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Joshua 20:1-6

Israel Designates Cities of Refuge

20:1 The Lord instructed Joshua: 20:2 “Have the Israelites select 1  the cities of refuge 2  that I told you about through Moses. 20:3 Anyone who accidentally kills someone can escape there; 3  these cities will be a place of asylum from the avenger of blood. 20:4 The one who committed manslaughter 4  should escape to one of these cities, stand at the entrance of the city gate, and present his case to the leaders of that city. 5  They should then bring him into the city, give him a place to stay, and let him live there. 6  20:5 When the avenger of blood comes after him, they must not hand over to him the one who committed manslaughter, for he accidentally killed his fellow man without premeditation. 7  20:6 He must remain 8  in that city until his case is decided by the assembly 9  and the high priest dies. 10  Then the one who committed manslaughter may return home to the city from which he escaped.” 11 

1 tn Heb “Say to the sons of Israel, ‘Set aside for yourselves.’”

2 tn Or “asylum.”

3 tn Heb “so that the one who kills, taking life accidentally without knowledge, may flee there.”

4 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the one who accidentally kills another, cf. v. 2) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

5 tn Heb “and speak into the ears of the elders of that city his words.”

6 tn Heb “and they should gather him into the city to themselves, give to him a place, and he will live with them.”

7 tn Heb “for without knowledge he killed his neighbor, and he was not hating him prior to that.”

8 tn Or “live.”

9 tn Heb “until he stands before the assembly for judgment.”

10 tn Heb “until the death of the high priest who is in those days.”

11 tn Heb “may return and enter his city and his house, the city from which he escaped.”

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