Joshua 21:4
New International Version
The first lot came out for the Kohathites, according to their clans. The Levites who were descendants of Aaron the priest were allotted thirteen towns from the tribes of Judah, Simeon and Benjamin.

New Living Translation
The descendants of Aaron, who were members of the Kohathite clan within the tribe of Levi, were allotted thirteen towns that were originally assigned to the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin.

English Standard Version
The lot came out for the clans of the Kohathites. So those Levites who were descendants of Aaron the priest received by lot from the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin, thirteen cities.

Berean Study Bible
The first lot came out for the Kohathite clans. The Levites who were descendants of Aaron the priest received thirteen cities by lot from the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin.

New American Standard Bible
Then the lot came out for the families of the Kohathites. And the sons of Aaron the priest, who were of the Levites, received thirteen cities by lot from the tribe of Judah and from the tribe of the Simeonites and from the tribe of Benjamin.

King James Bible
And the lot came out for the families of the Kohathites: and the children of Aaron the priest, which were of the Levites, had by lot out of the tribe of Judah, and out of the tribe of Simeon, and out of the tribe of Benjamin, thirteen cities.

Christian Standard Bible
The lot came out for the Kohathite clans: The Levites who were the descendants of the priest Aaron received thirteen cities by lot from the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin.

Contemporary English Version
The leaders asked the LORD to show them in what order the clans of Levi would be given towns, and which towns each clan would receive. The Kohath clans were first. The descendants of Aaron, Israel's first priest, were given 13 towns from the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin.

Good News Translation
The families of the Levite clan of Kohath were the first to be assigned cities. The families who were descended from Aaron the priest were assigned thirteen cities from the territories of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The lot came out for the Kohathite clans: The Levites who were the descendants of Aaron the priest received 13 cities by lot from the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin.

International Standard Version
The lottery went to the families of the descendants of Kohath. So the descendants of Aaron the priest, who were descendants of Levi, received thirteen cities by random lot from the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin.

NET Bible
The first lot belonged to the Kohathite clans. The Levites who were descendants of Aaron the priest were allotted thirteen cities from the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin.

New Heart English Bible
The lot came out for the families of the Kohathites. The children of Aaron the priest, who were of the Levites, had thirteen cities by lot out of the tribe of Judah, out of the tribe of the Simeonites, and out of the tribe of Benjamin.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
These are the cities for the families of Kohath that were chosen by drawing lots. These descendants of the priest Aaron the Levite received 13 cities from the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And the lot came out for the families of the Kohathites; and the children of Aaron the priest, who were of the Levites, had by lot out of the tribe of Judah, and out of the tribe of the Simeonites, and out of the tribe of Benjamin, thirteen cities.

New American Standard 1977
Then the lot came out for the families of the Kohathites. And the sons of Aaron the priest, who were of the Levites, received thirteen cities by lot from the tribe of Judah and from the tribe of the Simeonites and from the tribe of Benjamin.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And the lot came out for the families of the Kohathites; and the sons of Aaron the priest, who were of the Levites, had by lot out of the tribe of Judah and out of the tribe of Simeon and out of the tribe of Benjamin, thirteen cities.

King James 2000 Bible
And the lot came out for the families of the Kohathites: and the children of Aaron the priest, who were of the Levites, had by lot out of the tribe of Judah, and out of the tribe of Simeon, and out of the tribe of Benjamin, thirteen cities.

American King James Version
And the lot came out for the families of the Kohathites: and the children of Aaron the priest, which were of the Levites, had by lot out of the tribe of Judah, and out of the tribe of Simeon, and out of the tribe of Benjamin, thirteen cities.

American Standard Version
And the lot came out for the families of the Kohathites: and the children of Aaron the priest, who were of the Levites, had by lot out of the tribe of Judah, and out of the tribe of the Simeonites, and out of the tribe of Benjamin, thirteen cities.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
And the lot came out for the children of Caath; and the sons of Aaron, the priests the Levites, had by lot thirteen cities out of the tribe of Juda, and out of the tribe of Symeon, and out of the tribe of Benjamin.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the lot came out for the family of Caath of the children of Aaron the priest out of the tribes of Juda, and of Simeon, and of Benjamin, thirteen cities.

Darby Bible Translation
And the lot came forth for the families of the Kohathites. And the children of Aaron the priest, of the Levites, had by lot out of the tribe of Judah, and out of the tribe of the Simeonites, and out of the tribe of Benjamin, thirteen cities.

