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Cities of Refuge

Cities of Refuge

Postby TK » Sat May 26, 2018 7:35 am

I don't quite understand the cities of refuge. Here is the passage:

“But suppose someone pushes another person without having shown previous hostility, or throws something that unintentionally hits another person, 23 or accidentally drops a huge stone on someone, though they were not enemies, and the person dies. 24 If this should happen, the community must follow these regulations in making a judgment between the slayer and the avenger, the victim’s nearest relative: 25 The community must protect the slayer from the avenger and must escort the slayer back to live in the city of refuge to which he fled. There he must remain until the death of the high priest, who was anointed with the sacred oil.
26 “But if the slayer ever leaves the limits of the city of refuge, 27 and the avenger finds him outside the city and kills him, it will not be considered murder. 28 The slayer should have stayed inside the city of refuge until the death of the high priest. But after the death of the high priest, the slayer may return to his own property. 29 These are legal requirements for you to observe from generation to generation, wherever you may live.


If the slayer is found "not guilty" why must he wait until the priest dies to go back home? That might be years, and maybe he has a family to care for. And I don't understand why, if he is found not guilty, but leaves the city of refuge, and the avenger kills him, it is not considered murder. Wouldn't the avenger know he was found not guilty?

Was the "right" to kill the slayer of a relative (even if it was accidental) absolute? Very strange.
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