1Yahweh spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho, saying,
2“Command the children of Israel that they give to the Levites of the inheritance of their possession cities to live in; and you are to give to the Levites pasturelands around the cities.
3They will have the cities to live in, and their pasturelands will be for their cattle and for their livestock and for all their other animals.
4The pasturelands of the cities that you are to give to the Levites will be from the wall of the city outward 1,000 cubits all around it.
5You are to measure outside of the city for the east side 2,000 cubits, and for the south side 2,000 cubits, and for the west side 2,000 cubits, and for the north side 2,000, the city being in the middle. This will be to them the pasturelands of the cities.
6“The cities that you are to give to the Levites, they will be the six cities of refuge that you must give for the killer to flee to; and besides them you are to give 42 cities.
7All the cities that you will give to the Levites will be 48 cities, along with their pasturelands.
8Concerning the cities that you are to give of the possession of the children of Israel: from the many you should take many, and from the few you should take few; everyone according to his inheritance that he inherits is to give of his cities to the Levites.”
9Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
10“Speak to the children of Israel and tell them: When you pass over the Jordan into the land of Canaan,
11then you are to appoint yourselves cities to be cities of refuge for you, that the manslayer who kills any person unwittingly may flee there.
12The cities will be to you for refuge from the avenger, so that the killer not die until he stands before the congregation for judgment.
13The cities that you are to give will be six cities of refuge for you.
14You are to give three cities beyond the Jordan, and you are to give three cities in the land of Canaan; they will be cities of refuge.
15These six cities will be for refuge for the children of Israel and for the stranger and for the foreigner living among them, so that everyone who kills any person unintentionally may flee there.
16“But if he struck him with an instrument of iron so that he died, he is a murderer; the murderer must be put to death, yes, put to death!
17If he struck him with a stone in the hand by which a man may die, and he died, he is a murderer; the murderer must be put to death, yes, put to death!
18Or if he struck him with a weapon of wood in the hand by which a man may die, and he died, he is a murderer; the murderer must be put to death, yes, put to death!
19The avenger of blood is to himself put the murderer to death; when he meets him, he is to put him to death.
20If he pushed him out of hatred, or throws something at him, lying in wait so that he died,
21or out of hatred struck him with his hand so that he died, the one who struck him must be put to death, yes, put to death; he is a murderer. The avenger of blood is to put the murderer to death when he meets him.
22“But if he pushes him suddenly without hatred, or hurled anything at him without lying in wait,
23or with any stone by which a man may die, not seeing him, and cast it on him so that he died, and he was not his enemy, nor sought his harm,
24then the congregation is to judge between the one who struck him and the avenger of blood according to these ordinances;
25and the congregation is to deliver the killer out of the hand of the avenger of blood, and the congregation will restore him to his city of refuge where he had fled, and he must live in it until the death of the high priest who was anointed with the holy oil.
26“But if the killer ever goes beyond the border of his city of refuge where he flees,
27and the avenger of blood finds him outside of the border of his city of refuge and the avenger of blood kills the killer, he will not be guilty of blood,
28because he should have remained in his city of refuge until the death of the high priest. And after the death of the high priest the killer may return into the land of his possession.
29These things will be for a statute and ordinance to you throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
30“Whoever kills any person, the murderer is to be slain at the evidence of witnesses, but one witness is not to testify against any person to have him put to death.
31Also, you are to take no ransom for the life of a murderer who is guilty of death, but he must be put to death, yes, put to death!
32You are to accept no ransom for him who is fled to his city of refuge so that he comes again to live in the land, until the death of the priest.
33“So you will not pollute the land where you are, for blood, it pollutes the land, and the land will not be purged of the blood that is shed on it except by the blood of the one who shed it.
34Do not defile the land that you inhabit in the midst of which I dwell; for I Yahweh dwell in the midst of the children of Israel.”