The LORD also spake unto Joshua, saying,
Speak to the children of Israel, saying, Appoint out for you cities of refuge, whereof I spake unto you by the hand of Moses:
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.
at the entering
that he may
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.
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.
And they appointed Kedesh in Galilee in mount Naphtali, and Shechem in mount Ephraim, and Kirjatharba, which is Hebron, in the mountain of Judah.
Heb. sanctified. Kedesh. Kedesh, called Cadesa, or Caidesa, by Josephus, was situated in Upper Galilee, twenty miles south-east from Tyre, according to Eusebius. The cities of refuge were distributed through the land at proper distances from each other, that they might be convenient to every part of the land; and it is said they were situated on eminences, that they might be easily seen at a distance; the roads leading to them being broad, even, and always kept in good repair. Kedesh and Hebron were at the two extremities of the land, the former being in Galilee, and the latter in Judah, both in mountainous districts, and Shechem was in mount Ephraim, nearly in the centre. Bezer was east of Jordan, in the eastern part of the plain opposite Jericho; Ramoth was about the midst of the country of the two tribes and a half, being about the middle of the mountains of Gilead; and Golan, the capital of Gaulonitis, was situated in the tribe of Manasseh, in the land of Bashan. As this institution is considered as a type of Christ, some expositors observe a significancy in the names of these cities with application to Him as 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 them 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.
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.
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.