Cities of Refuge
dddoo7 last edited by dddoo7
The old law has a provision allowing for the murder of a family member to be avenged (Genesis 9:5-6). This set of verses allows for protection for the one who accidentally killed someone. This would be like if someone was cutting down a tree and it accidentally fell on someone else. These cities would not be refuge to the one who premeditated to kill someone or killed someone in anger. The person who accidentally killed someone still had to stand before the elders of the city and give an answer for what they had done...and if it was found that they were innocent they would be provided refuge from the family member seeking to avenge.
Joshua 20:1, "The LORD also spake unto Joshua, saying,  Speak to the children of Israel, saying, Appoint out for you cities of refuge, whereof I spake unto you by the hand of Moses:  That the slayer that killeth any person unawares and unwittingly may flee thither: and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood.  And when he that doth flee unto 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 unto them, and give him a place, that he may dwell among them.  And if the avenger of blood pursue after him, then they shall not deliver the slayer up into his hand; because he smote his neighbour unwittingly, and hated him not beforetime.  And he shall dwell in that city, until he stand before the congregation for judgment, and until the death of the high priest that shall be in those days: then shall the slayer return, and come unto his own city, and unto his own house, unto the city from whence he fled. And they appointed Kedesh in Galilee in mount Naphtali, and Shechem in mount Ephraim, and Kirjatharba, which is Hebron, in the mountain of Judah.  And on the other side Jordan by Jericho eastward, they assigned Bezer in the wilderness upon the plain out of the tribe of Reuben, and Ramoth in Gilead out of the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan out of the tribe of Manasseh.  These were the cities appointed for all the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them, that whosoever killeth any person at unawares might flee thither, and not die by the hand of the avenger of blood, until he stood before the congregation."