JOSHUA CHAPTER 21.

The Cities of the Levites.

the allotment in general. V. 1. Then came near the heads of the fathers of the Levites unto Eleazar, the priest, and unto Joshua, the son of Nun, and unto the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel; v. 2. and they spake unto them at Shiloh, in the land of Canaan, where the division of the land had taken place, this city being the capital of the tribes, saying, The Lord commanded by the hand of Moses to give us cities to dwell in, with the suburbs, meadow-lands, thereof for our cattle, Num. 35, 2-6. The Levites had not deemed it opportune to urge their claims before, mainly because they knew that they would receive these cities for their habitation only after the other tribes had been given their inheritance. V. 3. And the children of Israel gave unto the Levites out of their inheritance, at the commandment of the Lord, these cities and their suburbs, as listed in this catalog, in the present chapter. V. 4. And the lot came out for the families of the Kohathites, descendants of the second son of Levi, the families of whose three sons, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel, together with the descendants of Moses, formed the division of the Kohathite Levites, while the descendants of Aaron were vested with the priesthood. Note that the cities were selected by the Israelites themselves, but that the Lord decided, by directing the drawing of the lots, which of these cities each particular family should have. And the children of Aaron, the priest, which were of the Levites, descendants of Levi, had by lot out of the tribe of Judah and out of the tribe of Simeon and out of the tribe of Benjamin, all in Southern Canaan, thirteen cities. So it was even at this time that the Lord arranged to settle the priests in the cities near the place where He intended to have the permanent Sanctuary. There is never an element of chance in His government of the world and of His Church. V. 5. And the rest of the children of Kohath, who were Levites only, had by lot out of the families of the tribe of Ephraim and out of the tribe of Dan and out of the half tribe of Manasseh, all in Central Canaan, ten cities. V. 6. And the children of Gershon had by lot out of the families of the tribe of Issachar and out of the tribe of Asher and out of the tribe of Naphtali, in Northern Canaan, and out of the half tribe of Manasseh in Bashan, in the northern section of the territory east of Jordan, thirteen cities. V. 7. The children of Merari by their families had out of the tribe of Reuben and out of the tribe of Gad, in the southern section east of Jordan, and out of the tribe of Zebulun, this one portion of Northern Canaan, twelve cities. V. 8. And the children of Israel gave by lot unto the Levites these cities with their suburbs, their pasture- or meadow-lands, as the Lord commanded by the hand of Moses. While provision was here made also for the future, it should be noted that the priests and Levites did not occupy these cities alone, but other people lived there as well. It was merely that they were sure of a place to live, and that they, by living in the very midst of the people, should serve as an example to the entire nation.

the cities of the priests. V. 9. And they gave out of the tribe of the children of Judah and out of the tribe of the children of Simeon, out of the possessions allotted to these tribes, these cities which are here mentioned by name, v. 10. which the children of Aaron, being of the families of the Kohathites, who were of the children of Levi, had; for theirs was the first lot. V. 11. And they gave them the city of Arba, the father of Anak, chap. 15, 13. 14, which city is Hebron, in the hill country of Judah, with the suburbs thereof found about it, the grazing-land for cattle immediately adjoining the city. V. 12. But the fields of the city, the farm-land, and the villages thereof, the towns tributary to it, gave they to Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, for his possession, chap. 14, 12-14. V. 13. Thus they gave to the children of Aaron, the priest, Hebron with her suburbs, to be a city of refuge for the slayer, for this it was at the same time, chap. 20, 7; and Libnah with her suburbs, v. 14. and Jattir with her suburbs, and Eshtemoa with her suburbs, v. 15. and Holon with her suburbs, and Debir with her suburbs, v. 16. and Ain with her suburbs, and Juttah with her suburbs, and Beth-shemesh with her suburbs: nine cities out of those two tribes, all of them being mentioned in the catalog of the cities of Judah and of Simeon, chap. 15, 21-62; 19, 7. V. 17. And out of the tribe of Benjamin, Gibeon with her suburbs, a fact which tended to curb any idolatrous notions of its heathen inhabitants, chap. 9, Geba with her suburbs, v. 18. Anathoth with her suburbs, and Almon with her suburbs, chap. 18, 24. 25; 1 Chron. 6, 60: four cities. V. 19. All the cities of the children of Aaron, the priests, were thirteen cities with their suburbs. Thus the men in charge of the worship in the Jewish Church were provided for with all that they needed to support their body and life, even as it is the will of the Lord to-day that they who preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel.

