New American Standard Bible
'The cities shall be to you as a refuge from the avenger, so that the manslayer will not die until he stands before the congregation for trial.
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.
Darby Bible Translation
And ye shall have these cities for refuge from the avenger; that the manslayer die not, until he have stood before the assembly in judgment.
World English Bible
The cities shall be to you for refuge from the avenger, that the manslayer not die, until he stands before the congregation for judgment.
Young's Literal Translation
and the cities have been to you for a refuge from the redeemer, and the man-slayer doth not die till his standing before the company for judgment.
Numbers 35:12 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
The avenger - Hebrew גאל gā'al, a term of which the original import is uncertain. The very obscurity of its etymology testifies to the antiquity of the office which it denotes. That office rested on the principle of Genesis 9:6, "whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed." The unwritten code of the East conceded to the nearest kinsman of a murdered man the right of avenging the blood that had been shed. Such rude justice necessarily involved grave evils. It gave no opportunity to the person charged with crime of establishing is innocence; it recognized no distinction between murder, manslaughter, and accidental homicide; it perpetuated family blood-feuds, the avenger of blood being liable to be treated in his turn as a murderer by the kinsman of the man whom he had slain. These grievances could not be removed as long as there was no central government, but they might be mitigated; and to do this was the object of the institution in the text (compare Exodus 21:13).
Among the Arab tribes, who are under the control of no central authority, the practice of blood-revenge subsists in full force to the present day.
The congregation - i. e. local court, consisting of the elders of the city Joshua 20:4.
LibraryThe Northern Coasts of Galilee. Amanah. The Mountain of Snow.
This coast is described by Moses, Numbers 34:7: "From the Great Sea to mount Hor: from mount Hor to the entrance of Hamath," &c. Mount Hor, in the Jewish writers, is Amanah; mention of which occurs, Canticles 4:8, where R. Solomon thus: "Amanah is a mount in the northern coast of the land of Israel, which in the Talmudical language is called, The mountainous plain of Amanon; the same with mount Hor." In the Jerusalem Targum, for mount 'Hor' is the mount Manus: but the Targum of Jonathan renders it …
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica
'The cities which you are to give shall be your six cities of refuge.
"Now this is the case of the manslayer who may flee there and live: when he kills his friend unintentionally, not hating him previously--
"Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'Designate the cities of refuge, of which I spoke to you through Moses,
that the manslayer who kills any person unintentionally, without premeditation, may flee there, and they shall become your refuge from the avenger of blood.
'Now if the avenger of blood pursues him, then they shall not deliver the manslayer into his hand, because he struck his neighbor without premeditation and did not hate him beforehand.
'He shall dwell in that city until he stands before the congregation for judgment, until the death of the one who is high priest in those days. Then the manslayer shall return to his own city and to his own house, to the city from which he fled.'"
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