Then the LORD said to Joshua:
"Tell the Israelites to designate the cities of refuge, as I instructed you through Moses,
so that anyone who kills a person accidentally and unintentionally1 may flee there and find protection from the avenger of blood.24
When they flee to one of these cities, they are to stand in the entrance of the city gate3 and state their case before the elders4 of that city. Then the elders are to admit them into their city and give them a place to live with them.
If the avenger of blood pursues them, the elders must not surrender the accused, because they killed their neighbor unintentionally and without malice aforethought.
They are to stay in that city until they have stood trial before the assembly5 and until the death of the high priest who is serving at that time. Then they may go back to their own home in the town from which they fled."
So they set apart Kedesh6 in Galilee in the hill country of Naphtali, Shechem7 in the hill country of Ephraim, and Kiriath Arba8 (that is, Hebron9) in the hill country of Judah.108
East of the Jordan (on the other side from Jericho) they designated Bezer11 in the wilderness on the plateau in the tribe of Reuben, Ramoth in Gilead1213 in the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan14 in the tribe of Manasseh.
Any of the Israelites or any foreigner residing among them who killed someone accidentally15 could flee to these designated cities and not be killed by the avenger of blood prior to standing trial before the assembly.16