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Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Numbers 35

Introduction

Overview

Numbers 35:1, Eight and forty cities for the Levites, with their suburbs, and measure thereof; Numbers 35:6, Six of them are to be cities of refuge; Numbers 35:9, The laws of murder and manslaughter; Numbers 35:31, No satisfaction for murder.

Verse 1

Numbers 22:1, Numbers 26:63, Numbers 31:12, Numbers 33:50, Numbers 36:13

Reciprocal: Numbers 26:3 - General Joshua 21:41 - within 1 Chronicles 6:54 - these are Ezekiel 48:10 - for the priests

Verse 2

Leviticus 25:32, Leviticus 25:33, Joshua 14:3, Joshua 14:4, Joshua 21:2-42, Ezekiel 45:1-8, Ezekiel 48:8, Ezekiel 48:22, 1 Corinthians 9:10-14

Reciprocal: Numbers 26:57 - these are Numbers 26:62 - those that Deuteronomy 18:6 - come Deuteronomy 33:11 - his substance 1 Chronicles 6:64 - with their 1 Chronicles 13:2 - their cities and suburbs 2 Chronicles 11:14 - suburbs 2 Chronicles 31:19 - the fields Nehemiah 13:10 - to his field Jeremiah 32:7 - for

Verse 3

Joshua 21:11, 2 Chronicles 11:14, Ezekiel 45:2

Reciprocal: Numbers 26:57 - these are Deuteronomy 18:6 - come Joshua 21:8 - by lot

Verse 4

thousand cubits: The Septuagint reads היףקיכיןץע נחקויע "two thousand cubits," as in the following verse; but this reading is not acknowledged by any other ancient version, except the Coptic, nor by any of the manuscripts collated by Kennicott and De Rossi. Various modes have been proposed for reconciling the accounts in these two verses, which appear in general to require full as much explanation as the text itself. The explanation of Maimonides is the only one that is intelligible, and appears perfectly satisfactory. "The suburbs," says he, "of the cities are expressed in the law to be 3,000 cubits on every side, from the wall of the city and outwards. The first 1,000 cubits are the suburbs; and the 2,000, which they measured without the suburbs, were for fields and vineyards." The whole therefore, of the city, suburbs, fields, and vineyards, may be represented by the following diagram:

Fields and vineyards Suburbs City 1,000; Cubits 2,000; Cubits

Verse 6

six cities for refuge: Numbers 35:13, Numbers 35:14, Deuteronomy 4:41-43, Joshua 20:2-9, Joshua 21:3, Joshua 21:13, Joshua 21:21, Joshua 21:27, Joshua 21:32, Joshua 21:36, Joshua 21:38, Psalms 9:9, Psalms 62:7, Psalms 62:8, Psalms 142:4, Psalms 142:5, Isaiah 4:6, Matthew 11:28, Hebrews 6:18

to them ye shall add: Heb. above them ye shall give

Reciprocal: Numbers 35:11 - ye shall appoint Deuteronomy 4:42 - General

Verse 7

Joshua 21:3-42, 1 Chronicles 6:54-81

Verse 8

possession: Genesis 49:7, Exodus 32:28, Exodus 32:29, Deuteronomy 33:8-11, Joshua 21:3

from them: Numbers 26:54, Numbers 33:54, Exodus 16:18, 2 Corinthians 8:13, 2 Corinthians 8:14

he inheriteth: Heb. they inherit

Reciprocal: Joshua 21:4 - the tribe

Verse 10

Numbers 34:2, Leviticus 14:34, Leviticus 25:2, Deuteronomy 12:9, Deuteronomy 19:1, Deuteronomy 19:2

Verse 11

ye shall appoint: As the goel, or kinsman, had a right to avenge the death of his relation, by slaying the murderer wherever he found him, the appointment of these cities was a humane institution for the protection of the involuntary homicide; for they were designed only for the protection of such Numbers 35:6, Joshua 20:2

unawares: Heb. by error, Numbers 35:22, Numbers 35:23, Exodus 21:13, Deuteronomy 4:42, Deuteronomy 19:4, Deuteronomy 19:5

Reciprocal: Deuteronomy 17:8 - between blood 2 Kings 7:7 - and fled for their life Hebrews 6:18 - who

Verse 12

from the avenger: Numbers 35:19, Numbers 35:25-27, Deuteronomy 19:6, Joshua 20:3-6, Joshua 20:9, 2 Samuel 14:7

until he stand: Numbers 35:24, Deuteronomy 19:11, Deuteronomy 19:12, Joshua 20:4-6

Reciprocal: Numbers 8:9 - shalt gather the whole Deuteronomy 4:42 - General Joshua 20:5 - General Joshua 20:6 - until 2 Kings 7:7 - and fled for their life Matthew 5:21 - and

