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October 20    Scripture



Bible Cities: Cities of Refuge
Ancient Cities of Refuge

Cities of Refuge in Easton's Bible Dictionary were six in number (Num. 35). 1. On the west of Jordan were (1) Kadesh, in Naphtali; (2) Shechem, in Mount Ephraim; (3) Hebron, in Judah. 2. On the east of Jordan were, (1) Golan, in Bashan; (2) Ramoth-Gilead, in Gad; and (3) Bezer, in Reuben. (See under each of these names.)

Cities of Refuge in Fausset's Bible Dictionary frontBLOOD, AVENGING OF.) Kedesh ("holy," so Jesus our city of refuge, Hebrews 6:18; Hebrews 7:26), now Kedes, 20 miles E.S.E. from Tyre. Shechem ("shoulder," upon Jesus' shoulder the government is, Isaiah 9:6), now Nablous. Hebron ("fellowship," so Christ to us, 1 Corinthians 1:9), now El- Khalil. Bezer, perhaps Bozor in the Book of Maccabees ("fortress," so is Jesus, Isaiah 32:2; Isaiah 26:1; Isaiah 26:4). Ramoth Gilead, on the site of Ez-Szalt (Ramoth ("high"), so is Jesus to us, Acts 5:31). Golan, Jaulan ("joy"; Jesus is our joy, Romans 5:11). All the 48 cities of Levi had the right of asylum. But the six of refuge were bound to entertain the involuntary manslayer gratuitously. The cities on each side of the Jordan were nearly opposite one another (Deuteronomy 19:2; Numbers 35:6; Numbers 35:13; Numbers 35:15; Joshua 20:2; Joshua 20:7; Joshua 20:9). If manslayers had been driven out of the country as among the Greeks, they would have been exposed to the temptation of worshipping strange gods (1 Samuel 26:19). The Levitical cities were to have a space of 1,000 cubits (583 yards) beyond the city walls for pasture and other purposes (Numbers 35:4-5). The 2,000 cubits also specified mean probably the sum of the two single thousands on opposite sides of the city, exclusive of the city itself; as here shown. Clermont-Ganneau has discovered a bilingual inscription, Greek and Hebrew, "limit of Gezer" (now Tel-el- Jezer), on a horizontal slab E. of that royal Canaanite city; also a second similarly inscribed stone 1,696 yards due N.W. of the first. This proves that the sacred boundary was a square, having its four angles at the four cardinal points (Israel Exploration Quarterly Statement, Oct. 1874).

Cities of Refuge in Naves Topical Bible CITIES OF From the avenger of blood Ex 21:13,14; Nu 35:11-32; De 4:41-43; 19:2-13; Jos 20:1-6 List of Jos 20:7-9 Roads made to De 19:3 -FIGURATIVE Of Christ Heb 6:18

Cities of Refuge in Smiths Bible Dictionary six Levitical cities specially chosen for refuge to the involuntary homicide until released from banishment by the death of the high priest. Nu 35:6,13,15; Jos 20:2,7,9 There were three on each side of Jordan. 1. KEDESH, in Naphtali. 1Ch 6:76 2. SHECHEM, in Mount Ephraim. Jos 21:21; 1Ch 6:67; 2Ch 10:1 3. HEBRON, in Judah. Jos 21:13; 2Sa 5:5; 1Ch 6:55; 29:27; 2Ch 11:10 4. On the east side of Jordan - BEZER, in the tribe of Reuben, in the plains of Moab. De 4:43; Jos 20:8; 21:36 1Macc. 5:26. 5. RAMOTH-GILEAD, in the tribe of Gad. De 4:43; Jos 21:38; 1Ki 22:3 6. GOLAN, in Bashan, in the half-tribe of Manasseh. De 4:43; Jos 21:27; 1Ch 6:71

Cities of Refuge in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE `are ha-miqlaT; poleis ton phugadeuterion (compare 1 Macc 10:28), and other forms): 1. Location: Six cities, three on each side of the Jordan, were set apart and placed in the hands of the Levites, to serve as places of asylum for such as might shed blood unwittingly. On the East of the Jordan they were Bezer in the lot of Reuben, Ramoth-gilead in the tribe of Gad, and Golan in the territory of Manasseh. On the West of the Jordan they were Hebron in Judah, Shechem in Mt. Ephraim, and Kedesh in Naphtali (Nu 35:6,14; Josh 20:2,7 ff; 21:13,21,27,32,38; Bezer is named in 21:36, but not described as a City of Refuge). An account of these cities is given in separate articles under their names. Dt 19:2 speaks of three cities thus to be set apart, referring apparently to the land West of the Jordan. 2. Purpose: From time immemorial in the East, if a man were slain the duty of avenging him has lain as a sacred obligation upon his nearest relative. In districts where more primitive conditions prevail, even to this day, the distinction between intentional and unintentional killing is not too strictly observed, and men are often done to death in revenge for what was the purest accident. To prevent such a thing where possible, and to provide for a right administration of justice, these cities were instituted. Open highways were to be maintained along, which the manslayer might have an unobstructed course to the city gate. 3. Regulations: The regulations concerning the Cities of Refuge are found in Nu 35; Dt 19:1-13; Josh 20. Briefly, everything was to be done to facilitate the flight of the manslayer, lest the avenger of blood, i.e. the nearest of kin, should pursue him with hot heart, and, overtaking him, should smite him mortally. Upon reaching the city he was to be received by the elders and his case heard. If this was satisfactory, they gave him asylum until a regular trial could be carried out. They took him, apparently, to the city or district from which he had fled, and there, among those who knew him, witnesses were examined. If it were proved that he was not a willful slayer, that he had no grudge against the person killed, and had shown no sign of purpose to injure him, then he was declared innocent and conducted back to the city in which he had taken refuge, where he must stay until the death of the high priest. Then he was free to return home in safety. Until that event he must on no account go beyond the city boundaries. If he did, the avenger of blood might slay him without blame. On the other hand, if he were found guilty of deliberate murder, there was no more protection for him. He was handed over to the avenger of blood who, with his own hand, took the murderer's life. Blood-money, i.e. money paid in compensation for the murder, in settlement of the avenger's claim, was in no circumstances permitted; nor could the refugee be ransomed, so that he might "come again to dwell in the land" until the death of the high priest (Nu 35:32). A similar right of refuge seems to have been recognized in Israel as attaching to the altar in the temple at Jerusalem (1 Ki 1:50; 2:28; compare Ex 21:12 f). This may be compared with the right of asylum connected with the temples of the heathen.

Cities of Refuge Scripture - 1 Chronicles 6:67 And they gave unto them, [of] the cities of refuge, Shechem in mount Ephraim with her suburbs; [they gave] also Gezer with her suburbs,

Cities of Refuge Scripture - Joshua 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:

Cities of Refuge Scripture - Numbers 35:11 Then ye shall appoint you cities to be cities of refuge for you; that the slayer may flee thither, which killeth any person at unawares.

Cities of Refuge Scripture - Numbers 35:14 Ye shall give three cities on this side Jordan, and three cities shall ye give in the land of Canaan, [which] shall be cities of refuge.

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