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Joshua 20 International Standard Version (ISV)

The Cities of Refuge

20 Then the Lord told Joshua, “Tell the people of Israel to set apart cities of refuge about which I spoke to you through Moses, so that anyone who kills a person unintentionally and without premeditation may run there and be protected from closely related[a] avengers. He may run to one of those cities, stand at the entrance to the city gate, and tell his side of the story to the elders of the city. They are to bring him inside the city with them and provide him a place to live among them. Now if the closely related[b] avenger pursues him, then they are not to hand the killer over to him, because he killed his neighbor without premeditation and without hating him beforehand. He is to live in that city until he stands trial before the community, until the death of the one who is high priest at that time. Then the killer may return to his own city and to his own home, that is, to the city from which he fled.”

So they set apart Kedesh in Galilee in the hill country of Naphtali, Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and Kiriath-arba (also known as Hebron) in the hill country of Judah. East of Jericho beyond the Jordan River, they reserved Bezer in the wilderness on the plain from the tribe of Reuben, Ramoth in Gilead from the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan from the tribe of Manasseh. These were appointed to be cities for all the Israelis and for the foreigner who lives among them, so that whoever kills anyone unintentionally may run there and not die at the hands of a closely related[c] avenger until he stands for trial before the community.

Footnotes:

  1. Joshua 20:3 Lit. from blood
  2. Joshua 20:5 Lit. the blood
  3. Joshua 20:9 Lit. a blood
International Standard Version (ISV)

Copyright © 1995-2014 by ISV Foundation. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED INTERNATIONALLY. Used by permission of Davidson Press, LLC.

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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