But the fields of the city, and the villages thereof, they gave to Caleb the son of Jephunneh.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)To Caleb the son of Jephunneh.—Josh. adds “as his possession.”Joshua 21, which he followed, as to its matter, closely. In some cases he perhaps modernised the ancient names (1 Chronicles 6:58, 1 Chronicles 6:60, 1 Chronicles 6:72, etc.); in a few he substituted for the old an entirely new name, the modern apellation, probably, of the ancient site 1 Chronicles 6:70, 1 Chronicles 6:77. At one time, it would seem, his intention was to give the cities of the priests only, and to content himself with stating the mere number of the rest. His account of the matter was then brought to a conclusion, and summed up, in 1 Chronicles 6:64. But, afterward, either he or a later writer thought it best to add to the list of the priestly cities the information contained in Judges as to those which were not priestly, but merely Levitical. The passage 1 Chronicles 6:65-81 was then added.
The entire account has suffered much from corruption. In the first list two names, those of Juttah and Gideon, have dropped out. It is necessary to restore them in order to complete the number of thirteen cities 1 Chronicles 6:60. In the second list 1 Chronicles 6:67-70 there is likewise an omission of two cities, Eltekeh and Gibbethon, which are wanted to make up the number ten 1 Chronicles 6:61. The third list is complete, though some of the names are very different from these of Joshua. In the fourth, two names are again wanting, those of Jokneam and Kartah.
49. But Aaron and his sons offered, &c.—The office and duties of the high priests having been already described, the names of those who successively filled that important office are recorded.Joshua 21:1 with some few variations of names of places, which have been there observed: see the notes there; only in 1 Chronicles 6:57 two cities are omitted, Juttah and Gibeon, through want of care in transcribing, since they are said to be "thirteen", as they should be, whereas eleven only are mentioned. The Jews say (h), the cities of the suburbs (those here mentioned) ceased from the time the first temple was destroyed; and yet Ezra, who lived after the captivity, and the building the second temple, here gives a very particular account of them; the suburbs belonging to every city, which he particularly mentions, were 2000 cubits, both to the cities of refuge, and the rest, Numbers 35:5 Hebron, the first city mentioned in the next verse, was a city of refuge, and had suburbs of such a space; and it is remarkable, that some of the temples with the Heathens, which were asylums, or places of refuge, had the space of 2000 paces assigned them for the same sanctity and privilege (i). But the fields of the city, and the villages thereof, they gave to Caleb the son of Jephunneh.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)56. to Caleb] Joshua 21:12; Jdg 1:20.1 Chronicles 6:35-38). The remarks as to the service of the priests are followed by a catalogue of the high priests, which runs from Eleazar to Ahimaaz the son of Zadok (cf. 2 Samuel 15:27), who probably succeeded his father in the high-priesthood even in the time of Solomon. This genealogy is similar in form to the genealogies given in 1 Chronicles 6:20-30, and has therefore most probably been derived from the same source as this, and has been drawn in here to form a transition to the enumeration of the cities of the Levites; for it begins in 1 Chronicles 6:44 with the dwelling-places of the sons of Aaron, and the אהרן לבני...מושׁבותם ואלּה of 1 Chronicles 6:44 corresponds to the אהרן בּני ואלּה of 1 Chronicles 6:49. The order of the names coincides exactly with that of the longer register in 1 Chronicles 5:30-34.
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