Some Notes:

The English language has no gender-neutral pronouns. So when the words man, he, him, etc are used, they mean "Generic human being" unless the context specifically says otherwise. Only women get words devoted just to them.

Thou, Thee, and Thine are singular pronouns. You and Your are plural in the 16th Century English the King James Bible was translated into. This actually makes the message clearer than our habit of using "you" as both a singular and a plural.

In many scriptures I have changed the King James (English) spelling to American spelling (labour=labor, for example. I understand those in England still spell it with a u). Also, in some scriptures I have changed the "-eth" to a simple "s." Spelling standards weren't set in English until the mid 1800's, well after the translating of the KJV. So I see no problem with making these simple changes that don't affect the meaning of the scripture but make it easier for our modern mouths and ears to deal with.

Exodus 21b- The Punishement of Murder and Accidental Death


For more on Murder, see the Sixth Commandment.

Exodus 21:12 He that hits a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death.

Genesis 9:6 "Whoever sheds man's blood, By man his blood shall be shed, because God made man in His image."

Numbers 35:16 And if he hit him with something made of iron, so that he dies, he is a murderer, and the murderer shall surely be put to death.

17 And if he hits him by throwing a stone, trying to kill him, and he dies, he is a murderer, and shall surely be put to death.

18 Or if he hits him with a wooden hand weapon trying to kill him, and he dies, he is a murderer and shall surely be put to death.

19 The revenger of blood
(close relative of the victim) himself shall slay the murderer. When he meets him, he shall slay him.

20 But if he push him out of hatred, or throw something at him by laying in wait, so that he dies,

21 Or if in hatred he hits him with his hand, so that he dies, he that hit him shall surely be put to death, because he is a murderer. The revenger of blood shall slay the murderer, when he meets him.

Deuteronomy 19:11 But if any man hate his neighbor, and lie in wait for him, and rise up against him, and hit him mortally so that he dies, and flees into one of these cities,

12 Then the elders of his city shall send and get him from there, and deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die.

13 Thine eye shall not pity him, but thou will put away the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, that it may go well with thee.

Proverbs 28:17 A man who is loaded with the guilt of human blood will be a fugitive until death. Let no one support him.

Revelation 21:8 "But for the cowardly, unbelieving, corrupt, murderers, immoral persons, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."

Numbers 35:30 Whoever kills any person, the murderer shall be put to death because of the witnesses. But just one witness's testimony shall not be enough to cause him to die.

Deuteronomy 17:6 On the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses the one who is to die shall be put to death; a person shall not be put to death on the evidence of one witness.


In order to prevent false witnesses, it was required to have at least two witnesses before executing someone.

Numbers 21:31 What's more, you shall take no ransom for the life of a murderer, who is guilty of death but he shall be surely put to death.

Some crimes you could pay a fee instead of taking the physical punishment, but not for murder. A human life is beyond monetary compensation.

Numbers 21: 32 And ye shall take no ransom if he runs to the city of his refuge, so he can return to live on his own property, until the death of the priest.

Cities were set aside for those who accidentally killed someone to take refuge in. True murders were to be kicked out of these cities.

Numbers 21:33 In this way you shall not pollute the land where you are, because blood pollutes the land, and the land can't be cleansed of the blood that is shed in it, except by the blood of him that committed the murder.

34 Don't defile, then, the land where you will live, where I live. Because I the I AM live among the children of Israel.


If you take another’s God-given right to life away, you have forfeited your own right to life.


Accidental Death


Exodus 21:13 And if a man doesn't lie in wait, but it's an accident permitted by God, then I will appoint thee a place where he shall flee.

If it was an accident, the murderer can run to a city of refuge where the elders will hear his case and give him shelter if it truly is an accident.

Joshua 20:1-9 Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Say to the people of Israel, ‘Appoint the cities of refuge, which I spoke to you about through Moses, so that the person who accidentally kills someone can run there.

They shall be for you a refuge from the avenger of blood. He shall run to one of these cities and shall stand at the entrance of the gate of the city and explain his case to the leaders of that city.

Then they shall take him into the city and give him a place to stay, and he will stay them. And if the avenger of blood chases him, they shall not give the accidental killer into his hand, because he killed his neighbor unknowingly, and did not hate him in the past. ...

Deuteronomy 19:1-10 “When the I AM your God destroys the nations whose land the I AM your God is giving you, and you replace them and live in their cities and in their houses, you shall set apart three cities for yourselves in the land that the I AM your God is giving you to possess.

"You shall measure the distances and divide into three parts the area of the land that the I AM your God gives you as a possession, so that any accidental killer can flee to them.

“This is the provision for the accidental killer, who by fleeing there may save his life. If anyone kills his neighbor unintentionally without having hated him in the past— like when someone goes into the forest with his neighbor to cut wood, and his hand swings the axe to cut down a tree, and the head of the ax slips from the handle and hits his neighbor so that he dies—he may flee to one of these cities and live,

6 Lest the avenger of the blood chases the killer, while he is angry, and overtake him, because the way is long, and kill him when he did not deserve to die, since he did not hate him in the past.

7 And so I command thee, saying, "Thou shall separate three cities for thee." 

8 And if the I AM thy God make thy country larger like He has promised thy ancestors, and give thee all the land which He promised to give to thy fathers;

9 If thou shall keep all these commandments to do them, which I command thee this day, to love the I AM thy God, and to always walk in His ways, then will thou add three more cities for thee, beside these first three. 

10 So innocent blood isn't shed in thy land, which the I AM thy God gives thee for an inheritance, and you are guilty of murder.

Numbers 35:11-12 Then you shall select cities to be cities of refuge for you, that the accidental iller who kills any person without meaning to may flee there. The cities shall be for you a refuge from the avenger, that the accidental killer may not die until he stands before the congregation for judgment.

13 And of these cities which you shall give six cities shall ye have for refuge.

14 You shall give three cities on this side Jordan, and three cities shall you give in the land of Canaan, which shall be cities of refuge.

15 These six cities shall be a refuge, both for the children of Israel, and for the stranger, and for the immigrant among them, so every one that kills any person accidentally may flee there.

Numbers 35:22-25 “But if he pushed him suddenly without hatred, or threw anything on him without lying in wait or used a stone that could cause death, and without seeing him dropped it on him, so that he died, though he was not his enemy and did not seek his harm, then the congregation shall judge between the accidental killer and the avenger of blood, in accordance with these rules.

And the congregation shall rescue the accidental killer from the hand of the avenger of blood, and the congregation shall restore him to his city of refuge to which he had fled, and he shall live in it until the death of the high priest who was anointed with the holy oil.

26 But if the accidental killer shall at any time go outside the border of the city of his refuge where he fled, 

27 And the revenger of blood find him outside the borders of the city of his refuge, and the revenger of blood kill the accidental killer, he shall not be guilty murder.


If the person who accidentally killed someone ever leaves the City of Refuge, he is in danger of being killed by the near relative of the victim. The Revenger of blood isn't guilty of murder in this case.

This would have been similar to "Life in Prison" in our culture, except the guilty party's family could join him in the city and he could have a normal life of work and such as long as he stayed in the city.


28 Because he should have stayed in the city of his refuge until the death of the high priest. But after the death of the high priest the accidental killer shall return to the land of ancestors.

29 So these things shall be for a law of judgment to you throughout your generations in all your dwellings.


Exodus 21:14 But if a man intentionally plans to kill his neighbor, thou will take him from My altar, that he may die.

But intentional murder deserves the death penalty.