1 »When Jehovah your God destroys all the nations that are living in the land that he gives you. you will force them out and live in their cities and houses.
2 »When all this is done, set aside three cities in the land that Jehovah your God gives you.
3 »Provide a route to each of these cities and divide the land that Jehovah your God gives you into three regions. When a person kills someone he may run to one of these cities.
4 »A person who unintentionally kills someone he never hated in the past may run to one of these cities to save his life.
5 »For example: when a man goes into the forest with his friend to cut wood, and his hand swings the axe to cut down the tree, and the iron head slips off the handle and strikes his friend so that he dies. He may flee to one of these cities and live.
6 »Otherwise the avenger of blood might pursue the manslayer in the heat of his anger. He may overtake him and because the way is long he may take his life. Even though he was not deserving of death, since he had not hated him previously.
7 »Hear my command: You must set aside three cities for yourself.
8 »If Jehovah your God enlarges your territory, just as he has sworn to your fathers, and gives you all the land he promised to give your fathers.
9 »And if you carefully observe all this commandment I command you today, to love Jehovah your God, and to walk in his ways always you shall add three more cities for yourself, besides these three.
10 »Innocent blood will not be shed in your land that Jehovah your God gives you as an inheritance. Blood guiltiness will not be on you.
11 »But if there is a man who hates his neighbor and lies in wait for him and murders him. If he flees to one of these cities,
12 »the elders of his city will send for him. They will take him from there and deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood that he may die.
13 »Do not pity him. Purge the blood of the innocent from Israel that it may go well with you.
14 »Do not move your neighbor's boundary mark. The ancestors have set this in your inheritance. You will inherit this in the land Jehovah your God gives you to possess.
15 »One witness is not enough to convict someone of a crime, offense, or sin he may have committed. Cases must be settled based on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
16 »This is what you must do whenever a witness takes the stand to accuse a person falsely of a crime.
17 »The two people involved must stand in Jehovahs presence, in front of the priests and judges who are serving at that time.
18 »The judges must make a thorough investigation. If it is found that the witness lied when he testified against the other Israelite,
19 do to him what he planned to do to the other person. Get rid of this evil.
20 »When other people hear about this, they will be afraid. Never again will such an evil thing be done among you.
21 »Have no pity on him: Take a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, and a foot for a foot.