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of their fathers, and the tribe of the children of Gad, according to the house of their fathers, have received [their inheritance,] and half the tribe of Manasseh have received their in
15 heritance: The two tribes and the half tribe have received their inheritance on this side Jordan [near] Jericho eastward,
• toward the sun rising.
16 17 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, These [are] the names of the men which shall divide the land unto you:
18 Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun. And ye shall take one prince of every tribe, to divide the land by inherit
19 ance. And the names of the men [are] these: of the tribe
20 of Judah, Caleb the son of Jephunneh. And of the tribe of
21 the children of Simeon, Shemuel the son of Ammihud. Of
22 the tribe of Benjamin, Elidad the son of Chislon. And the prince of the tribe of the children of Dan, Bukki the son of
23 Jogli. The prince of the children of Joseph, for the tribe of
24 the children of Manasseh, Hanniel the son of Ephod. And the prince of the tribe of the children of Ephraim, Kemuel
25 the son of Shiphtan. And the prince of the tribe of the chil
26 dren of Zebulun, Elizaphan the son of Parnach. And the prince of the tribe of the children of Issachar, Paltiel the son
27 of Azzan.. And the prince of the tribe of the children of
28 Asher, Ahihud the son of Shelomi. And the prince of the ^tribe of the children of Naphtali, Pedahel the son of Ammi
29 hud. These [are they] whom the Lord commanded to divide the inheritance unto the children of Israel in the land of Canaan.
Eight and forty cities are given to the Levites, six of which are to be cities of refuge; and the laws of murder and manslaughter.
1 AND the Lord spake unto Moses, in the plains of Moab,
2 MX. by Jordan, [near] Jericho, saying, Command the children of Israel, that they give unto the Levites of the inheritance of their possession cities to dwell in :* and ye shall give [also] unto the Levites suburbs for the cities round about
3 them. And the cities shall they have to dwell in ; and the suburbs of them shall be for their cattle, and for their goods,
4 and for all their beasts. An,d the suburbs of the cities, which ye shall give unto the Levites, [shall reach] from the wall of
5 the city, and outward, a thousand cubits round about. And ye
* Their maintenance had before been settled by tythes and offerings, here provision l» made for their abode. In the wilderness they pitched theft tents about the. tabernacle, but now they were to be di'peraed. *
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shall jrteasure from without the city on the east side two thou* sand cubits, and on the south side two thousand cubits, and on the west side two thousand cubits, and on the north side two thousand cubits, and the city [shall be] in the midst: thi*
6 shall be to them the suburbs of the cities.* And amonjj the cities which ye shall give unto the Levites [there shall be] six cities for refuge, which ye shall appoint for the manslayerv that he: May flee thither: and to them ye shall add forty and
f two cities. [So] all the cities which ye shall give to the Le* vices [shall be] forty and eight cities: them [shall ye give]
* with their suburbs. And the cities which ye shall give [shall be] of the possession of the children of Israel: from [tlrefrtthat have] many, ye shall give many; but from [them that have] few, ye shall give feW: every one shall give of his cit* ies unto the Levites according to his inheritance which he inheriteth, in proportion to the number of cities belonging to that tribe. It is to be remembered, that the priests mere included among them, and t/tat neither they nor the Levites had any possession of lands beyond the three thousand cubits, which iOere' little enough for their cattle, horses, (sfc. all the rest belonged to
9 the tribe in whose lot the JLevites' city lay. And the Lord 10 spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say Unto them, When ye be come over Jordan into the ) 1 land of Canaan; Then ye shall appoint you cities to be cities of refuge for you ; that the slayer may flee thither, which feilleth any person at unawares, without malice or design. The tabernacle also was a sanctuary, except in cases of wilful mUr
12 der, and then they were to be taken even from the altar. And they shall be unto you cities for refuge from the avenger; that the manslayer die not, Until he stand before the congre
13 gation in judgment! And of these cities which ye shall give, six cities shall ye have for refuge.
14 Ye shall give three cities on this side Jordan, and three cities shall ye give in the land of Canaan, [which] shall be.
15 cities of refuge. These six cities shall be a refuge, [both] for the children of Israel, and for the stranger, and for the sojourner among them: that every one that killeth any person unawares may flee thither.
* There are different interpretations of this law. The most probable is, that they were to measure from the wall of the City a thousand cubits every way, which were th* suburbs, properly so called ; and, from the extremity Of this, two thousand cubits morei which was for pasture for their cattle; and these suburbs are called in Lev. xxv. 34, the field of their suburbs.
t The avenger was the next kinsman, who had a right to demand satisfaction; and, feeing greatly enraged, he might unjustly kill the manslayer; it was therefore a merciful appointment both to the one and the other. It was ordered in Deuteronomy, that th* road should be prepared, and finger posts pnt up, that he might make the best of his way thither. He was then to appear before the judges or elders, appointed in every city for the decision of criminal causes, who were to examine the matter publicly, whether the murder was wilful or casual. This was to be done first in the city of refuge, and if that trial did not satisfy the avenger, then it was to be tried again in the city where the fact waft committed, or in the next to it. as appears by v. a5. and Jeshua xrf. 6.
