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Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Joshua 21

 

 

Introduction
1Eight and forty cities given by lot, out of the other tribes, unto the Levites.
43God gives the land, and rest unto the Israelites, according to his promise.

Verse 1
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;
the heads
19:51; Exodus 6:14,25
Eleazar
14:1; 17:4; Numbers 34:17-29

Verse 2
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.
Shiloh
18:1
The Lord
Numbers 35:2-8; Ezekiel 48:9-18; Matthew 10:10; Galatians 6:6; 1 Timothy 5:17,18

Verse 3
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
Genesis 49:7; Deuteronomy 33:8-10; 1 Chronicles 6:54-81

Verse 4
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.
the children
8-19; 24:33; 1 Chronicles 6:54-60
the tribe
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.

Verse 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 half tribe of Manasseh, ten cities.
20-26; Genesis 46:11; Exodus 6:16-25; Numbers 3:27; 1 Chronicles 6:18,19,61,66-70

Verse 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 half tribe of Manasseh in Bashan, thirteen cities.
27-33; Exodus 6:16,17; Numbers 3:21,22; 1 Chronicles 6:62,71-76

Verse 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, twelve cities.
34-40; Exodus 6:19; Numbers 3:20; 1 Chronicles 6:63,77-81

Verse 8
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.
by lot
3; 18:6; Numbers 33:54; 35:3; Proverbs 16:33; 18:18
as the Lord
Numbers 32:2

Verse 9
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,
these cities
13-18; 1 Chronicles 6:65
mentioned
Heb. called.

Verse 10
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.
4; Exodus 6:18,20-26; Numbers 3:2-4,19,27; 4:2

Verse 11
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.
And they
1 Chronicles 6:55
the city of Arba
or, Kirjath-arba.
15:13,14,54; Genesis 23:2; 35:27; Judges 1:10
is Hebron
2 Samuel 2:1-3; 5:1-5; 15:7
in the hill
20:7-9; Luke 1:39

Verse 12
But the fields of the city, and the villages thereof, gave they to Caleb the son of Jephunneh for his possession.
14:13-15; 1 Chronicles 6:55-57

Verse 13
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,
they gave
1 Chronicles 6:56
Hebron
15:54
a city
20:7; Numbers 35:6
Libnah
10:29; 15:42; 1 Chronicles 6:57; Isaiah 37:8

Verse 14
And Jattir with her suburbs, and Eshtemoa with her suburbs,
Jattir
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.
15:48; 1 Samuel 30:27,28
Eshtemoa
Eusebius says Eshtemoa, or Esthema, was a great city in the south of Judah, and in the district of Eleutheropolis, north of that city.
15:50
Eshtemoh

Verse 15
And Holon with her suburbs, and Debir with her suburbs,
Holon
15:51; 1 Chronicles 6:58
Hilen
Debir.
12:13; 15:49

Verse 16
And Ain with her suburbs, and Juttah with her suburbs, and Bethshemesh with her suburbs; nine cities out of those two tribes.
Ain
15:42; 1 Chronicles 6:59
Ashan
Juttah. Eusebius says Juttah was a great town 18 miles south from Eleutheropolis.
15:55
Beth-shemesh
15:10; 1 Samuel 6:9,12; 1 Chronicles 6:59

Verse 17
And out of the tribe of Benjamin, Gibeon with her suburbs, Geba with her suburbs,
Gibeon
9:3; 18:25; 1 Chronicles 6:60
Geba
18:24
Gaba

Verse 18
Anathoth with her suburbs, and Almon with her suburbs; four cities.
Anathoth
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.
1 Kings 2:26; Isaiah 10:30; Jeremiah 1:1
Almon
1 Chronicles 6:60
Alemeth

Verse 20
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.
5; 1 Chronicles 6:66

Verse 21
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,
Shechem
20:7; Genesis 33:19; Judges 9:1; 1 Kings 12:1
Gezer
16:10; 1 Kings 9:15-17; 1 Chronicles 6:67

Verse 22
And Kibzaim with her suburbs, and Bethhoron with her suburbs; four cities.
Beth-horon
16:3,5; 18:13,14; 1 Chronicles 6:68

Verse 23
And out of the tribe of Dan, Eltekeh with her suburbs, Gibbethon with her suburbs,
Eltekeh
19:44,45
Gibbethon
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.