Verse 13

six cities: Numbers 35:6

Reciprocal: 1 Chronicles 6:57 - the city of refuge

Verse 14

three cities: Deuteronomy 4:41-43, Deuteronomy 19:8-10, Joshua 20:7-9

Reciprocal: Numbers 35:6 - six cities for refuge Deuteronomy 1:1 - on this Proverbs 28:17 - General

Verse 15

Numbers 15:16, Exodus 12:49, Leviticus 24:22, Romans 3:29, Galatians 3:28

Reciprocal: Deuteronomy 4:41 - General Deuteronomy 4:42 - General Deuteronomy 19:4 - the slayer Joshua 20:2 - you refuge Joshua 20:9 - the cities 2 Samuel 14:14 - he devise

Verse 16

if he smite: Numbers 35:22-24, Deuteronomy 19:11-13

the: Numbers 35:30-33, Genesis 9:5, Genesis 9:6, Exodus 21:12-14, Leviticus 24:17

Reciprocal: Exodus 20:13 - General Exodus 21:18 - a stone Deuteronomy 17:8 - between blood Matthew 5:21 - and

Verse 17

throwing a stone: Heb. a stone of the hand, Exodus 21:18

Verse 19

Numbers 35:12, Numbers 35:21, Numbers 35:24, Numbers 35:27, Deuteronomy 19:6, Deuteronomy 19:12, Joshua 20:3, Joshua 20:5

Reciprocal: Genesis 4:14 - that Exodus 21:20 - punished 2 Samuel 14:7 - the whole 2 Samuel 14:11 - the revengers Romans 13:4 - revenger

Verse 20

if he thrust: Genesis 4:5, Genesis 4:8, 2 Samuel 3:27, 2 Samuel 13:22, 2 Samuel 13:28, 2 Samuel 13:29, 2 Samuel 20:10, 1 Kings 2:5, 1 Kings 2:6, 1 Kings 2:31-33, Proverbs 26:24, Proverbs 28:17, Luke 4:29

by laying: Exodus 21:14, Deuteronomy 19:11, 1 Samuel 18:10, 1 Samuel 18:11, 1 Samuel 18:25, 1 Samuel 19:9-12, 1 Samuel 20:1, 1 Samuel 23:7-9, 1 Samuel 24:11, Psalms 10:7-10, Psalms 11:2, Psalms 35:7, Psalms 35:8, Psalms 57:4-6, Proverbs 1:18, Proverbs 1:19, Mark 6:19, Mark 6:24-26, Acts 20:3, Acts 23:21

Verse 21

Reciprocal: Genesis 4:14 - that Exodus 21:14 - slay Numbers 35:19 - General

Verse 22

Numbers 35:11, Exodus 21:13, Deuteronomy 19:5, Joshua 20:3, Joshua 20:5

Reciprocal: Numbers 35:16 - if he smite

Verse 23

Reciprocal: Numbers 35:11 - unawares

Verse 24

Numbers 35:12, Joshua 20:6

Reciprocal: Exodus 21:1 - the judgments Numbers 35:19 - General Deuteronomy 19:11 - But if any

Verse 25

abide in it: Numbers 35:28, Joshua 20:6, Romans 3:24-26, Ephesians 2:16-18, Hebrews 4:14-16, Hebrews 7:25-28, Hebrews 9:12-15, Hebrews 10:19-22

anointed: Exodus 29:7, Leviticus 4:3, Leviticus 8:12, Leviticus 21:10

Reciprocal: Genesis 9:6 - by Exodus 29:29 - anointed Exodus 30:25 - an holy Numbers 35:12 - from the avenger Deuteronomy 19:5 - he shall flee Joshua 20:5 - General 2 Samuel 14:14 - he devise Luke 24:44 - in the law

Verse 26

After the manslayer had been received into the city of refuge, the avenger of blood could only act as prosecutor; and the magistrates, in the presence of the people, were appointed to decide the cause according to the rules here laid down. Probably the accused person was tried at or near the place where the deceased had been slain, and where evidence could most easily be brought, and in case he was acquitted by the decision of the judges, and with the approbation of the people, he was conveyed back to the city of refuge, where he was protected as a kind of prisoner at large, till the death of the high priest; when the public loss, and the grief occasioned by it, might be supposed to swallow up all personal regrets and resentments, and then he was permitted to return to his house and estate. But if, in the mean while, he ventured to leave the city, and the avenger met him and slew him, he was supposed to merit his doom by thus neglecting the appointment of God for his preservation, and the avenger must not be punished. This shews that in other cases, if the avenger slew an innocent man on surmise, he was liable to the punishment of a murderer; but if, by the testimony of two credible witnesses, the man who had fled to the city of refuge was adjudged guilty, he must without fail be put to death.

