Numbers 35:33-34

33 “ ‘Do not pollute the land where you are. Bloodshed pollutes the land, and atonement cannot be made for the land on which blood has been shed, except by the blood of the one who shed it.
34 Do not defile the land where you live and where I dwell, for I, the LORD, dwell among the Israelites.’ ”

Numbers 35:33-34 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO NUMBERS 35

Though the tribe of Levi had no part in the division of the land, yet cities out of the several tribes are here ordered to be given them to dwell in, to the number of forty eight, Nu 35:1-8, six of which were to be cities of refuge, Nu 35:9-15, but not for wilful murderers, in whatsoever way they might kill a man, Nu 35:16-21, but for such who had killed a man unawares, Nu 35:22-24, and several rules are given relating to such persons, Nu 35:25-29, but no satisfaction was to be taken in case of murder, nor to excuse a person's return to his own house before the death of the high priest, who had fled to a city of refuge, that so the land might not be defiled, Nu 35:30-34.

Numbers 35:33-34 In-Context

31 “ ‘Do not accept a ransom for the life of a murderer, who deserves to die. They are to be put to death.
32 “ ‘Do not accept a ransom for anyone who has fled to a city of refuge and so allow them to go back and live on their own land before the death of the high priest.
33 “ ‘Do not pollute the land where you are. Bloodshed pollutes the land, and atonement cannot be made for the land on which blood has been shed, except by the blood of the one who shed it.
34 Do not defile the land where you live and where I dwell, for I, the LORD, dwell among the Israelites.’ ”

Cross References 3

  • 1. S Genesis 4:10; Genesis 9:6; Psalms 106:38; Micah 4:11
  • 2. Leviticus 18:24,25
  • 3. S Exodus 29:45