Articles

Quick thought on violence

In Uncategorized on October 11, 2012 by mstevensrev Tagged: , ,

My time is not spent in the news outside of Wait, Wait Don’t Tell me on NPR and The Daily Show.  Thomas Jefferson’s said, “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”  This is interesting because I read that he did not read the newspaper but preferred to get his news from people who did, this is a practice I have adopted in my life.

The primary reason I refrain from reading the news religiously is because of the coverage of violence.  In no way to I advocate that everyone should do this simply because who would I talk with to find out the news;)  This morning while reading through the Old Testament I realized that violence in the culture must have been a major issue of God’s people too.  There are many passages about “The Cities of Refuge”, more than I would expect.  Either murder was so prevalent over a such a long period of time in Israel’s culture that it must have looked more like Oakland, Washington D.C., or New Orleans rather than Seattle, or the violence and murder in the culture was of great concern to God’s people.  So great that there are many passages laying out how violent offenders are to be dealt with in the “Cities of Refuge”.

A quick and dirty search on the ESV website provides the passages related to the City of Refuge:

  • Numbers 35:25  (Numbers 35)

    And the congregation shall rescue the manslayer 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.

  • Numbers 35:26  (Numbers 35)

    But if the manslayer shall at any time go beyond the boundaries of his city of refuge to which he fled,

  • Numbers 35:27  (Numbers 35)

    and the avenger of blood finds him outside the boundaries of his city of refuge, and the avenger of blood kills the manslayer, he shall not be guilty of blood.

  • Numbers 35:28  (Numbers 35)

    For he must remain in his city of refuge until the death of the high priest, but after the death of the high priest the manslayer may return to the land of his possession.

  • Numbers 35:32  (Numbers 35)

    And you shall accept no ransom for him who has fled to his city of refuge, that he may return to dwell in the land before the death of the high priest.

  • Joshua 21:13  (Joshua 21)

    And to the descendants of Aaron the priest they gave Hebron, the city of refuge for the manslayer, with its pasturelands, Libnah with its pasturelands,

  • Joshua 21:21  (Joshua 21)

    To them were given Shechem, the city of refuge for the manslayer, with its pasturelands in the hill country of Ephraim, Gezer with its pasturelands,

  • Joshua 21:27  (Joshua 21)

    And to the Gershonites, one of the clans of the Levites, were given out of the half-tribe of Manasseh, Golan in Bashan with its pasturelands, the city of refuge for the manslayer, and Beeshterah with its pasturelands—two cities;

  • Joshua 21:32  (Joshua 21)

    and out of the tribe of Naphtali, Kedesh in Galilee with its pasturelands, the city of refuge for the manslayer, Hammoth-dor with its pasturelands, and Kartan with its pasturelands—three cities.

  • Joshua 21:38  (Joshua 21)

    and out of the tribe of Gad, Ramoth in Gilead with its pasturelands, the city of refuge for the manslayer, Mahanaim with its pasturelands,

 

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