19 1-3 When God, your God, throws the nations out of the country that God, your God, is giving you and you settle down in their cities and houses, you are to set aside three easily accessible cities in the land that God, your God, is giving you as your very own. Divide your land into thirds, this land that God, your God, is giving you to possess, and build roads to the towns so that anyone who accidentally kills another can flee there.
4-7 This is the guideline for the murderer who flees there to take refuge: He has to have killed his neighbor without premeditation and with no history of bad blood between them. For instance, a man goes with his neighbor into the woods to cut a tree; he swings the ax, the head slips off the handle and hits his neighbor, killing him. He may then flee to one of these cities and save his life. If the city is too far away, the avenger of blood racing in hot-blooded pursuit might catch him since it’s such a long distance, and kill him even though he didn’t deserve it. It wasn’t his fault. There was no history of hatred between them. Therefore I command you: Set aside the three cities for yourselves.Read full chapter