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Cities are allotted to the Levites. i Then came near the heads hand of Moses. of the fathers of the Levites 9 And they gave out of the unto Eleazar the priest, and unto tribe of the children of Judah, Joshua the son of Nun, and unto and out of the tribe of the childthe heads of the fathers of the ren of Simeon, these cities tribes of the children of Israel; which are here mentioned by
2 And they spake unto them name, at Shiloh in the land of Canaan, 10 Which the children of Aasaying, The LORD commanded ron, being of the families of the by the hand of Moses to give us Kohathites, who were of the cities to dwell in, with the sub- children of Levi, had: for their's urbs thereof for our cattle. was the first lot.
3 And the children of Israel 11 And they gave them the gave unto the Levites out of city of Arba the father of Anak, their inheritance, at the com- which city is Hebron, in the hill mandment of the Lord, these country of Judah, with the subcities and their suburbs.
urbs thereof round about it. 4 And the lot came out for the 12 But the fields of the city, families of the Kohathites : and and the villages thereof, gave the children of Aaron the priest, they to Caleb the son of Jewhich were of the Levites, had phunneh for his possession. by lot out of the tribe of Judah, 13 Thus they gave to the and out of the tribe of Simeon, children of Aaron the priest and out of the tribe of Benja- Hebron with her suburbs, to be min, thirteen cities.
a city of refuge for the slayer; 5 And the rest of the children and Libnah with her suburbs, of Kohath had by lot out of the 14 And Jattir with her subfamilies of the tribe of Ephraim, urbs, and Eshtemoa with her and out of the tribe of Dan, and suburbs, out of the half tribe of Manas- 15 And Holon with her subseh, ten cities.
urbs, and Debir with her sub6 And the children of Gershon urbs, had by lot out of the families of 16 And Ain with her suburbs, the tribe of Issachar, and out of and Juttah with her suburbs, the tribe of Asher, and out of and Beth-shemesh with her subthe tribe of Naphtali, and out of urbs; nine cities out of those the half tribe of Manasseh in two tribes. Bashan, thirteen cities.
17 And out of the tribe of Ben7 The children of Merari by jamin, Gibeon with her suburbs, their families had out of the Geba with her suburbs, tribe of Reuben, and out of the 18 Anathoth with her suburbs, tribe of Gad, and out of the tribe and Almon with her suburbs; of Zebulun, twelve cities. four cities.
8 And the children of Israel 19 All the cities of the chilgave by lot unto the Levites dren of Aaron, the priests, were these cities with their suburbs, thirteen cities with their subas the Lord commanded by the urbs.
The excellency of all that God doeth. The cities given to the families of the tribe of Levi were so arranged, as to distribute this tribe throughout all parts of the land; it being designed that they should not only minister in their turn at the religious ceremonies of the tabernacle, but also should be helpful to their brethren, in keeping charge of the Law, and in explaining it as interpreters, see Lev. 10. 11, and also in enforcing it as magistrates. See Deut. 17.9. Their cities were to be centres from which the light of knowledge, and the kind offices of humanity, and the sound principles of due subordination, might be spread abroad in the surrounding
neighbourhood. This is indeed no uncommon case with the dwellings of the clergy in our highly favoured land. And happy is it both for the minister and the people, when he who has to preach the tidings of another life, is found also to be a friend and benefactor in the things of this present world. We know that our Lord Himself went about doing good, not only to the souls, but also to the bodies, of those whom He visited when on earth. And on the strength of his example, as well as out of regard to those duties which the Levites discharged amongst the rest of the tribes, we may assuredly be thankful, when those who preach the glad tidings of salvation, are at the same time able to promote the temporal comforts and advantages of the people committed to their charge.
