The cities of refuge (1 Chr 6:67-6:70)

“The Levites were given the cities of refuge. Shechem with its pasture lands in the hill country was from Ephraim. Gezer with its pasture lands, Jokmeam with its pasture lands, Beth-horon with its pasture lands, Aijalon with its pasture lands, Gath-rimmon with its pasture lands. Out of the half-tribe of Manasseh, Aner with its pasture lands, and Bileam with its pasture lands, for the rest of the families of the Kohathites.”

The cities of refuge were outlined in Joshua, chapter 20, which refers back to Numbers, chapter 35, and Deuteronomy, chapter 19, when Moses put forward this proposal of refuge cities. The inadvertent killer had a place of refuge to be judged. He had to explain his case to the elders of the town. The avenger of blood could not kill the killer there. The killer would be let free at the death of the high priest. Then he was able to return home. There were to be 6 cities, 3 on the west and 3 on the east Jordan side as outlined in Deuteronomy, chapter 4. Each tribe on the east side of the Jordan had their own refuge city. However, only Judah, Ephraim, and Naphtali had their own refuge city, while the other 6 tribes did not have their refuge town. Interesting Hebron, Kedesh, Bezer, Ramoth, and Golan are not mentioned. Only Shechem from the 6 in Joshua is mentioned here. However, 8 other cities are mentioned. The new refuge cities are (1) Gezer, (2) Jokmeam, (3) Beth-horon, (4) Aijalon, (5) Gath-rimmon, (6) Aner, and (7) Bileam.

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