1 Chronicles 6:67
And they gave to them, of the cities of refuge, Shechem in mount Ephraim with her suburbs; they gave also Gezer with her suburbs,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(67) And they gave unto them, of the cities of refuge . . .—The correct version of the Hebrew text is, “And they gave unto them the cities of refuge, Shechem and her pastures, in the hill-country of Ephraim; and Gezer and her pastures.” Perhaps both here and in 1Chronicles 6:57 above “city” (‘iyr), and not “cities” (‘arey), is the original reading. We have already noticed many indications of textual corruption in this and the former section. Gezer was not a city of refuge. (See Note on 1Chronicles 6:57.) Joshua 21:21 has the singular.

1 Chronicles 6:67. They gave unto them of the cities of refuge — That is, the children of Israel, as it is expressed 1 Chronicles 6:64, gave to the residue of the Kohathites the following cities, part out of Ephraim, and part out of the half-tribe of Manasseh. As to the names of these cities, divers of them differ from those mentioned as given to them Joshua 21:15. Nor is it strange that the names of places should be changed in so many hundreds of years as had intervened between Joshua and this time. And as to the cities themselves, it is further to be observed, that they were dispersed among all the tribes, partly that Jacob’s prophecy might be fulfilled concerning the scattering of the tribe of Levi, Genesis 49:7; and partly that every tribe might have teachers among them by whom they might be directed in, and quickened to, the observation of God’s laws, upon which their safety and happiness wholly depended. 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.Unto the sons of Kohath which were left - i. e. to such of them as were not priests.

Out of the half tribe ... ten cities - The half tribe furnished two cities only (1 Chronicles 6:70, and compare Joshua 21:25). It is evident therefore that something has fallen out. We may supply from Joshua the words "out of Ephraim and out of Dan, and" before "out of the half tribe."

67-81. they gave unto them of the cities of refuge—The names of the cities given here are considerably different from those applied to them (Jos 21:13-19). In the lapse of centuries, and from the revolutions of society, changes might have been expected to take place in the form or dialectic pronunciation of the names of those cities; and this will sufficiently account for the variations that are found in the lists as enumerated here and in an earlier book. As to these cities themselves that were assigned to the Levites, they were widely remote and separated—partly in fulfilment of Jacob's prophecy (Ge 49:7), and partly that the various districts of the country might obtain a competent supply of teachers who might instruct the people in the knowledge, and animate them to the observance, of a law which had so important a bearing on the promotion both of their private happiness and their national prosperity. They gave; either the Ephraimites; or rather, the children of Israel, as it is expressed, 1 Chronicles 6:64, who gave part out of Ephraim, and part out of the half tribe of Manasseh, as it here follows. But the Ephraimites could not give away any cities belonging to the Manassites.

Unto them, i.e. to the residue of the Kohathites last mentioned.

Of the cities of refuge, or, the cities (i.e. the city, the plural number used of one; of which frequent examples have been given before: see 1 Chronicles 7:3,12,14) of refuge. Or, cities, (the construct form being put for the absolute, of which there want not examples in the Hebrew language,) the city of refuge. As to the names of these cities, divers of them are differing from those names which were given to them, Joshua 21:13. Nor is it at all strange that the names of places should be changed in so many hundreds of years as were between Joshua and this time. And to the cities themselves, this is further to be observed, that they are dispersed among all the tribes, partly that Jacob’s prophecy might be fulfilled concerning the scattering of Levi. Genesis 49:7: and partly that every tribe might have teachers among them, by whom they might be directed in and quickened to the observation of God’s laws, upon which their safety and happiness wholly depended. 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 they gave unto them, of the cities of refuge, Shechem in mount Ephraim with her suburbs; they gave also Gezer with her suburbs,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
67. gave … of the cities of refuge, Shechem] Render (with a slight correction of the Hebrew) gave … the city of refuge, Shechem. Cp. 1 Chronicles 6:57, note.

Shechem] Genesis 12:6; Genesis 33:18; Joshua 24:1; Jdg 9:1; 1 Kings 12:1. Shechem is the modern Nabulus, situated almost in the middle of Palestine.

Gezer] Joshua 16:3; Jdg 1:29; 1 Kings 9:16. It is the modern Tell-Jezer about 18 miles N.W. of Jerusalem. Cp. Bädeker, p. 13.(1 Chronicles 6:46-48). Summary statements of the number of cities which the remaining Kohathites, the Gershonites, and the Merarites received in the domains of the various tribes, corresponding to Joshua 21:5-7. In 1 Chronicles 6:61 occurs a hiatus; between המּטּה and ממּחצית the words "Ephraim and of the tribe of Dan and" have been omitted. In 1 Chronicles 6:48 the words "of the tribe of Manasseh in Bashan" are quite intelligible without חצי, which is found in Joshua.
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