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SermonIndex.net : Christian Books : Joshua 21:20-45

Commentary On Joshua by Jean Calvin

Joshua 21:20-45

20. And the families of the children of Kohath, the Levites which remained of the children of Kohath, even they had the cities of their lot out of the tribe of Ephraim.

20. Familiis vero filiarum Cahath Levitarum, qui residui erant de filiis Cahath (fuerunt autem urbes sortis eorum de tribu Ephraim.)

21. For they gave them Shechem with her suburbs in mount Ephraim, to be a city of refuge for the slayer; and Gezer with her suburbs,

21. Dederunt, inquam, illis urbem refugii homicidae Sechem, et suburbana ejus in monte Ephraim: et Geser et suburbana ejus.

22. And Kibzaim with her suburbs, and Bethhoron with her suburbs; four cities.

22. Et Cibsaim et suburbana ejus: et Beth-horon et suburbana ejus: urbes quatuor.

23. And out of the tribe of Dan, Eltekeh with her suburbs, Gibbethon with her suburbs,

23. De tribu vero Dan, Elthece et suburbana ejus: et Gibbethon et suburbana ejus.

24. Aijalon with her suburbs, Gathrimmon with her suburbs; four cities.

24. Et Ajalon et suburbana ejus, et Gath-rimmon et suburbana ejus: urbes quatuor.

25. And out of the half tribe of Manasseh, Tanach with her suburbs, and Gathrimmon with her suburbs; two cities.

25. De dimidia vero tribu Manasse Thaanach, et suburbana ejus: Gathrimmon et suburbana ejus: urbes duae.

26. All the cities were ten with their suburbs for the families of the children of Kohath that remained.

26. Omnes urbes decem, et suburbana earum, familiis filiorum Cahath residuis.

27. And unto the children of Gershon, of the families of the Levites, out of the other half tribe of Manasseh they gave Golan in Bashan with her suburbs, to be a city of refuge for the slayer; and Beeshterah with her suburbs; two cities.

27. Porro filiis Gerson de familiis Levitarum, de dimidia tribu Manasse urbem refugii homicidae, Golan in Basan, et suburbana ejus, Beesthera et suburbana ejus: urbes duae.

28. And out of the tribe of Issachar, Kishon with her suburbs, Dabareh with her suburbs,

28. De tribu Issachar, Cision et suburbana ejus: Dabrath et suburbana ejus.

29. Jarmuth with her suburbs, Engannim with her suburbs; four cities.

29. Iarmuth et suburbana ejus: Engannim et suburbana ejus: urbes quatuor.

30. And out of the tribe of Asher, Mishal with her suburbs, Abdon with her suburbs,

30. De tribu autem Aser, Misal et suburbana ejus: Abdon et suburbana ejus.

31. Helkath with her suburbs, and Rehob with her suburbs; four cities.

31. Helcath et suburbana ejus, et Rehob et suburbana ejus: urbes quatuor.

32. And out of the tribe of Naphtali, Kedesh in Galilee with her suburbs, to be a city of refuge for the slayer; and Hammothdor with her suburbs, and Kartan with her suburbs; three cities.

32. De tribu vero Nephthaliurbem refugii homicidae, Cedes in Galil et suburbana ejus: et Hamoth-dor et suburbana ejus: et Carthan et suburbana ejus: urbes tres.

33. All the cities of the Gershonites according to their families were thirteen cities with their suburbs.

33. Omnes urbes Gersonitarum per familias suas, tredecim urbes, et suburbana earum.

34. And unto the families of the children of Merari, the rest of the Levites, out of the tribe of Zebulun, Jokneam with her suburbs, and Kartah with her suburbs,

34. Familiis autem filiorum Merari Levitarum residuorum, de tribu Zabulon: Jocneam et suburbana ejus: Cartha et suburbana ejus.

35. Dimnah with her suburbs, Nahalal with her suburbs; four cities.

35. Dimnah et suburbana ejus, Nahalal et suburbana ejus: urbes quatuor.

36. And out of the tribe of Reuben, Bezer with her suburbs, and Jahazah with her suburbs,

36. De tribu vero Ruben, Beser et suburbana ejus: et Jehasa et suburbana ejus.

37. Kedemoth with her suburbs, and Mephaath with her suburbs; four cities.

37. Cedemoth et suburbana ejus: Mephaath et suburbana ejus: urbes quatuor.

38. And out of the tribe of Gad, Ramoth in Gilead with her suburbs, to be a city of refuge for the slayer; and Mahanaim with her suburbs,

38. Et de tribu Gad, urbem refugii homicidae, Ramoth in Gileath et suburbana ejus: et Mahanaim et suburbana ejus.

39. Heshbon with her suburbs, Jazer with her suburbs; four cities in all.

39. Hesbon et suburbana ejus: Jaazer et suburbana ejus: urbes quatuor.

40. So all the cities for the children of Merari by their families, which were remaining of the families of the Levites, were by their lot twelve cities.

