א וַיְדַבֵּר יְהֹוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה בְּעַרְבֹת מוֹאָב עַל־יַרְדֵּן יְרֵחוֹ לֵאמֹר׃
2 Instruct B’nei Yisrael to assign, out of the holdings apportioned to them, towns for the Leviim to dwell in; you shall also assign to the Leviim pasture land around their towns.
TZAV et b’-NAY yis-ra-AYL v’-na-t’-NU lal-vee-YIM mi-na-kha-LAT a-khu-za-TAM a-REEM la-SHA-vet u-mig-RASH le-a-REEM s’-vee-vo-tay-HEM ti-t’-NU lal-vee-YIM
35:2 Towns for the Leviim to dwell in
The Children of Israel are commanded to set aside forty-eight cities throughout the length and breadth of the Land of Israel as residences for the Leviim (Levites). The people are required to live holy lives in the Promised Land, and it is the Leviim who are given the task of instructing them about how to live this way. By scattering the Leviim among the nation instead of giving them their own portion of land, Hashem ensures that everyone will have the opportunity to be exposed to the spiritual leaders of the people and to learn from them and by their example.1 comment
3 The towns shall be theirs to dwell in, and the pasture shall be for the cattle they own and all their other beasts.
ג וְהָיוּ הֶעָרִים לָהֶם לָשָׁבֶת וּמִגְרְשֵׁיהֶם יִהְיוּ לִבְהֶמְתָּם וְלִרְכֻשָׁם וּלְכֹל חַיָּתָם׃
4 The town pasture that you are to assign to the Leviim shall extend a thousand amot outside the town wall all around.
5 You shall measure off two thousand amot outside the town on the east side, two thousand on the south side, two thousand on the west side, and two thousand on the north side, with the town in the center. That shall be the pasture for their towns.
6 The towns that you assign to the Leviim shall comprise the six cities of refuge that you are to designate for a manslayer to flee to, to which you shall add forty-two towns.
7 Thus the total of the towns that you assign to the Leviim shall be forty-eight towns, with their pasture.
ז כָּל־הֶעָרִים אֲשֶׁר תִּתְּנוּ לַלְוִיִּם אַרְבָּעִים וּשְׁמֹנֶה עִיר אֶתְהֶן וְאֶת־מִגְרְשֵׁיהֶן׃
8 In assigning towns from the holdings of the Israelites, take more from the larger groups and less from the smaller, so that each assigns towns to the Leviim in proportion to the share it receives.
9 Hashem spoke further to Moshe:
ט וַיְדַבֵּר יְהֹוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר׃
11 you shall provide yourselves with places to serve you as cities of refuge to which a manslayer who has killed a person unintentionally may flee.
12 The cities shall serve you as a refuge from the avenger, so that the manslayer may not die unless he has stood trial before the assembly.
יב וְהָיוּ לָכֶם הֶעָרִים לְמִקְלָט מִגֹּאֵל וְלֹא יָמוּת הָרֹצֵחַ עַד־עָמְדוֹ לִפְנֵי הָעֵדָה לַמִּשְׁפָּט׃
13 The towns that you thus assign shall be six cities of refuge in all.
15 These six cities shall serve the Israelites and the resident aliens among them for refuge, so that anyone who kills a person unintentionally may flee there.
16 Anyone, however, who strikes another with an iron object so that death results is a murderer; the murderer must be put to death.
טז וְאִם־בִּכְלִי בַרְזֶל הִכָּהוּ וַיָּמֹת רֹצֵחַ הוּא מוֹת יוּמַת הָרֹצֵחַ׃
17 If he struck him with a stone tool that could cause death, and death resulted, he is a murderer; the murderer must be put to death.
יז וְאִם בְּאֶבֶן יָד אֲשֶׁר־יָמוּת בָּהּ הִכָּהוּ וַיָּמֹת רֹצֵחַ הוּא מוֹת יוּמַת הָרֹצֵחַ׃
18 Similarly, if the object with which he struck him was a wooden tool that could cause death, and death resulted, he is a murderer; the murderer must be put to death.
יח אוֹ בִּכְלִי עֵץ־יָד אֲשֶׁר־יָמוּת בּוֹ הִכָּהוּ וַיָּמֹת רֹצֵחַ הוּא מוֹת יוּמַת הָרֹצֵחַ׃
19 The blood-avenger himself shall put the murderer to death; it is he who shall put him to death upon encounter.
יט גֹּאֵל הַדָּם הוּא יָמִית אֶת־הָרֹצֵחַ בְּפִגְעוֹ־בוֹ הוּא יְמִיתֶנּוּ׃
20 So, too, if he pushed him in hate or hurled something at him on purpose and death resulted,
כ וְאִם־בְּשִׂנְאָה יֶהְדָּפֶנּוּ אוֹ־הִשְׁלִיךְ עָלָיו בִּצְדִיָּה וַיָּמֹת׃
21 or if he struck him with his hand in enmity and death resulted, the assailant shall be put to death; he is a murderer. The blood-avenger shall put the murderer to death upon encounter.
