Joshua chose in the land six cities, three on one side of the river Jordan, and three on the other side. All of these were wellknown places and easy to find. Most of them were on moun¨tains, and could be seen far away. They were so chosen that from almost any part of the land a man could reach one of these cities in a day, or at the most in two days. These cities were called "Cities of Refuge," because in them a man who had killed another, by mistake could find refuge from the avenger of blood. When a man killed another by accident, wherever he was, he ran as quickly as possible to the nearest of these cities of refuge. The avenger of blood followed him, and might perhaps overtake him and kill him before he reached the city. But almost always the man, having some start before his enemy, would get to the city of refuge first. There the elders of the city looked into the case. They learned all the facts; and if the man was really guilty, and deserved to die, they gave him up to be killed by the avenger. But if he was innocent, and did not mean to kill the man who was dead, they forbade the avenger to touch him, and kept him in safety. A line was drawn around the city, at a distance from the wall, within which line the avenger could not come to do the man harm; and within this line were fields, where the man could work and raise crops, so that he could have food.
And there at the city of refuge the innocent man who had killed another without meaning to kill, lived until the high priest died. After the high priest died, and another high priest took his place, the man could go back to his own home and live in peace. These were the cities of refugein the land of Israel: On thenorth, Kedesh in the tribe of Naphtali; in the center,Shechem, at the foot of Mount Gerizim, in the tribe of Ephraim; and on the south, Hebron, Calebís city, in the tribe of Judah. These were among the mountains, on the west of the river Jordan. On the east of the river Jordan, the cities were Golan in Manasseh, Ramoth of Gilead in the tribe of Gad, and Bezer in the highlands of the tribe of Reuben. This law taught the Israelites to be patient, and to control themselves, to protect the innocent, and to seek for justice, and not to yield to sudden anger. Among the tribes there was one which had no land given to it in one place. This was the tribe of Levi, to which Moses. and. Aaron belonged. The men of this tribe were priests, who offered the sacrifices, and Levites, who cared for the Tabernacle and its worship. Moses and J5shua did not think it well to have all the Levites living in one part of the country, so he gave them cities, and in some places the fields around the cities, in many parts of the land. From these places they went up to the Tabernacle to serve, each for a certain part of the year; and the rest of the year stayed in their homes and cared for their fields. When the war was over, and the land was divided, Joshua fixed the Tabernacle at a place called Shiloh, not far from the center of the land, so that from all the tribes the people could come up at least once a year for worship. They were told to come from their homes three times in each year, and to worship the Lord at Shiloh. These three times were for the feast of the Passover in the spring, when the lamb was killed, and roasted, and eaten with unleavened bread; the feast of the Tabernacles in the fall, when for a week they slept out of doors in huts made of twigs and boughs, to keep in mind their life in the wilderness; and the feast of Pentecost, fifty days after the Passover, when they laid on the altar the first ripe fruits from the fields. All these three great feasts were kept at the place of the altar and the Tabernacle. And at Shiloh, before, the Tabernacle, they placed the altar, on which the offerings were laid twice every day. God had kept his promise, and had brought the Israelites into a land which was their own, and had given them rest from all their enemies.