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the Levites, shall reach from and on the west side two thouthe wall of the city and outward, sand cubits, and on the north a thousand cubits round about. side two thousand cubits; and 5 And

ye shall measure from the city shall be in the midst : without the city on the east side this shall be to them the suburbs two thousand cubits, and on the of the cities. south side two thousand cubits, 6 And among the cities which

the next verse creates some difficulty in was measured outward at right angles the construction of this passage. The to the wall of the city, while the 2000 desimplest solution seems to be that of notes the outside measurement parallel Rosenmuller, viz., that the 1000 cubits to the wall, as in the subjoined diagram:


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We incline to this solution from the bits are the suburbs, and the 2000 which fact that the latter measurement of 2000 they measured without the suburbs cubits was to be made without (Heb. were for fields and vineyards.” After mihootz) the city, which was undoubt all, we must leave the point encomedly in some way different from the passed with some degree of uncertainty. preceding. It is proper, however, to state that the Jewish authorities gen- Six of the Levitical Cities appointed for erally accord with Maimonides, who

Cities of Refuge. says, “The suburbs of the cities are Vs. 6–8. Among the cities which ye expressed in the Law to be 3000 cubits shall give, etc. Out of the whole numon every side from the wall of the city ber of forty-eight cities which were and outwards. The first thousand cu- | thus to be appropriated to the Levites

ye shall give unto the Levites, | vites according to his inheritthere shall be six cities for ref. ance which he inheriteth. uge, which ye shall appoint for 9 And the LORD spake unto the man-slayer, that he may flee Moses, saying, thither: and to them ye shall 10 Speak unto the children add forty and two cities. of Israel, and say unto_them,

7 So all the cities which ye Whenye be come over Jordan shall give to the Levites shall be into the land of Canaan; forty and eight a cities: them 11 Then * ye shall appoint shall ye give with their suburbs. you cities to be cities of refuge

8 And the cities which ye for you; that the slayer may shall give shall be of the pos- flee thither, which killeth any session of the children of Is- person at unawares. rael : from them that have 12 And they shall be unto many ye shall give many; but you cities for refuge from the from them that have few ye avenger'; that the man-slayer shall give few: every one shall die not, until he stand before the give of his cities unto the Le congregation in judgment.

c ver. 13, 14. Deut. 4. 41-43. Josh. 20. 2, 9.

21. 3, 13, etc. Ps. 62. 7, 8. Heb. 6. 18. d Joah, 21. 41. & Josh. 21. 3.

c. 26. 54.

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(under whom the priests are included), is enounced with minute particularity six were to be set apart as cities of that it might be distinctly understood. refuge or asylums, to which any per- - At unawares. Heb. bishgågåh, son who had accidentally, or by chance by error, i. e., ignorantly, unadvisedly, medley, killed another, might immedi- unintentionally. See Note on Josh. ately repair, and take sanctuary in the 20:3.- For refuge from the avenmanner just about to be described.- ger. That is, from the avenger of blood, 1 Cities for refuge. Heb. miklat, of the next of kin, or the Goël, as he is gathering, or retention, because the termed in the East, where the instituman-slayer was there gathered or de- tion of blood-revenge has always been tained. Gr. “A place of flight and ex- rigorously observed. Of this law of ile." Chald. “A place of deliverance Goelism we bave already treated at and preservation.” These cities were some length in the Notes on Gen. 9:5. to be assigned out of the portions of Josh. 20:3, to which we refer the the several tribes, more out of some, reader, as also to what will be said and fewer out of others, according to further upon it in our remarks on Deut. the extent of the territory allotted to | 19:4-13. Until he stand before each,

the congregation in judgment. The man

who had been guilty of involuntary General Law respecting Homicide. homicide was to flee to the nearest city

Vs. 9–14. The Lord spake unto Moses, of refuge, where his case was stated to saying, etc.

