The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: These are the names of the men through whom the land shall be apportioned for you: Eleazar the priest and Joshua son of Nun. And you shall also take a chieftain from each tribe through whom the land shall be apportioned. These are the names of the men: from the tribe of Judah: Caleb son of Jephunneh. From the Simeonite tribe: Samuel son of Ammihud. From the tribe of Benjamin: Elidad son of Chislon. From the Danite tribe: a chieftain, Bukki son of Jogli.
For the descendants of Joseph: from the Manassite tribe: a chieftain, Hanniel son of Ephod; and from the Ephraimite tribe: a chieftain, Kemuel son of Shiphtan. From the Zebulunite tribe: a chieftain, Elizaphan son of Parnach. From the Issacharite tribe: a chieftain, Paltiel son of Azzan. From the Asherite tribe: a chieftain, Ahihud son of Shelomi. From the Naphtalite tribe: a chieftain, Pedahel son of Ammihud.
It was these whom the Lord designated to allot portions to the Israelites in the land of Canaan.
The Lord spoke to Moses in the steppes of Moab at the Jordan near Jericho, saying: nstruct the Israelite people to assign, out of the holdings apportioned to them, towns for the Levites to dwell in; you shall also assign to the Levites pasture land around their towns. The towns shall be theirs to dwell in, and the pasture shall be for the cattle they own and all their other beasts. The town pasture that you are to assign to the Levites shall extend a thousand cubits outside the town wall all around. You shall measure off two thousand cubits outside the town on the east side, two thousand on the south side, two thousand on the west side, and two thousand on the north side, with the town in the center. That shall be the pasture for their towns.
The towns that you assign to the Levites shall comprise the six cities of refuge that you are to designate for a manslayer to flee to, to which you shall add forty-two towns. Thus the total of the towns that you assign to the Levites shall be forty-eight towns, with their pasture. In assigning towns from the holdings of the Israelites, take more from the larger groups and less from the smaller, so that each assigns towns to the Levites in proportion to the share it receives.
The Lord spoke further to Moses: Speak to the Israelite people and say to them: When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, you shall provide yourselves with places to serve you as cities of refuge to which a manslayer who has killed a person unintentionally may flee. The cities shall serve you as a refuge from the avenger, so that the manslayer may not die unless he has stood trial before the assembly.
The towns that you thus assign shall be six cities of refuge in all. Three cities shall be designated beyond the Jordan, and the other three shall be designated in the land of Canaan: they shall serve as cities of refuge. These six cities shall serve the Israelites and the resident aliens among them for refuge, so that anyone who kills a person unintentionally may flee there.
Anyone, however, who strikes another with an iron object so that death results is a murderer; the murderer must be put to death.
From Parshat Mattot-Masei. From THE TANAKH: The New JPS Translation According to the Traditional Hebrew Text. Copyright 1985 by the Jewish Publication Society. Used by permission.