1 And the Lord spoke to Joshua, saying: “Speak to the sons of Israel, and say to them:
2 Separate the cities of refuge, about which I spoke to you by the hand of Moses,
3 so that anyone who will have struck down a life unintentionally may flee to them. And so, he may be able to escape from the wrath of a close relative, who is an avenger of blood.
4 And when he will have fled to one of these cities, he shall stand before the gate of the city, and he shall speak to the ancients of that city, the things that prove him innocent. And so shall they receive him, and give him a place in which to live.
5 And if the avenger of blood will have pursued him, they shall not deliver him into his hands. For he struck down his neighbor unknowingly, one who was not proven to have been his enemy two or three days before.
6 And he shall live in that city, until he stands before judgment in order to render the facts of his case, and until the death of the high priest, whoever it will be in that time. Then the one who killed a man may return, and he may enter his own city and house, from which he had fled.”
7 And they decreed Kedesh in Galilee, at mount Naphtali, and Shechem, at mount Ephraim, and Kiriath-Arba, which is Hebron, at mount Judah.
8 And beyond the Jordan, opposite the eastern side of Jericho, they appointed Bezer, which is situated on the plain of the wilderness of the tribe of Reuben, and Ramoth in Gilead of the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan of the tribe of Manasseh.
9 These cities were established for all the sons of Israel, and for the new arrivals who were living among them, so that whoever had struck down a life unintentionally might flee to these, and not die at the hand of a close relative who desires to vindicate the blood that was shed, until he should stand before the people, in order to present his case.