Numbers 35:4
And the suburbs of the cities, which you shall give to the Levites, shall reach from the wall of the city and outward a thousand cubits round about.
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Numbers 35:4-5. From the wall of the city a thousand cubits — It appears, by comparing these two verses together, that there were three thousand cubits allowed them from the wall of the city; the first thousand, properly called the suburbs, probably for outhouses, gardens, vineyards, and olive-yards; and the other two for pasturage, which are therefore called the field of the suburbs, (Leviticus 25:34,) by way of distinction from the suburbs themselves.35:1-8 The cities of the priests and Levites were not only to accommodate them, but to place them, as religious teachers, in several parts of the land. For though the typical service of the tabernacle or temple was only in one place, the preaching of the word of God, and prayer and praise, were not thus confined. These cities were to be given out of each tribe. Each thus made a grateful acknowledgement to God. Each tribe had the benefit of the Levites dwelling amongst them, to teach them the knowledge of the Lord; thus no parts of the country were left to sit in darkness. The gospel provides that he who is taught in the word, should communicate to him that teaches, in all good things, Ga 6:6. We are to free God's ministers from distracting cares, and to leave them at leisure for the duties of their station; so that they may be wholly employed therein, and avail themselves of every opportunity, by acts of kindness, to gain the good-will of the people, and to draw their attention.Suburbs - Rather, "pasture-grounds," required for their large cattle, for their sheep and goats, and for all their beasts whatever they might be Numbers 35:3. 2. give unto the Levites of the inheritance of their possession cities to dwell in—As the Levites were to have no territorial domain allocated to them like the other tribes on the conquest of Canaan, they were to be distributed throughout the land in certain cities appropriated to their use; and these cities were to be surrounded by extensive suburbs. There is an apparent discrepancy between Nu 35:4 and Nu 35:5, with regard to the extent of these suburbs; but the statements in the two verses refer to totally different things—the one to the extent of the suburbs from the walls of the city, the other to the space of two thousand cubits from their extremity. In point of fact, there was an extent of ground, amounting to three thousand cubits, measured from the wall of the city. One thousand were most probably occupied with outhouses for the accommodation of shepherds and other servants, with gardens, vineyards, or oliveyards. And these which were portioned out to different families (1Ch 6:60) might be sold by one Levite to another, but not to any individual of another tribe (Jer 32:7). The other two thousand cubits remained a common for the pasturing of cattle (Le 25:34) and, considering their number, that space would be fully required. Object. In the next verse it is

two thousand. How do these agree?

Answ. 1. LXX. interpreters read both here and Numbers 35:5 two thousand cubits, whence some suppose this to be an error in the Hebrew text, which, being in a matter neither concerning faith nor good manners, is not prejudicial to the authority of the Holy Scriptures.

Answ. 2. The one thousand cubits may be in length from the city, and the two thousand cubits in breadth on each side of the city, and so they well agree; for a line of a thousand cubits being draw in length eastward, and another westward, and another northward, and another southward, a line drawn at a thousand cubits distance from the city, from east to west, must needs contain two thousand cubits, and so must the other line from north to south, and so on every side of the city there must be two thousand cubits.

Answ. 3. This verse and the next do not speak to the same thing: this speaks of the space or place from whence the suburbs shall be measured, the next verse speaks of the space unto which that measure shall be extended; and the words may very well be read thus, And the suburbs—shall be (so it is only an ellipsis of the verb substantive, which is most frequent, and the meaning is, shall be taken or accounted)

from the wall of the city, and from (that particle being supplied or understood from the foregoing words, which is very usual) without it, or, from the outward parts of it, (which being a general and indefinite expression is limited and explained by the following words,) even from

a thousand cubits round about; which are mentioned not as the thing measured, for as yet there is not a word of measuring, but as the term or space from which the measuring line should begin. And then it follows, Numbers 35:5, And ye shall measure from without the city (not from the wall of the city, as was said before, Numbers 35:4, but from without it, i.e. from the said outward part or space of a thousand cubits without the wall of the city round about) on the east side two thousand cubits, &c. So in truth there were three thousand cubits from the wall of the city, whereof one thousand probably were for out-houses, stalls for cattle, gardens, vineyards, and olive-yards, and the like, and the other two thousand for pasture, which are therefore called the field of the suburbs, Leviticus 25:34, by way of distinction from the suburbs themselves, which consist of the first thousand cubits from the wall of the city. And the suburbs of the cities which ye shall give unto the Levites,.... The dimensions and bounds of them were not left to the Israelites, to give what ground they pleased for this purpose, but were fixed to what length they should be: these

shall reach from the walls of the city, and outward, a thousand cubits round about; which was half a sabbath day's journey, and pretty near half a mile, which all around a city must contain a considerable quantity of ground, if the city was of any size, as it is certain that some of them given them at least were.

And the suburbs of the cities, which ye shall give unto the Levites, shall reach from the wall of the city and outward a thousand cubits round about.
List of the Men Appointed to Distribute the Land. - In addition to Eleazar and Joshua, the former of whom was to stand at the head as high priest, in accordance with the divine appointment in Numbers 27:21, and the latter to occupy the second place as commander of the army, a prince was selected from each of the ten tribes who were interested in the distribution, as Reuben and Gad had nothing to do with it. Of these princes, namely heads of fathers' houses of the tribes (Joshua 14:1), not heads of tribes (see at Numbers 13:2), Caleb, who is well known from Numbers 13, is the only one whose name if known. The others are not mentioned anywhere else. The list of tribes, in the enumeration of their princes, corresponds, with some exceptions, to the situation of the territory which the tribes received in Canaan, reckoning from south to north, and deviates considerably from the order in which the lots came out for the different tribes, as described in Joshua 15-19. נחל in the Kal, in Numbers 34:17 and Numbers 34:18, signifies to give for an inheritance, just as in Exodus 34:8, to put into possession. There is not sufficient ground for altering the Kal into Piel, especially as the Piel in Numbers 34:29 is construed with the accusative of the person, and with the thing governed by ב; whereas in Numbers 34:17 the Kal is construed with the person governed by ל, and the accusative of the thing.
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