Friday, October 12, 2007

Ezra 2:65 & 2:70

65 besides their 7,337 menservants and maidservants; and they also had 200 men and women singers...70 The priests, the Levites, the singers, the gatekeepers and the temple servants settled in their own towns, along with some of the other people, and the rest of the Israelites settled in their towns.

The Levites were the one tribe of the Children of Israel who did not receive a portion of land as their inheritance. Instead, their inheritance was service to the LORD as priests and musicians in the tabernacle and temple. But they did need a place to live–the tabernacle and temple didn't have enough rooms for the 23,000 Levites! So the LORD commanded Moses to give the Levites towns and pastureland from the inheritance Israel would possess, and Joshua carried out this promise after the conquest of the land of Canaan.

Joshua 21 records the towns that were given to the descendants of the three sons of Levi:

For the descendants of Kohath:
  • descendants of Aaron were allotted 13 towns from the tribes of Judah and Simeon
  1. Kiriath Arba (aka Hebron-city of refuge), with its surrounding pastureland, in the hill country of Judah
  2. Libnah
  3. Jattir
  4. Eshtemoa
  5. Holon
  6. Debir
  7. Ain
  8. Juttah
  9. Beth Shemesh
  • and Benjamin
    1. Gibeon
    2. Geba
    3. Anathoth
    4. Almon
  • the rest of Kohath's descendants were allotted 10 towns from the clans of the tribes of Ephraim, (4 towns)
    1. Shechem (city of refuge)
    2. Gezer
    3. Kibzaim
    4. Beth Horon
  • Dan (4 towns)
    1. Eltekeh
    2. Gibbethon
    3. Aijalon
    4. Gath Rimmon
  • and half the tribe of Manasseh (2 towns)
    1. Taanach
    2. Gath Rimmon

For the descendants of Gershon:
  • 13 towns from the clans of the tribes of Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, and the half tribe of Manasseh in Bashan
For the descendants of Merari:
  • 12 towns from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Zebulun

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