As the law here given was the elders at the gates or entrance to one fraught with most important con- the city. He was then received and resequences to the parties concerned and tained there till sent for and taken home to the welfare of the nation at large, it to the place where the act was commit

13 And of these cities which 17 And if he smite him with ye shall give, six * cities shall ye throwing a stone, wherewith he have for refuge.

may die, and he die, he is a 14 Ye shall give three cities murderer : the murderer shall on this side Jordan, and three surely be put to death. cities shall ye give in the land 18 Or if he smite him with of Canaan, which shall be cities an hand-weapon of wood, whereof refuge.

with he may die, and he die, he 15 These six cities shall be a is a murderer: the murderer refuge both for the children of shall surely be put to death. Israel, and for the stranger”, 19 The revenger of blood and for the sojourner among himself shall slay the murderer: them; that every one that kill when he meeteth him, he shall eth any person unawares may slay him. flee thither.

20 But if he thrust him of 16 And " if he smite him with hatred”, or hurl at him by layan instrument of iron so that ing of wait, that he die; he die, he is a murderer : the 21 Or in enmity smite him murderer shall surely be put to with his hand, that he die; he death.

that smote him shall surely be

k ver. 6. Lev. 24. 22. 19. 11, 12

1 Deut. 4. 41. Josh. 20. 8. me. 15. 16.

* Ex. 21. 12-14. Lev. 24. 17. Deut.

o ver. 21 24, 27. Deut. 19. 6, 12. Josh. 20. 3, 5. p Gen. 4. 5, 8. 2 Sam. 3. 27. 20. 10. 16. 2. 31, 32. Prov. 26. 24.

9 Ex. 21. 14. Deut. 19. 11.

ted, and there it was that he “stood to be kept in good repair; no hillock before the congregation.” If found was left, no river or stream was allowed worthy of death upon his trial, he was over which there was not a bridge; delivered over to the avenger of blood the road . was to be at least two-andto be put to death; if otherwise, he was thirty cubits broad, and every kind returned to the city of refuge, where he obstruction was to be removed that lived in a kind of durance and exile might hurt his foot or hinder his speed. until the death of the high-priest, when At every turning or branching of roads, he was fully released and permitted to posts were erected bearing the words, live where he pleased.

Refuge! Refuge! to guide the fugitive V. 15. These six cities shall be a ref- in his flight; so benign and considerate uge, etc. The privileges of this insti- was the provision made for the benefit of tution were to be extended equally to the accidental slayer of his fellow-man. all the inhabitants of the Holy Land, whether Israelites or proselytes in Discriminations of Manslaughter and whole or in part, in fine, to all who

Murder. were not absolute heathen and idol- Vs. 16–23. And if he smite him, etc. aters. These six cities are specified in The main distinctions here made by Josh. 20, and an inspection of the map the law between manslaughter and will show how wisely those places were murder, and which the judges were chosen so as to make a city of refuge especially to regard in deciding upon easy of access from all parts of the land. the cases that came before them, were The roads leading to these cities were the following: If the slayer appeared

put to death ; for he is a mur- 25 And the congregation shall derer: the revenger of blood deliver the slayer out of the hand shall slay the murderer when he of the revenger of blood, and the meeteth him.

congregation shall restore him 22 But if he thrust him sud- to the city of his refuge, whither denly without enmity, or have he was filed : and he shall abide cast upon him any thing with in it unto the death of the high out laying of wait,

priest which was anointed with 23 Or with any stone, where the holy oil. with a man may die, seeing him 26 But if the slayer shall at not, and cast it upon him that any time come without the borhe die, and was not his enemy, der of the city of his refuge, neither sought his harm; whither he was fled;

24 Then the congregation" 27 And the revenger of blood shall judge between the slayer find him without the borders of and the revenger of blood ac- the city of his refuge, and the cording to these judgments; revenger of blood kill the slay

to ver. 12. Josh. 20. 6.

