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Joshua 20: 1 - 9 > The Cities of Refuge
 The Cities of Refuge

  Joshua  20: 1 to 9          ( King James Version ) 
   The LORD also spake unto Joshua, saying, 
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:   (see Numbers 35: 6 - 33; Deut 19: 1-14 )
20:3 >   That the slayer that killeth [any] person unawares [and] unwittingly may flee thither: and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood. 
20:4 >   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. 
20:5  >  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. 
20:6  >   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. 
 20:7  >  And they appointed Kedesh in Galilee in mount Naphtali, and Shechem in mount Ephraim, and Kirjatharba, which [is] Hebron, in the mountain of Judah
20: 8 >   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.
20:9 >  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.
   Joshua  20: 1 to 9        ( New International Version )
Then the Lord said unto Joshua
v. 2  >  Tell the Israelites to designate the cities of refuge, as I instructed you through Moses,  (see Numbers 35: 6 - 33;  Deut. 19: 1-14 )
v. 3 >   So that anyone who kills a person accidentally and unintentionally may flee there and find protection from the avenger of blood.
v. 4 >    When he flees to one of these cities, he is to stand in the entrance of the city gate and state his case before the elders of that city. Then they are to admit him into their city and give him a place to live with them.
v. 5 >  If the avenger of blood pursues him, they must not surrended the one accused, because he killed his neighbor unintentionally and without malice aforethought.
v. 6 >   He is to stay in that city until he has stood trial before the assembly and until the death of the high priest which is serving at that time. Then he may go back to his own home in the town from which he fled.
v. 7 > So they set apart Kadesh in Galilee in the hill country of Naphali. Shechem in the hill country of Ephriam, and Kiriath Atrba (that is, Hebron) in the hill country of Judah
v. 8 >   On the east side of the Jordon of Jericho they designated Bezer in the desert on the plateau in the tribe of Reuben, Ramoth in Gilead in the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan in the tribe of Manesseh.
v. 9 >  Any of the Isrealites or any alien living among them who killed someone accidentally could flee to these disignated cities and not be killed by the avenger of blood prior to the trial before the assembly.
Text  Quoted  in  Spirit of Prophecy

The cities of refuge appointed for God's ancient people were a symbol of the refuge provided in Christ. The same merciful Saviour who appointed those temporal cities of refuge has by the shedding of His own blood provided for the transgressors of God's law a sure retreat, into which they may flee for safety from the second death. No power can take out of His hands the souls that go to Him for pardon. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus." "Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us;" that "we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us." Romans 8:1, 34; Hebrews 6:18.  {Patriarch and Prophet, page 516.3}

A merciful Saviour appointed the temporal cities of refuge, that the innocent might not suffer with the guilty. The same pitying Saviour has by the shedding of his own blood wrought out for the transgressors of God's law a sure Refuge, into which they may flee for safety from the pangs of the second death. And no power can take out of his hands the souls who flee to him for pardon.  {ST, January 20, 1881 par. 18}

As the man-slayer was in constant peril until within the city of refuge, so is the transgressor of God's law exposed to divine wrath until he finds a hiding-place in Christ. As loitering and carelessness might rob the fugitive of his only chance for life, so delays and indifference may prove the ruin of the soul. Our adversary, the devil, is on the watch constantly to destroy the souls of men, and unless the sinner is sensible of his danger and earnestly seeks shelter in the eternal Refuge, he will fall a prey to the destroyer.  {ST, January 20, 1881 par. 19}

Six of the cities assigned to the Levites -- three on each side the Jordan -- were appointed as cities of refuge, to which the manslayer might flee for safety. The appointment of these cities had been commanded by Moses, "that the slayer may flee thither, which killeth any person at unawares. And they shall be unto you cities for refuge," he said, "that the manslayer die not, until he stand before the congregation in judgment." Numbers 35: 11, 12. This merciful provision was rendered necessary by the ancient custom of private vengeance, by which the punishment of the murderer devolved on the nearest relative or the next heir of the deceased. In cases where guilt was clearly evident it was not necessary to wait for a trial by the magistrates. The avenger might pursue the criminal anywhere and put him to death wherever he should be found. The Lord did not see fit to abolish this custom at that time, but He made provision to ensure the safety of those who should take life unintentionally.  {PP 515.2}

Sermon about the Gospel parallel to Cities of Refuge
Pastor Ivor Myers, Video titled 'Avenger of Blood'

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