When the nations, whose land the Lord your God is giving you, have been cut off by him, and you have taken their place and are living in their towns and in their houses;
You are to have three towns marked out in the land which the Lord your God is giving you for your heritage.
You are to make ready a way, and see that the land which the Lord your God is giving you for your heritage, is marked out into three parts, to which any taker of life may go in flight.
This is to be the rule for anyone who goes in flight there, after causing the death of his neighbour in error and not through hate;
For example, if a man goes into the woods with his neighbour for the purpose of cutting down trees, and when he takes his axe to give a blow to the tree, the head of the axe comes off, and falling on to his neighbour gives him a wound causing his death; then the man may go in flight to one of these towns and be safe:
For if not, he who has the right of punishment may go running after the taker of life in the heat of his wrath, and overtake him because the way is long, and give him a death-blow; though it is not right for him to be put to death because he was not moved by hate.