D O¹ 20:1-9. Cities of refuge. O² 21:1-42. Cities of the Levites.
O¹ m 1,2. Command. n 3-6. Intention. m 7-9-. Obedience. n -9. Intention.
1: The Lord (Yahaveh) also spoke to Joshua (see 1:1), saying,
2: “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘Appoint out for you cities of refuge, whereof I spoke to you by the hand of Moses:
3: That the slayer that smites any soul (Lit. a killer, smiting a soul) unawares and unknowingly (note this is NOT murder) may flee to that place: and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood.
4: And when he that does flee to one of those cities shall stand at the entering of the gate of the city, and shall declare his cause in the ears of the elders of that city, they shall take him into the city to them, and give him a place, that he may dwell among them.
5: And if the avenger of blood pursue after him, then they shall not deliver the slayer up into his hand; because he smote his neighbor unwittingly, and hated him not before-time.
6: And he shall dwell in that city, until he stand before the congregation for judgment (the cities of refuge, bore the sin of the man-slayer. What the high priest was to the Levites, the Levites were to the nation. On the Day of Atonement, therefore, all the sins of the nation came into his hand. On his death he was freed from the Law [Rom. 6:7; 7:1-4], and those whom he represented were freed also. Cp. Rom. 5:9-11. Heb. 7:23-25 for the contrast), and until the death of the high priest that shall be in those days: then shall the slayer return, and come to his own city, and to his own house, to the city from which place he fled.’ ”
7: And they separated (and thus sanctified) Kedesh (= a sanctuary, holy) in Galilee (= circuit) in mount Naphtali (= wrestling, fallen), and Shechem (= back or shoulder) in mount Ephraim (= double fruitfulness), and Kirjath-arba (= the city of four), which is Hebron (= alliance), in the mountain of Judah (= exalted, praised).
8: And on the other side Jordan (= the descender) by Jericho (= place of fragrance) eastward, they assigned Bezer (= gold ore) in the wilderness upon the plain out of the tribe of Reuben (= behold a son), and Ramoth (= a hill) in Gilead (= rocky region) out of the tribe of Gad (= a troop), and Golan (= circle) in Bashan (= fruitful) out of the tribe of Manasseh (= forgetful).
9: These were the cities appointed for all the sons of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourns among them,
that whosoever smites a soul unawares might flee to that place, and not die by the hand of the avenger of blood, until he stood before the congregation.