J 5 And if he smite him with an instrument of iron, if he strike him in a -violent and passionate manner, with any instrument that would probably prove fatal, so that he die, he [is] a mur
17 derer: the murderer shall surely be put to death. And if he smite him with throwing a stone, wherewith he may die, and he die, he [is] a murderer: the murderer shall surely
18 be put to death. Or [if] he smite him with an hand wear pon of wood, wherewith he may die, and he die, he [is] a
19 murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death.* The revenger of blood himself shall slay the murderer: when ha
20 meeteth him he shall slay him.f But if he thrust him of
21 hatred, or hurl at him by laying of wait, that he die; Or in enmity smite him with his hand, that he die: he that smote [him] shall surely be put to death; [for] he [is] a murder? er: the revenger of blood shall slay the murderer, when he
22 meeteth him. But if he thrust him suddenly without enmity,
23 or have cast upon him any thing without laying of wait, Or with any stone, wherewith a man may die, seeing [him] not, and cast [it] upon him, that he die, and [was] not his enemy,
24 neither sought his harm: Then the congregation shall judge between the slayer and the revenger of blood according to
55 these judgments: And the congregation shall deliver the slayer out of the hand of the revenger of blood, and the congregation shall restore him to the city of his refuge, whither he was fled: and he shall abide in it unto the death of the high priest, which was anointed with the holy oil ; he shall live there as a banished man, to show God's displeasure against the shedding of blood, though it was done unawares; but at the high priest's death, or rather at the accession of a new one, he shall be set at liberty, as prisoners are often released at the ac
25 cession of a new prince. But if the slayer shall at any time come without the border of the city of his refuge, whither he
27 was fled: And the revenger of blood find him without the borders of the city of his refuge, and the revenger of blood kill the slayer; he shall not be guilty of blood, that is, not
2$ liable to punishment: Because he should have remained in'the city of his refuge until the death of the high priest: but after the death of the high priest, the slayer shall return into the
29 land of his possession. So these [things] shall be for a statute of judgment unto you throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
30 Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death by the mouth of two witnesses at least: but one witness shall not testify against any person [to cause him] to die.
* This was a very wise law, designed to prevent persons from passionately striking with such dangerous weapons.
"I" If the case was plain, he might do so, but, if Rubious, it was tobe determined bj ttje
31 Moreover ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer, which [is] guilty of death: but he shall be surely put
32 to death. And ye shall take no satisfaction for him that is fled to the city of his refuge, that he should come again to
33 dwell in the land, until the death of the priest. So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye [are :] for blood it defileth the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it ; all murderers must be .punished for the good of their country.
3i Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit, wherein I dwell: for I the Lord dwell among the children of Israel in a very extraordinary manner, and every thing of this kind is highly displeasing to me,
1, "\]\7"f^ nere see> what was delivered as a curse turned into V V a blessing; / will divide tliem in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel, Gen. xlix. 7. The dispersion of the priests and Levites among the several tribes, was a very wise and gracious appointment. They had their provision by tythes, that they might have time to study the law, and teach the people ; and by such an appointmept the people had access to them, and might ask the law at their mouths. It was a great advantage to the Levites to live near together, that they might consult in difficult cases, and help each other. We have reason to be thankful for the appointment of christian ministers, that they are spread through the country; and as the Lord has appointed that they ivho preach the gospel should live by the gospel, so he who is taught in the word, should cheerfully communicate to him that teacheth in all good things. The proportion is not determined now, as it was under the law, but is left to every man's liberality by the law of Christ; and the more cheerfully it is given, the more acceptable it is to him and his ministers.
2. We may observe, how very tender God is of the lives of his people. This appointment was designed to make men cautious of each other's lives, to prevent any artful attempts to murder persons by pretended accidents, and by that means to have the land polluted with blood, as well as men's consciences defiled, by those who wickedly should do it: and such are, without repentance, debarred from eternal life. Upon the same principle we should be tender of the health, reputation, and comfort of each other, and cherish a brotherly love to all; for the gospel declares, that he that hateth his brother is a murderer, and that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
3. Let us be thankful for the provision that is made in the gospel for our security and happiness, notwithstanding our many sins. We are exposed to the condemning sentence of God's law; but there is a refuge provided, even the Lord Jesus Christ, and the everlasting covenant, which he hath published and sealed: there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. Let US therefore abide in him, and not wander from him; for those, and only those, will have strong consolation, and infallible security, who, as the apostle expresses it, in allusion to this appointment, Jly for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before them.
The inconvenience of the inheritance of daughters, is remedied by marrying in their oivn tribes.
1 AND the chief fathers of the families of the children of
Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of the sons of Joseph, came near, and spake before Moses, and before the princes, the chief fathers of the children of Israel, who had the care and management of that half tribe committed to them, ivhich had an inheritance in the land of
2 Canaan: And they said, The Lord commanded my lord to give the land for an inheritance by lot to the children of Israel : and my lord was commanded by the Lord to give,
• the inheritance of Zelophehad our brother unto his daughters,
3 to ivhich we cheerfully consented. And if they be married to any of the sons of the [other] tribes of the children of Israel, then shall their inheritance be taken from the inheritance of our fathers, and shall be put to the inheritance of the tribe whereunto they are received: so shall it be taken from the lot of our inheritance; that is, the inheritances of this, and other tribes, by like accident might in time be changed and con
.4 founded, contrary to the order before set by the Lord, And when the jubilee of the children of Israel shall be, then shall their inheritance be put unto the inheritance of the tribe whereunto they are received: so shall their inheritance be taken away from the inheritance of the tribe of our fathers; even in the jubilee year, which was intended to prevent such confusion, there will be no return of such land, and this will occasion debates and contests among posterity.
£ And Moses commanded the children of Israel according ta the word of the Lord, saying, The tribe of the sons of Joseph
6 hath said well.* This [is] the thing which the Lord doth command concerning the daughters of Zelophehad, saying, Let them marry to whom they think best, no force shall be put •upon their inclinations; only to the family of the tribe of their father shall they marry, it must be one of the same tribe, and of
'Moses consulted God upon this occasion, and, by his authority, said that their plea was just and reasonable.