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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Joshua 21:1-8

Here is, I. The Levites? petition presented to this general convention of the states, now sitting at Shiloh, Josh. 21:1, 2. Observe, 1. They had not their lot assigned them till they made their claim. There is an inheritance provided for all the saints, that royal priesthood, but then they must petition for it. Ask, and it shall be given you. Joshua had quickened the rest of the tribes who were slack to put in their claims, but the Levites, it may be supposed, knew their duty and interest... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - Joshua 21:1

Then came near the heads of the fathers of the Levites ,.... When the land was divided to the several tribes, and everyone knew the cities that belonged to them, and what they could and should part with to the Levites, and when the six cities of refuge were fixed; the Levites came to put in their claim for cities of habitation, they having no share in the division of the land; and yet it was necessary they should have habitations; the persons that undertook to put in a claim for them were... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - Joshua 21:1

The heads of the fathers of the Levites - The Levites were composed of three brand families, the Gershonites, Koathites, and Merarites, independently of the family of Aaron, who might be said to form a fourth. To none of these had God assigned any portion in the division of the land. But in this general division it must have been evidently intended that the different tribes were to furnish them with habitations; and this was according to a positive command of God, Numbers 35:2... read more

John Calvin

John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible - Joshua 21:1

Verse 1 1.Then came near the heads, etc Here we have at a later period a narrative of what ought to have preceded. For no cities of refuge were appointed before they had been assigned to the Levites. To this may be added what was formerly said, that Joshua and Eleazar had made an end of dividing the land. Now, the land was not truly divided till the habitation of the Levites was fixed. We must understand, therefore, that when the lot was cast in the name of the ten tribes, a reservation was... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Joshua 21:1

EXPOSITION THE INHERITANCE OF THE LEVITES . Then came near the heads of the fathers of the Levites. We are not to suppose, with Calvin, that the Levites had been overlooked. Such a supposition is little in keeping with the devout spirit of him who now directed the affairs of the Israelites, who had been minister to Moses the Levite, and had but lately been concerned with Eleazar, the high priest, in making a public recognition of that God to whose service the Levites had... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Joshua 21:1-45

The ecclesiastical settlement of Canaan. Though the ecclesiastical institutions of the Christian Church differ, in some respects materially, from these of the Jewish, yet inasmuch as the law and the gospel came from the same All-wise Hand, we may naturally expect that the main principles of each will be the same. Perhaps we have insisted too much of late on the fact that the law was "done away in Christ," and too little on the qualifying truth that Christ came "not to destroy, but to... read more

Albert Barnes

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible - Joshua 21:1

A list of the Levitical cities, varying in some particulars from that given in this chapter, is also, given in 1 Chronicles 6:54-81. read more

Joseph Benson

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments - Joshua 21:1

Joshua 21:1. The heads of the fathers of the Levites The fathers of the Levites were Kohath, Gershon, and Merari; and the heads of these were the chief persons now alive of these several families. Thus, the princes of the several tribes, who divided the land in conjunction with Joshua, are called, at the conclusion of this verse and elsewhere, the heads of the fathers of the tribes. The whole land being distributed to the several tribes, but not yet actually possessed by them, and this... read more

Donald C. Fleming

Bridgeway Bible Commentary - Joshua 21:1-45

Cities for the Levites (20:1-21:45)The Levites were given forty-eight cities throughout Israel, along with surrounding pasture lands for their cattle (see 21:41-42; Numbers 35:1-8). Among these cities were six cities of refuge (Numbers 35:6). These were cities where a person who had killed another could flee for safety until he had been lawfully judged (Exodus 21:12-14). If he was found guilty of murder he was to be executed, but if he was found to have caused the death accidentally, he could... read more

E.W. Bullinger

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes - Joshua 21:1

Eleazar the priest. See note on Joshua 14:4 I. children = sons. read more

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