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Bible Commentaries

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Numbers 35

Verses 1-34

Numbers 35:6-34 The Cities of Refuge In Numbers 35:6-34 the Lord establishes cities of refuge among the children of Israel. When a person kills someone, he has a place to go and flee for safety until a proper trial is conducted.

Imagine a nation where the police are far and few, too few to control crime. What results is that the people in the village began to take charge of punishing a crime. Today, in Africa, when a nation cannot afford to hire many police, entire villages are left without someone to enforce the law. Therefore, the people themselves enforce the law. When they catch a criminal, they kill him. They then go and tear down his home and kill his livestock. The relatives of this victim of mob punishment learn to hide, rather than fight for their relative, lest the village people kill them also.

This was how life was in the land of Israel. There were only judges and Levites scattered throughout each village. There were no policemen to enforce justice. Here, in this passage of Scripture about cities of refugee, the Lord makes a way so that a person could face a just trial for his crime.

Numbers 35:16-23 Comments The Sixth Commandment - Numbers 35:16-23 gives a clear definition of the sixth commandment of the law, which deals with the issue of murder (Exodus 20:13).

Exodus 20:13, “Thou shalt not kill.”

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Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Numbers 35". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/numbers-35.html. 2013.