Joshua 20

1Then the Lord said to Joshua: 2“I used Moses to give you a command. Moses told you to choose cities to be special cities of safety. 3If any person kills another person, but it is an accident and he did not mean to kill that person, then he can go to a city of safety to hide from the relatives who want to kill him. 4“This is what that person must do. When he runs away and goes to one of those cities, he must stop at the entrance of the city. He must stand at the gate and tell the leaders of the people what happened. Then the leaders can allow him to enter the city. They will give him a place to live among them. 5But the man who is chasing that person might follow him to that city. If this happens, the leaders of the city must not give him up. They must protect the person who came to them for safety because he killed a person by accident. He was not angry and did not plan to kill the person. It was something that just happened. 6That person should stay in the city until he has been judged by the court in that city. And he should stay in that city until the time that the high priest dies. Then he can go back to his own home in the town he ran away from.” 7So the people of Israel chose some cities to be called “Cities of Safety.” These cities were: Kedesh in Galilee, in the hill country of Naphtali; Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim; Kiriath Arba (Hebron) in the hill country of Judah. 8Bezer, east of the Jordan River across from Jericho, in the desert area in the land of Reuben; Ramoth in Gilead in the land of Gad; Golan in Bashan in the land of Manasseh. 9Any Israelite or any foreigner living among them who killed someone accidentally was allowed to run away to one of those cities of safety. Then the person could be safe there and would not be killed by anyone who was chasing him. The person would be judged by the court in that city.

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