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Summary: Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope:

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Read NUMBERS 35:2, 6, 11-29, 31-34

Hebr 6:18-20 That by two immutable things, in which [it was] impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which [hope] we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, [even] Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

Zech 9:12 Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare [that] I will render double unto thee;

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HISTORY

Just before Israel entered Canaan, God told Moses to choose out 48 cities for the Levites, the priestly tribe, since they would have no land while all the other tribes did have land, but each of the tribes would supply place for them (Numbers 35).

Though the temple be in Jerusalem only, the Levites would be everywhere to minister the word of God to the people.

Six of those cities would be cities of refuge

Three on the east side of Jordan and three on the west side of Jordan.

The placement of these cities would make them no further than half a day’s journey from any location in the land.

They were designed for people who accidentally murdered someone to save them from being killed by a kin of the murdered victim.

They would dwell in the city of refuge until the trial came where they would stand and be judged.

If a man intentionally killed another, then he yet could dwell in the city, but at trial he would be charged guilty and worthy of death by the avenger.

But if a man unintentionally killed a person, after the trial, when he was deemed innocent, the man could dwell in the city of refuge and remain there.

If he went out of the city of refuge, he would have to risk being killed by the avenger.

The killer would not be judged because the murderer, though innocent, should have stayed in the city of refuge.

And he would have to live in that city of refuge until the High Priest died.

When the High Priest died, he was free to leave the City and was free of his guilt.

The avenger had to respect the fact that the man was innocent of all that he committed.

REASONING FOR LAW

Blood defiles the land.

The killer, even though innocent, could not return to his land unless the debt of murder was paid.

Even though it was a mistake that the death occurred.

God said that the land in which he dwelt was not to be defiled.

There could be no "satisfaction", or ransom money paid to free the man from guilt.

The only thing that would free the man from guilt was the death of the murderer.

The blood of the murderer alone could cleanse the land of the blood of the victim.

But when the High Priest died, the man could return to the land.

This means one thing.

IMPLICATION

Think of it.

No other payment cleansed the blood of the victim but the blood of the murderer.

If the person returned to the land, the land had to be cleansed.

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