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20:1 The LORD also spake unto Joshua, saying, 20:2 Speak to the children of Israel, saying, Appoint out for you cities of refuge, whereof I spake unto you by the hand of Moses: 20:3 That the slayer that killeth any person unawares and unwittingly may flee thither: and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood.
20:4 And when he that doth flee unto one of those cities shall stand at the entering of the gate of the city, and shall declare his cause in the ears of the elders of that city, they shall take him into the city unto them, and give him a place, that he may dwell among them.
20:5 And if the avenger of blood pursue after him, then they shall not deliver the slayer up into his hand; because he smote his neighbour unwittingly, and hated him not beforetime.
20:6 And he shall dwell in that city, until he stand before the congregation for judgment, and until the death of the high priest that shall be in those days: then shall the slayer return, and come unto his own city, and unto his own house, unto the city from whence he fled.
20:7 And they appointed Kedesh in Galilee in mount Naphtali, and Shechem in mount Ephraim, and Kirjatharba, which is Hebron, in the mountain of Judah.
20:8 And on the other side Jordan by Jericho eastward, they assigned Bezer in the wilderness upon the plain out of the tribe of Reuben, and Ramoth in Gilead out of the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan out of the tribe of Manasseh.
20:9 These were the cities appointed for all the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them, that whosoever killeth any person at unawares might flee thither, and not die by the hand of the avenger of blood, until he stood before the congregation.

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Everything King James Bible:Joshua
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Joshua
Book: Joshua
Chapter: 20

The Law concerning the cities of Refuge. (1-6) The cities
appointed as refuges. (7-9)

1-6 When the Israelites were settled in their promised
inheritance, they were reminded to set apart the cities of
Refuge, whose use and typical meaning have been explained, Nu
35; De 19. God's spiritual Israel have, and shall have in
Christ and Heaven, not only Rest to repose in, but Refuge to
secure themselves in. These cities were designed to typify the
relief which the Gospel provides for penitent sinners, and their
protection from the Curse of the Law and the wrath of God, in
our Lord Jesus, to whom believers flee for Refuge, Heb 6:18.

7-9 These cities, as those also On the other side Jordan, stood
So that a Man might in half a Day reach one of them from any
part of the country. God is ever a Refuge at Hand. They were all
Levites' cities. It was kindness to the Poor Fugitive, that when
he might not go up to the House of the Lord, yet he had the
servants of God with him, to instruct him, and pray for him, and
to help to make up the want of public ordinances. Some observe a
significance in the names of these cities with application to
Christ our Refuge. Kedesh signifies holy, and our Refuge is the
holy Jesus. Shechem, a shoulder, and the government is upon his
shoulder. Hebron, Fellowship, and believers are called into the
Fellowship of Christ Jesus our Lord. Bezer, a fortification, for
he is a strong Hold to all those that trust in him. Ramoth, high
or exalted, for Him hath God exalted with his own right Hand.
Golan, joy or exultation, for in Him all the saints are
justified, and shall Glory.

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