כא אוֹ בְאֵיבָה הִכָּהוּ בְיָדוֹ וַיָּמֹת מוֹת־יוּמַת הַמַּכֶּה רֹצֵחַ הוּא גֹּאֵל הַדָּם יָמִית אֶת־הָרֹצֵחַ בְּפִגְעוֹ־בוֹ׃
22 But if he pushed him without malice aforethought or hurled any object at him unintentionally,
כב וְאִם־בְּפֶתַע בְּלֹא־אֵיבָה הֲדָפוֹ אוֹ־הִשְׁלִיךְ עָלָיו כָּל־כְּלִי בְּלֹא צְדִיָּה׃
23 or inadvertently dropped upon him any deadly object of stone, and death resulted—though he was not an enemy of his and did not seek his harm
כג אוֹ בְכָל־אֶבֶן אֲשֶׁר־יָמוּת בָּהּ בְּלֹא רְאוֹת וַיַּפֵּל עָלָיו וַיָּמֹת וְהוּא לֹא־אוֹיֵב לוֹ וְלֹא מְבַקֵּשׁ רָעָתוֹ׃
24 in such cases the assembly shall decide between the slayer and the blood-avenger.
כד וְשָׁפְטוּ הָעֵדָה בֵּין הַמַּכֶּה וּבֵין גֹּאֵל הַדָּם עַל הַמִּשְׁפָּטִים הָאֵלֶּה׃
25 The assembly shall protect the manslayer from the blood-avenger, and the assembly shall restore him to the city of refuge to which he fled, and there he shall remain until the death of the Kohen Gadol who was anointed with the sacred oil.
26 But if the manslayer ever goes outside the limits of the city of refuge to which he has fled,
כו וְאִם־יָצֹא יֵצֵא הָרֹצֵחַ אֶת־גְּבוּל עִיר מִקְלָטוֹ אֲשֶׁר יָנוּס שָׁמָּה׃
27 and the blood-avenger comes upon him outside the limits of his city of refuge, and the blood-avenger kills the manslayer, there is no bloodguilt on his account.
כז וּמָצָא אֹתוֹ גֹּאֵל הַדָּם מִחוּץ לִגְבוּל עִיר מִקְלָטוֹ וְרָצַח גֹּאֵל הַדָּם אֶת־הָרֹצֵחַ אֵין לוֹ דָּם׃
29 Such shall be your law of procedure throughout the ages in all your settlements.
כט וְהָיוּ אֵלֶּה לָכֶם לְחֻקַּת מִשְׁפָּט לְדֹרֹתֵיכֶם בְּכֹל מוֹשְׁבֹתֵיכֶם׃
30 If anyone kills a person, the manslayer may be executed only on the evidence of witnesses; the testimony of a single witness against a person shall not suffice for a sentence of death.
ל כָּל־מַכֵּה־נֶפֶשׁ לְפִי עֵדִים יִרְצַח אֶת־הָרֹצֵחַ וְעֵד אֶחָד לֹא־יַעֲנֶה בְנֶפֶשׁ לָמוּת׃
31 You may not accept a ransom for the life of a murderer who is guilty of a capital crime; he must be put to death.
לא וְלֹא־תִקְחוּ כֹפֶר לְנֶפֶשׁ רֹצֵחַ אֲשֶׁר־הוּא רָשָׁע לָמוּת כִּי־מוֹת יוּמָת׃
32 Nor may you accept ransom in lieu of flight to a city of refuge, enabling one to return to live on his land before the death of the Kohen.
לב וְלֹא־תִקְחוּ כֹפֶר לָנוּס אֶל־עִיר מִקְלָטוֹ לָשׁוּב לָשֶׁבֶת בָּאָרֶץ עַד־מוֹת הַכֹּהֵן׃
33 You shall not pollute the land in which you live; for blood pollutes the land, and the land can have no expiation for blood that is shed on it, except by the blood of him who shed it.
לג וְלֹא־תַחֲנִיפוּ אֶת־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם בָּהּ כִּי הַדָּם הוּא יַחֲנִיף אֶת־הָאָרֶץ וְלָאָרֶץ לֹא־יְכֻפַּר לַדָּם אֲשֶׁר שֻׁפַּךְ־בָּהּ כִּי־אִם בְּדַם שֹׁפְכוֹ׃