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1 Then came neere the heads of the fathers of the Leuites vnto Eleazar the Priest, and vnto Ioshua the sonne of Nun, and vnto the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel.

2 And they spake vnto them at Shiloh in the land of Canaan, saying, The Lord commaunded by the hand of Moses, to giue vs Cities to dwell in, with the suburbs thereof for our cattell.

3 And the children of Israel gaue vnto the Leuites out of their inheritance at the commandement of the Lord, these cities and their suburbs.

4 And the lot came out for the families of the Kohathites: and the children of Aaron the Priest, which were of the Leuites, had by lot out of the tribe of Iudah, and out of the tribe of Simeon, and out of the tribe of Beniamin, thirteene cities.

5 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 halfe tribe of Manasseh, ten cities.

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, and out of the halfe tribe of Manasseh in Bashan, thirteene cities.

7 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, twelue cities.

8 And the children of Israel gaue by lot vnto the Leuites these cities with their suburbs, as the Lord commanded by the hand of Moses.

9 And they gaue out of the tribe of the children of Iudah, and out of the tribe of the children of Simeon, these cities which are here mentioned by name,

10 Which the children of Aaron being of the families of the Kohathites, who were of the children of Leui, had: (for theirs was the first lot.)

11 And they gaue them the citie of Arbah the father of Anak (which citie is Hebron) in the hill countrey of Iudah, with þe suburbs thereof round about it.

12 But the fields of the citie, and the villages thereof, gaue they to Caleb the sonne of Iephunneh, for his possession.

13 Thus they gaue to the children of Aaron the Priest Hebron with her suburbs to bee a citie of refuge for the slayer, and Libnah with her suburbs,

14 And Iattir with her suburbs, and Eshtemoa with her suburbs:

15 And Holon with her suburbs, and Debir with her suburbs:

16 And Ain with her suburbs, and Iuttah with her suburbs, and Bethshemesh with her suburbs, nine cities out of those two tribes.

17 And out of the tribe of Beniamin, Gibeon with her suburbs, Geba with her suburbs,

18 Anathoth with her suburbs, and Almon with her suburbs, foure cities.

19 All the cities of the children of Aaron the Priests, were thirteene cities with their suburbs.

20 And the families of the children of Kohath the Leuites, which remained of the children of Kohath, euen they had the cities of their lot out of the tribe of Ephraim.

21 For they gaue them Shechem with her suburbs in mount Ephraim, to be a citie of refuge for the slayer: and Gezer with her suburbs,

22 And Kibzaim with her suburbs, and Beth-horon with her suburbs, foure cities.

23 And out of the tribe of Dan, Eltekeh with her suburbs, Gibethon with her suburbs,

24 Aijalon with her suburbs, Gathrimmon, with her suburbs: foure cities.

25 And out of the halfe tribe of Manasseh, Tanach with her suburbs, and Gathrimmon with her suburbs, two cities.

26 All the cities were ten with their suburbs, for the families of the children of Kohath that remained.

27 And vnto the children of Gershon of the families of the Leuites, out of the other halfe tribe of Manasseh, they gaue Golan in Bashan, with her suburbs, to be a citie of refuge for the slayer: and Beeshterah with her suburbs, two cities.

28 And out of the tribe of Issachar, Kishon with her suburbs, Dabareh with her suburbs,

29 Iarmuth with her suburbs, Engannim with her suburbs, foure cities.

30 And out of the tribe of Asher Mishal with her suburbs, Abdon with her suburbs,

31 Helkah with her suburbs, and Rehob with her suburbs, foure cities.

32 And out of the tribe of Naphtali, Kedesh in Galilee with her suburbs, to be a citie of refuge for the slayer, and Hammoth-dor with her suburbs, and Kartan with her suburbs, three cities.

33 All the cities of the Gershonites according to their families were thirteen cities with their suburbs.

34 And vnto the families of the children of Merari the rest of the Leuites, out of the tribe of Zebulun, Iokneam, with her suburbs, and Kartah with her suburbs,

35 Dimnah with her suburbs, Nahalal with her suburbs, foure cities.

36 And out of the tribe of Reuben, Bezer with her suburbs, and Iahazah with her suburbs,

37 Kedemoth with her suburbs, and Mephaath with her suburbs, foure cities.

38 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,

39 Heshbon with her suburbs, Iazer with her suburbs, foure cities in all.

40 So all the cities for the children of Merari by their families, which were remayning of the families of the Leuites, were by their lot, twelue cities.

41 All the cities of the Leuites within the possession of the children of Israel, were fourty and eight cities, with their suburbs.

42 These cities were euery one with their suburbs round about them: thus were all these cities.

43 And the Lord gaue vnto Israel all the land which hee sware to giue vnto their fathers: and they possessed it, and dwelt therein.

44 And the Lord gaue them rest round about, according to all that he sware vnto their fathers, and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them: the Lord deliuered all their enemies into their hand.

45 There failed not ought of any good thing which the Lord had spoken vnto the house of Israel: all came to passe.

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Commentary for Joshua 21

Cities for the Levites. (1-8) The cities allotted to the Levites. (9-42) God gave the land and rest to the Israelites, according to his promise. (43-45)1-8 The Levites waited till the other tribes were provided for, before they preferred their claim to Joshua. They build their claim upon a very good foundation; not their own merits or services, but the Divine precept. The maintenance of ministers is not a thing left merely to the will of the people, that they may let them starve if they please; they which preach the gospel should live by the gospel, and should live comfortably.

9-42 By mixing the Levites with the other tribes, they were made to see that the eyes of all Israel were upon them, and therefore it was their concern to walk so that their ministry might not be blamed. Every tribe had its share of Levites' cities. Thus did God graciously provide for keeping up religion among them, and that they might have the word in all parts of the land. Yet, blessed be God, we have the gospel more diffused amongst us.

43-45 God promised to give to the seed of Abraham the land of Canaan for a possession, and now they possessed it, and dwelt therein. And the promise of the heavenly Canaan is as sure to all God's spiritual Israel; for it is the promise of Him that cannot lie. There stood not a man before them. The after-prevalence of the Canaanites was the effect of Israel's slothfulness, and the punishment of their sinful inclination to the idolatries and abominations of the heathen whom they harboured and indulged. There failed not aught of any good thing, which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. In due season all his promises will be accomplished; then will his people acknowledge that the Lord has exceeded their largest expectations, and made them more than conquerors, and brought them to their desired rest.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Joshua 21

  • April
    I hope they thanked GOD every day,man can you imagen being ble to hear him,and be taught directly from our father,WOW,what an honor they surly did have,and to be a chosen servant and to have such a close relationship to him,Idk about you but it makes me smile,I know we don't get to see him like they did BUT we can have FAITH,which was required even when they did hear him or see him,I hopeALLISWELL
  • Peter A. Okebukola
    Our Lord is a promise-fulfilling God. His word is Yeah and Amen. He will do what He says He will do.
  • Richard for verse 45
    this confirm God atribute that he is infallible, so therefore believers confidence is deepened

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