25 April 2017

Cities of Refuge

Cities of Refuge
Text: Deuteronomy 4

Rev. Dr. Charles Tan

Message Notes


1. The concept

Numbers 35:9-34
a) Unheard of before
b) Special provision
c) Cities to be especially built   (Numbers 35:11)
d) Six cities of refuge to be built   (Numbers 35:13)
i) Three cities this side of Jordan
ii) Three cities in Canaan itself   (Numbers 35:14)
e) The beneficiaries   (Numbers 35:15)
i) The stranger
ii) The sojourner
iii) Citizen

2. Significance

a) For the “accidental manslayer”   (Numbers 35:11)
b) Protection from the avenger   (Numbers 35:12)
c) Till the accused is given a fair trial   (Numbers 35:12)
d) Reveals the mercy of God

3.The murderer

a) He is to be put to death   (Numbers 35:16)
i) With Weapons (Iron, stone, wood)   (Numbers 35:17-18)
ii) Without Weapons
iii) Motive to be established (e.g. Out of hatred)   (Numbers 35:20)
iv) Death penalty   (Numbers 35:17-18)
b) The avenger will be allowed to execute the murderer   (Numbers 35:19, 21)

4. Accidental manslayer

a) Without enmity   (Numbers 35:22)
b) Not seeking his enemy   (Numbers 35:23)
c) Not lying in wait   (Numbers 35:23)
d) Not seeking to harm   (Numbers 35:23)

5. The congregation shall judge

a) Jury   (Numbers 35:24)
b) To decide   (Numbers 35:25)
c) Testimony of witnesses   (Numbers 35:30)

6. Acquitted

a) To be escorted to the city of refuge   (Numbers 35:25)
b) To remain there till the death of the high priest   (Numbers 35:25)

7. Outside of the city of refuge

a) The manslayer may be killed   (Numbers 35:26)
b) The avenger of blood would not be guilty   (Numbers 35:27)

8. A statute of judgment

a) Added to the Ten Commandments   (Numbers 35:29)
b) Application of the Law

9. No ransom for the murderer   (Numbers 35:32)

a) Blood defiles the land   (Numbers 35:33)
b) The land cannot be defiled because of God’s Presence   (Numbers 35:34)

10. Fulfilling this plan for the Cities of Refuge

a) Cities to be set apart   (Deuteronomy 4:41)
b) Cities named   (Deuteronomy 4:43)
c) This side of Jordan (Not in Canaan)
i) Bezer in the wilderness for the Reubenites
ii) Ramoth in Gilead for the Gadites
iii) Golan in Bashan for the Manassites
d) These three tribes chose to stay here rather than in Canaan itself