-In this chapter we discover one more appropriation that needed to be made as the settlement of the Promised Land neared completion. 48 cities of the Levities are detailed as the priests of God approached Eleazar the highest priest, Joshua, and the heads of the households of the tribes of the sons of Israel. They came to them in Shiloh, where the other allotments had been made to the tribes along with the 6 cities of refuge in the territory. These priests recounted how Moses, by command of the Living God, was instructed to give them cities to live in with pasture lands for their cattle. By lot the sons of Kohath (Levi’s middle son, Genesis 46:11, Exodus 6:16) received 13 cities to live in Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin along with 10 cities from the tribes of Ephraim, Dan, and the western half-tribe of Manasseh. The sons of Gershon (Levi’s oldest son, Genesis 46:11, Exodus 6:16) received 13 cities by lot from the tribes of Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, and the eastern half-tribe of Manasseh in Bashan. The sons of Merari (Levi’s youngest son, Genesis 46:11, Exodus 6:16) received 12 cities by lot from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Zebulun (Joshua 21:1-8). Then the cities with their pasture lands are listed by name (Joshua 21:9-42):
1) Kohath- in Judah & Simeon- Kiriath-arba (Hebron, the fields and villages were given to Caleb as his possession, which was also a man slayer city of refuge), Libnah, Jattir, Eshtemoa, Holon, Debir, Ain, Juttah, Beth-shemesh, in Benjamin- Gibeon, Geba, Anathoth, Almon, in Ephraim- Shechem (which was also a man slayer city of refuge), Gezer, Kibzaim, Beth-horon, in Dan- Elteke, Gibbethon, Aijalon, Gath-rimmon, in western Manasseh- Taanach, Gath-rimmon……[23 cities all together]
2) Gershon- in eastern Manasseh- Golan in Bashan (which was also a man slayer city of refuge), Be-eshterah, in Issachar- Kishion, Daberath, Jarmuth, En-gannim, in Asher- Mishal, Abdon, Helkath, Rehob, in Naphtali- Kedesh in Galilee (which was a man slayer city of refuge), Hammoth-dor, Kartan……[13 cities all together]
3) Merari- in Zebulun- Jokneam, Kartah, Dimnah, Nahalal, in Reuben- Bezer (which was a man slayer city of refuge), Jahaz, Kedemoth, Mephaath, in Gad- Ramoth in Gilead (which was a man slayer city of refuge), Mahanaim, Heshbon, Jazer……[12 cities all together]
-“So the LORD gave Israel all the land which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they possessed it and lived in it. And the LORD gave them rest on every side, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers, and no one of all their enemies stood before them; the LORD gave all their enemies into their hand. Not one of the good promises which the LORD had made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass (Joshua 21:43-45).”
-*Application* A remarkable achievement in a miraculously short period of time. It had taken so many years to get to this point, but now Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob’s promise, along with many others along the way like Joseph, Moses, Joshua, and Caleb, had come to fruition. God had multiplied His children more than the stars of the heavens and the sand on the seashore (Genesis 15:5; 22:17; 32:12, Exodus 32:12). They were in their Promised Land with fulfillment realized. God is sovereign and will fulfill all He says, just give it some time and keep the faith. His work is amazing! His faithfulness is real! He is a God we can all count on.
Verse to Memorize: Joshua 21:45