Get the free app for more features and content.
Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play

The Cities of Refuge

1Then the Lord spoke to Joshua, saying, 2“Say to the Israelites, ‘Appoint the cities of refuge, of which I spoke to you through Moses, 3so that anyone who kills a person without intent or by mistake may flee there; they shall be for you a refuge from the avenger of blood. 4The slayer shall flee to one of these cities and shall stand at the entrance of the gate of the city, and explain the case to the elders of that city; then the fugitive shall be taken into the city, and given a place, and shall remain with them. 5And if the avenger of blood is in pursuit, they shall not give up the slayer, because the neighbor was killed by mistake, there having been no enmity between them before. 6The slayer shall remain in that city until there is a trial before the congregation, until the death of the one who is high priest at the time: then the slayer may return home, to the town in which the deed was done.’ ”

7So they set apart Kedesh in Galilee in the hill country of Naphtali, and Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the hill country of Judah. 8And beyond the Jordan east of Jericho, they appointed Bezer in the wilderness on the tableland, from the tribe of Reuben, and Ramoth in Gilead, from the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan, from the tribe of Manasseh. 9These were the cities designated for all the Israelites, and for the aliens residing among them, that anyone who killed a person without intent could flee there, so as not to die by the hand of the avenger of blood, until there was a trial before the congregation.

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Click here to learn more.

Featured Resources

Overview: Joshua

Overview: Joshua

Watch our overview video on the book of Joshua, which breaks down the literar...

BibleProject

Introduction to Joshua

Introduction to Joshua

Dr. Vince Bantu introduces Joshua, reflecting on God’s promises and on how Go...

Fuller Studio

Overview: TaNaK / Old Testament

Overview: TaNaK / Old Testament

Watch our overview video on the Old Testament, also known as the Hebrew Bible...

BibleProject

Explore Joshua 20