Joshua 20–21; 1 Chronicles 6:54–81

The Cities of Refuge

20 Then the Lord said to Joshua, Say to the people of Israel, jAppoint 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. He shall flee to one of these cities and shall stand kat the entrance of the gate of the city and explain his case to the elders of that city. Then they shall take him into the city and give him a place, and he shall remain with them. 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 luntil 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.

So they set apart mKedesh in Galilee in the hill country of Naphtali, and nShechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and oKiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) pin the hill country of Judah. And beyond the Jordan east of Jericho, they appointed qBezer in the wilderness on the tableland, from the tribe of Reuben, and rRamoth in Gilead, from the tribe of Gad, and sGolan in Bashan, from the tribe of Manasseh. These were the cities designated for all the people of Israel and tfor the stranger sojourning among them, that anyone who killed a person without intent could flee there, so that he might not die by the hand of the avenger of blood, till he stood before the congregation.

Cities and Pasturelands Allotted to Levi

21 Then the heads of the fathers' houses of the Levites came uto Eleazar the priest and to Joshua the son of Nun and to the heads of the fathers' houses of the tribes of the people of Israel. And they said to them vat Shiloh in the land of Canaan, wThe Lord commanded through Moses that we be given cities to dwell in, along with their pasturelands for our livestock. So by command of the Lord the people of Israel gave to the Levites the following cities and pasturelands out of their inheritance.

The lot came out for the clans of the Kohathites. So those Levites who were descendants of Aaron the priest xreceived by lot from the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin, thirteen cities.

And the rest of the Kohathites received by lot yfrom the clans of the tribe of Ephraim, from the tribe of Dan and the half-tribe of Manasseh, ten cities.

The zGershonites received by lot from the clans of the tribe of Issachar, from the tribe of Asher, from the tribe of Naphtali, and from the half-tribe of Manasseh in Bashan, thirteen cities.

The aMerarites according to their clans received from the tribe of Reuben, the tribe of Gad, and the tribe of Zebulun, twelve cities.

These cities and their pasturelands the people of Israel bgave by lot to the Levites, cas the Lord had commanded through Moses.

Out of the tribe of the people of Judah and the tribe of the people of Simeon they gave the following cities mentioned by name, 10 which went to dthe descendants of Aaron, one of the clans of the Kohathites who belonged to the people of Levi; since the lot fell to them first. 11 eThey gave them fKiriath-arba (Arba being the father of Anak), that is Hebron, gin the hill country of Judah, along with the pasturelands around it. 12 But the fields of the city and its villages had been given to Caleb the son of Jephunneh as his possession.

13 And to the descendants of Aaron the priest they gave Hebron, hthe city of refuge for the manslayer, with its pasturelands, iLibnah with its pasturelands, 14 Jattir with its pasturelands, Eshtemoa with its pasturelands, 15 Holon with its pasturelands, Debir with its pasturelands, 16 Ain with its pasturelands, Juttah with its pasturelands, Beth-shemesh with its pasturelandsnine cities out of these two tribes; 17 then out of the tribe of Benjamin, jGibeon with its pasturelands, Geba with its pasturelands, 18 Anathoth with its pasturelands, and Almon with its pasturelandsfour cities. 19 The cities of the descendants of Aaron, the priests, were in all thirteen cities with their pasturelands.

20 kAs to the rest of the Kohathites belonging to the Kohathite clans of the Levites, the cities allotted to them were out of the tribe of Ephraim. 21 To them were given Shechem, lthe city of refuge for the manslayer, with its pasturelands in the hill country of Ephraim, Gezer with its pasturelands, 22 Kibzaim with its pasturelands, Beth-horon with its pasturelandsfour cities; 23 and out of the tribe of Dan, Elteke with its pasturelands, Gibbethon with its pasturelands, 24 Aijalon with its pasturelands, Gath-rimmon with its pasturelandsfour cities; 25 and out of the half-tribe of Manasseh, Taanach with its pasturelands, and Gath-rimmon with its pasturelandstwo cities. 26 The cities of the clans of the rest of the Kohathites were ten in all with their pasturelands.

27 mAnd to the Gershonites, one of the clans of the Levites, were given out of the half-tribe of Manasseh, Golan in Bashan with its pasturelands, lthe city of refuge for the manslayer, and Beeshterah with its pasturelandstwo cities; 28 and out of the tribe of Issachar, Kishion with its pasturelands, Daberath with its pasturelands, 29 Jarmuth with its pasturelands, En-gannim with its pasturelandsfour cities; 30 and out of the tribe of Asher, Mishal with its pasturelands, Abdon with its pasturelands, 31 Helkath with its pasturelands, and Rehob with its pasturelandsfour cities; 32 and out of the tribe of Naphtali, Kedesh in Galilee with its pasturelands, lthe city of refuge for the manslayer, Hammoth-dor with its pasturelands, and Kartan with its pasturelandsthree cities. 33 The cities of the several clans of the Gershonites were in all thirteen cities with their pasturelands.

