1 When Yahweh thy Elohim hath cut off the nations [Goyim], whose land Yahweh thy Elohim giveth thee, and thou succeedest [dispossess] them, and dwellest in their cities [towns], and in their houses [batim];
One of the objects of Deuteronomy was to remind Israelites of any amendments of the Law already given that would need adjustment when the nation became a settled community in the land. *
2 Thou shalt separate 3 cities [shalosh arim-towns [of refuge Num 35: 6-34] for thee in the midst of thy land, which Yahweh thy Elohim giveth thee to possess it.
Statutes are prefaced by "thou shalt", and "thou shalt not" (e.g. v. 2); whilst Judgments are phrased, "If a man" (e.g. v. 11).
... the three cities on the east have [already] been appointed (Deut. 4:41); and the appointment of the three on the west awaits the conquest of the land by Joshua
(Josh. 20)...three on each side of Jordan. The expression "in the midst of the land", means in ths Land of Canaan proper.
...Each city is to be in a prominent place, as the Gospel is to be prominently displayed before all; and are appointed throughout the land so as to be convenient for any who may need their use, even as the word of faith...
The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach - Rom 10: 8*
3 Thou shalt prepare thee a way [yourselves roads] , and divide the coasts [territory] of thy land, which Yahweh thy Elohim giveth thee to inherit, into three parts, that every slayer may flee thither.
Roads were to be properly constructed so as to give easy access to the Cities of Refuge.
As the appointment of these Cities typed the Gospel, the "way" thereto, foreshadowed the "way of salvation".
...we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec - Heb 6: 18: 20.
The roads had to be carefully maintained foreshadowing that there should also be a
careful inspection of what is taught as the Gospel message
... death itself no matter how it comes, is a negation of the purpose of the living God in creation. Sin in the flesh, or the lusts of the flesh, is a murderer (John 8:44), and to give way to it, or to sow to it, is to court death (Gal. 6:8).
Thus lawlessness, or rejection of Divine Law is a sin unto death (1 John 3:4; 5:16), and one who hates his brother without proper cause is a murderer, for whom there is no City of Refuge (1 John 3:15).
But there are sins not unto death,
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness -. 1 John 1: 9;
And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world 2: 2;
If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. 5:16),
and in the mercy of God most sins are forgiveable
All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven unto men - Matt 12: 31).
To obtain immunity from these killers, believers in the mercy and justice of Yahweh should seek protection in the Christ-City of Refuge
By a new and living way [the way (road) carefully followed], which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh Heb. 10: 20).*
*The Christadelphian Expositor
4 And this is the case of the slayer, which shall flee thither, that he may live: Whoso killeth his neighbour ignorantly, whom he hated not in time past;
5 As when a man goeth into the wood with his neighbour to hew wood, and his hand fetcheth a stroke with the axe to cut down the tree, and the head slippeth from the helve, and lighteth upon his neighbour, that he die; he shall flee unto one of those cities, and live:
6 Lest the avenger of the blood pursue the slayer, while his heart is hot, and overtake him, because the way is long, and slay him; whereas he was not worthy of death, inasmuch as he hated him not in time past.
7 Wherefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt separate three cities for thee.
8 And if Yahweh thy Elohim enlarge thy coast, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers, and give thee all the land which he promised to give unto thy fathers;
9 If thou shalt keep all these commandments to do them, which I command thee this day, to love Yahweh thy Elohim, and to walk ever in his ways; then shalt thou add three cities more for thee, beside these three:
10 That innocent blood be not shed in thy land, which Yahweh thy Elohim giveth thee for an inheritance, and so blood be upon thee.
11 But if any man hate his neighbour, and lie in wait for him, and rise up against him, and smite him mortally that he die, and fleeth into one of these cities:
12 Then the elders of his city shall send and fetch him thence, and deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die.
13 Thine eye shall not pity him, but thou shalt put away the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, that it may go well with thee.
14 Thou shalt not remove thy neighbour's landmark, which they of old time have set in thine inheritance, which thou shalt inherit in the land that Yahweh thy Elohim giveth thee to possess it.
15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.
16 If a false witness rise up against any man to testify against him that which is wrong;
17 Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges, which shall be in those days;
18 And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother;
19 Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the evil away from among you.
20 And those which remain shall hear, and fear, and shall henceforth commit no more any such evil among you.
21 And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.