Deuteronomy 19:11
But if any man hate his neighbor, and lie in wait for him, and rise up against him, and smite him mortally that he die, and flees into one of these cities:
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19:1-13 Here is the law settled between the blood of the murdered, and the blood of the murderer; provision is made, that the cities of refuge should be a protection, so that a man should not die for that as a crime, which was not his willing act. In Christ, the Lord our Righteousness, refuge is provided for those who by faith flee unto him. But there is no refuge in Jesus Christ for presumptuous sinners, who go on still in their trespasses. Those who flee to Christ from their sins, shall be safe in him, but not those who expect to be sheltered by him in their sins.
Deuteronomy 19:8, 9Provision is here made for the anticipated enlargement of the borders of Israel to the utmost limits promised by God, from the river of Egypt to the Euphrates (Genesis 15:18, note; Exodus 23:31, note). This promise, owing to the sins of the people, did not receive its fulfillment until after David had conquered the Philistines, Syrians, etc.; and this but a transient one, for many of the conquered peoples regained independence on the dissolution of Solomon's empire. 8, 9. And if the Lord thy God enlarge thy coast—Three additional sanctuaries were to be established in the event of their territory extending over the country from Hermon and Gilead to the Euphrates (see Ge 15:18; Ex 23:31). But it was obscurely hinted that this last provision would never be carried into effect, as the Israelites would not fulfil the conditions, namely, "that of keeping the commandments, to love the Lord, and walk ever in his ways." In point of fact, although that region was brought into subjection by David and Solomon, we do not find that cities of refuge were established; because those sovereigns only made the ancient inhabitants tributary, instead of sending a colony of Israelites to possess it. The privilege of sanctuary cities, however, was given only for Israelites; and besides, that conquered territory did not remain long under the power of the Hebrew kings. No text from Poole on this verse. But if any man hate his neighbour,.... Has conceived enmity in his heart against him, bears him a mortal hatred, and has formed a scheme in his mind to take away his life:

and lie in wait for him knowing and expecting he will come by in such a way at such a time:

and rise up against him; out of the place where he lay in wait, just at the time he is passing by:

and smite him mortally that he die; or smite him

in soul or life (z); in such a part where life is in danger, and the consequence of it is that he dies:

and fleeth into one of these cities; for shelter from the avenger of blood.

(z) "anima", Montanus, Vatablus.

But if any man hate his neighbor, 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:
11. But if any man hate his neighbour, etc.] The wilful murderer must not escape through the provision of protection for the innocent slayer.

and lie in wait] Cp. E, Exodus 21:14. For mortally see Deuteronomy 19:6.Verses 11-13. - These cities, however, were not to be places of refuge for murderers, for those who from hatred and with wicked intent had slain others; if such fled to one of these cities, they were not to be suffered to remain there; the elders of their own city were to require them to be delivered up, that the avenger might put them to death (Numbers 35:16-33, etc.). In the earlier legislation, it is enacted that the congregation shall judge in such matters, and that by their decision it should be determined in any case whether the person who had slain another was to be allowed to remain in a city of refuge or be delivered over to the avenger of blood. With this the ordinance here is not inconsistent; the elders were not to act as judges, but merely as magistrates, to apprehend the man and bring him to trial. As Moses had already set apart the cities of refuge for the land on the east of the Jordan (Deuteronomy 4:41.), he is speaking here simply of the land on the west, which Israel was to take possession of before long; and supplements the instructions in Numbers 35:14, with directions to maintain the roads to the cities of refuge which were to be set apart in Canaan itself, and to divide the land into three parts, viz., for the purpose of setting apart these cities, so that one city might be chosen for the purpose in every third of the land. For further remarks on this point, as well as with regard to the use of these cities (Deuteronomy 19:4-7), see at Numbers 35:11. - In Deuteronomy 19:8-10 there follow the fresh instructions, that if the Lord should extend the borders of Israel, according to His promise given to the patriarchs, and should give them the whole land from the Nile to the Euphrates, according to Genesis 15:18, they were to add three other cities of refuge to these three, for the purpose of preventing the shedding of innocent blood. The three new cities of refuge cannot be the three appointed in Numbers 35:14 for the land on this side of the Jordan, nor the three mentioned in Numbers 35:7 on the other side of Jordan, as Knobel and others suppose. Nor can we adopt Hengstenberg's view, that the three new ones are the same as the three mentioned in Deuteronomy 19:2 and Deuteronomy 19:7, since they are expressly distinguished from "these three." The meaning is altogether a different one. The circumstances supposed by Moses never existed, since the Israelites did not fulfil the conditions laid down in Deuteronomy 19:9, viz., that they should keep the law faithfully, and love the Lord their God (cf. Deuteronomy 4:6; Deuteronomy 6:5, etc.). The extension of the power of Israel to the Euphrates under David and Solomon, did not bring the land as far as this river into their actual possession, since the conquered kingdoms of Aram were still inhabited by the Aramaeans, who, though conquered, were only rendered tributary. And the Tyrians and Phoenicians, who belonged to the Canaanitish population, were not even attacked by David.
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