The LORD spoke to Moses in the Moab plains by the Jordan across from Jericho:
Command the Israelites that they give cities from their inherited property to the Levites in which to live. You will also give the Levites pastures around their cities.
The cities will be theirs in which to live. Their pastures will be for their cattle, their possessions, and all their animals.
The pastures of the cities that you must give to the Levites will extend from the wall of the city outward for one thousand five hundred feet in all directions.
You will measure outside the city on the east side three thousand feet, on the south side three thousand feet, on the west side three thousand feet, and on the north side three thousand feet, with the city in the middle. These will be their cities' pastures.
Six of the cities that you give to the Levites will be refuge cities. You will allow the person who kills someone to flee there. In addition to these you will give them forty-two cities.
All the cities that you give to the Levites will total forty-eight, along with their pastures.
As for the cities that you give from the property of the Israelites, you will take more from the larger tribes and less from the smaller. Each in proportion to its inheritance will give cities to the Levites.