XXI. (120) The sacred law says that the man, who has been killed without any intention that he should be so on the part of him who killed him, has been given up by God into the hands of his slayers; {8}{#ex 21:13.} in this way designing to make an excuse for the man who appears to have slain him as if he had slain a guilty person. (121) For the merciful and forgiving God can never be supposed to have given up any innocent person to be put to death; but whoever ingeniously escapes the judgment of a human tribunal by means of his own cunning and wariness, he is convicted when brought before the invisible tribunal of nature, by which alone the uncorrupted truth is discerned without being kept in the dark by the artifices of sophistical arguments. For such an investigation does not admit of arguments at all, laying bare all devices and intentions, and bringing the most secret counsels to light; and, in one sense, it does not look upon a man who has slain another as liable to justice, inasmuch as he has only sinned to be the minister of a divine judgment, but still he will have incurred an obscure and slight kind of defilement, which, however, may obtain allowance and pardon. (122) For God employs those who commit slight and remedial errors against those who have perpetrated enormous and unpardonable crimes as ministers of punishment; not, indeed, that he approves of them, but that he avails himself of them as suitable instruments of punishment, so that no one who is himself pure in his whole life and descended from virtuous parents may have homicide imputed to him, even if he be the greatest man in the world. (123) Therefore, the law has pronounced the sentence of banishment upon him who has slain a man, yet not of banishment any where, nor for ever; for it has assigned six cities, {9}{#nu 35:1.} one fourth portion of what the whole sacred tribe received as its inheritance, for those who were convicted of homicide; which, from the circumstances connected with them, it has named cities of refuge. And it fixed the time of this banishment as the length of the life of the high priest, permitting the exiles to return home after his death.