The Cities of Refuge

  Numbers 35:9-15


Read Numbers 35 Online Audio



"And among the cities which ye shall give unto the Leviim there shall be six cities for refuge, which ye shall appoint for the manslayer, that he may flee thither: and to them ye shall add forty and two cities.

Reading also Yehoshua 20 - 21

"And the YHVH spake unto Moshe, saying


Speak unto the Benai Yisrael, and say unto them, When ye be come over Jordan into the land of  Canaan. Then ye shall appoint you cities to be cities of refuge

for you; that the slayer may flee thither, which killeth any person at unawares. And they shall be unto you cities for refuge from the avenger; that the manslayer die not, until he stand before the congregation in

judgment.  And of these cities which ye shall give six cities shall ye have for refuge. Ye shall give three cities on this side Jordan, and three cities shall ye give in the land of Canaan, which shall be cities of refuge.  These six cities shall be a refuge, both for the Benai Yisrael, and for the stranger, and for the sojourner among them: that every one that killeth any person unawares may flee thither.


Num 35:1:  CITIES OF REFUGE (see map).

The cities of Refuge are for the protection of Israelites, resident foreigners, and traveling merchants anyone who accidentally kills someone may flee there for safety.


Joshua 20:7-8 tells of the actual cities chosen; they fulfilled the plan of being evenly distributed perfectly.


There were to be a total of forty-eight Levitical cities; six cities of refuge, and forty-two additional cities.


The cities were to be distributed proportionally through the nation, so that where there were larger populations and larger areas of land, there would be more Levitical cities, so that no one in Israel would be far from a city of refuge.


A man who have accidentally cause death another person could flee to a city of refuge - an appointed Levitical city, where he could stay, safe from the avenger of blood, until the issue was settled and he could leave the city of refuge safely.


The ancient Jewish rabbis explain that, at least once every year, the magistrates of each city were responsible to survey the road to their

city, making certain that the road was clear of all debris and easily passable. There must be no obstacles in the way that would hinder any

who might flee to the cities of refuge. The magistrates would send out work crews to remove all large rocks and fallen trees from the road, taking the greatest possible care to remove every stumbling-block. Any low places in the road would be filled. Any high places would be leveled. All

along the road they placed markers with the word 'refuge' written in bold letters. When the fugitive came to cross-roads, he needed not

hesitate for a moment. Seeing that blessed word, 'refuge', he kept on his breathless pace with relentless determination until he reached the place of merciful safety. Once he entered the gates of the city, he was secure.


But when a person takes up any object  (some example given vs 16-21) and kill some one, he is consider a murderer. All murderer must

be executed but only if there is more than one witness. No one may be put to deth on the testimony of only one witness. No ransom

payment for the life of someone judged guilty of murder and subject to execution, murderers must always be put to death. Anger is no

excuse of murder. If someone angrily hits another  person with a fist and the person dies, it is a murder.


Anger is often associate with hatred "Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding

 in him."    (1 John 3:15 )  The heart that is full of hate is potentially capable of murder (cf. Matt. 5:21-22). whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment:


In these short passage of study we could see that the attributes of  the Almighty is fair, justice, merciful and the righteous ONE to all

men.  The study of cities of Refuge is so comforting.  


Six Cities of Refuge

Sermon Notes From 2000

By Rabbi Moshe Yoseph Koniuchowsky

Delivered Live at B¡¯nai Yahshua Synagogue North Miami Beach Florida.

All Scriptures taken from the Restoration Scriptures True Name Edition Study Bible

Bamidbar/Numbers 35:9-10-Cities of Refuge can only be established in the promised land (Eretz Yisrael) or in the safety of the Renewed Covenant. Once the people of Yisrael are mikvahed in crossing the Yarden (Jordan) heading westward in the proper direction they entered through Yahshua/Joshua. In like manner cities of eternal refuge and permanent earthly refuge are not found in the giving of Torah at Senai but in its giver Yahshua and HIS PROMISED LAND.

 It was and is only Yahshua of Natzereth ministry that makes the provision for cities of eternal refuge. Devarim/Deut.33:27 confirms that the Eternal alone is our refuge. (See Tehillim/Psalm 9: 9, Psalm/Psalm 46:1,7,&11, Tehellim/Ps.91:2, Mishle/Prov.14:26, Ivrim/Heb.6:18-19).

Refuge is an anchor that guarantees life! Notice that these cities are situated west of Egypt. West, being the way to YHWH and the way back to paradise. Refuge is Paradise restored. Refuge is Paradise in the midst of the storm. Refuge is abiding flourishing in Yahshua, surrounded by pagan pressures.

Bamidbar/Numbers 35: 12- Anyone who by faith places himself in a miqlat (city of refuge) has refuge. In like manner every believer who chooses to hide in Yahshua has asylum despite being a murderer and being sinful. (Rom.3: 23). Bamidbar/Numbers 35: 15- This supernatural protection provided in the miqlat is for all Yisraelites, including gentile settlers in their midst. Even in Yahshua all who want refuge WITH YISRAEL BECOME PROTECTED AS YISRAEL EVEN WITHOUT ¡°JEWISH BLOOD.¡±

Accidental murder is a type of the sin nature that doesn¡¯t always mean to sin but does so accidentally!

Much of our sin is not intentional, rather it is accidental . Bamidbar 35: 20- 25- It is the people or congregation of Yisrael that point the way to the city and place of refuge. In like manner Yahshua commissioned us as Renewed Covenant Yisrael to point the way to the ultimate Miqlat. MOSHIACH HIMSELF!

The restoration of all Yisrael corporately comes about by pointing and witnessing to individuals about Yahshua our eternal Miqlat (Acts 1:6-8, Yochanan/Moshe/Markus/Mark 16:15-16, Mattityahu 28:18-20) and pointing them to HIM.

Bamidbar/Num.35: 26-27- Leaving the city of refuge meant certain death. In like manner, leaving Yahshua means certain eternal death by the avenger (s.a.tan) the adversary, or devil. Verse 28- Reiterates Yah¡¯s will for us to live and abide in Yahshua, without wandering outside for breaks, or vacations away from Him. Wandering outside His refuge is not His will and is deadly and dangerous.

Bamidbar/Num 35: 25-28- Allows the sinner to return permanently to his land (a type of heaven), only when the Kohen HaGadol dies! In other words, the city of refuge will no longer be in Kanaan, but with the death of the Anointed One, the New Yahrushalayim will be our inheritance. Moshiach also being a Kohen HaGadol over Yisrael. The sinner can return to his true possession which is a type of our heavenly mansions in the final heavenly city of refuge, after the death of the HIGH PRIEST (Ivrim/Heb.11:10, Yochanan/John 14:1-3).

Only when the anointed High Priest (Bamidbar 35: 25-28,32) dies is the saved sinner allowed to settle into his most permanent possession! The temporal city of refuge leads to permanent possession.

This earthly and heavenly salvation is free (Bamidbar 35:32)! No money is to exchange hands in its proclamation. (Gilyahna/Rev.22: 17, Mattityahu/Matt. 10:8)

Close: Bamidbar 35 verse 34- All this refuge, earthly and heavenly, is given to Yisrael because YHWH dwells among us forevermore.

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