Deuteronomy 19:5
Parallel Verses
New International Version
For instance, a man may go into the forest with his neighbor to cut wood, and as he swings his ax to fell a tree, the head may fly off and hit his neighbor and kill him. That man may flee to one of these cities and save his life.

New Living Translation
For example, suppose someone goes into the forest with a neighbor to cut wood. And suppose one of them swings an ax to chop down a tree, and the ax head flies off the handle, killing the other person. In such cases, the slayer may flee to one of the cities of refuge to live in safety.

English Standard Version
as when someone goes into the forest with his neighbor to cut wood, and his hand swings the axe to cut down a tree, and the head slips from the handle and strikes his neighbor so that he dies—he may flee to one of these cities and live,

New American Standard Bible
as 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;

King James Bible
As when a man goeth into the wood with his neighbour to hew wood, and his hand fetcheth a stroke with the axe to cut down the tree, and the head slippeth from the helve, and lighteth upon his neighbour, that he die; he shall flee unto one of those cities, and live:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
If he goes into the forest with his neighbor to cut timber, and his hand swings the ax to chop down a tree, but the blade flies off the handle and strikes his neighbor so that he dies, that person may flee to one of these cities and live.

International Standard Version
For instance, he may have accompanied his friend to go to a forest to cut trees. Then he swung his axe to cut some wood, but the ax head flew off the handle and hit his friend, so that he died. The killer may flee to one of these cities to live.

NET Bible
Suppose he goes with someone else to the forest to cut wood and when he raises the ax to cut the tree, the ax head flies loose from the handle and strikes his fellow worker so hard that he dies. The person responsible may then flee to one of these cities to save himself.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Suppose two people go into the woods to cut wood. As one of them swings the ax to cut down a tree, the head flies off the handle, hits, and kills the other person. The one who accidentally killed the other person may run to one of these cities and save his life.

Jubilee Bible 2000
and he who went into the woods with his neighbour to cut firewood and his hand fetched a stroke with the axe to cut down the tree and the head slipped from the handle and lighted upon his neighbour so that he died, he shall flee unto one of those cities and live,

King James 2000 Bible
As when a man goes into the wood with his neighbor to hew wood, and his hand swings a stroke with the ax to cut down the tree, and the head slips from the handle, and strikes his neighbor, that he dies; he shall flee unto one of those cities, and live:

American King James Version
As when a man goes into the wood with his neighbor to hew wood, and his hand fetches a stroke with the ax to cut down the tree, and the head slips from the helve, and lights on his neighbor, that he die; he shall flee to one of those cities, and live:

American Standard Version
as when a man goeth into the forest with his neighbor to hew wood, and his hand fetcheth a stroke with the axe to cut down the tree, and the head slippeth from the helve, and lighteth upon his neighbor, so that he dieth; he shall flee unto one of these cities and live:

Douay-Rheims Bible
But to have gone with him to the wood to hew wood, and in cutting down the tree the axe slipped out of his hand, and the iron slipping from the handle struck his friend, and killed him: he shall flee to one of the cities aforesaid, and live:

Darby Bible Translation
as when he goeth into the wood with his neighbour to hew wood, and his hand fetcheth a stroke with the axe to cut down the tree, and the iron slippeth from the handle, and lighteth upon his neighbour, that he die; such an one shall flee unto one of these cities, and live;

English Revised Version
as when a man goeth into the forest with his neighbour to hew wood, and his hand fetcheth a stroke with the axe to cut down the tree, and the head slippeth from the helve, and lighteth upon his neighbour, that he die; he shall flee unto one of these cities and live:

Webster's Bible Translation
As when a man goeth into the wood with his neighbor to hew wood, and his hand maketh a stroke with the ax to cut down the tree, and the head slippeth from the helve, and falleth upon his neighbor, that he dieth: he shall flee to one of these cities, and live:

World English Bible
as when a man goes into the forest with his neighbor to chop wood, and his hand fetches a stroke with the axe to cut down the tree, and the head slips from the handle, and lights on his neighbor, so that he dies; he shall flee to one of these cities and live:

Young's Literal Translation
even he who cometh in with his neighbour into a forest to hew wood, and his hand hath driven with an axe to cut the tree, and the iron hath slipped from the wood, and hath met his neighbour, and he hath died -- he doth flee unto one of these cities, and hath lived,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

19:1-13 Here is the law settled between the blood of the murdered, and the blood of the murderer; provision is made, that the cities of refuge should be a protection, so that a man should not die for that as a crime, which was not his willing act. In Christ, the Lord our Righteousness, refuge is provided for those who by faith flee unto him. But there is no refuge in Jesus Christ for presumptuous sinners, who go on still in their trespasses. Those who flee to Christ from their sins, shall be safe in him, but not those who expect to be sheltered by him in their sins.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

As when a man goeth into the wood with his neighbour to hew wood,.... A wood is a place common to men, and cutting down wood a business which any man might do; whereas a private place, where a man had no right to be, and doing what he had no business with, rendered a case suspicious, and such a man was liable to be taken up when any affair happened of the kind here spoken of; so the Jewish writers observe (t),"a wood is a public place for him that hurts and him that is hurt to enter there;''both had a right to go thither, the one as well as the other, he to whom the accident came, and he by whom it came; but they say, a court that belongs to a master of a house (a private court) is excepted, where there is no power or liberty for him that hurts or for him that is hurt to enter. Abba Saul says, What is hewing wood? It is what a man has a right to do, or is in his power; it is what is public and common, and not peculiar to any:

and his hand fetcheth a stroke with the axe to cut down the tree; lifts up the axe and is about to strike with it, in order to cut down the tree pitched upon by him or by his neighbour, or both:

and the head slippeth from the halve; the head of the axe from the handle of it:

or the iron from the wood (u); the iron part of the axe, which is properly the head, from the wooden part, which is laid hold on by the hand; and this not being well fastened, slips and falls off as the blow is fetching, or the stroke just ready to be given:

and lighteth upon his neighbour, that he die; hits him in some part as he stands by him, which proves fatal:

he shall flee unto one of these cities, and live; be safe and secure from the avenger of blood; such an one might have the benefit of one of these cities, for, for such they were designed: the rule with the Jews is, what is done by way of descent (i.e. which comes down and lights upon a man, and is not levelled against him, or thrown up at him) he is to be exiled (or to have the benefit of a city of refuge), but what is not by way of descent, he is not to have it. Some think this is spoken of the wood which is cleaved, and not of the wood in which the iron is fixed; but the wise men say it is to be so understood (x); in which they are right.

(t) Misn. Maccot, c. 2. sect. 2.((u) "ferrum e ligno", Pagninus, Montanus. (x) Misn. Maccot, c. 2. sect. 1. Maimon. & Bartenora in ib.



Deuteronomy 19:5 Additional Commentaries
Context
Cities of Refuge
4"Now this is the case of the manslayer who may flee there and live: when he kills his friend unintentionally, not hating him previously-- 5as 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; 6otherwise the avenger of blood might pursue the manslayer in the heat of his anger, and overtake him, because the way is long, and take his life, though he was not deserving of death, since he had not hated him previously.…
Cross References
Deuteronomy 19:4
This is the rule concerning anyone who kills a person and flees there for safety--anyone who kills a neighbor unintentionally, without malice aforethought.

Deuteronomy 19:6
Otherwise, the avenger of blood might pursue him in a rage, overtake him if the distance is too great, and kill him even though he is not deserving of death, since he did it to his neighbor without malice aforethought.
Treasury of Scripture

As when a man goes into the wood with his neighbor to hew wood, and his hand fetches a stroke with the ax to cut down the tree, and the head slips from the helve, and lights on his neighbor, that he die; he shall flee to one of those cities, and live:

head [heb] iron

2 Kings 6:5-7 But as one was felling a beam, the ax head fell into the water: and …

helve [heb] wood
lighteth [heb] findeth
he shall flee

Numbers 35:25 And the congregation shall deliver the slayer out of the hand of …

Proverbs 27:12 A prudent man foresees the evil, and hides himself; but the simple …

Isaiah 32:2 And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert …

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