English Standard Version
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.
King James Bible
And they shall be unto you cities for refuge from the avenger; that the manslayer die not, until he stand before the congregation in judgment.
American Standard Version
And the cities shall be unto you for refuge from the avenger, that the manslayer die not, until he stand before the congregation for judgment.
And when the fugitive shall be in them, the kinsman of him that is slain may not have power to kill him, until he stand before the multitude, and his cause be judged.
English Revised Version
And the cities shall be unto you for refuge from the avenger; that the manslayer die not, until he stand before the congregation for judgment.
Webster's Bible Translation
And they shall be to you cities for refuge from the avenger; that the man-slayer may not die, until he stands before the congregation in judgment.
Numbers 35:12 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
Of these cities which were given up to the Levites, six were to serve as cities of refuge (see at Numbers 35:12) for manslayers, and in addition to these (עליהם, over upon them) the Israelites were to give of their possessions forty-two others, that is to say, forty-eight in all; and they were to do this, giving much from every tribe that had much, and little from the one which had little (Numbers 26:54). With the accusatives הערים את and ערי שׁשׁ עת (Numbers 35:6), the writer has already in his mind the verbs תּרבּוּ and תּמעיטוּ of Numbers 35:8, where he takes up the object again in the word והערים. According to Joshua 21, the Levites received nine cities in the territory of Judah and Simeon, four in the territory of each of the other tribes, with the exception of Naphtali, in which there were only three, that is to say, ten in the land to the east of the Jordan, and thirty-eight in Canaan proper, of which the thirteen given up by Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin were assigned to the families of the priests, and the other thirty-five to the three Levitical families. This distribution of the Levites among all the tribes - by which the curse of division and dispersion in Israel, which had been pronounced upon Levi in Jacob's blessing (Genesis 49:7), was changed into a blessing both for the Levites themselves and also for all Israel - was in perfect accordance with the election and destination of this tribe. Called out of the whole nation to be the peculiar possession of Jehovah, to watch over His covenant, and teach Israel His rights and His law (Deuteronomy 33:9-10; Leviticus 10:11; Deuteronomy 31:9-13), the Levites were to form and set forth among all the tribes the ἐκλογή of the nation of Jehovah's possession, and by their walk as well as by their calling to remind the Israelites continually of their own divine calling; to foster and preserve the law and testimony of the Lord in Israel, and to awaken and spread the fear of God and piety among all the tribes. Whilst their distribution among all the tribes corresponded to this appointment, the fact that they were not scattered in all the towns and villages of the other tribes, but were congregated together in separate towns among the different tribes, preserved them from the disadvantages of standing alone, and defended them from the danger of moral and spiritual declension. Lastly, in the number forty-eight, the quadrupling of the number of the tribes (twelve) is unmistakeable. Now, as the number four is the seal of the kingdom of God in the world, the idea of the kingdom of God is also represented in the four times twelve towns (cf. Bhr, Symbolik, ii. pp. 50, 51).
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
from the avenger
until he stand
And the cities that you give shall be your six cities of refuge.
"This is the provision for the manslayer, who by fleeing there may save his life. If anyone kills his neighbor unintentionally without having hated him in the past--
"Say to the people of Israel, 'Appoint the cities of refuge, of which I spoke to you through Moses,
that the manslayer who strikes any person without intent or unknowingly may flee there. They shall be for you a refuge from the avenger of blood.
And if the avenger of blood pursues him, they shall not give up the manslayer into his hand, because he struck his neighbor unknowingly, and did not hate him in the past.
And he shall remain in that city until he has stood before the congregation for judgment, until the death of him who is high priest at the time. Then the manslayer may return to his own town and his own home, to the town from which he fled.'"
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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.