English Revised Version
And the lot came out for the families of the Kohathites: and the children of Aaron the priest, which were of the Levites, had by lot out of the tribe of Judah, and out of the tribe of the Simeonites, and out of the tribe of Benjamin, thirteen cities.

Webster's Bible Translation
And the lot came out for the families of the Kohathites: and the children of Aaron the priest, who were of the Levites, had by lot out of the tribe of Judah, and out of the tribe of Simeon, and out of the tribe of Benjamin, thirteen cities.

World English Bible
The lot came out for the families of the Kohathites. The children of Aaron the priest, who were of the Levites, had thirteen cities by lot out of the tribe of Judah, out of the tribe of the Simeonites, and out of the tribe of Benjamin.

Young's Literal Translation
And the lot goeth out for the families of the Kohathite, and there are for the sons of Aaron the priest (of the Levites), out of the tribe of Judah, and out of the tribe of Simeon, and out of the tribe of Benjamin, by lot thirteen cities,
Study Bible
Forty-Eight Cities for the Levites
3So by the command of the LORD, the Israelites gave the Levites these cities and their pasturelands out of their own inheritance: 4The first lot came out for the Kohathite clans. The Levites who were descendants of Aaron the priest received thirteen cities by lot from the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin. 5The remaining descendants of Kohath received ten cities by lot from the tribes of Ephraim, Dan, and the half-tribe of Manasseh.…
Cross References
Numbers 3:27
From Kohath came the clans of the Amramites, the Izharites, the Hebronites, and the Uzzielites; these were the clans of the Kohathites.

Joshua 21:3
So by the command of the LORD, the Israelites gave the Levites these cities and their pasturelands out of their own inheritance:

Joshua 21:5
The remaining descendants of Kohath received ten cities by lot from the tribes of Ephraim, Dan, and the half-tribe of Manasseh.

1 Chronicles 6:54
Now these were the territories assigned to the descendants of Aaron from the Kohathite clan for their settlements, because the first lot fell to them:

Treasury of Scripture

And the lot came out for the families of the Kohathites: and the children of Aaron the priest, which were of the Levites, had by lot out of the tribe of Judah, and out of the tribe of Simeon, and out of the tribe of Benjamin, thirteen cities.

the children

Joshua 21:8-19
And the children of Israel gave by lot unto the Levites these cities with their suburbs, as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses…

Joshua 24:33
And Eleazar the son of Aaron died; and they buried him in a hill that pertained to Phinehas his son, which was given him in mount Ephraim.

1 Chronicles 6:54-60
Now these are their dwelling places throughout their castles in their coasts, of the sons of Aaron, of the families of the Kohathites: for theirs was the lot…

Numbers 35:8
And the cities which ye shall give shall be of the possession of the children of Israel: from them that have many ye shall give many; but from them that have few ye shall give few: every one shall give of his cities unto the Levites according to his inheritance which he inheriteth.







Lexicon
The [first] lot
הַגּוֹרָ֖ל (hag·gō·w·rāl)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1486: Lot -- a lot (for casting)

came out
וַיֵּצֵ֥א (way·yê·ṣê)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3318: To go, bring, out, direct and proxim

for the Kohathite
הַקְּהָתִ֑י (haq·qə·hā·ṯî)
Article | Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6956: Kohathites -- descendant of Kohath

clans.
לְמִשְׁפְּחֹ֣ת (lə·miš·pə·ḥōṯ)
Preposition-l | Noun - feminine plural construct
Strong's Hebrew 4940: A family, circle of relatives, a class, a species, sort, a tribe, people

The Levites
הַלְוִיִּ֗ם (hal·wî·yim)
Article | Noun - proper - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 3881: Levites -- descendant of Levi

who were descendants
לִבְנֵי֩ (liḇ·nê)
Preposition-l | Noun - masculine plural construct
Strong's Hebrew 1121: A son

of Aaron
אַהֲרֹ֨ן (’a·hă·rōn)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 175: Aaron -- an elder brother of Moses

the priest
הַכֹּהֵ֜ן (hak·kō·hên)
Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3548: Priest

received
וַיְהִ֡י (way·hî)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1961: To fall out, come to pass, become, be

thirteen
שְׁלֹ֥שׁ (šə·lōš)
Number - feminine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 7969: Three, third, thrice

cities
עָרִ֖ים (‘ā·rîm)
Noun - feminine plural
Strong's Hebrew 5892: Excitement

by lot
בַּגּוֹרָ֔ל (bag·gō·w·rāl)
Preposition-b, Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1486: Lot -- a lot (for casting)

from
מִן־ (min-)
Preposition
Strong's Hebrew 4480: A part of, from, out of

the tribes
מִמַּטֵּ֣ה (mim·maṭ·ṭêh)
Preposition-m | Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 4294: A staff, rod, shaft, branch, a tribe

of Judah,
יְ֠הוּדָה (yə·hū·ḏāh)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3063: Judah -- 'praised', a son of Jacob, also the southern kingdom, also four Israelites

