The territory of Ephraim (1 Chr 7:28-7:29)

“The possessions and settlements of Ephraim were Bethel and its towns, eastward to Naaran, and westward to Gezer and its towns, Shechem and its towns, and Ayyah and its towns. They also lived along the borders of the Manassites, Beth-shean and its towns, Taanach and its towns, Megiddo and its towns, Dor and its towns. In these towns lived the sons of Joseph the son of Israel.”

According to Joshua, chapter 16, the allotment for the Ephraimites went from the Jordan River by Jericho, into the hill country to Bethel. Then it went from Bethel to Luz, then to the territory of Lower Beth-horon, to Gezer, Shechem, and Ayyah and ended at the sea. Bethel and Shechem played a major role in the kingdom of Israel as each was mentioned over 60 times. The tribe of Ephraim had the southern part of the allotment for the tribe of Joseph. The Ephraimites had the towns of Beth-shean, Taanach, Megiddo, and Dor, mentioned around 10 times each. Naaran and Ayyah were towns that only appear here. Benjamin and Dan were squeezed into the territory between Ephraim and Judah.   Somehow some of the towns of Manasseh were to be given to the Ephraimites. There were Canaanites living in Gezer, but they were slaves.

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.