And the congregation shall deliver the slayer out of the hand of the avenger of blood, and the congregation shall restore him to the city of his refuge, where he had fled: and he shall abide in it until the death of the high priest, who was anointed with the holy oil.
Read Chapter 35
Ambrose of Milan
The man who renounces the vices and rejects the way of life of his countrymen is in flight like Lot. Such a one does not look behind himself but enters that city which is above by the passageway of his thoughts, and he does not withdraw from it until the death of the chief priest who bore the sin of the world. He indeed died once, but he dies for each person who is baptized in Christ’s death, that we may be buried together with him and rise with him and walk in the newness of his life.
Delivered. Hebrew, "the multitude shall deliver the slayer. "It seems the judges pronounced sentence, according to the votes of the people assembled; (Calmet) or the plurality of voices among the 21 judges decided the matter. (Grotius) (Haydock)
High priest. This mystically signified that our deliverance was to be effected by the death of Christ, the high priest and the anointed of God. (Challoner)
He rescued us from the hand of the revenger, the devil. (Theodoret, q. 50, 51.)
Before his death, the way to our true country was not open, nor secure. (St. Gregory, hom 6. in Ezec.) (Worthington)
By this law, Moses showed a horror for murder, and the respect due to the person of the high priest, during whose life even the involuntary murderer was obliged to keep himself retired in a city of refuge. (Masius)
At the death of the pontiff, all Israel put on mourning, so that private injuries were to be forgotten, when the public had such cause for sorrow; and in the mean time the vengeance...