Numbers 35:3
And the cities shall they have to dwell in; and the suburbs of them shall be for their cattle, and for their goods, and for all their beasts.
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(3) For their cattle . . . —The word which is rendered “cattle” generally denotes oxen and beasts of burden. The word which is rendered “goods” probably refers here to the sheep and goats. (Cf. 2Chronicles 21:14; 2Chronicles 35:7.) The passage may be rendered, for their cattle and for their substance, even for all their beasts.

Numbers 35:3. The cities shall they have to dwell in — Notwithstanding this provision, it was lawful for them to hire or purchase houses in any other city, particularly at Jerusalem; for we find in Scripture many proofs of their dwelling in other cities besides those which are here assigned them; and, in like manner, other people, with their permission, might dwell with them in their cities. The suburbs for their cattle and for their goods — For stables and pasturage for their cattle, and stowages for their household stuff of all kinds. But they might not build houses, nor plant gardens, orchards, or vineyards; no, nor sow corn in these suburbs, for which things they were abundantly supplied from the first-fruits. And these suburbs did not belong to the Levites in common, but were distributed to them in convenient proportions. They were thus provided for, that they might the more closely attend to the study of the law, and might have more leisure for teaching the people. And living thus near together, they could easily converse one with another about divine things, to their mutual edification; in doubtful cases could consult each other; and in all cases strengthen one another’s hands.35:1-8 The cities of the priests and Levites were not only to accommodate them, but to place them, as religious teachers, in several parts of the land. For though the typical service of the tabernacle or temple was only in one place, the preaching of the word of God, and prayer and praise, were not thus confined. These cities were to be given out of each tribe. Each thus made a grateful acknowledgement to God. Each tribe had the benefit of the Levites dwelling amongst them, to teach them the knowledge of the Lord; thus no parts of the country were left to sit in darkness. The gospel provides that he who is taught in the word, should communicate to him that teaches, in all good things, Ga 6:6. We are to free God's ministers from distracting cares, and to leave them at leisure for the duties of their station; so that they may be wholly employed therein, and avail themselves of every opportunity, by acts of kindness, to gain the good-will of the people, and to draw their attention.Suburbs - Rather, "pasture-grounds," required for their large cattle, for their sheep and goats, and for all their beasts whatever they might be Numbers 35:3. 2. give unto the Levites of the inheritance of their possession cities to dwell in—As the Levites were to have no territorial domain allocated to them like the other tribes on the conquest of Canaan, they were to be distributed throughout the land in certain cities appropriated to their use; and these cities were to be surrounded by extensive suburbs. There is an apparent discrepancy between Nu 35:4 and Nu 35:5, with regard to the extent of these suburbs; but the statements in the two verses refer to totally different things—the one to the extent of the suburbs from the walls of the city, the other to the space of two thousand cubits from their extremity. In point of fact, there was an extent of ground, amounting to three thousand cubits, measured from the wall of the city. One thousand were most probably occupied with outhouses for the accommodation of shepherds and other servants, with gardens, vineyards, or oliveyards. And these which were portioned out to different families (1Ch 6:60) might be sold by one Levite to another, but not to any individual of another tribe (Jer 32:7). The other two thousand cubits remained a common for the pasturing of cattle (Le 25:34) and, considering their number, that space would be fully required. For their cattle; for pasturage for their cattle; where they might not build houses, nor plant gardens, orchards, or vineyards, no, nor sow corn, for which they were abundantly provided out of the first-fruits and tithes. And these suburbs did not belong to the Levites in common, but were distributed to them in convenient proportions, as may appear from Joshua 21:18 1 Chronicles 6:60. And cities shall they have to dwell in,.... For them and their families, and indeed for nothing else, they having no trades nor worldly business to carry on in them:

and the suburbs of them shall be for their cattle; for stables and stalls to put them up in, and for barns and storehouses to lay in provender for them:

and for their goods; where to bestow them, as the increase of their fields, oliveyards, and vineyards, see Luke 12:18.

and for all their beasts; or living creatures; or "for their whole life" (z); or livelihood, whatsoever was for the support of it; the Targum of Jonathan adds, by way of explanation, for all their necessities; and so Jarchi.

(z) "ad vitam ipsorum". Vid. Drusium.

And the cities shall they have to dwell in; and the suburbs of them shall be for their cattle, and for their goods, and for all their beasts.
Verse 3. - For their cattle. לִבְהֶמְתָּם, "for their great cattle," i.e., oxen, camels, and any other beasts of draught or burden. For their goods. "For their possessions," which in this connection would mean their ordinary "live stock," chiefly sheep and goats; the word itself (לִרְכוּשָׁם) is indeterminate. For all their beasts. לְכֹל־חַיָּתָם an expression which apparently only sums up what has previously been mentioned. List of the Men Appointed to Distribute the Land. - In addition to Eleazar and Joshua, the former of whom was to stand at the head as high priest, in accordance with the divine appointment in Numbers 27:21, and the latter to occupy the second place as commander of the army, a prince was selected from each of the ten tribes who were interested in the distribution, as Reuben and Gad had nothing to do with it. Of these princes, namely heads of fathers' houses of the tribes (Joshua 14:1), not heads of tribes (see at Numbers 13:2), Caleb, who is well known from Numbers 13, is the only one whose name if known. The others are not mentioned anywhere else. The list of tribes, in the enumeration of their princes, corresponds, with some exceptions, to the situation of the territory which the tribes received in Canaan, reckoning from south to north, and deviates considerably from the order in which the lots came out for the different tribes, as described in Joshua 15-19. נחל in the Kal, in Numbers 34:17 and Numbers 34:18, signifies to give for an inheritance, just as in Exodus 34:8, to put into possession. There is not sufficient ground for altering the Kal into Piel, especially as the Piel in Numbers 34:29 is construed with the accusative of the person, and with the thing governed by ב; whereas in Numbers 34:17 the Kal is construed with the person governed by ל, and the accusative of the thing.
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