Verse 7. And they appointed - Concerning these cities note,
1. That they were all upon mountains, that they might be seen at a great distance, and so direct those who fled thither.
2. That they were seated at convenient distance one from another, for the benefit of the several tribes; for Kedesh was in the north, Hebron in the south, and Shechem between them.
3. That they all belonged to the Levites; partly that these causes might be more impartially examined, and justly determined by them who are presumed best able to understand the law of God, and most obliged to follow it and not to be biass'd by any affection or corrupt interest, and partly, that their reputation with the people, and their good counsels, might lay a restraint upon revengeful persons, who might be inclined to follow the man- slayer thither, and endeavour to kill him there. It was likewise an advantage to the poor refugee, that when he might not go up to the house of the Lord, yet he had the servants of God's house with him, to instruct him, and pray for him, and help to make up the want of public ordinances.
Verse 8. They assigned - Or, had assigned or given; for they were given by Moses, Deut. iv, 41, &c. or, they applied them to that use to which Moses designed them.
Verse 9. The stranger - Not only proselytes, but others also; because this was a matter of common right, that a distinction might be made between casual man-slayers, and wilful murderers.