The question asked in this article’s title is one many people ask when they come to Numbers 35. When it comes to the Avenger of Blood commandments in the Torah, there are two different scenarios. The first is where someone intentionally takes the life of another. In that case, the person is not allowed to flee to one of the six cities of refuge that were scattered among the 48 Levitical cities. He was tried and put to death by the nearest relative of the one murdered, called the Avenger of Blood. The other scenario is where someone accidentally takes the life of another. In that case, the nearest relative has the right to avenge the blood of the one who died by killing the man who killed his relative. But if the man who accidentally took the life makes it to a city of refuge in time he is saved from the Avenger of Blood. Once he arrives, the elders determine his liability through a trial. If he has no liability and the death was a true accident he is not exiled and no one can touch him. He is free. If it is determined that he does have some liability he is exiled to the city of refuge until the high priest of Israel dies. The explanation Judaism gives for this is that no man can actually know to what degree someone is liable for an accident and thus cannot know how long to exile him. So they leave it up to Yahweh to determine when the high priest shall die. That’s the practical and literal definition of the text.
Unfortunately, most believers today do not take sin as seriously as the adversary does. Because of this, the enemy has full reign to terrorize and wreak havoc in their lives and families. The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. And he can only do this when we are in an unrepentant state, outside the city of refuge found at the foot of the cross. So take a lesson from this passage from Numbers 35 and don’t waste time when you sin. Run to the altar as fast as you can and repent before the risen High Priest. Do everything in your power to be in perfect alignment with both your King and your fellow man, loving God and loving your neighbor as yourself. Lastly, thank Yeshua your High Priest for dying so you could be redeemed and set free from an eternity of exile away from His presence.
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