And the LORD spoke unto Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan near Jericho, saying,
"Command the children of Israel that they give unto the Levites from the inheritance of their possession cities to dwell in; and ye shall give also unto the Levites suburbs for the cities round about them.
And the cities shall they have to dwell in, and the suburbs of them shall be for their cattle and for their goods and for all their beasts.
And the suburbs of the cities, which ye shall give unto the Levites, shall reach from the wall of the city and outward a thousand cubits round about.
And ye shall measure from outside the city on the east side two thousand cubits, and on the south side two thousand cubits, and on the west side two thousand cubits, and on the north side two thousand cubits; and the city shall be in the midst. This shall be to them the suburbs of the cities.
And among the cities which ye shall give unto the Levites there shall be six cities for refuge which ye shall appoint for the manslayer, that he may flee thither; and to them ye shall add forty and two cities.
So all the cities which ye shall give to the Levites shall be forty and eight cities; these shall ye give with their suburbs.
And the cities which ye shall give shall be from the possession of the children of Israel. From those who have many ye shall give many, but from those who have few ye shall give few. Every one shall give from his cities unto the Levites according to his inheritance which he inheriteth."
And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying,
"Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them: `When ye have come over the Jordan into the land of Canaan,
then ye shall appoint you cities to be cities of refuge for you, that the slayer may flee thither who killeth any person unawares.
And they shall be unto you cities for refuge from the avenger, that the manslayer die not until he stand before the congregation in judgment.
And of these cities which ye shall give, six cities shall ye have for refuge.
Ye shall give three cities on this side of the Jordan, and three cities shall ye give in the land of Canaan, which shall be cities of refuge.
These six cities shall be a refuge both for the children of Israel, and for the stranger and for the sojourner among them, that every one who killeth any person unawares may flee thither.
"`And if he smite him with an instrument of iron so that he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death.
And if he smite him with throwing a stone wherewith he may die, and he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death.
Or if he smite him with a hand weapon of wood wherewith he may die, and he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death.
The avenger of blood himself shall slay the murderer; when he meeteth him, he shall slay him.
But if he thrust him out of hatred, or hurl at him by lying in wait so that he die,
or in enmity smite him with his hand so that he die, he that smote him shall surely be put to death, for he is a murderer: the avenger of blood shall slay the murderer when he meeteth him.
"`But if he thrust him suddenly without enmity, or have cast upon him anything without lying in wait,
or with any stone wherewith a man may die, seeing him not and casting it upon him so that he die, and was not his enemy neither sought his harm,
then the congregation shall judge between the slayer and the avenger of blood according to these judgments.
And the congregation shall deliver the slayer out of the hand of the avenger of blood, and the congregation shall restore him to the city of his refuge whither he had fled; and he shall abide in it unto the death of the high priest who was anointed with the holy oil.
But if the slayer shall at any time come outside the border of the city of his refuge whither he had fled,
and the avenger of blood find him outside the borders of the city of his refuge, and the avenger of blood kill the slayer, he shall not be guilty of blood,
because he should have remained in the city of his refuge until the death of the high priest; but after the death of the high priest the slayer shall return into the land of his possession.
"`So these things shall be for a statute of judgment unto you throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death by the mouth of witnesses; but one witness shall not testify against any person to cause him to die.
Moreover ye shall take no payment for the life of a murderer who is deserving of death, but he shall be surely put to death.
And ye shall take no payment for him that has fled to the city of his refuge, that he should come again to dwell in the land until the death of the priest.
So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are; for blood defileth the land, and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it.
Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit wherein I dwell; for I, the LORD, dwell among the children of Israel.'"