Reciprocal: Joshua 2:19 - whosoever

Verse 27

he shall not be guilty of blood: Heb. no blood shall be to him, Exodus 22:2, Deuteronomy 19:6, Deuteronomy 19:10

Reciprocal: Genesis 4:14 - that Numbers 35:19 - General 2 Samuel 14:11 - the revengers

Verse 28

he should: John 15:4-6, Acts 11:23, Acts 27:31, Hebrews 3:14, Hebrews 6:4-8, Hebrews 10:26-30, Hebrews 10:39

after the death: Hebrews 9:11, Hebrews 9:12, Hebrews 9:15-17

Reciprocal: Numbers 35:25 - abide in it 2 Samuel 14:14 - he devise

Verse 29

Numbers 27:1, Numbers 27:11

Verse 30

Deuteronomy 17:6, Deuteronomy 17:7, Deuteronomy 19:15, Matthew 18:16, John 8:17, John 8:18, 2 Corinthians 13:1, 1 Timothy 5:19, Hebrews 10:28, Revelation 11:3

Reciprocal: Genesis 23:11 - in the Exodus 21:12 - General Exodus 21:20 - he shall Numbers 35:16 - the Deuteronomy 13:14 - General Matthew 5:21 - and 1 Timothy 1:9 - manslayers

Verse 31

Moreover: Genesis 9:5, Genesis 9:6, Exodus 21:14, Deuteronomy 19:11-13, 2 Samuel 12:13, 1 Kings 2:28-34, Psalms 51:14

guilty of death: Heb. faulty to die

Reciprocal: Exodus 21:12 - General Exodus 21:23 - life for life Exodus 21:30 - for the ransom Leviticus 24:17 - And he Deuteronomy 27:24 - General 2 Samuel 4:11 - require 2 Samuel 21:9 - before the Lord 2 Chronicles 25:3 - he slew 2 Chronicles 33:25 - slew Psalms 51:16 - desirest Ezekiel 16:38 - shed Ezekiel 18:10 - a shedder Acts 28:4 - a murderer

Verse 32

Acts 4:12, Galatians 2:21, Galatians 3:10-13, Galatians 3:22, Revelation 5:9, The region east of Jordan was nearly as long as that on the west, and therefore three cities were appointed in each division. One or other of these cities would be within half a day's journey of every part of the land; and as it would rarely happen that the avenger of blood would be on the spot, and none had a right to assault or detain the manslayer, at least if no malicious intention was manifest, the unhappy men would, therefore, get the start of their adversaries, and very few of them be overtaken before they gained the place of refuge. But then they must forsake their families, employments, most important interests, and dearest comforts; and they must neither loiter nor yield to weariness, nor regard difficulties, nor slacken their pace, till they had got safe within the walls of the city. The Jewish writers inform us, that to afford every facility to those who thus fled for their life, the road to these cities was always preserved in good repair; and way-posts, upon which was inscribed REFUGE were placed wherever needful, that they might not so much as hesitate for a moment.

Reciprocal: Isaiah 26:21 - also

Verse 33

it defileth: Leviticus 18:25, Deuteronomy 21:1-8, Deuteronomy 21:23, 2 Kings 23:26, 2 Kings 24:4, Psalms 106:28, Isaiah 26:21, Ezekiel 22:24-27, Hosea 4:2, Hosea 4:3, Micah 4:11, Matthew 23:31-35, Luke 11:50, Luke 11:51

the land cannot be cleansed: Heb. there can be no expiation for the land

Reciprocal: Deuteronomy 19:13 - but thou Deuteronomy 21:8 - lay not 2 Samuel 3:28 - guiltless 2 Samuel 14:9 - and the king 1 Kings 2:6 - let 1 Kings 2:31 - that thou 2 Kings 14:5 - that he slew 2 Kings 21:16 - Manasseh 2 Chronicles 33:25 - slew 2 Chronicles 34:5 - cleansed Psalms 106:38 - the land Isaiah 24:5 - defiled Jeremiah 2:7 - ye defiled Jeremiah 16:18 - they have defiled Jeremiah 26:15 - ye shall Jeremiah 26:19 - Thus Lamentations 4:14 - they have polluted Ezekiel 36:17 - they defiled Matthew 23:35 - upon Matthew 27:25 - His

Verse 34

Defile not: Numbers 5:3, Leviticus 20:24-26

I dwell: Psalms 135:21, Isaiah 57:15, Hosea 9:3, 2 Corinthians 6:16, 2 Corinthians 6:17, Revelation 21:3, Revelation 21:27

dwell among: Numbers 5:3, Exodus 25:8, Exodus 29:45, Exodus 29:46, 1 Kings 6:13, Psalms 132:14, Isaiah 8:12

Reciprocal: Leviticus 18:25 - the land Numbers 16:3 - the Lord Deuteronomy 19:13 - but thou Deuteronomy 21:23 - thy land 1 Samuel 2:30 - Be it far Isaiah 24:5 - defiled Jeremiah 2:7 - ye defiled Jeremiah 16:18 - they have defiled Jeremiah 26:19 - Thus Ezekiel 36:17 - they defiled Daniel 2:11 - whose

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Numbers 35". "Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tsk/numbers-35.html.