Simeon,
הַשִּׁמְעֹנִ֜י (haš·šim·‘ō·nî)
Article | Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8099: Simeonites -- a Shimonite

and Benjamin.
בִנְיָמִן֙ (ḇin·yā·min)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1144: Benjamin -- 'son of the right hand', youngest son of Jacob, also the name of two other Israelites
(4-8) The order of the distribution--viz., (1) to priests, (2) to Kohathites, (3) to Gershonites, (4) to Merarites--is in strict agreement with the order of priority observed in the exodus. In the camp of Israel there were two squares surrounding the tabernacle: an inner square of priests and Levites, an outer square of the tribes of Israel, three on each side. The inner square was arranged thus:--The priests, with Moses and Aaron, on the east, by the entrance of the tabernacle; the Kohathites on the south, the Gershonites on the west, and the Merarites on the north. On the march the priests were the chief officers of this portion of the army. The Kohathites carried the sacred vessels, the Gershonites the curtains and various fabrics of the tent and tabernacle, and the Merarites the bars and boards. When they received their inheritances in Palestine, the same relative order was preserved.

INHERITANCE OF THE PRIESTS (Joshua 21:9-19).

(9) Out of the tribe of . . . Judah . . . and Simeon; and (17) out of the tribe of Benjamin.--It is worthy of notice that, with the exception of a single city in the tribe of Simeon (viz., Ain, Joshua 21:16), all the priestly cities are so arranged as to fall ultimately within the kingdom of Judah, of which the capital was Jerusalem, the city which the Lord had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel to put His name there. The Levites also left their cities and their suburbs in the reign of Jeroboam (2Chronicles 11:14), and came over to Judah. But the fact that all the priests, with the trifling exception noted above, were already settled in that kingdom, must have been a great attraction.

When these facts are observed, it is hardly possible not to be struck with the undesigned agreement between the Book of Joshua and the later history, as well as with the Divine foresight which arranged the distribution of the people thus.

(13) Hebron (El Khalil).

(14) Jattir (Attir).

Eshtemoa (Es Sem�'a).

(15) Debir.--Probably identical with the town of this name in Joshua 15:49 (Edh. Dhaheriyeh), south-west of Hebron.

(16) Juttah (Yuttah).

Beth-shemesh (Ain Shemes).

(17) Gibeon (El Jib).

Geba (Jeb'a).

(18) Anathoth ('Anata).

Almon ('Almit).

(20) The children of Kohath . . . had the cities . . . out of the tribe of Ephraim.--In this instance the most honoured among the families of the Levites (after the house of Aaron) is grouped with the tribe next in honour after Judah. The tribes of Dan and Manasseh (Joshua 21:23-25) also were highly honoured, as they received Kohathites to settle among them.

(21) Shechem . . . in mount Ephraim, to be a city of refuge.--The metropolis of Israel for the time being is made a city of refuge; and there is an obvious convenience in this. In the same way Solomon made Jerusalem a city of refuge for Shimei, binding him not to leave the city under penalty of death (1Kings 2:36-46).

Gezer (Tell Jezer).

(22) Kibzaim (Tell el-Kab�s).

Beth-horon (Beit-'Ur).

(23, 24) For these Danite cities, see Joshua 19:40-46.

(25) Tanach--i.e., Taanach--a city of Manasseh, in the territory of Isaachar.

(27) Unto the children of Gershon . . . out of the other half tribe of Manasseh . . . in Bashan, and (28) out of the tribe of Issachar, and (30) out of the tribe of Asher.--Each of the four divisions of the house of Levi is made a bond to cement three of the twelve tribes together. Sometimes the association is obvious. In this case the two. sides of Jordan are bound together by the Gershonites.

(28) Dabareh--i.e., Daberath (Deb�rieh).

(29) Jarmuth--i.e., Remeth.

En-gannim (Jenin).

(30) Mishal.--See Joshua 19:46.

