1 Chronicles 6:57
And to the sons of Aaron they gave the cities of Judah, namely, Hebron, the city of refuge, and Libnah with her suburbs, and Jattir, and Eshtemoa, with their suburbs,
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(57) They gave the cities of Judah.—Heb. text, the cities of refuge, Hebron and Libnah, and her pastures. Of the cities mentioned only Hebron was an asylum for the manslayer. The other cities of refuge were Kedesh-Naphtali, Shechem, Bezer, Ramoth-Gilead, and Golan. (See Joshua 20:7-8.). Here our translators have adopted the Hebrew marginal correction of the text. (Comp. Joshua 21:13, which reads. “The manslayer’s city of refuge, Hebron.”) The same inaccuracy recurs in 1Chronicles 6:67, below.

With her suburbs.With her pastures. The phrase has been omitted after Jattir (Joshua 21:13).

6:1-81 Genealogies. - We have an account of Levi in this chapter. The priests and Levites were more concerned than any other Israelites, to preserve their descent clear, and to be able to prove it; because all the honours and privileges of their office depended upon their descent. Now, the Spirit of God calls ministers to their work, without any limit as to the families they came from; and then, as now, though believers and ministers may be very useful to the church, none but our great High Priest can make atonement for sin, nor can any be accepted but through his atonement.The writer evidently had before him 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.

1Ch 6:49-81. Office of Aaron and His Sons.

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.

They gave the cities, or, out of the cities; the Hebrew eth being put for meeth, as hath been oft noted.

Now these are their dwelling places,.... The dwelling places of the priests and Levites, assigned and given to them in the several tribes of Israel; and the account of them agrees with that in 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).

(h) T. Bab. Sotah, fol. 48. 2.((i) Tacit. Annal. l. 3. c. 62.

And to the sons of Aaron they gave the cities of Judah, namely, Hebron, the city of {o} refuge, and Libnah with her suburbs, and Jattir, and Eshtemoa, with their suburbs,

(o) That he that had killed a man might flee to it for help till his case was tried, De 19:2.

57. the cities of Judah, namely, Hebron, the city of refuge] Render (with a slight correction of the Hebrew) the city of refuge, Hebron (cp. Joshua 21:13), Hebron being the only city of refuge here mentioned (Joshua 20:7).

Libnah] Joshua 10:29; 2 Kings 8:22; 2 Kings 19:8. It was in the S.W. of Judah.

Eshtemoa] the modern es-Semu‘a, three and a half hours S. of Hebron.

1 Chronicles 6:57(1 Chronicles 6:42-45). The plural המּקלט ערי is incorrect, for only one of the cities thereafter named, viz., Hebron, was a city of refuge for homicides, and in Joshua 21:13 it is correctly written מקלט עיר. After יתּיר retfA the usual addition ואת־מגרשׁיה is omitted, 1 Chronicles 6:59. Before Bethshemesh the name Juttah has been lost, and before Geba (1 Chronicles 6:60) the name Gibeon, so that only eleven cities are mentioned, but the sum is rightly given as thirteen. Instead of the name חילן, 1 Chronicles 6:58, there is found in Joshua 21:15 and Joshua 15:51 חלן; instead of עין, Joshua 21:16, we have in 1 Chronicles 6:59 the more correct name עשׁן; and the name עלּמת, 1 Chronicles 6:60, is in Joshua 21:18 עלמון.
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