It is remarkable that in the allotment of these cities to the tribe of Levi, those which fell to the children of Aaron were all within the borders of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin; and were therefore nigh at hand to Jerusalem, the place which God would finally choose, to put his name there. The residence of the priests in these cities might appear to be inconvenient, whilst the tabernacle was pitched at Shiloh, in the tribe of Ephraim. But when it was moved to the hill of Sion, and there the temple built immoveably, then it would be evident, that God foresees the end from the beginning; then it would be proved, that whatsoever He ordains is always for the best. How many of his dispensations seem now open to objections, merely for want of our knowing what is known to Him? 'How foolish is it in man, to object, or doubt, or pretend to judge at all of the dealings of One, so great, so wise, so good, as God! We must wait to see the end, before we can understand the purpose and advantage of many things, which we know to be his doing. But we need not wait for the end, in any instance, to feel assured, that the purpose is wise, and the advantage great, and that the good compassed is the utmost that the case admits of. Happy they who are accustomed thus to think of all the dealings of God in his providence, and of all his revelations in his word! Happy they who are accustomed thus to find it, by their own experience, that all things, as ordered by the Lord of all, are working together for their good!
PART III. 0. T.
Cities are allotted to the rest of the tribe of Levi. 20 And the families of the chil- and Rehob with her suburbs; dren of Kohath, the Levites four cities. which remained of the children of 32 And out of the tribe of Kohath, even they had the cities Naphtali, Kedesh in Galilee of their lot out of the tribe of with her suburbs, to be a city of Ephraim.
refuge for the slayer; and Ham21 For they gave them She- moth-dor with her suburbs, and chem with her suburbs in mount Kartan with her suburbs; three Ephraim, to be a city of refuge cities. for the slayer; and Gezer with 33 All the cities of the Gershoher suburbs,
nites according to their families 22 And Kibzaim with her sub- were thirteen cities with their urbs, and Beth-horon with her suburbs. suburbs; four cities.
34 And unto the families of the 23 And out of the tribe of Dan, children of Merari, the rest of the Eltekeh with her suburbs, Gib- Levites, out of the tribe of Zebubethon with her suburbs, lun, Jokneam with her suburbs, 24 Aijalon with her suburbs, and Kartah with her suburbs, Gath-rimmon with her suburbs; 35 Dimnah with her suburbs, four cities.
Nahalal with her suburbs; four 25 And out of the half tribe of cities. Manasseh, Tanach with her sub- 36 And out of the tribe of Reuurbs, and Gath-rimmon with her ben, Bezer with her suburbs, suburbs; two cities.
and Jahazah with her suburbs, 26 All the cities were ten with 37 Kedemoth with her suburbs, their suburbs for the families of and Mephaath with her suburbs; the children of Kohath that re- four cities. mained.
38 And out of the tribe of Gad, 27 And unto the children of Ramoth in Gilead with her subGershon, of the families of the urbs, to be a city of refuge for the Levites, out of the other half slayer; and Mahanaim with her tribe of Manasseh they gave Go- suburbs, lan in Bashan with her suburbs, 39 Heshbon with her suburbs, to be a city of refuge for the Jazer with her suburbs; four slayer; and Beesh-terah with cities in all. her suburbs; two cities.
40 So all the cities for the chil28 And out of the tribe of Is- dren of Merari by their families, sachar, Kishon with her suburbs, which were remaining of the Dabareh with her suburbs, families of the Levites, were by
29 Jarmuth with her suburbs, their lot twelve cities. En-gannim with her suburbs; 41 All the cities of the Levites four cities.
within the possession of the chil30 And out of the tribe of Asher, dren of Israel were forty and Mishal with her suburbs, Abdon eight cities with their suburbs. with her suburbs,
42 These cities were every one 31 Helkath with her suburbs, with their suburbs round about them: thus were all these cities. and there stood not a man of all
43 And the LORD gave unto Is- their enemies before them; the rael all the land which he sware to LORD delivered all their enegive unto their fathers; and they mies into their hand. possessed it, and dwelt therein. 45 There failed not ought of
44 And the Lord gave them any good thing which the Lord rest round about, according to all had spoken unto the house of that he sware unto their fathers : Israel; all came to pass.