Abdon.--Also mentioned there.

(32) For Kedesh see Joshua 19:37. The other two are not identified with any certainty.

(34) Unto the . . . . children of Merari . . . . out of the tribe of Zebulun, and (36) out of the tribe of Reuben, and (38) out of the tribe of Gad.--In the case of the Ger shonites, we saw two tribes on the west of Jordan united to one on the east. The Merarites are employed to connect two tribes on the east of Jordan with one upon the west, and the south-east of the Israelitish territory with the north. Thus "the whole body by joints and bands" was "knit together, that it might grow with a growth of God." It is not a little interesting to observe that Joshua's work of dividing the land of Canaan was so much directed to preserve the union of the several parts. The name of Levi (joined) thus received a spiritual emphasis. He was divided in Israel that he might be a bond of union, bringing the tribes of Israel together, and joining all of them to their God.

Jokneam (Tell Keim�n, near Carmel).

(35) Nahalal ('Ain Mahil).

(43) And the Lord gave unto Israel.--Although the conquest of Canaan was not completed in the time of Joshua, as it was afterwards under David, yet we see by this statement that the expectations of Israel were abundantly satisfied. They received all that they hoped for.

Verse 4. - And the lot came out. As in the distribution of the land among the tribes, so in the division of the cities among the tribes of Levi, the whole matter was referred to the judgment of God. Thus solemnly placed in His hands, the division would not afterwards become the occasion of jealousy or dispute. The division was first made between the descendants of the three sons of Levi, Gershon, Kohath, and Merari (see Exodus 6:16-25), and then, as regards the Kohathites, between the priests, the descendants of Aaron, and the rest of the Levites. We have remarked above (Joshua 19:50) on the disinterestedness of Joshua. We have now to remark on the same characteristic as displayed by Moses. There was no attempt on the part of Moses to "found a family," the object of ambition with most men, whether kings or private persons possessed of wealth. No special privileges belonged to his descendants. They merged in the undistinguished herd of the Levites generally. In this Moses contrasts favourably with most public men in our own day; he stands out prominently before nearly all the great leaders and conquerors before or even after the Christian era. The same may be said of Joshua, his successor. Cincinnatus may be in some measure compared with them, but as a dictator simply in time of danger, his power was by no means so absolute, nor were his temptations so great as those of the two successive leaders of the Israelites. Thirteen cities. It has been contended by Maurer and others that this number of cities was largely in excess of what could possibly be required for the descendants of Aaron in so short a time. But we have to consider

(1) that the cities were probably not, at least at first, inhabited exclusively by the priests;

(2) that the Israelites multiplied rapidly, and that the number of descendants in the fourth generation would probably be nearly a thousand, and in the fifth, above five thousand;

(3) that all the cities were not, as yet, actually taken from the Canaanites at all, and so therefore were in all probability only intended as an eventual possession of the priests, and

(4) that the cities themselves were probably not of any very great size. It may be worthy of remark, as a proof of the accuracy of the writers of the Old Testament, and as a means of approximately ascertaining the date of the Book of Joshua, that Nob, mentioned as a priestly city in 1 Samuel 22:11, 19, is not found in the list given here. For the number of priests being sure to increase, it is not surprising that in the course of time additional cities should be assigned to them. And since Nob is not mentioned here, we have good grounds for concluding that the Book of Joshua was not a compilation put together after the reign of Saul Calvin does not fail to remark on the prescience of God here demonstrated. He had fixed upon Jerusalem as the place where he would "put His Name." He therefore directed that the lot of the priests should fall within the limits of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, on whose borders Jerusalem stood. Simeon is also mentioned, but the territory of that tribe (Joshua 19:1, 9), was contained within the borders of Judah. For theirs was the first lot. Not because Kohath was the firstborn, for this Gershon appears to have been, but because to Aaron and his sons had the priesthood been reserved. 21:1-8 The Levites waited till the other tribes were provided for, before they preferred their claim to Joshua. They build their claim upon a very good foundation; not their own merits or services, but the Divine precept. The maintenance of ministers is not a thing left merely to the will of the people, that they may let them starve if they please; they which preach the gospel should live by the gospel, and should live comfortably.
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Alphabetical: Aaron allotted and Benjamin by came cities clan descendants families first for from Judah Kohathites Levites lot of out priest received Simeon Simeonites sons The Then thirteen towns tribe tribes were who

OT History: Joshua 21:4 The lot came out for the families (Josh. Jos) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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