Joshua 20:1 Then the Lord said to Joshua: 2 “Tell the Israelites to designate the cities of refuge, as I instructed you through Moses, 3 so that anyone who kills a person accidentally and unintentionally may flee there and find protection from the avenger of blood. 4 When they flee to one of these cities, they are to stand in the entrance of the city gate and state their case before the elders of that city. Then the elders are to admit the fugitive into their city and provide a place to live among them. 5 If the avenger of blood comes in pursuit, the elders must not surrender the fugitive, because the fugitive killed their neighbor unintentionally and without malice aforethought. 6 They are to stay in that city until they have stood trial before the assembly and until the death of the high priest who is serving at that time. Then they may go back to their own home in the town from which they fled.”

7 So they set apart Kedesh in Galilee in the hill country of Naphtali, Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the hill country of Judah. 8 East of the Jordan (on the other side from Jericho) they designated Bezer in the wilderness on the plateau in the tribe of Reuben, Ramoth in Gilead in the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan in the tribe of Manasseh. 9 Any of the Israelites or any foreigner residing among them who killed someone accidentally could flee to these designated cities and not be killed by the avenger of blood prior to standing trial before the assembly.


Back when I read Leviticus and Deuteronomy.... I read about these cities of refuge. As a matter of fact, the last time I read them, there was a news story on the sanctuary cities in the US. When I read the verses this morning I thought... "oh good! Joshua is doing what God told him to do through Moses." But then I went to the commentaries and saw something I hadn't noticed when I read through it the first few times. Look at Verse 6!

I almost missed it.....

This commentary is from the blueletterbible.org site.

The leaders of a city of refuge were obliged to protect the one who had fled to the city. The avenger of blood had no legal standing to deliver the slayer over to execution.

Israel had a sophisticated legal system, with judgments often based on intent and premeditation.

To be protected against the avenger of blood, the slayer had to stay within the walls of the city of refuge until his case was fully heard by the proper authorities, and until the death of the standing high priest.

After being declared innocent of murder by the proper authorities, and after the death of the standing high priest, the slayer could go back to his home and be protected against the wrath of the avenger of blood.

This is from the easy English site.

The cities of refuge are like a picture of Jesus.
· We are all guilty. We have all sinned (Romans 3:23).
· We can go to Jesus as a place of refuge (Romans 10:9; Hebrews 6:18).
· He will forgive us (Ephesians 1:7).
· He will keep us safe (John 3:16).
The picture is not perfect.
· We must confess that we have sinned (Acts 3:19).
· We do not need to wait for the death of the high priest. Our high priest (Jesus) has died for us already (Hebrews 9:25-26).
· Our high priest became alive again. He argues our case for us before God (Hebrews 7:24-25).

I am so glad I decided to check out the cities of refuge one more time. The commentaries led me to the path of Salvation and my heart feels so healthy after that review. I am so happy, light and free today!

Here's the hiccup.... I showed you where the path is.... If you haven't been down that path to Salvation, I invite you to take the path.... do you need a review like me? Well the review is heartwarming so check out the path again in review.

Thank you so much for keeping me in the Word. I need this most mornings!