Deuteronomy 19
International Standard Version Par ▾ 

Cities of Refuge

1“When the LORD your God destroys those nations whose lands hea is about to give you, you must dispossess them and live in their cities and houses. 2You must reserveb three cities within the land that the LORD your God is about to give you to possess. 3Build roads throughout the land that the LORD your God is providing as an inheritance, and then divide it into three districts so that any killer may flee there.

4“Now this is the situation for any killer who flees there to live: suppose he strikes his friend unwittingly, not having hated him previously. 5For instance,c 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 handled and hite his friend, so that he died. The killerf may flee to one of these cities to live. 6While the distance may be great and the angry avenger pursues the killer, he may overtake him and kill him, in which case there will be no justice in his death, because he did not hate his friendg previously. 7Therefore I am commanding you to reserveh three cities.”

Increase the Cities of Refuge

8“Now if the LORD enlarges your territories just as he promised your ancestors and gives you all the land that he promised,i 9and if you are careful to observe all these commands that I am commanding you today—to love the LORD your God and to walk daily in his ways—then add three more cities in addition to these three cities. 10You must not shed innocent blood on your land that the LORD your God is about to give you as an inheritance. Otherwise, you’ll be guilty of murder.”

Refuse Cold-Blooded Murderers

11“However, if a person hates his neighbor, lies in wait for him, rises up against him, and attacks him so that he dies, and then he flees to one of those cities, 12then the elders of his own city shall send for him, remove him from there, and deliver him to the related avenger for execution. 13Have no pity on him, but totally purge the shedding of innocent blood from Israel so that life may go well with you.”

Boundary Markers

14“When you inherit the land that the LORD your God is about to give you, don’t move your neighbor’s boundary marker from where it was placed long ago.”

Laws about Witnesses

15“The testimony of one person alone is not to suffice to convict anyone of any iniquity, sin, or guilt. But the matter will stand on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 16When a malicious witness takes the standj against a man and accuses him, 17then both must stand with their dispute in the LORD’s presence, the priests, and the judges at that time. 18The judges will investigate thoroughly. If the false witness lies in testifying against his relative, 19do to him just as he intended to do to his relative. By doing this you will purge evil from your midst. 20When others hear of this, they will be afraid and will not do such an evil deed again in your midst. 21Your eyes must not show pity—life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, and foot for foot.”

a 19:1 Lit. the LORD your God
b 19:2 Or set apart
c 19:5 The Heb. lacks for instance
d 19:5 Lit. tree
e 19:5 Lit. found
f 19:5 The Heb. lacks the killer
g 19:6 Lit. hate him
h 19:7 Or set apart
i 19:8 Lit. promised to give your ancestors
j 19:16 Lit. witness stands

The Holy Bible: International Standard Version® Release 2.1
Copyright © 1996-2012 The ISV Foundation

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