the cities of the kohathites, the gershonites, and the merabites. V. 20. And the families of the children of Kohath, the descendants of Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel, and of Moses, the Levites which remained of the children of Kohath, namely, after the priests, the children of Aaron, had received their allotment, even they had the cities of their lot out of the tribe of Ephraim. V. 21. For they gave them, the Levites, Shechem with her suburbs in Mount Ephraim, to be a city of refuge for the slayer, chap. 20, 7; and Gezer with her suburbs, v. 22. and Kibzaim with her suburbs, and Beth-horon with her suburbs: four cities. V. 23. And out of the tribe of Dan, El-tekeh with her suburbs, Gibbe-thon with her suburbs, v. 24. Aijalon with her suburbs, Gath-rimmon with her suburbs, chap. 19, 42-15; four cities. V. 25. And out of the half tribe of Manasseh, west of Jordan, Tanach with her suburbs, and Gath-rimmon, or, Bileam (Ibleam), with her suburbs, chap. 17,11: two cities. V.26. All the cities were ten with their suburbs, their meadow-lands, for the families of the children of Kohath that remained. V. 27. And unto the children of Gershon, of the families of the Levites, out of the other half tribe of Manasseh, east of Jordan, they gave Golan in Bashan with her suburbs, to be a city of refuge for the slayer, chap. 20, 8; and Beesh-terah with her suburbs: two cities. V. 28. And out of the tribe of Issachar, Kishon with her suburbs, Dabareh with her suburbs, v. 29. Jarmuth with her suburbs, En-gan-nim with her suburbs, chap. 19, 12-21: four cities. V. 30. And out of the tribe of Asher, Mishal with her suburbs, Abdon with her suburbs, v.31. Helkath with her suburbs, and Rehob with her suburbs, chap. 19, 25-28: four cities. V. 32. And out of the tribe of Naphtali, Kedesh in Galilee with her suburbs, to be a city of refuge for the slayer, chap. 20, 7; and Hammoth-dor with her suburbs, and Kartan with her suburbs, chap. 19, 35-37: three cities. V. 33. All the cities of the Gershonites according to their families were thirteen cities with their suburbs. V. 34. And unto the families of the children of Merari, the rest of the Levites, the last family to be supplied, out of the tribe of Zebulun, Jokneam with her suburbs and Kartah with her suburbs, v. 35. Dimnah, or Rimmono, with her suburbs, Nahalal, or Tabor, with her suburbs, chap. 19,11-15: four cities. V. 36. And out of the tribe of Reuben, Bezer, with her suburbs, and Jahazah with her suburbs, v. 37. Kedemoth with her suburbs, and Mephaath with her suburbs, chap. 20, 8; 13, 18; Deut. 4, 43: four cities. V. 38. And out of the tribe of Gad, in Southern Gilead, Ramoth in Gilead with her suburbs, to be a city of refuge for the slayer; and Mahanaim with her suburbs, v. 39. Heshbon with her suburbs, Jazer with her suburbs, chap. 20, 8; 13,17-26: four cities in all. V. 40. So all the cities for the children of Merari by their families, which were remaining of the families of the Levites, were by their lot twelve cities. V. 41. All the cities of the Levites within the possession of the children of Israel were forty and eight cities with their suburbs, including the six cities set apart as cities of refuge. V. 42. These cities were every one with their suburbs round about them, the meadow-land was distinctly included for the perpetual use of the Levites; thus were all these cities. V. 43. And the Lord, by this distribution of the country, gave unto Israel all the land which He sware to give unto their fathers, Gen. 12, 7; 15, 18; Num. 11,12; Deut.21, 12; and they possessed it and dwelt therein. V. 44. And the Lord gave them rest round about, all the heathen nations being subdued for the time being, according to all that He sware unto their fathers; and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them, not one was able to offer a successful resistance; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand. Although not entirely subjugated, the enemies were in a condition where they dared no enterprise against the Israelites while Joshua lived. V. 45. There failed not aught of any good thing which the Lord had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass. God is always faithful in His promises, but we, through unbelief and indifference, stand in His way. Perfection, true happiness, lasting joy, will be ours in the rest of yonder life, Heb. 4.