Numbers 35-36 Revised Standard Version

The Inheritance of the Levites

35 1  The Lord said to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho, 2  "Command the people of Israel, that they give to the Levites, from the inheritance of their possession, cities to dwell in; and you shall give to the Levites pasture lands round about the cities. 3  The cities shall be theirs to dwell in, and their pasture lands shall be for their cattle and for their livestock and for all their beasts. 4  The pasture lands of the cities, which you shall give to the Levites, shall reach from the wall of the city outward a thousand cubits all round. 5  And you shall measure, outside the city, for the east side two thousand cubits, and for the south side two thousand cubits, and for the west side two thousand cubits, and for the north side two thousand cubits, the city being in the middle; this shall belong to them as pasture land for their cities. 6  The cities which you give to the Levites shall be the six cities of refuge, where you shall permit the manslayer to flee, and in addition to them you shall give forty-two cities. 7  All the cities which you give to the Levites shall be forty-eight, with their pasture lands. 8  And as for the cities which you shall give from the possession of the people of Israel, from the larger tribes you shall take many, and from the smaller tribes you shall take few; each, in proportion to the inheritance which it inherits, shall give of its cities to the Levites."

The Cities of Refuge

9  And the Lord said to Moses, 10  "Say to the people of Israel, When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 11  then you shall select cities to be cities of refuge for you, that the manslayer who kills any person without intent may flee there. 12  The cities shall be for you a refuge from the avenger, that the manslayer may not die until he stands before the congregation for judgment. 13  And the cities which you give shall be your six cities of refuge. 14  You shall give three cities beyond the Jordan, and three cities in the land of Canaan, to be cities of refuge. 15  These six cities shall be for refuge for the people of Israel, and for the stranger and for the sojourner among them, that any one who kills any person without intent may flee there. 16  "But if he struck him down with an instrument of iron, so that he died, he is a murderer; the murderer shall be put to death. 17  And if he struck him down with a stone in the hand, by which a man may die, and he died, he is a murderer; the murderer shall be put to death. 18  Or if he struck him down with a weapon of wood in the hand, by which a man may die, and he died, he is a murderer; the murderer shall be put to death. 19  The avenger of blood shall himself put the murderer to death; when he meets him, he shall put him to death. 20  And if he stabbed him from hatred, or hurled at him, lying in wait, so that he died, 21  or in enmity struck him down with his hand, so that he died, then he who struck the blow shall be put to death; he is a murderer; the avenger of blood shall put the murderer to death, when he meets him. 22  "But if he stabbed him suddenly without enmity, or hurled anything on him without lying in wait, 23  or used a stone, by which a man may die, and without seeing him cast it upon him, so that he died, though he was not his enemy, and did not seek his harm; 24  then the congregation shall judge between the manslayer and the avenger of blood, in accordance with these ordinances; 25  and the congregation shall rescue the manslayer from the hand of the avenger of blood, and the congregation shall restore him to his city of refuge, to which he had fled, and he shall live in it until the death of the high priest who was anointed with the holy oil. 26  But if the manslayer shall at any time go beyond the bounds of his city of refuge to which he fled, 27  and the avenger of blood finds him outside the bounds of his city of refuge, and the avenger of blood slays the manslayer, he shall not be guilty of blood. 28  For the man must remain in his city of refuge until the death of the high priest; but after the death of the high priest the manslayer may return to the land of his possession.

The Law concerning Bloodshed

29  "And these things shall be for a statute and ordinance to you throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 30  If any one kills a person, the murderer shall be put to death on the evidence of witnesses; but no person shall be put to death on the testimony of one witness. 31  Moreover you shall accept no ransom for the life of a murderer, who is guilty of death; but he shall be put to death. 32  And you shall accept no ransom for him who has fled to his city of refuge, that he may return to dwell in the land before the death of the high priest. 33  You shall not thus pollute the land in which you live; for blood pollutes the land, and no expiation can be made for the land, for the blood that is shed in it, except by the blood of him who shed it. 34  You shall not defile the land in which you live, in the midst of which I dwell; for I the Lord dwell in the midst of the people of Israel."

The Law concerning the Marriage of Heiresses

36 1  The heads of the fathers' houses of the families of the sons of Gilead the son of Machir, son of Manas'seh, of the fathers' houses of the sons of Joseph, came near and spoke before Moses and before the leaders, the heads of the fathers' houses of the people of Israel; 2  they said, "The Lord commanded my lord to give the land for inheritance by lot to the people of Israel; and my lord was commanded by the Lord to give the inheritance of Zeloph'ehad our brother to his daughters. 3  But if they are married to any of the sons of the other tribes of the people of Israel then their inheritance will be taken from the inheritance of our fathers, and added to the inheritance of the tribe to which they belong; so it will be taken away from the lot of our inheritance. 4  And when the jubilee of the people of Israel comes, then their inheritance will be added to the inheritance of the tribe to which they belong; and their inheritance will be taken from the inheritance of the tribe of our fathers."

5  And Moses commanded the people of Israel according to the word of the Lord, saying, "The tribe of the sons of Joseph is right. 6  This is what the Lord commands concerning the daughters of Zeloph'ehad, 'Let them marry whom they think best; only, they shall marry within the family of the tribe of their father. 7  The inheritance of the people of Israel shall not be transferred from one tribe to another; for every one of the people of Israel shall cleave to the inheritance of the tribe of his fathers. 8  And every daughter who possesses an inheritance in any tribe of the people of Israel shall be wife to one of the family of the tribe of her father, so that every one of the people of Israel may possess the inheritance of his fathers. 9  So no inheritance shall be transferred from one tribe to another; for each of the tribes of the people of Israel shall cleave to its own inheritance.'" 10  The daughters of Zeloph'ehad did as the Lord commanded Moses; 11  for Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Noah, the daughters of Zeloph'ehad, were married to sons of their father's brothers. 12  They were married into the families of the sons of Manas'seh the son of Joseph, and their inheritance remained in the tribe of the family of their father. 13  These are the commandments and the ordinances which the Lord commanded by Moses to the people of Israel in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho.

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