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Monday, December 23 2013
Numbers 35: Cities Of Refuge
"That they give unto the Levites of the inheritance of their possession cities to dwell in; and ye shall give also unto the Levites suburbs for the cities round about them"
The LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) chose the Israelite tribe of Levi, the Levites (see Numbers 4: The Levite Clans), to serve the LORD and His people (see Numbers 3: When Were The Levites Set Apart?, Leviticus 9: The Beginning Of The Levite Ministry and Leviticus 8: The Prophecy Of The Blood Upon The Anointed One). For that reason and purpose, the Levites were to live throughout the other tribes of Israel, but apart from them (see Numbers 18: The Inheritance Of The Levites).
"35:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho, saying, 35:2 Command the children of Israel, that they give unto the Levites of the inheritance of their possession cities to dwell in; and ye shall give also unto the Levites suburbs for the cities round about them. 35:3 And the cities shall they have to dwell in; and the suburbs of them shall be for their cattle, and for their goods, and for all their beasts.
The Levites were given to be the custodians of the Law of the LORD - they were there to see that the LORD's Justice was done, not merely man's revenge or vigilantism. For that reason and purpose, some of the Levite cities were to be designated as official "cities of refuge" were an accused person could take refuge, not to escape justice, but to see that justice was done. The cities were to be strategically located throughout Israel, three east of the Jordan River (see Numbers 32: The Israel Of East Jordan) and three west of the Jordan River (see Numbers 34: The Boundaries Of Canaan).
"35:6 And among the cities which ye shall give unto the Levites there shall be six cities for refuge, which ye shall appoint for the manslayer, that he may flee thither: and to them ye shall add forty and two cities. 35:7 So all the cities which ye shall give to the Levites shall be forty and eight cities: them shall ye give with their suburbs. 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.
The original order, as stated above, was given before the Israelites crossed the Jordan. The specific choice of the cities was done later, in the time of Joshua: "The LORD also spake unto Joshua, saying, Speak to the children of Israel, saying, Appoint out for you cities of refuge, whereof I spake unto you by the hand of Moses."
"20:1 The LORD also spake unto Joshua, saying, 20:2 Speak to the children of Israel, saying, Appoint out for you cities of refuge, whereof I spake unto you by the hand of Moses: 20:3 That the slayer that killeth any person unawares and unwittingly may flee thither: and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood.
Fact Finder: Why were there no Levites in the "lost ten tribes"? Why did the leave their property in the north and move down to Judah?
This Day In History, December 23
484: Huneric, king of the Vandals, died. The Vandals were a Germanic tribe; their practice of destroying and looting is the origin of the term "vandalism." He was succeeded by his nephew Gunthamund.
962: During the Byzantine-Arab Wars, Byzantine troops under the command of the future Emperor Nicephorus Phocas captured the city of Aleppo.
1569: Philip of Moscow was martyred by Ivan the Terrible.
1672: Giovanni Cassini discovered Rhea, a moon of Saturn.
1688: During the "Glorious Revolution," King James II fled England to Paris after being deposed by his nephew, William of Orange and his daughter Mary.
1690: John Flamsteed observed Uranus without realizing that the 7th planet was not yet officially discovered.
1823: A Visit from St. Nicholas, also known as The Night Before Christmas, was published (see Could Santa Claus Have Become The Pope?).
1861: The Danubian Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia were formally united as Romania.
1909: King Leopold II of Belgium died.
1919: Britain instituted a new constitution for India.
1920: Ireland was divided.
1933: Marinus van der Lubbe was found guilty and sentenced to death for setting fire to the Reichstag (the German Parliament Building) earlier in the year. The Reichstag fire was Germany's "9-11" that was used by Adolf Hitler as the excuse to turn Germany into a lawless police state (see Law-Abiding Criminals) i.e. the infamous Gestapo were the state police in charge of "security of the fatherland" (see also Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).
1937: The British government warned the Vatican to stop the anti-British propaganda in "Palestine" (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).
1947: The transistor was invented by Bardeen, Brattain and Shockley at Bell Labs.
1948: Hideki Tojo, Japanese soldier, Prime Minister when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, was executed as a war criminal along with 6 others. Among the court-specified war crimes, for which they were ordered hung by U.S. judges, was the waterboarding torture of prisoners.
1964: Over 2,000 people were killed by a cyclone in Ceylon (known today as Sri Lanka).
1972: A massive earthquake struck Managua, Nicaragua, causing the deaths of approximately 7,000 people.
1973: 6 Persian Gulf nations doubled their oil prices.
1979: Soviet forces occupied the capital city of Kabul after the communist USSR invaded Afghanistan. The Taliban defense forces (U.S. President Ronald Reagan called them "freedom fighters" and "the moral equivalent of America's founding fathers" when he welcomed some of their leaders in the Oval Office) were trained and armed primarily by the U.S. The same Taliban are today fighting the U.S. after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.
1997: A U.S. jury found Terry Nichols guilty of involvement with Timothy McVeigh in the terrorist bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City - up to that time the worst act of terrorism in the U.S.