Cities for the Levites
1The Lord spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho, saying, 2"Command the people of Israel to give to the Levites some of the inheritance of their possession as cities for them to dwell in. And you shall give to the Levites pasturelands around the cities. 3The cities shall be theirs to dwell in, and their pasturelands shall be for their cattle and for their livestock and for all their beasts. 4The pasturelands of the cities, which you shall give to the Levites, shall reach from the wall of the city outward a thousand cubits all around. 5And you shall measure, outside the city, on the east side two thousand cubits, and on the south side two thousand cubits, and on the west side two thousand cubits, and on the north side two thousand cubits, the city being in the middle. This shall belong to them as pastureland for their cities.
6"The cities that you give to the Levites shall be the six cities of refuge, where you shall permit the manslayer to flee, and in addition to them you shall give forty-two cities. 7All the cities that you give to the Levites shall be forty-eight, with their pasturelands. 8And as for the cities that you shall give from the possession of the people of Israel, from the larger tribes you shall take many, and from the smaller tribes you shall take few; each, in proportion to the inheritance that it inherits, shall give of its cities to the Levites."
Cities of Refuge
9And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 10"Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 11then you shall select cities to be cities of refuge for you, that the manslayer who kills any person without intent may flee there. 12The cities shall be for you a refuge from the avenger, that the manslayer may not die until he stands before the congregation for judgment. 13And the cities that you give shall be your six cities of refuge. 14You shall give three cities beyond the Jordan, and three cities in the land of Canaan, to be cities of refuge. 15These six cities shall be for refuge for the people of Israel, and for the stranger and for the sojourner among them, that anyone who kills any person without intent may flee there.
16"But if he struck him down with an iron object, so that he died, he is a murderer. The murderer shall be put to death. 17And if he struck him down with a stone tool that could cause death, and he died, he is a murderer. The murderer shall be put to death. 18Or if he struck him down with a wooden tool that could cause death, and he died, he is a murderer. The murderer shall be put to death. 19The avenger of blood shall himself put the murderer to death; when he meets him, he shall put him to death. 20And if he pushed him out of hatred or hurled something at him, lying in wait, so that he died, 21or in enmity struck him down with his hand, so that he died, then he who struck the blow shall be put to death. He is a murderer. The avenger of blood shall put the murderer to death when he meets him.
22"But if he pushed him suddenly without enmity, or hurled anything on him without lying in wait 23or used a stone that could cause death, and without seeing him dropped it on him, so that he died, though he was not his enemy and did not seek his harm, 24then the congregation shall judge between the manslayer and the avenger of blood, in accordance with these rules. 25And the congregation shall rescue the manslayer from the hand of the avenger of blood, and the congregation shall restore him to his city of refuge to which he had fled, and he shall live in it until the death of the high priest who was anointed with the holy oil. 26But if the manslayer shall at any time go beyond the boundaries of his city of refuge to which he fled, 27and the avenger of blood finds him outside the boundaries of his city of refuge, and the avenger of blood kills the manslayer, he shall not be guilty of blood. 28For he must remain in his city of refuge until the death of the high priest, but after the death of the high priest the manslayer may return to the land of his possession. 29And these things shall be for a statute and rule for you throughout your generations in all your dwelling places.
30"If anyone kills a person, the murderer shall be put to death on the evidence of witnesses. But no person shall be put to death on the testimony of one witness. 31Moreover, you shall accept no ransom for the life of a murderer, who is guilty of death, but he shall be put to death. 32And you shall accept no ransom for him who has fled to his city of refuge, that he may return to dwell in the land before the death of the high priest. 33You shall not pollute the land in which you live, for blood pollutes the land, and no atonement can be made for the land for the blood that is shed in it, except by the blood of the one who shed it. 34You shall not defile the land in which you live, in the midst of which I dwell, for I the Lord dwell in the midst of the people of Israel."
Marriage of Female Heirs
1The heads of the fathers' houses of the clan of the people of Gilead the son of Machir, son of Manasseh, from the clans of the people of Joseph, came near and spoke before Moses and before the chiefs, the heads of the fathers' houses of the people of Israel. 2They said, "The Lord commanded my lord to give the land for inheritance by lot to the people of Israel, and my lord was commanded by the Lord to give the inheritance of Zelophehad our brother to his daughters. 3But if they are married to any of the sons of the other tribes of the people of Israel, then their inheritance will be taken from the inheritance of our fathers and added to the inheritance of the tribe into which they marry. So it will be taken away from the lot of our inheritance. 4And when the jubilee of the people of Israel comes, then their inheritance will be added to the inheritance of the tribe into which they marry, and their inheritance will be taken from the inheritance of the tribe of our fathers."
5And Moses commanded the people of Israel according to the word of the Lord, saying, "The tribe of the people of Joseph is right. 6This is what the Lord commands concerning the daughters of Zelophehad: 'Let them marry whom they think best, only they shall marry within the clan of the tribe of their father. 7The inheritance of the people of Israel shall not be transferred from one tribe to another, for every one of the people of Israel shall hold on to the inheritance of the tribe of his fathers. 8And every daughter who possesses an inheritance in any tribe of the people of Israel shall be wife to one of the clan of the tribe of her father, so that every one of the people of Israel may possess the inheritance of his fathers. 9So no inheritance shall be transferred from one tribe to another, for each of the tribes of the people of Israel shall hold on to its own inheritance.'"
10The daughters of Zelophehad did as the Lord commanded Moses, 11for Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Noah, the daughters of Zelophehad, were married to sons of their father's brothers. 12They were married into the clans of the people of Manasseh the son of Joseph, and their inheritance remained in the tribe of their father's clan.
13These are the commandments and the rules that the Lord commanded through Moses to the people of Israel in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho.
The Steadfast Love of God Endures
To the choirmaster. A Maskil of David, when Doeg, the Edomite, came and told Saul, David has come to the house of Ahimelech.
1 Why do you boast of evil, O mighty man?
The steadfast love of God endures all the day.
2 Your tongue plots destruction,
like a sharp razor, you worker of deceit.
3 You love evil more than good,
and lying more than speaking what is right.
4 You love all words that devour,
O deceitful tongue.
5 But God will break you down forever;
he will snatch and tear you from your tent;
he will uproot you from the land of the living.
6 The righteous shall see and fear,
and shall laugh at him, saying,
7 "See the man who would not make
God his refuge,
but trusted in the abundance of his riches
and sought refuge in his own destruction!"
8 But I am like a green olive tree
in the house of God.
I trust in the steadfast love of God
forever and ever.
9 I will thank you forever,
because you have done it.
I will wait for your name, for it is good,
in the presence of the godly.