1When the LORD your God has cut off the nations, whose land the LORD your God gives you, and you dispossess them, and dwell in their cities, and in their houses;
2You shall set apart three cities for you in the midst of your land, which the LORD your God gives you to possess it.
3You shall prepare you a way, and divide the territory of your land, which the LORD your God gives you to inherit, into three parts, that every manslayer may flee there.
4And this is the case of the manslayer, who shall flee there, that he may live: Whoever kills his neighbor unintentionally, whom he hated not in time past;
5As when a man goes into the wood with his neighbor to hew wood, and his hand swings a stroke with the ax to cut down the tree, and the head slips from the handle, and strikes his neighbor, that he dies; he shall flee unto one of those cities, and live:
6Lest the avenger of blood pursue the manslayer, while his anger is hot, and overtake him, because the way is long, and slay him; whereas he was not worthy of death, inasmuch as he hated the victim not in time past.
7Therefore I command you, saying, you shall set apart three cities for you.
8And if the LORD your God enlarges your border, as he has sworn unto your fathers, and gives you all the land which he promised to give unto your fathers;
9If you shall keep all these commandments to do them, which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to walk always in his ways; then shall you add three more cities for you, besides these three:
10That innocent blood be not shed in your land, which the LORD your God gives you for an inheritance, and so blood be upon you.
11But if any man hate his neighbor, and lie in wait for him, and rise up against him, and wounds him mortally that he dies, and flees into one of these cities:
12Then the elders of his city shall send and bring him from there, and deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die.
13Your eye shall not pity him, but you shall put away the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, that it may go well with you.
14You shall not remove your neighbor's landmark, which the men of old time have set, in your inheritance which you shall inherit in the land that the LORD your God gives you to possess it.
15One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sins: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.
16If a false witness rises up against any man to testify against him that which is wrong;
17Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges, who shall be in those days;
18And the judges shall make diligent inquiry: and, behold, if the witness is a false witness, and has testified falsely against his brother;
19Then shall you do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shall you put the evil away from among you.
20And those who remain shall hear, and fear, and shall hereafter commit no more any such evil among you.
21And your eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.
Commentaries for Deuteronomy 19:0