The laws concerning the cities of refuge, ver. 1 - 6.
The appointment of those cities, ver. 7 - 9.
|20:2||Appoint - The possessions being now divided among you, reserve some of them for the use which I have commanded.Cities of refuge - Designed to typify the relief which the gospel provides for poor, penitent sinners, and their protection from the curse of the law and the wrath of God, in our Lord Jesus, to whom believers fly for refuge.|
|20:3||Unwittingly - Heb. Through ignorance, or error, or mistake, and without knowledge. The same thing twice repeated to cut off all the expectations that wilful murderers might have of protection here; God having declared, that such should be taken even from his altar, that they might be killed. It is strange that any Christians should make their sanctuaries give protection to such persons whom God hath so expressly excepted from it! Avenger - The nearest kinsman, who had right or power to demand, or take vengeance of the slaughter.|
|20:4||The gate - Where the judges used to sit. His cause - Shall give them a true relation of the fact, and all its circumstances.They shall take him - If they are satisfied in the relation he makes, concerning the fact, otherwise it had been a vain thing to examine.Give a place - Which they might well allow him, because God gave them the city with a reservation for such persons.|
|20:6||Stand - Which was the posture of the accused and accusers.The congregation - The council appointed to judge of these matters, not the council of the city of refuge, for they had examined him before, ver. 4 , but of the city to which he belonged, or in or nigh which the fact was committed, as appears from Numbers 35:25 .|
|20:7||And they appointed - Concerning these cities note, ||20:8||They assigned - Or, had assigned or given; for they were given by Moses, 4:41 , &c. or, they applied them to that use to which Moses designed them.||20:9||The stranger - Not only proselytes, but others also; because this was a matter of common right, that a distinction might be made between casual man - slayers, and wilful murderers.|