40. Omnes urbes filiorum Merari per familias suas qui residui erant de familiis Levitarum, ut fuit sors eorum, urbes duodecim.

41. All the cities of the Levites within the possession of the children of Israel were forty and eight cities with their suburbs.

41. Omnes urbes Levitarum, in medio possessionis filiorum Israel, urbes quadraginta octo et suburbana earum.

42. These cities were every one with their suburbs round about them: thus were all these cities.

42. Fuerunt urbes istae singulae, et suburbana earum per circuitum ipsarum: sic omnibus urbibus istis.

43. And the LORD gave unto Israel all the land which he swear to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein.

43. Dedit itaque Jehova Israeli universam terram de qua juraverat se daturum eam patribus eorum: et possederunt eam, habitaveruntque in ea.

44. And the LORD gave them rest round about, according to all that he swear unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand.

44. Requiem quoque dederit eis Jehova in circuitu prosus ut juraverat Jehova patribus eorum: neque fuit quisquam qui resisteret illis ex omnibus inimicis eorum: omnes inimicos eorum tradidit Jehova in manum eorum.

45. There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.

45. Non cecidit ullum verbum ex omni bono quod loquutus fuerat Jehova ad domum Israel, omnia evenerunt.

20. And the families of the children of Kohath, etc Why it was necessary that the Levites should be dispersed among the different tribes, the reader may see in my Commentaries on the Books of Moses. This dispersion had, indeed, been imposed on their progenitor as a punishment for the cruelty and perfidy of which he had been guilty toward the children of Shechem, but the disgrace of it had been converted into the highest honor by their appointment as a kind of guardians in every district to retain the people in the pure worship of God. It is true, they were everywhere strangers; but still it was with the very high dignity of acting as stewards for God, and preventing their countrymen from revolting from piety. This is the reason for stating so carefully how many cities they obtained from each tribe; they were everywhere to keep watch, and preserve the purity of sacred rites unimpaired.

41. All the cities of the Levites, etc This passage more especially shows what I have already more than once adverted to, that the boundaries of the other tribes were not so confined as not to comprehend a far larger number of cities than is actually mentioned. It is perfectly well known that Levi was the least numerous of all the tribes. With what equity, then, could it have been allowed to expand itself over four times the space allowed to the tribe of Zebulun, which, though more populous, is mentioned as only possessing twelve cities. Only sixteen are enumerated as belonging to the tribe of Issachar, nineteen to the tribe of Naphtali, and twenty-two to the tribe of Asher. It would surely have been an unequal division to give the greater number of cities for habitation to the smaller population. Hence we infer, that not only the villages which are here set down as accessories of the cities were fit for habitation, but that other cities also, of which no mention is made, were included. In short, the extent of the lot of Levi makes it perfectly obvious how large and ample the territories of the other tribes must have been.

43. And the Lord gave unto Israel, etc Should any one raise a question as to this rest, the answer is easy. The nations of Canaan were so completely overcome with fear, that they thought they could not better consult their interest than by servility flattering the Israelites, and purchasing peace from them on any terms. Plainly, therefore, the country was subdued and rendered peaceful for habitation, since no one gave any annoyance, or dared to entertain any hostile intentions, since there were no threats, no snares, no violence, no conspiracies.

A second point, however, raises some doubt, namely, how the children of Israel can be said to have been settled in the possession of the land promised to them, and to have become masters of it, in such a sense that in regard to the enjoyment of it, not one syllable of the promises of God had failed. For we have already seen that many of the enemy were intermingled with them. The divine intention was, that not one of the enemy should be permitted to remain; on the other hand, the Israelites do not drive out many, but admit them as neighbors, as if the inheritance had been common to them; they even make pactions with them. How then can these two things be reconciled, that God, as he had promised, gave possession of the land to the people, and yet they were excluded from some portion by the power or obstinate resistance of the enemy?

In order to remove this appearance of contradiction, it is necessary to distinguish between the certain, clear, and steadfast faithfulness of God in keeping his promises, and between the effeminacy and sluggishness of the people, in consequence of which the benefit of the divine goodness in a manner slipped through their hands. Whatever war the people undertook, in whatever direction they moved their standards, victory was prepared; nor was there any other delay or obstacle to their exterminating all their enemies than their own voluntary torpor. Wherefore, although they did not rout them all so as to make their possession clear, yet the truth of God came visibly forth, and was realized, inasmuch as they might have obtained what was remaining without any difficulty, had they been pleased to avail themselves of the victories offered to them. The whole comes to this, that it was owing entirely to their own cowardice that they did not enjoy the divine goodness in all its fullness and integrity. This will be still clearer from the following chapter.

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