1Yahweh spoke to Joshua, saying,
2“Speak to the children of Israel, saying, ‘Set aside for yourselves the cities of refuge of which I spoke to you by Moses,
3that the killer who strikes down any person accidentally or unintentionally may flee there. They will be to you for a refuge from the avenger of blood.
4He is to flee to one of those cities and will stand at the entrance of the gate of the city and declare his cause in the ears of the elders of that city. They are to take him into the city with them and give him a place so that he may live among them.
5If the avenger of blood pursues him, then they must not deliver up the killer into his hand, because he struck down his neighbor unintentionally and did not hate him previously.
6He is to live in that city until he stands before the congregation for judgment, until the death of the high priest that will be in those days. Then the killer may return and come to his own city and to his own house; to the city he fled from.’”
7So they set apart Kedesh in Galilee in the hill country of Naphtali, Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim and Kiriath-arba (which is Hebron) in the hill country of Judah.
8Beyond the Jordan at Jericho, eastward, they assigned Bezer out of the tribe of Reuben, in the wilderness on the plateau; Ramoth in Gilead out of the tribe of Gad; and Golan in Bashan out of the tribe of Manasseh.
9These were the appointed cities for all the children of Israel and for the foreigner who resides among them, that whoever kills any person unintentionally might flee there and not die by the hand of the avenger of blood until he stands before the congregation.