Verse 24
Aijalon with her suburbs, Gathrimmon with her suburbs; four cities.
Aijalon
10:12; 19:42
Ajalon
1 Chronicles 6:69
Gathrimmon
Gathrimmon is said by Jerome to be a great town 10 miles from Diospolis, or Lydda, towards Eleutheropolis.

Verse 25
And out of the half tribe of Manasseh, Tanach with her suburbs, and Gathrimmon with her suburbs; two cities.
Tanach
17:11; Judges 5:19

Verse 27
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.
And unto
Golan
20:8; Deuteronomy 1:4; 4:43; 1 Chronicles 6:71
Beesh-terah
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.

Verse 28
And out of the tribe of Issachar, Kishon with her suburbs, Dabareh with her suburbs,
Dabareh
19:12; 1 Chronicles 6:72,73

Verse 29
Jarmuth with her suburbs, Engannim with her suburbs; four cities.
Jarmuth
This seems to be the same city with Remeth, Jos 10:19, 21, and Ramoth, 1 Ch 6:73, mentioned with Engannim.
10:3,23; 12:11

Verse 30
And out of the tribe of Asher, Mishal with her suburbs, Abdon with her suburbs,
Mishal
19:25-28
Misheal
1 Chronicles 6:74,75
Mashal

Verse 31
Helkath with her suburbs, and Rehob with her suburbs; four cities.
Rehob
See the note on Nu 13:21.
Judges 1:31; 18:21; 1 Chronicles 6:75

Verse 32
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.
Kedesh
19:37; 20:7; 1 Chronicles 6:76
Hammoth-dor
Supposed by many to be the same as Tiberias; so called from the hot-baths, as the word Chammoth may denote, in its vicinity.
19:35
Hammath
Kartan. Supposed to be the same as Kirjathaim.
1 Chronicles 6:76

Verse 34
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,
And unto
7; 1 Chronicles 6:77
Jokneam
12:22; 19:11,15

Verse 35
Dimnah with her suburbs, Nahalal with her suburbs; four cities.
Dimnah
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.

Verse 36
And out of the tribe of Reuben, Bezer with her suburbs, and Jahazah with her suburbs,
Bezer
20:8; Deuteronomy 4:43; 1 Chronicles 6:78,79
Jahazah
13:18; Numbers 21:23; 1 Chronicles 6:78
Jahzah

Verse 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,
Ramoth
20:8; 1 Kings 22:3; 1 Chronicles 6:80
Mahanaim
Genesis 32:2; 2 Samuel 17:24; 19:32

Verse 39
Heshbon with her suburbs, Jazer with her suburbs; four cities in all.
Heshbon
13:17,21; Numbers 21:26-30; 32:37; 1 Chronicles 6:81
Jazer
Numbers 32:1,3,35
Jaazer
Isaiah 16:8,9; Jeremiah 48:32

Verse 41
All the cities of the Levites within the possession of the children of Israel were forty and eight cities with their suburbs.
within
Genesis 49:7; Numbers 35:1-8; Deuteronomy 33:10
forty
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.

Verse 43
And the LORD gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein.
Genesis 12:7; 13:15; 15:13-21; 26:3,4; 28:4,13,14; Exodus 3:8; 23:27-31; Psalms 44:3; 106:42-45

Verse 44
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.
1:15; 11:23; 22:4,9; Deuteronomy 7:22-24; 31:3-5; Hebrews 4:9

Verse 45
There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.
23:14,15; Numbers 23:19; 1 Kings 8:56; 1 Corinthians 1:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:24; Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18

 


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Joshua 21:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/joshua-21.html.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, June 20th, 2019
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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