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Sunday, February 16 2014

Joshua 20: Cities Of Justice

"That whosoever killeth any person at unawares might flee thither, and not die by the hand of the avenger of blood, until he stood before the congregation"

The ancient world is often regarded as a more lethal place. Perhaps the primary reason is that people were responsible for their own security. There were no police or courts to intervene. The only law that many knew and were subject to was the law of survival. One simply could not afford to allow an enemy endless opportunities to do harm, so they were simply killed to extinguish the threat. The same happened in matters of revenge, regardless of whether the pursued individual was actually guilty.

Cities Of Refuge In the Kingdom of the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God), of which "Israel" was an object-lesson prophecy of the coming Kingdom of God (see The Constitution Of The Kingdom Of God and The Church: Mission Accomplished), law and order were established for civilization. Accused people could resort to "cities of refuge," not to escape justice, but to see that justice was done.

The inheritance of the tribe of Levi (see Numbers 3: When Were The Levites Set Apart? and the Fact Finder question below) was their service to the LORD, throughout the tribal territories of all of the other tribes of Israel. For that reason, strategically-located Levite cities were designated as those "cities of refuge."

"20:1 The LORD also spake unto Joshua [see also Joshua 1: Joshua's Commission], 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 [see Numbers 35: Cities Of Refuge]: 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.

20:4 And when he that doth flee unto one of those cities shall stand at the entering of the gate of the city [see also The Messiah's Teachings About Gates], and shall declare his cause in the ears of the elders of that city, they shall take him into the city unto them, and give him a place, that he may dwell among them.

20:5 And if the avenger of blood pursue after him [see also Leviticus 8: The Prophecy Of The Blood Upon The Anointed One and The Water and The Blood], then they shall not deliver the slayer up into his hand; because he smote his neighbour unwittingly, and hated him not beforetime. 20:6 And he shall dwell in that city, until he stand before the congregation for judgment, and until the death of the high priest that shall be in those days: then shall the slayer return, and come unto his own city, and unto his own house, unto the city from whence he fled.

20:7 And they appointed Kedesh in Galilee in mount Naphtali, and Shechem in mount Ephraim, and Kirjatharba, which is Hebron, in the mountain of Judah [see Joshua 11: The Land Rested From War and Joshua 13: The Frontiers].

20:8 And on the other side Jordan by Jericho eastward, they assigned Bezer in the wilderness upon the plain out of the tribe of Reuben, and Ramoth in Gilead out of the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan out of the tribe of Manasseh [see Numbers 32: The Israel Of East Jordan].

20:9 These were the cities appointed for all the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them [e.g. see Joshua 2: Rahab Of Jericho], that whosoever killeth any person at unawares might flee thither, and not die by the hand of the avenger of blood, until he stood before the congregation." (Joshua 20:1-9 KJV)

Fact Finder: How did the inheritance of the Levites make them intermediaries of the LORD's justice?
See Numbers 18: The Inheritance Of The Levites

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This Day In History, February 16

116: Emperor Trajan sent laureatae to the Roman Senate at Rome for his victories over Parthia (see The Politics Of Rome and A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).

Canadian Pacific Railway 374: The ninth recorded perihelion passage of what was later named Halley's Comet occurred.

1249: Dominican missionary and diplomat Andrew of Longjumeau was sent by Louis IX of France as his ambassador to establish diplomatic relations with the Khagan of the Mongol Empire (see also Gog and Magog).

1270: The Grand Duchy of Lithuania defeated the Livonian Order at the Battle of Karuse.

1349: Jews were expelled from Burgsdorf, Switzerland.

1559: Pope Paul IV called for the overthrow of any king who opposed the Church of Rome's doctrines (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy). The decree was aimed primarily at England.

1646: The Battle of Torrington in Devon. It was the last major battle of the First English Civil War.

1699: The First Leopoldine Diploma was issued by the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation). It provided the Greek Catholic clergy with the same rights as Roman Catholic priests in the Principality of Transylvania.

1771: Astronomer Charles Messier presented his original list of 45 M-objects to the French Academy.

1808: France invaded Spain during the Peninsular War.

1881: The Canadian Pacific Railway was incorporated by and Act of Parliament at Ottawa.

1918: Lithuania proclaimed its independence from Russia.

1923: Howard Carter unsealed the newly-discovered burial chamber of Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun (see also Ipuwer's Exodus and Jacob's Mummy).

1940: The British destroyer HMS Cossack rescued British seamen from a German prison ship, the Altmark, in a Norwegian fjord.

1944: The Japanese naval base at Truk, Caroline Islands, was bombed by Allied aircraft, destroying 201 planes.

1948: "Miranda," a moon of the planet "Uranus," was photographed for the first time. While many scientists claim to reject religion, they nevertheless very often name heavenly objects after pagan gods e.g. Saturn, Uranus, Pluto.

1956: Britain abolished the death penalty.

1959: Fidel Castro was sworn in as Prime Minister of Cuba after leading a guerrilla campaign that ousted the C.I.A. and Mafia (the Cuba scenes in the "Godfather" movies are based on historical reality) backed dictator Fulgencio Batista on New Year's Day. The "out of the frying pan, into the fire" Cuban people went from being ruled by a fascist, U.S.-backed tyrant to a communist rebel.

1987: The trial of John Demjanjuk, accused of being "Ivan the Terrible" of the Treblinka death camp, began in Israel.

2005: The Kyoto Protocol came into force after its ratification by Russia.


Copyright © Wayne Blank