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The Jewish Study Bible Contextualizes the Hebrew Bible with accompanying scholarly text on Jewish traditions and history.

Chapter 19

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1When the LORD your God has cut down the nations whose land the LORD your God is assigning to you, and you have dispossessed them and settled in their towns and homes, 2you shall set aside three cities in the land that the LORD your God is giving you to possess. 3You shall survey the distances, and divide into three parts the territory of the country that the LORD your God has allotted to you, so that any manslayer may have a place to flee to.—4Now this is the case of the manslayer who may flee there and live: one who has killed anotherunwittingly, without having been his enemy in the past. 5For instance, a man goes with his neighbor into a grove to cut wood; as his hand swings the ax to cut down a tree, the ax‐head flies off the handle and strikes the other so that he dies. That man shall flee to one of these cities and live.—6Otherwise, when the distance is great, the blood‐avenger, pursuing the manslayer in hot anger, may overtake him and kill him; yet he did not incur the death penalty, since he had never been the other's enemy. 7That is why I command you: set aside three cities.

8And when the LORD your God enlarges your territory, as He swore to your fathers, and gives you all the land that He promised to give your fathers—9if you faithfully observe all this Instruction that I enjoin upon you this day, to love the LORD your God and to walk in His ways at all times—then you shall add three more towns to those three. 10Thus blood of the innocent will not be shed, bringing bloodguilt upon you in the land that the LORD your God is allotting to you.

11If, however, a person who is the enemy of another lies in wait for him and sets upon him and strikes him a fatal blow and then flees to one of these towns, 12the elders of his town shall have him brought back from there and shall hand him over to the blood‐avenger to be put to death; 13you must show him no pity. Thus you will purge Israel of the blood of the innocent, a Cf. Num. 35.33–34 . and it will go well with you.

14You shall not move your countryman's landmarks, set up by previous generations, in the property that will be allotted to you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you to possess.

15A single witness may not validate against a person any guilt or blame for any offense that may be committed; a case can be valid only on the testimony of two witnesses or more. b See note at 17.6. 16If a man appears against another to testify maliciously

and gives false testimony against him, 17the two parties to the dispute shall appear before the LORD, before the priests or magistrates in authority at the time, 18and the magistrates shall make a thorough investigation. If the man who testified is a false witness, if he has testified falsely against his fellow, 19you shall do to him as he schemed to do to his fellow. Thus you will sweep out evil from your midst; 20others will hear and be afraid, and such evil things will not again be done in your midst. 21Nor must you show pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.

Notes:

a Cf. Num. 35.33–34 .

b See note at 17.6.

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