LECTURE 398. That God abundantly fulfils his promises. By a comparison of this chapter with the last, it will be seen that the six cities of refuge, three on either side Jordan, were all included in the eight and forty cities given by lot to the priests and Levites. This may lead us to reflect upon the merciful provision which God here made, for the due instruction, and faithful admonition, of such as were likely to fly to these places of asylum. There whilst they waited for the judgment of the congregation, or for the death of the high priest, they would have the constant benefit of counsel, correction, and instruction in righteousness. We may thank God that this is a subject now by no means overlooked in the treatment of those unhappy persons, in our own country, who either as prisoners for trial, or as criminals for punishment, are confined within the walls of our prisons. We may pray God to bless the efforts made, and the means used, for awakening, converting, and confirming in repentance, these miserable outcasts of society. And if we seldom or never enjoy an opportunity of literally fulfilling our Saviour's words, “ I was in prison, and ye came unto me,” Matt. 25. 36, we may have the satisfaction of reflecting, that we have done what we can, by visiting the prisoners with our prayers.
And now let us observe, at the conclusion of the allotment of the land, how broadly it is stated, that “the Lord gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers, and they possessed it, and dwelt therein. And again, that “there failed not ought of any good thing which the Lord had spoken anto the house of Israel; all came to pass.” Let us observe that this is said whilst the Canaanite was still remaining in many parts of the land. And let us remember for our own instruction, that God considers all his promises fulfilled, when He has done on his part all that is needful towards their entire and ample fulfilment. In whatsoever the Israelites afterwards fell short, the fault was all their own. In whatever part of the world the heathen still remain, wheresoever the Gospel is still unknown or unbelieved, the fault is all the fault of man. God has given to his Son all the earth for his possession. Christ has given to his church the commission to teach and to baptize all nations. Except that man has not done bis part, all has come to pass. Except that we have not had faith, and zeal, and perseverance, except that we have not had the heart to evangelize the world, all has come to pass.
The two tribes and a half, as they return, build an altar. i Then Joshua called the Reu- iron, and with very much raibenites, and the Gadites, and ment: divide the spoil of your the half tribe of Manasseh, enemies with your brethren.
2 And said unto them, Ye have 9 And the children of Reuben kept all that Moses the servant and the children of Gad and the of the Lord commanded you, half tribe of Manasseh returned, and have obeyed my voice in all and departed from the children that I commanded you:
of Israel out of Shiloh, which is 3 Ye have not left your brethren in the land of Canaan, to go unto these many days unto this day, the country of Gilead, to the but have kept the charge of the land of their possession, whereof commandment of the Lord your they were possessed, according God.
to the word of the Lord by the 4 And now the LORD your God hand of Moses. hath given rest unto your bre- 10 And when they came unto thren, as he promised them: the borders of Jordan, that are in therefore now return ye, and get the land of Canaan, the children you unto your tents, and unto the of Reuben and the children of land of your possession, which Gad and the half tribe of MaMoses the servant of the LORD nasseh built there an altar by gave you on the other side Jordan. Jordan, a great altar to see to.
5 But take diligent heed to do 11 And the children of Israel the commandment and the law, heard say, Behold, the children which Moses the servant of the of Reuben and the children of Lord charged you, to love the Gad and the half tribe of MaLORD your God, and to walk in nasseh have built an altar over all his ways, and to keep his com- against the land of Canaan, in mandments, and to cleave unto the borders of Jordan, at the him, and to serve him with all passage of the children of Israel. your heart and with all your soul. 12 And when the children of
6 So Joshua blessed them, and Israel heard of it, the whole consent them away: and they went gregation of the children of Isunto their tents.
rael gathered themselves to7 Now to the one half of the gether at Shiloh, to go up to war tribe of Manasseh Moses had against them. given possession in Bashan : but 13 And the children of Israel unto the other half thereof gave sent unto the children of Reuben, Joshua among their brethren on and to the children of Gad, and this side Jordan westward. And to the half tribe of Manasseh, when Joshua sent them away also into the land of Gilead, Phinehas unto their tents, then he blessed the son of Eleazar the priest, them,
14 And with him ten princes, 8 And he spake unto them, say- of each chief house a prince ing, Return with much riches throughout all the tribes of Isunto your tents, and with very rael; and each one was an head much cattle, with silver, and with of the house of their fathers gold, and with brass, and with among the thousands of Israel.