And the Lord spake unto Moses in the fields of Moab by Jordan Jericho saying: command the children of Israel, that they give unto the Levites of the inheritance of their possession: cities to dwell in. And ye shall give also unto the cities of the Levites, suburbs round about them. The cities shall be for them to dwell in, and the suburbs for their cattle, possession and all manner beasts of theirs. And the suburbs of the cities which ye shall give unto the Levites, shall reach from the wall of the city outward, a thousand cubits round about. And ye shall measure without the city, and make the utmost border of the east side: two thousand cubits. And the utmost border of the south side: two thousand cubits. And the utmost border of the west side: two thousand cubits. And the utmost border of the north side: two thousand cubits also: and the city shall be in the midst. And these shall be the suburbs of their cities.
And among the cities which ye shall give unto the Levites, there shall be six cities of franchise which ye shall give to that intent that he which killeth, may fly thither. And to them ye shall add forty two cities more: so that all the cities which ye shall give the Levites shall be forty eight with their suburbs. And of the cities which ye shall give out of the possessions of the children of Israel, ye shall give many out of their possessions that have much and few out of their possessions that have little: so that every tribe shall give of his cities unto the Levites, according to the inheritance which he inheriteth.
And the Lord spake unto Moses saying: speak unto the children of Israel and say unto them: when ye be come over Jordan into the land of Canaan, ye shall build cities which shall be privileged towns for you: that he which slayeth a man unawares, may fly thither. And the cities shall be to flee from the executer of blood, that he which killed die not, until he stand before the congregation in judgement. And of these six free cities which ye shall give three ye shall give on this side Jordan and three in the land of Canaan. And these six free cities shall be for the children of Israel and for the stranger and for him that dwelleth among you, that all they which kill any person unawares, may flee thither.
If any man smite another with a weapon of iron that he die, then he is a murderer, and shall die for it. If he smite him with a throwing stone that he die therewith, then he shall die: For he is a murderer and shall be slain therefore. If he smite him with a hand weapon of wood that he die therewith, then he shall die: for he is a murderer and shall be slain therefore.
The justice of blood shall slay the murderer, as soon as he findeth him: If he thrust him of hate, or hurl at him with laying of wait that he die or smite him with his hand of envy that he die, he that smote him shall die, for he is a murderer. The justice of blood shall slay him as soon as he findeth him.
But and if he pushed him by chance and not of hate or cast at him with any manner of thing and not of laying of wait: or cast any manner of stone at him that he die therewith, and saw him not: And he cast it upon him and he died, but was not his enemy, neither sought him any harm: Then the congregation shall judge between the slayer and the executer of blood in such cases. And the congregation shall deliver the slayer out of the hand of the judge of blood, and shall restore him again unto the franchised city, whither he was fled. And he shall bide there unto the death of the high priest which was anointed with holy oil.
But and if he came without the borders of his privileged city whither he was fled, if the avenger of blood find him without the borders of his free town, he shall slay the murderer and be guiltless, because he should have bidden in his free town until the death of the high priest, and after the death of the high priest, he shall return again unto the land of his possession. And this shall be an ordinance and a law unto you, among your children after you in all your habitations.
Whosoever slayeth, shall be slain at the mouth of witnesses. For one witness shall not answer against one person to put him to death. Moreover ye shall take none amends for the life of the murderer which is worthy to die: But he shall be put to death. Also ye shall take none atonement for him that is fled to a free city, that he should come again and dwell in the land before the death of the high priest. And see that ye pollute not the land which ye are in, for blood defileth the land. And the land can none otherwise be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of it that shed it. Defile not therefore the land which ye inhabit, and in the midst of which I also dwell among the children of Israel.