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Jehovah’s Witnesses



Cities of refuge

Cities of Refuge

Levite cities where an unintentional manslayer could seek asylum from the avenger of blood. Six such cities, spread throughout the Promised Land, were appointed by Moses and later by Joshua, under Jehovah’s direction. Upon reaching a city of refuge, the fugitive stated his case to the elders at the city gate and was received hospitably. To prevent willful murderers from taking advantage of this provision, the asylum seeker had to stand trial in the city where the killing took place in order to prove his innocence. If proved innocent, he was returned to the city of refuge, where he had to stay within its boundaries for the rest of his life or until the death of the high priest.​—Nu 35:6, 11-15, 22-29; Jos 20:2-8.