The towns of the Merarites (1 Chr 6:77-6:81)

“To the rest of the Merarites out of the tribe of Zebulun were given Rimmono with its pasture lands and Tabor with its pasture lands. Across the Jordan from Jericho, on the east side of the Jordan, out of the tribe of Reuben were given Bezer in the steppe with its pasture lands, Jahzah with its pasture lands, Kedemoth with its pasture lands, and Mephaath with its pasture lands. Out of the tribe of Gad were given Ramoth in Gilead with its pasture lands, Mahanaim with its pasture lands, Heshbon with its pasture lands, and Jazer with its pasture lands.”

The distribution of land to 3rd group of Levites, the Merarites, has a reference point is Joshua, chapter 21, also. Somehow Zebulun was included with this group of east Jordan tribes, but they were clearly on the west side of the Jordan River. There were only 2 of the 4 towns from Zebulun mentioned here, Rimmono and Tabor, while in Joshua there were the names of 4 different towns, Jokneam, Kartah, Dimnah, Nahalal in Zebulun. This adds to the oddity of Zebulun who was put into this group of the Transjordan tribes. The 4 towns from Reuben were Bezer, Jahzah or Jahaz, Kedemoth, and Mephaath which is exactly the same as Joshua, with the tiny exception of Jahzah and Jahaz that are close enough. The 4 towns from Gad, Ramoth in Gilead, Mahanaim, Heshbon, and Jazer were exactly the same here as in Joshua. Here the Merarites only get 10 towns instead of 12.

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