Y'hoshua (Joshua) Chapter 20

The corresponding letter to this chapter is Resh – wickedness; wicked

Y’hoshua 20:1-6 Then the L-RD spoke to Y’hoshua, saying, "Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'Designate the cities of refuge, of which I spoke to you through Moshe, that the manslayer who kills any person unintentionally, without premeditation, may flee there, and they shall become your refuge from the avenger of blood. 'And he shall flee to one of these cities, and shall stand at the entrance of the gate of the city and state his case in the hearing of the elders of that city; and they shall take him into the city to them and give him a place, so that he may dwell among them. 'Now if the avenger of blood pursues him, then they shall not deliver the manslayer into his hand, because he struck his neighbor without premeditation and did not hate him beforehand. 'And he shall dwell in that city until he stands before the congregation for judgment, until the death of the one who is high priest in those days. Then the manslayer shall return to his own city and to his own house, to the city from which he fled.' "

It took the death of the high priest to pardon the slayer (one who accidentally or unintentionally killed someone) before he could return home to his own city and house from which he fled. This illustrates the point that the death of the High priest did have atoning power. Another type that points to Yeshua our High Priest above whose death atoned for our wickedness.

Hebrews 7:26-28 For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins, and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever.

But we must also realize even though He died; He still lives!

Hebrews 7:23-25 And the former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers, because they were prevented by death from continuing, but He, on the other hand, because He abides forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Hence, also, He is able to save forever those who draw near to G-d through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

Y’hoshua 20:7-9 So they set apart Kedesh in Galil (Galilee) in the hill country of Naftali and Sh’khem in the hill country of Efrayim, and Kiryat-Arba (that is, Hevron) in the hill country of Y’hudah. And beyond the Yarden (Jordan) east of Yericho, they designated Betzer in the wilderness on the plain from the tribe of Re’uven, and Ramot in Gil’ad from the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan from the tribe of M’naseh. These were the appointed cities for all the sons of Israel and for the stranger who sojourns among them, that whoever kills any person unintentionally may flee there, and not die by the hand of the avenger of blood until he stands before the congregation.

Of course our city of refuge will be the New Jerusalem above.

There were six cities of refuge designated. Three were located on the west side of the Yarden River and three were located on the east side of the Yarden. They were located in such a way that they could easily be reached by a slayer in a one day journey. Notice that this was for those who had UNINTENTIONALLY killed someone. This was not for the premeditated murderer.