34 nAnd to the rest of the Levites, the Merarite clans, were given out of the tribe of Zebulun, Jokneam with its pasturelands, Kartah with its pasturelands, 35 Dimnah with its pasturelands, Nahalal with its pasturelandsfour cities; 36 and out of the tribe of Reuben, oBezer with its pasturelands, Jahaz with its pasturelands, 37 Kedemoth with its pasturelands, and Mephaath with its pasturelandsfour cities; 38 and out of the tribe of Gad, oRamoth in Gilead with its pasturelands, the city of refuge for the manslayer, pMahanaim with its pasturelands, 39 pHeshbon with its pasturelands, Jazer with its pasturelandsfour cities in all. 40 As for the cities of the several Merarite clans, that is, the remainder of the clans of the Levites, those allotted to them were in all twelve cities.

41 qThe cities of the Levites in the midst of the possession of the people of Israel were in all forty-eight cities with their pasturelands. 42 These cities each had its pasturelands around it. So it was with all these cities.

43 rThus the Lord gave to Israel all the land that he swore to give to their fathers. And they took possession of it, and they settled there. 44 sAnd the Lord gave them rest on every side just as he had sworn to their fathers. tNot one of all their enemies had withstood them, for uthe Lord had given all their enemies into their hands. 45 vNot one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.


54 These are their dwelling places according to their psettlements within their borders: to the sons of Aaron of the qclans of Kohathites, for theirs was the first lot, 55 to them they gave Hebron in the land of Judah and its surrounding pasturelands, 56 rbut the fields of the city and its villages they gave to Caleb the son of Jephunneh. 57 sTo the sons of Aaron they gave the cities of refuge: Hebron, Libnah with its pasturelands, Jattir, Eshtemoa with its pasturelands, 58 Hilen with its pasturelands, Debir with its pasturelands, 59 Ashan with its pasturelands, and Beth-shemesh with its pasturelands; 60 and from the tribe of Benjamin, Gibeon,1 Geba with its pasturelands, Alemeth with its pasturelands, and Anathoth with its pasturelands. All their cities throughout their clans were thirteen.

61 tTo the rest of the Kohathites were given by lot out of the clan of the tribe, out of the half-tribe, the half of Manasseh, ten cities. 62 To the Gershomites according to their clans were allotted thirteen cities out of the tribes of Issachar, Asher, Naphtali and Manasseh in Bashan. 63 uTo the Merarites according to their clans were allotted twelve cities out of the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Zebulun. 64 vSo the people of Israel gave the Levites the cities with their pasturelands. 65 They gave by lot out of the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin wthese cities that are mentioned by name.

66 xAnd some of the clans of the sons of Kohath had cities of their territory out of the tribe of Ephraim. 67 They were given the cities of refuge: Shechem with its pasturelands in the hill country of Ephraim, Gezer with its pasturelands, 68 yJokmeam with its pasturelands, Beth-horon with its pasturelands, 69 Aijalon with its pasturelands, Gath-rimmon with its pasturelands, 70 and out of the half-tribe of Manasseh, Aner with its pasturelands, and Bileam with its pasturelands, for the rest of the clans of the Kohathites.

71 zTo the Gershomites were given out of the clan of the half-tribe of Manasseh: Golan in Bashan with its pasturelands and aAshtaroth with its pasturelands; 72 and out of the tribe of Issachar: Kedesh with its pasturelands, Daberath with its pasturelands, 73 Ramoth with its pasturelands, and Anem with its pasturelands; 74 out of the tribe of Asher: Mashal with its pasturelands, Abdon with its pasturelands, 75 Hukok with its pasturelands, and Rehob with its pasturelands; 76 and out of the tribe of Naphtali: Kedesh in Galilee with its pasturelands, Hammon with its pasturelands, and Kiriathaim with its pasturelands. 77 bTo the rest of the Merarites were allotted out of the tribe of Zebulun: cRimmono with its pasturelands, cTabor with its pasturelands, 78 and dbeyond the Jordan at Jericho, on the east side of the Jordan, out of the tribe of Reuben: Bezer in the wilderness with its pasturelands, Jahzah with its pasturelands, 79 Kedemoth with its pasturelands, and Mephaath with its pasturelands; 80 and out of the tribe of Gad: eRamoth in Gilead with its pasturelands, fMahanaim with its pasturelands, 81 gHeshbon with its pasturelands, and hJazer with its pasturelands.