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;
And they spake unto them at Shiloh in the land of Canaan, saying, The LORD commanded by the hand of Moses to give us cities to dwell in, with the suburbs thereof for our cattle.
And the children of Israel gave unto the Levites out of their inheritance, at the commandment of the LORD, these cities and their suburbs.
unto the Levites
And the lot came out for the families of the Kohathites: and the children of Aaron the priest, which were of the Levites, had by lot out of the tribe of Judah, and out of the tribe of Simeon, and out of the tribe of Benjamin, thirteen cities.
These tribes furnished more habitation to the Levites, in proportion, than any of the other tribes, because they possessed a more extensive inheritance, agreeably to what Moses had commanded (Nu 35:8.) It is worthy of remark, that the principal part of this tribe, whose business was to minister at the sanctuary, which sanctuary was afterwards established at Jerusalem, had their appointment nearest to that city; so that they were always within reach of the sacred work which God had appointed them.
And the rest of the children of Kohath 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, ten cities.
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, and out of the half tribe of Manasseh in Bashan, thirteen cities.
The children of Merari by their families had out of the tribe of Reuben, and out of the tribe of Gad, and out of the tribe of Zebulun, twelve cities.
And the children of Israel gave by lot unto the Levites these cities with their suburbs, as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses.
as the Lord
And they gave out of the tribe of the children of Judah, and out of the tribe of the children of Simeon, these cities which are here mentioned by name,
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.
And they gave them the city of Arba the father of Anak, which city is Hebron, in the hill country of Judah, with the suburbs thereof round about it.
the city of Arba
in the hill
But the fields of the city, and the villages thereof, gave they to Caleb the son of Jephunneh for his possession.
Thus they gave to the children of Aaron the priest Hebron with her suburbs, to be a city of refuge for the slayer; and Libnah with her suburbs,
And Jattir with her suburbs, and Eshtemoa with her suburbs,
Jattir or Jether, according to Eusebius, was situated in the district of Daroma, or the southern part of Judah, 20 miles (south) from Eleutheropolis, towards the city of Malatha.
Eusebius says Eshtemoa, or Esthema, was a great city in the south of Judah, and in the district of Eleutheropolis, north of that city.
And Holon with her suburbs, and Debir with her suburbs,
And Ain with her suburbs, and Juttah with her suburbs, and Bethshemesh with her suburbs; nine cities out of those two tribes.
Juttah. Eusebius says Juttah was a great town 18 miles south from Eleutheropolis.
And out of the tribe of Benjamin, Gibeon with her suburbs, Geba with her suburbs,
Anathoth with her suburbs, and Almon with her suburbs; four cities.
Anathoth was situated about three miles northward from Jerusalem according to Eusebius and Jerome (in Jer ch. 1:20;) or twenty furlongs, according to Josephus. Ant. I. viii. c. 10.
And the families of the children of Kohath, the Levites which remained of the children of Kohath, even they had the cities of their lot out of the tribe of Ephraim.
For they gave them Shechem with her suburbs in mount Ephraim, to be a city of refuge for the slayer; and Gezer with her suburbs,
And Kibzaim with her suburbs, and Bethhoron with her suburbs; four cities.
And out of the tribe of Dan, Eltekeh with her suburbs, Gibbethon with her suburbs,
Probably the Gabatha mentioned by Eusebius and Jerome, as situated in the south of Judah, 12 miles from Eleutheropolis, where the prophet Habakkuk's sepulchre was shown.
Aijalon with her suburbs, Gathrimmon with her suburbs; four cities.
Gathrimmon is said by Jerome to be a great town 10 miles from Diospolis, or Lydda, towards Eleutheropolis.
And out of the half tribe of Manasseh, Tanach with her suburbs, and Gathrimmon with her suburbs; two cities.
And unto the children of Gershon, of the families of the Levites, out of the other half tribe of Manasseh they gave Golan in Bashan with her suburbs, to be a city of refuge for the slayer; and Beeshterah with her suburbs; two cities.
It is very probable that Beesh-terah is a contraction of baith ashtaroth, "the house of Ashtaroth," and the same as Ashtaroth, which is the reading in 1 Ch 6:71.
And out of the tribe of Issachar, Kishon with her suburbs, Dabareh with her suburbs,
Jarmuth with her suburbs, Engannim with her suburbs; four cities.
This seems to be the same city with Remeth, Jos 10:19, 21, and Ramoth, 1 Ch 6:73, mentioned with Engannim.
And out of the tribe of Asher, Mishal with her suburbs, Abdon with her suburbs,
Helkath with her suburbs, and Rehob with her suburbs; four cities.
See the note on Nu 13:21.
And out of the tribe of Naphtali, Kedesh in Galilee with her suburbs, to be a city of refuge for the slayer; and Hammothdor with her suburbs, and Kartan with her suburbs; three cities.
Supposed by many to be the same as Tiberias; so called from the hot-baths, as the word Chammoth may denote, in its vicinity.
Kartan. Supposed to be the same as Kirjathaim.
And unto the families of the children of Merari, the rest of the Levites, out of the tribe of Zebulun, Jokneam with her suburbs, and Kartah with her suburbs,
Dimnah with her suburbs, Nahalal with her suburbs; four cities.
This and the following verse are wholly omitted by the Masora, and many Hebrew Bibles which are esteemed very highly; though, without them, neither the twelve cities of the Merarites in particular (ver. 40,) nor the forty-eight Levitical cities in general (ver. 41), nor the six cities of refuge, can be made up. But these two verses, are thus absolutely necessary for the truth and consistency of this chapter, are happily preserved in no less than 149 MSS. collated by Dr. Kennicott, and upwards of 40 collated by De Rossi.
And out of the tribe of Reuben, Bezer with her suburbs, and Jahazah with her suburbs,
And out of the tribe of Gad, Ramoth in Gilead with her suburbs, to be a city of refuge for the slayer; and Mahanaim with her suburbs,
Heshbon with her suburbs, Jazer with her suburbs; four cities in all.
All the cities of the Levites within the possession of the children of Israel were forty and eight cities with their suburbs.
At the last census, the tribe of Levi amounted only to 23,000 (Nu 36:62); and it is thought by some that forty-eight cities was too great a proportion for this tribe. But it should be considered, that cities in ancient times were little more than villages.
And the LORD gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein.
And the LORD gave them rest round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand.
There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.