Leave God’s realm of protection and suffer for it

Numbers Bible Background

Old Testament: Num 35.26–28

To read the Bible in a year, read Numbers 34–36 on March 5, In the year of our Lord Christ 2020

By Don Ruhl

The Lord set up cities of refuge in Israel where someone could flee who had accidentally killed someone. This was to prevent a member of the victim’s family from killing that person. In one of those six cities, such a person would be safe, unless that person left the city:

“But if the manslayer at any time goes outside the limits of the city of refuge where he fled, and the avenger of blood finds him outside the limits of his city of refuge, and the avenger of blood kills the manslayer, he shall not be guilty of blood, because he should have remained in his city of refuge until the death of the high priest. But after the death of the high priest the manslayer may return to the land of his possession.”

– Numbers 35.26–28

The Lord would not guarantee the safety of the manslayer, who left a city of refuge, although he had killed someone by accident. The Lord understood how the surviving family felt, but He also wished to protect someone who took the life of another by accident.

Questions:

  • When could the manslayer return to his home?
  • Have you ever been involved in someone’s accidental death?

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