Numbers 35:7 MEANING

Numbers 35:7
Verse 7. - Forty and eight cities. The Levites numbered nearly 50,000 souls (see on Numbers 26:62), so that each Levitical city would have an average population of about 1000 to start with. There seems no sufficient reason for supposing that they shared their towns with men of the surrounding tribe. Even if the provision made for their habitation was excessive at first (which does not appear), yet their rate of increase should have been exceptionally high, inasmuch as they were not liable to military service. It is possible that mystical reasons led to the selection of the number forty-eight (12 x 4, both typical of universality), but it is at least equally probable that it was determined by the actual numbers of the tribe.

35:1-8 The cities of the priests and Levites were not only to accommodate them, but to place them, as religious teachers, in several parts of the land. For though the typical service of the tabernacle or temple was only in one place, the preaching of the word of God, and prayer and praise, were not thus confined. These cities were to be given out of each tribe. Each thus made a grateful acknowledgement to God. Each tribe had the benefit of the Levites dwelling amongst them, to teach them the knowledge of the Lord; thus no parts of the country were left to sit in darkness. The gospel provides that he who is taught in the word, should communicate to him that teaches, in all good things, Ga 6:6. We are to free God's ministers from distracting cares, and to leave them at leisure for the duties of their station; so that they may be wholly employed therein, and avail themselves of every opportunity, by acts of kindness, to gain the good-will of the people, and to draw their attention.So all the cities which ye shall give to the Levites shall be forty eight cities,.... Of these forty eight cities, their names, and what tribes they were in, and which of them were particularly cities of refuge, an account is given in Joshua 21:10,

them shall ye give, with their suburbs; according to the dimensions before prescribed.

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