Then the LORD said to Moses:
"Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'When you cross the Jordan into Canaan,111
select some towns to be your cities of refuge, to which a person who has killed someone2 accidentally3 may flee.
They will be places of refuge from the avenger,4 so that a person accused of murder5 may not die before he stands trial before the assembly.613
These six towns you give will be your cities of refuge.714
Give three on this side of the Jordan and three in Canaan as cities of refuge.
These six towns will be a place of refuge for Israelites, aliens and any other people living among them, so that anyone who has killed another accidentally can flee there.
" 'If a man strikes someone with an iron object so that he dies, he is a murderer; the murderer shall be put to death.817
Or if anyone has a stone in his hand that could kill, and he strikes someone so that he dies, he is a murderer; the murderer shall be put to death.
Or if anyone has a wooden object in his hand that could kill, and he hits someone so that he dies, he is a murderer; the murderer shall be put to death.
The avenger of blood9 shall put the murderer to death; when he meets him, he shall put him to death.1020
If anyone with malice aforethought shoves another or throws something at him intentionally11 so that he dies
or if in hostility he hits him with his fist so that he dies, that person shall be put to death;12 he is a murderer. The avenger of blood13 shall put the murderer to death when he meets him.
" 'But if without hostility someone suddenly shoves another or throws something at him unintentionally1423
or, without seeing him, drops a stone on him that could kill him, and he dies, then since he was not his enemy and he did not intend to harm him,
the assembly15 must judge between him and the avenger of blood according to these regulations.
The assembly must protect the one accused of murder from the avenger of blood and send him back to the city of refuge to which he fled. He must stay there until the death of the high priest,16 who was anointed17 with the holy oil.1826
" 'But if the accused ever goes outside the limits of the city of refuge to which he has fled
and the avenger of blood finds him outside the city, the avenger of blood may kill the accused without being guilty of murder.
The accused must stay in his city of refuge until the death of the high priest; only after the death of the high priest may he return to his own property.