Joshua 21:27
And unto the children of Gershon, of the families of the Levites, out of the other half tribe of Manasseh they gave Golan in Bashan with her suburbs, to be a city of refuge for the slayer; and Beeshterah with her suburbs; two cities.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
21:9-42 By mixing the Levites with the other tribes, they were made to see that the eyes of all Israel were upon them, and therefore it was their concern to walk so that their ministry might not be blamed. Every tribe had its share of Levites' cities. Thus did God graciously provide for keeping up religion among them, and that they might have the word in all parts of the land. Yet, blessed be God, we have the gospel more diffused amongst us.Compare Joshua 19:18, etc. Of the cities of the Gershonites, for Beesh-terah read (Beeshterah.) The name is a contraction of Beth-Ashterah ("house of Ashterah") and the city is undoubtedly the Ashtaroth or Astaroth of Og Joshua 12:4; Deuteronomy 1:4; 1 Chronicles 6:71. Jos 21:9-42. The Cities of the Priests.

9-40. they gave … these cities which are here mentioned by name—It was overruled by the unerring providence of the Divine Lawgiver that the cities of the priests lay within the territories of Judah and Benjamin. This was a provision, the admirable wisdom and propriety of which were fully manifested on the schism that took place in the reign of Rehoboam.

No text from Poole on this verse.

And unto the children of Gershon, of the families of the Levites,.... The descendants of the second son of Levi:

out of the other half tribe of Manasseh; that which was settled beyond Jordan:

they gave Golan in Bashan, with her suburbs, to be a city of refuge for the slayer; see Joshua 20:8; this is the third city of refuge mentioned:

and Beeshterah with her suburbs; called Ashtaroth, 1 Chronicles 6:71; which had been the royal city of Og, king of Bashan, where he had his palace, Deuteronomy 1:4. Here seems to have been formerly a temple dedicated to the goddess Astarte; for Beeshterah is a compound of "Beth" and "Ashterah", or Astarte; that is, the house or temple of Astarte, but now become a city of the Levites:

two cities; two more having been before given out of the other half tribe.

And unto the children of Gershon, of the families of the Levites, out of the other half tribe of Manasseh they gave {k} Golan in Bashan with her suburbs, to be a city of refuge for the slayer; and Beeshterah with her suburbs; two cities.

(k) Golan and Kedesh were the cities of refuge under the Gershonites.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
27–33. The Cities of the Gershonites

27. And unto the children of Gershon] were assigned thirteen cities,

(a)  Two in Eastern Manasseh,

(b)  Four in Issachar,

(c)  Four in Asher,

(d)  Three in Naphtali.

Golan in Bashan] See ch. Joshua 20:8; Beesh-terah or Beeshterah, without any division of the syllables. The name is a contraction of Beth-Ashterah = the house of Ashterah, or Ashtaroth, a city of Og; see ch. Joshua 12:4, and 1 Chronicles 6:71.

Verse 27. - To be a city of refuge (see above, ver. 13). Be-eshterah. Thus printed by the Masorites, and thus translated by the LXX., but no doubt the same as Og's city Ashtaroth (see Joshua 12:4, and 1 Chronicles 6:71). Joshua 21:27The Gershonites received two towns from eastern Manasseh: Golan (Joshua 20:8; Deuteronomy 4:43), and Beeshterah. Beeshterah (contracted from Beth-eshterah, the house of Astarte), called Ashtaroth in 1 Chronicles 6:56, may possibly have been the capital of king Og (Ashtaroth-karnaim, Genesis 14:5), if not one of the two villages named Astaroth, which are mentioned by Eusebius in the Onom. (s. v. Astharoth-karnaim), and are described by Jerome as duo castella in Batanaea, novem inter se millibus separata inter Adaram et Abilam civitates, though Adara and Abila are too indefinite to determine the situation with any exactness. At any rate, the present Busra on the east of the Hauran cannot be thought of for a moment; for this was called Βόσσορα or Βοσορρά, i.e., בּצרה, in ancient times, as it is at the present day (see 1 Macc. 5:26, and Joseph. Ant. xii. 8, 3), and was corrupted into Bostra by the Greeks and Romans. Nor can it be the present Kul'at Bustra on the north of Banyas upon a shoulder of the Hermon, where there are the ruins of a magnificent building, probably a temple of ancient date (Burckhardt, Syr. pp. 93, 94; Rob. Bibl. Res. pp. 414-15), as Knobel supposes, since the territory of the Israelites did not reach so far north, the land conquered by Joshua merely extending to Baal-gad, i.e., Banyas, at the foot of the Hermon (see Joshua 11:17), and the land to the east of the Jordan, or Bashan, only to the Hermon itself, or more correctly, merely to the districts of Geshuri and Maacah at the south-eastern border of the Hermon (see at Deuteronomy 3:8, Deuteronomy 3:14).
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