1 Chronicles 6:71
To the sons of Gershom were given out of the family of the half tribe of Manasseh, Golan in Bashan with her suburbs, and Ashtaroth with her suburbs:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
THE CITIES OF THE GERSHONITES.

(Camp. Joshua 21:27-33.) 1Chronicles 6:71-76.

(71) Unto the sons of Gershom.—Supply they gave, from 1Chronicles 6:67.

Golan in Bashan (comp. the classical Gaulanitis, a district east of the sea of Galilee) was a city of refuge, like Hebron and Shechem.

Ashtaroth.Images of Ashtoreth (Astarte, queen of heaven); a name like Anathoth (1Chronicles 6:60), which means “images of Anath,” or Anatum, the consort of Anurn (the sky). The two cities must have been ancient seats of the worship of Ashtoreth and Anath. The names still survive in Tell-Ashtereh and Anâta. Joshua (50100) reads Be’eshterah—perhaps a popular pronunciation of Beth-Ashterah (house of Ashtoreth).

(72) Kedesh means “sanctuary.” Joshua 19:20; Joshua 21:28 has Kishion, which may have borne the other name, as being the seat of a famous sanctuary.

(73) Ramoth.—In Joshua 21 Jarmuth, but in Joshua 19:21 Remeth. Jarmuth occurs in Joshua 12:11, and is probably right.

Anem.Joshua 21:29; Joshua 19:21 has En-gannim. Joshua 15:34 mentions a Judæan city called ha-Enam (the two fountains), and that not far from En-gannim (fount of gardens). Anem is very much like Enam.

(74) Mashal is perhaps a popular pronunciation of Mish’al (Joshua 21:30; Joshua 19:26). (Comp. Shēlâh = She’ēlâh.)

(75) Hukok.—Helkath (Joshua 19:25). Hukkôk was a city of Naphtali (Joshua 19:34).

(76) Kedesh in Galilee.—A city of refuge (Joshua 21:32); the modern Kedes.

Hammon =Haminoth-dor, “hot springs of Dor” (Joshua 21:32); also called Hammath (Joshua 19:35).

Kirjathaim.—In Joshua 21:32 Kartan; a contracted form of the dual of Kereth (=Kirjah), like Dothan for Dothaim. (Dothain, Genesis 37:17.)

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. No text from Poole on this verse. 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.

Unto the sons of {s} Gershom were given out of the family of the half tribe of Manasseh, Golan in Bashan with her suburbs, and Ashtaroth with her suburbs:

(s) Who in the first verse is also called Gershon.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
71–76 (= Joshua 21:27-32). The thirteen cities of the sons of Gershom

71. Golan] a city of refuge, Joshua 21:27. The name of this city is still preserved in Jolan (Jaulan), the name of a district E. of Jordan extending from Hermon to the Jarmuk.

Ashtaroth] mentioned in Joshua 9:10 as the capital of Og, king of Bashan.Verse 71. - Golan was one of the three cities of refuge east of the Jordan (Joshua 20:8), the other two being Bezer, of the tribe of Reuben, and Ramoth in Gilead, of the tribe of Gad. Ashtaroth, in its previous history, had been closely connected with Og King of Bashan (Deuteronomy 1:4; Joshua 9:9, 10; Joshua 12:4, 5; Joshua 13:12). It is called Beeshterah in Joshua 21:27. (1 Chronicles 6:49-50). 1 Chronicles 6:64 and 1 Chronicles 6:65 are not here in their proper place; for their contents show that they should be in the middle of the thirty-ninth verse, after the general superscription, and before the words "for the sons of Aaron." They are found also in Joshua 21:8-9, as a superscription before the enumeration by name of the cities assigned to the priests; but how the confusion has arisen in our text cannot be certainly ascertained. Bertheau thinks "the wish to make mention of the cities of the high-priestly family at the beginning of the enumeration, has induced the author of the Chronicle to communicate the introductory remarks belonging to the lists of cities with other statements as to the tribal domains, only after the enumeration of the cities of the sons of Aaron." By that supposition the position of 1 Chronicles 6:61 is certainly explained, but not that of 1 Chronicles 6:64 and 1 Chronicles 6:65; for even with the supposed desire, 1 Chronicles 6:64 and 1 Chronicles 6:65 should have been placed before 1 Chronicles 6:61. But besides, this, the clause וגו אהרן לבני in 1 Chronicles 6:54 neither has anything to connect it with the preceding superscription nor a verb; and the subject of ויּתּנוּ, 1 Chronicles 6:55, is also wanting. That which was missed before 1 Chronicles 6:54 and in 1 Chronicles 6:55 is contained in 1 Chronicles 6:64 and 1 Chronicles 6:65; whence it is manifest that 1 Chronicles 6:64 and 1 Chronicles 6:65 ought to stand before 1 Chronicles 6:54, and have by some inexplicable accident fallen out of their proper place, and have come into an unsuitable position after 1 Chronicles 6:63. The plurals יקראוּ and שׁמות, instead of the singulars יקרא and שׁם, as in Joshua 21:9, bring the words into more manifest correspondence with the circumstances, since the subject of יקראוּ, "the sons of Israel," may be easily supplied from 1 Chronicles 6:53, and many names of cities are mentioned. The masc. אתהם instead of the fem. אתהן is probably only an oversight. With 1 Chronicles 6:66 begins the enumeration of the cities of the other Levitic families only summarily given in 1 Chronicles 6:61, which forms a very suitable continuation of 1 Chronicles 6:63.
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