The dwelling places of the Kohathite Levites (1 Chr 6:54-6:61)

“These are their dwelling places according to their settlements within their borders. To the sons of Aaron of the families of Kohathites, for the lot fell to them, to them they gave Hebron in the land of Judah and its surrounding pasture lands. However, the fields of the city and its villages they gave to Caleb the son of Jephunneh. To the sons of Aaron they gave the cities of refuge, Hebron, Libnah with its pasture lands, Jattir, Eshtemoa with its pasture lands, Hilen with its pasture lands, Debir with its pasture lands, Ashan with its pasture lands, and Beth-shemesh with its pasture lands. From the tribe of Benjamin, Geba with its pasture lands, Alemeth with its pasture lands, and Anathoth with its pasture lands. All their towns throughout their families were thirteen. To the rest of the Kohathites were given by lot out of the family of the tribe, out of the half-tribe, the half of Manasseh, ten cities.”

Here we have the dwelling places for the Levite Kohathites, based on Joshua, chapter 21. Although the Levites were to receive no territory, they were given certain cities and some pasture land. The Kohathites won the first lottery and got the towns in Judah. There is no mention of the fact that in Joshua, they also got cites from the territories of Simeon. Although the ending is the same as in Joshua, that they got 13 towns from the south and 10 towns from the north from the tribes of Ephraim, Dan, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, some details are different here. Definitely, the Kohathite branch of the Levites ended up with 23 towns. (1) Hebron became a center of attention because it was a refugee town and the fields of the town and its villages had been given to Caleb the son of Jephunneh. Then this ancient city of Hebron and its surrounding pasture lands were given to the Kohathites. Thus there might be some arguments about this town. The Kohathites also got (2) Libnah, a refuge town also, (3) Jattir and (4) Eshtemoa with their pasture lands. There are a few discrepancies with Joshua, since 2 towns have a different name. (5) Debir and (6) Beth-shemesh were the same, but (7) Holon has become Hilen and (8) Ain has become Ashan here. (9) Juttah is missing here in 1 Chronicles. These were the nine towns out of the two tribes of Judah and Simeon. There were 4 other towns from Benjamin but (1) Gibeon is missing here. (2) Geba and (3) Anathoth are the same as in Joshua, but (4) Alemeth has become Almon. Here there is no mention of the names of the 10 towns from the north given to the Kohathites, just the fact that it happened.

Ezrah (1 Chr 4:17-4:18)

“The sons of Ezrah were Jether, Mered, Epher, and Jalon. These are the sons of Bithiah, the daughter of Pharaoh, whom Mered married. She conceived and bore Miriam, Shammai, and Ishbah, the father of Eshtemoa. His Jewish wife bore Jered the father of Gedor, Heber the father of Soco, and Jekuthiel the father of Zanoah.”

This is the only mention of Ezrah and his son Jalon in the biblical literature. There were 6 different people with the name of Jeter, the most famous being the Jether, who was the father of Amasa in 1 Kings, chapter 2. There appears to be 2 other people with the name of Epher, 1 a son of Midian in Genesis, chapter 25, and other in the Manasseh tribe later in this book. Mered is mentioned twice here because he married Bithiah, a daughter of an Egyptian Pharaoh. They had 2 children, Ishbah, who is only mentioned here, and Shammai, which is the same name as a son of Onam and Rekem. Ishbah, however, became the father or founder of Eshtemoa, a Levite city in Judah, since probably his son founded this town. Ezrah married a Jewish woman and they had 3 children. Jered is a name mentioned earlier in this book. Gedor became the name of a place in the hills of Judah. There were 7 people named Heber in the biblical literature. This Heber is the founder of Soco, which is a city in Judah. Although this is the only mention of Jekuthiel, he founded another town in Judah called Zanoah.