Cities of Refuge
The Lord commanded through Moses, that the Sons of Israel give to the Levites cities to live in and pasture lands around the cities. There shall be forty-eight Levitical cities spread throughout all of Israel, of which, six shall be cities of refuge for the man-slayer to flee. The cities of refuge are for a man who has killed without intention to flee too until he stands trial before the congregation. The man who has killed by malice of forethought is a murder and shall be put to death by the avenger of the one murdered. If he is found innocent of murder by the congregation he is to be protected from the avenger in the city of refuge but cannot leave that city until the high priest dies. The murder is to be put to death but the one who killed without malice is to live in the city of refuge and no one shall take a bribe but make righteous judgment.
The Levites belong to the Lord as representatives for all the first born sons, whom the Lord passed over, when he took the lives of the first born in Egypt. The entire tribe of Levi became the servants of the Lord but they needed places to live. They were not given a section as their own, in the land of Canaan, but they were given forty-eight cities to live in throughout Israel. Six of those cities, three west of the Jordan river and three east of the Jordan river were considered cities of refuge for the man-slayer. Human beings were created in the image of God. Therefore, all human life is holy to the Lord. Human life is to be considered so valuable, that the life of a man should be protected from those who intended to do him harm. Blood pollutes the land and the only covering for that blood is the blood of him who shed it. There is an exception clause for accidents, but the man is not allowed to return to his own land, he is confined to one of the cities of refuge until he or the high priest dies; thus expiation is either made by the man’s blood, or the blood of the high priest’s; remember, “the life of the flesh is in the blood.” (Lev 17:11)
A day and an hour is coming in which God will judge the world in righteousness. (Acts 17:31) Inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment. (Heb 9:27) Jesus is the High Priest of those who have repentance towards God and faith in Jesus Christ. (Heb 3:1) He died for our sins according to the Scriptures and he was buried and he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. (1 Cor. 15:3) We can now leave the metaphorical city of refuge and receive our inheritance in Christ Jesus our Lord. This is already but not yet!