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Thursday, March 21 2019
A Bible Journey, 152: The Cities Of Sanctuary And Judgment
" 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 ... And they shall be unto you cities for refuge from the avenger; that the manslayer die not, until he stand before the congregation in judgment"
The LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ; see The Real Jesus: The Word Of The LORD God and A Bible Journey, 56: The Sacred Name) chose the Israelite tribe of Levi, the Levites, to serve the LORD and His people (see A Bible Journey, 120: Why Was The House Of Aaron Made Holy? and A Bible Journey, 121: The Three Branches Of Levi).
For that reason and purpose, the Levites were to live throughout the other tribes of Israel, but apart from them. The Levites were not a democratic choice of the people. They were appointed by the LORD as exclusive servants of the LORD and His Law (see A Bible Journey, 122: The Salvation Training Manual and A Bible Journey, 72: The Perfect Law Of Liberty).
"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" where 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 A Bible Journey, 149: The Eastside Israelites) and three west of the Jordan River (see A Bible Journey, 151: When Ye Come Into The Land 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
This Day In History, March 21
537: The Siege of Rome. King Vitiges attempted to assault the northern and eastern city walls, but was driven back at the Praenestine Gate, known as the Vivarium, by the defenders under the Byzantine generals Bessas and Peranius (see also The Roman Border Walls Paradox).
717: The Battle of Vincy during Frankish civil war. Charles Martel fought Chilperic and Ragenfrid.
1152: The annulment of the marriage of King Louis VII of France and Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine.
1413: Henry V became King of England.
1556: At Oxford, Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was burned at the stake as a heretic.
1788: New Orleans, Louisiana, was nearly completely destroyed by fire. The French-founded city ("Louisiana" is named after King Louis of France; "Orleans" is a city in north-central France) was ceded to the Spanish Empire in the Treaty of Paris of 1763. It reverted briefly to France when it was taken by Napoleon Bonaparte, who sold the city and the territory to the U.S. in the "Louisiana Purchase" of 1803 to help pay for his "Napoleonic Wars" in Europe (see also Russia Or Europe - Who Has Been The Invader?).
1800: After being driven out of Rome during a rebellion, Pius VII was crowned Pope in Venice with a temporary papal tiara made of papier-mache.
1801: The Battle of Alexandria was fought between British and French forces near the ruins of Nicopolis in Egypt.
1804: The French civil code, the Code Napoleon, was proclaimed.
1844: The date set by "Adventist" founder William Miller for the day of Christ's return; when his prediction failed, he set a new date, October 22 1844, which also failed, becoming known as "the Great Disappointment" (see also When The Final Countdown Will Begin).
1857: An earthquake in Tokyo, Japan killed over 100,000 people.
1871: German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck opened the first Reichstag (Parliament) in the First German Reich (see also The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).
1871: Welsh journalist Henry Morton Stanley began his famous journey to find the Scottish missionary and explorer David Livingstone (Dr. Livingstone, I presume?").
1917: Czar Nicholas II and his family were arrested by communist revolutionary forces in Russia. They were all later executed.
1918: The Second Battle of the Somme, the last German offensive of the First World War (1914-1918), began (see also The Assassination That Triggered Two World Wars).
1927: Nationalist Chinese forces of Chiang Kai-shek took the city of Shanghai; communist forces and local warlords fled before they arrived.
1963: Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco Bay was closed.
1973: John Dean's "there's a cancer on the presidency" meeting with Richard Nixon during the Watergate criminal investigations (see also The Impeachment Of The President).
1980: U.S. President Jimmy Carter announced that the U.S. Olympic team would not participate in the 1980 Summer Games in Moscow as a protest against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The U.S. itself thereafter invaded Afghanistan in 2001.
1990: Namibia became independent after 75 years of South African rule.