& Ex. 29. 7. Lev. 41. 10.

to have struck the person slain with V. 25. The congregation shall deliver, an unlawful and unsizable weapon, ob- etc. After trial and acquittal the involviously sufficient to cause death by a untary man-slayer was sent back to the single blow, as a sword, crowbar, huge city of refuge to which he had betaken club, or a great stone, etc., it was to be himself, and was there to live retired looked upon as a design upon life, and without stirring out of the place till the to be adjudged wilful murder. In all death of the then living high-priest. such cases the nearest relation of the There was doubtless a degree of severperson slain might kill the murderer ity in this enactment, considering that wherever he met him, nor should his the man had been pronounced guiltless, flying to a city of refuge be of any avail but it would naturally bave the effect to him. So again, in like manner, any of a warning to all men, lest by heedother mode of taking life by violentlessness or negligence they should enmeans, as by a forcible thrust, push or danger the life of a fellow-being. Morestroke, evidently prompted by a spirit over, the retirement and absence of the of enmity and with malice prepense, slayer would tend to soften the resentwas to be adjudged murder, and to re- ments of near relations and friends, and main unrelieved by the provisions of the prevent the execution of revenge. present law. But if, on the contrary, Vs. 26–28. If the slayer shall at any the outrage were apparently committed time, etc. If through impatience of conin a sudden fit of passion, without finement, or other cause, he should venpremeditation or antecedent threat, ture beyond the prescribed limits, and grudge or malice, then it was to be the relations of the deceased should then pronounced mere manslaughter, and find him, they might put him to death the righteous judgment of the congre- without being answerable for murder, gation was to absolve the slayer from though still in the sight of God he might the guilt of blood.

not be accounted guiltless as having

er; he shall not be guilty of murderer, which is guilty of blood;

death; but be shall be surely 28 Because he should have re- put to death. mained in the city of his refuge 32 And ye shall take no satuntil the death of the high priest: isfaction for him that is fled to but after the death of the high the city of his refuge, that he priest the slayer shall return into should come again to dwell in the land of his possession. the land, until the death of the

29 So these things shall be priest. for a statute of judgment unto 33 So ye shall not pollute the you, throughout your genera- land wherein ye are ; for blood tions, in all your dwellings. it" defileth the land : and the

30 Whoso killeth any person, land cannot be cleansed of the the murderer shall be put to blood that is shed therein, but death by the mouth of witness-" by the blood of him that shed it. es" : but one witness shall not 34 Defile not a therefore the testify against any person to land which ye shall inhabit, cause him to die.

wherein Idwell: for I” the LORD 31 Moreover, ye shall take dwell among the children of Isno satisfaction for the life of a rael.

19. 15. Mat. 18. 16.

1 c. 27. 11. u Deut. 17. 6. 2 Cor. 13. 1. Heb. 10. 28.

v 2 K. 24. 4. Ps. 106. 38. Mic. 4. 11. Mat. 23. 31-35. to Gen. 9. 6. * Lev. 18. 25. Deut. 21. 23. 29. 45, 46. 1K, 6. 13. 2 Cor. 6. 16.

y Ex,

slain an innocent man. This enact- V. 32. Ye shall take no satisfaction ment goes on the supposition that the for him that is fled, etc. In like manner, man was accessory to his own death, the person guilty of manslaughter shall which he might have avoided by keep- not be able by the proffer of any sum, ing within the bounds set for him. even of his whole estate, to buy off his “He should have remained in the city confinement to the city of refuge till of his refuge."-Jarchi.

the death of the high priest. V. 30. By the mouth of witnesses. Vs. 33, 34. So ye shall not pollute No evidence should be sufficient to con- the land wherein ye are. Murder being vict a man of wilful murder but that of the highest of all injuries against human living, competent, and sufficient wit- society and against God, in whose image nesses, of which there should always be man is created, it is but just in itself at least two; it being unreasonable to that life should pay for life, and so put a man's life to hazard solely on therefore it is the will of God to have what might be the prejudice, passion, it. Accordingly, were any Israelite, ignorance, or caprice of a single person. but especially judges and magistrates, See Deut. 17: 6. 19:15.

through a mistaken leniency or a culV. 31. Ye shall take no satisfaction pable remissness, to fail in the execufor the life of a murderer. A murder- tion of so important a law, the failure er once legally convicted shall be inca- would be sure to bring a polluting stain pable of pardon. Neither interest nor upon the whole land, for the defilement influence of any kind was to be avail- of blood can only be cleansed by the able to the purchase of his life.

blood of him who has shed it. If,

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