Towns for the Levi tribe
1-2While the Israelites were still camped at Shiloh in the land of Canaan, the family leaders of the Levi tribe went to speak to the priest Eleazar, Joshua, and the family leaders of the other Israelite tribes. The leaders of Levi said, “The LORD told Moses that you have to give us towns and provide pastures for our animals.”#21.1,2 The LORD told Moses…animals: See Numbers 35.1-8.#Nu 35.1-8.
3Since the LORD had said this, the leaders of the other Israelite tribes agreed to give some of the towns and pastures from their tribal lands to Levi. 4The leaders asked the LORD to show them#21.4 asked the LORD to show them: Hebrew “cast lots to find out”. See the note at 14.1-5. 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,#21.4 The descendants…priest: Hebrew text; three ancient translations “The priests, the descendants of Aaron”. The male descendants of Aaron would also be priests. were given thirteen towns from the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin. 5The other members of the Kohath clans received ten towns from the tribes of Ephraim, Dan, and West Manasseh. 6The clans that were descendants of Gershon were given thirteen towns from the tribes of Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, and East Manasseh. 7The clans that were descendants of Merari#21.4-7 Kohath…Gershon…Merari: Sons of Levi, the ancestor of the tribe of Levi. received twelve towns from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Zebulun.
8The LORD had told Moses that he would show the Israelites which towns and pastures to give to the clans of Levi, and he did.
Towns from Judah, Simeon, Benjamin
9-19The descendants of Aaron from the Kohath clans of Levi were priests, and they were chosen to receive towns first. They were given thirteen towns and the pasture land around them. Nine of these towns were from the tribes of Judah and Simeon and four from Benjamin.
Hebron, Libnah, Jattir, Eshtemoa, Holon, Debir, Ashan,#21.9-19 Ashan: One ancient translation and the parallel in 1 Chronicles 6.59; Hebrew “Ain”. Juttah, and Beth-Shemesh were from Judah and Simeon. Hebron, in the hill country of Judah, was earlier called Arba's Town.#21.9-19 Arba's Town: See the note at 14.15. It had been named after Arba, the ancestor of the Anakim.#21.9-19 Anakim: See the note at 11.21. Hebron's pasture lands went along with the town, but its farmlands and the villages around it had been given to Caleb.#21.9-19 Caleb: See 14.6-14. Hebron was also one of the Safe Towns for people who had accidentally killed someone.
Gibeon, Geba, Anathoth, and Almon were from Benjamin.
Towns from Ephraim, Dan, West Manasseh
20-26The rest of the Kohath clans of the Levi tribe received ten towns and the pasture land around them. Four of these towns were from the tribe of Ephraim, four from Dan, and two from West Manasseh.
Shechem, Gezer, Kibzaim, and Beth-Horon were from Ephraim. Shechem was in the hill country, and it was also one of the Safe Towns for people who had accidentally killed someone.
Elteke, Gibbethon, Aijalon, and Gath-Rimmon were from Dan.
Taanach and Jibleam#21.20-26 Jibleam: One ancient translation and the parallel in 1 Chronicles 6.70; Hebrew “Gath-Rimmon”. were from West Manasseh.
Towns from East Manasseh, Issachar, Asher, Naphtali
27-33The clans of Levi that were descendants of Gershon received thirteen towns and the pasture land around them. Two of these towns were from the tribe of East Manasseh, four from Issachar, four from Asher, and three from Naphtali.
Golan in Bashan and Beeshterah were from East Manasseh.
Kishion, Daberath, Jarmuth, and En-Gannim were from Issachar.
Mishal, Abdon, Helkath, and Rehob were from Asher.
Kedesh in Galilee, Hammothdor, and Kartan were from Naphtali. Golan in Bashan and Kedesh in Galilee were also Safe Towns for people who had accidentally killed someone.
Towns from Zebulun, Reuben, Gad
34-40The rest of the Levi clans were descendants of Merari, and they received twelve towns with the pasture land around them. Four towns were from the tribe of Zebulun, four from Reuben, and four from Gad.
Jokneam, Kartah, Rimmonah,#21.34-40 Rimmonah: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. and Nahalal were from Zebulun.
Bezer, Jazah, Kedemoth, and Mephaath were from Reuben. Bezer was in the desert flat lands east of the River Jordan across from Jericho.#21.34-40 Bezer…Jericho: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
Ramoth in Gilead, Mahanaim, Heshbon, and Jazer were from Gad.
Bezer and Ramoth in Gilead were Safe Towns#21.34-40 Bezer and Ramoth in Gilead were Safe Towns: One ancient translation; Hebrew “Ramoth in Gilead was a Safe Town”. for people who had accidentally killed someone.
41-42The people of the Levi tribe had a total of forty-eight towns within Israel, and they had pastures around each one of their towns.
Israel settles in the land
43The LORD gave the Israelites the land he had promised their ancestors, and they captured it and settled in it. 44There still were enemies around Israel, but the LORD kept his promise to let his people live in peace. And whenever the Israelites did have to go to war, no enemy could defeat them. The LORD always helped Israel win. 45The LORD promised to do many good things for Israel, and he kept his promise every time.