moreover you shall take no ransom for the life of a murderer, who is guilty of death: but he shall be surely put to death. 32 And you shall take no ransom for him that is fled to the city of his refuge, that he should come again to dwell in the land, until the death of the priest.
33 So you shall not pollute the land in which you are: for blood defiles the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, except by the blood of him that shed it. 34 Defile not therefore the land which you shall inhabit, wherein I dwell: for I the LORD dwell among the children of Israel.