1When Yahweh your God cuts off the nations whose land Yahweh your God is giving you, and you dispossess them and settle in their cities and in their houses,
2you are to set apart three cities for yourselves in the midst of your land that Yahweh your God is giving to you to possess.
3You are to measure for yourselves the distances and divide into three parts the territory of your land that Yahweh your God is causing you to inherit so that every accidental killer may flee there.
4“This is the case of the killer who will flee there and live: whoever kills his neighbor unintentionally and did not hate him in time past,
5like when a man goes into the forest with his neighbor to chop wood, and his hand swings away with the axe to cut down a tree, and the iron head slips off the handle and strikes his neighbor so that he dies, he may flee to one of these cities and stay alive
6lest the avenger of blood pursue the killer while his heart is hot, and overtake him because the road is long, and strike him mortally, even though he was not worthy of death since he had not hated him in time past.
7Therefore I command you, saying: you are to set apart three cities for yourselves.
8But if Yahweh your God enlarges your territory as he has sworn to your fathers, and gives you all the land that he promised to give to your fathers—
9indeed, you are to keep all this commandment that I command you this day by doing it, to love Yahweh your God, and to walk in his ways all the days—then you are to add three more cities for yourselves to these three cities
10so that innocent blood is not shed in the midst of your land that Yahweh your God is giving you as an inheritance, and there be blood-guilt on you.
11But if any man hates his neighbor and lies in wait for him and rises up against him, and strikes him mortally so that he dies, and he flees into one of these cities,
12then the elders of his city are to send and have him taken from there and are to give him over into the hand of the avenger of blood so that he dies.
13Your eye must not pity him, but you must put away the innocent blood from Israel so that it will go well with you.
14“You must not move your neighbor’s boundary marker that the men of former times have set as boundaries in your inheritance that you will inherit, in the land that Yahweh your God is giving you to possess it.
16“If a malicious witness rises up against any person to testify against him of wrongdoing,
17then both the people who have the dispute must stand before Yahweh, before the priests and the judges who will be in office in those days,
18and the judges are to make diligent inquisition; and behold, if the witness is a false witness and has testified falsely against his brother,
19then you must do to him as he had planned to do to his brother. In this way you must purge the evil from the midst of you.
20Those who remain will hear and be afraid, and will never again commit any such evil in the midst of you.
21Your eyes must not pity: it is to be life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.”