Joshua 20:5

5 If the avenger of blood comes in pursuit, the elders must not surrender the fugitive, because the fugitive killed their neighbor unintentionally and without malice aforethought.

Read Joshua 20:5 Using Other Translations

And if the avenger of blood pursue after him, then they shall not deliver the slayer up into his hand; because he smote his neighbour unwittingly, and hated him not beforetime.
And if the avenger of blood pursues him, they shall not give up the manslayer into his hand, because he struck his neighbor unknowingly, and did not hate him in the past.
If the relatives of the victim come to avenge the killing, the leaders must not release the slayer to them, for he killed the other person unintentionally and without previous hostility.

What does Joshua 20:5 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Joshua 20:5

And if the avenger of blood pursue after him
To the city of refuge, whither he is fled, and demand him:

then they shall not deliver the slayer up into his hands;
to be slain by him, but shall protect him:

because he smote his neighbour unwittingly, and hated him not
beforetime; (See Gill on Numbers 35:22), (See Gill on Numbers 35:23), and (See Gill on Deuteronomy 19:6).

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