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Joshua 20 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Six Cities of Refuge

20 Then the Lord spoke to Joshua, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘[a]Designate the cities of refuge, of which I spoke to you [b]through Moses, so that one who commits manslaughter by [c]killing a person unintentionally, without premeditation, may flee there, and they shall become your refuge from the avenger of blood. Then he shall flee to one of these cities, and shall stand at the entrance of the gate of the city, and state his case in the [d]presence of the elders of that city; and they shall [e]receive him into the city to them and give him a place, so that he may remain among them. Now if the avenger of blood pursues him, then they are not to hand the one who committed manslaughter over to him, since he struck his neighbor without premeditation and did not hate him previously. And he shall remain in that city until he stands before the congregation for judgment, until the death of the one who is high priest in those days. Then [f]he shall [g]return to his own city and to his own house, to the city from which he fled.’”

So they [h]set apart Kedesh in [i]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. And beyond the Jordan east of Jericho, they [j]designated Bezer in the wilderness on the plain from the tribe of Reuben, and Ramoth in Gilead from the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan from the tribe of Manasseh. These were the designated cities for all the sons of Israel and for the stranger who resides among them, so that whoever [k]kills a person unintentionally may flee there, and not die by the hand of the avenger of blood until he stands before the congregation.

Footnotes:

  1. Joshua 20:2 Lit Give for yourselves
  2. Joshua 20:2 Lit by the hand of
  3. Joshua 20:3 Lit striking
  4. Joshua 20:4 Lit ears of
  5. Joshua 20:4 Lit gather
  6. Joshua 20:6 Lit the one who committed manslaughter
  7. Joshua 20:6 Lit return and come
  8. Joshua 20:7 Lit sanctified
  9. Joshua 20:7 Heb Galil
  10. Joshua 20:8 Lit gave
  11. Joshua 20:9 Lit strikes
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020 by The Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved.

Joshua 20 New International Version (NIV)

Cities of Refuge

20 Then the Lord said to Joshua: “Tell the Israelites to designate the cities of refuge, as I instructed you through Moses, so that anyone who kills a person accidentally and unintentionally may flee there and find protection from the avenger of blood. When they flee to one of these cities, they are to stand in the entrance of the city gate and state their case before the elders of that city. Then the elders are to admit the fugitive into their city and provide a place to live among them. If the avenger of blood comes in pursuit, the elders must not surrender the fugitive, because the fugitive killed their neighbor unintentionally and without malice aforethought. They are to stay in that city until they have stood trial before the assembly and until the death of the high priest who is serving at that time. Then they may go back to their own home in the town from which they fled.”

So they set apart Kedesh in Galilee in the hill country of Naphtali, Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the hill country of Judah. East of the Jordan (on the other side from Jericho) they designated Bezer in the wilderness on the plateau in the tribe of Reuben, Ramoth in Gilead in the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan in the tribe of Manasseh. Any of the Israelites or any foreigner residing among them who killed someone accidentally could flee to these designated cities and not be killed by the avenger of blood prior to standing trial before the assembly.

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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