Three Cities of Refuge

More recently, the Christian walk of Will Houghton, a preacher who became the president of Moody Bible Institute during the 1940s, played a large role in the conversion of an agnostic who was contemplating suicide. The skeptic was desperate, but he decided that if he could … More


In this passage we find Moses setting apart three cities of refuge east of the Jordan River,  where anyone who had accidentally killed someone without having any previous hostility could flee for safety. These cities were: Bezer on the wilderness plateau for the tribe of Reuben; Ramoth in Gilead for the tribe of Gad and Golan in Bashan for the tribe of Manasseh.

Moses hands down the law to the Israelites. He sets this law before them as the rule they were to work by, the way they were to walk in. What Moses could do for the people while he was yet with them he did, to give an example to the rulers who were settled that they might observe them the better when he was gone. These include the stipulations, laws, and regulations that Moses gave to the people of Israel when they left Egypt, and as they camped in the valley near Beth-peor east of the Jordan River. This land was formerly occupied by the Amorites under King Sihon of Heshbon. He and his people had been destroyed by Moses and the Israelites as they came up from Egypt. Israel conquered his land and that of King Og of Bashan. These two Amorite kings ruled the land east of the Jordan. So Israel conquered all the area from Aroer at the edge of the Arnon Gorge to Mount Sirion, also called Mount Hermon. And they took the eastern bank of the Jordan Valley as far south as the Dead Sea, below the slopes of Pisgah.


I don’t know how long I have to live on this earth (No one does) but I know it is important how I live and what I teach to those who are younger than I am. Just as Moses wanted to be a good example to those around him I want to be a good example to those around me.

Deuteronomy 4:41-49 (English Standard Version)

Then Moses set apart three cities in the east beyond the Jordan, that the manslayer might flee there, anyone who kills his neighbor unintentionally, without being at enmity with him in time past; he may flee to one of these cities and save his life: Bezer in the wilderness on the tableland for the Reubenites, Ramoth in Gilead for the Gadites, and Golan in Bashan for the Manassites. This is the law that Moses set before the people of Israel. These are the testimonies, the statutes, and the rules, which Moses spoke to the people of Israel when they came out of Egypt, beyond the Jordan in the valley opposite Beth-peor, in the land of Sihon the king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon, whom Moses and the people of Israel defeated when they came out of Egypt. And they took possession of his land and the land of Og, the king of Bashan, the two kings of the Amorites, who lived to the east beyond the Jordan; from Aroer, which is on the edge of the Valley of the Arnon, as far as Mount Sirion (that is, Hermon), together with all the Arabah on the east side of the Jordan as far as the Sea of the Arabah, under the slopes of Pisgah.

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