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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

Chapter 21

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Levitical Cities. 1The heads of the Levite families* came up to Eleazar the priest, to Joshua, son of Nun, and to the heads of families of the other tribes of the Israelites w Ex 6, 16–19; Nm 3, 17–20 . 2at Shiloh in the land of Canaan, and said to them, “The LORD commanded, through Moses, that cities be given us to dwell in, with pasture lands for our livestock.” x Nm 35, 2 . 3Out of their own heritage, in obedience to this command of the LORD, the Israelites gave the Levites the following cities with their pasture lands.

4When the first lot among the Levites fell to the clans of the Kohathites, the descendants of Aaron the priest obtained thirteen cities by lot from the tribes of Judah, Simeon and Benjamin. 5The rest of the Kohathites obtained ten cities by lot from the clans of the tribe of Ephraim, from the tribe of Dan, and from the half‐tribe of Manasseh. 6The Gershonites obtained thirteen cities by lot from the clans of the tribe of Issachar, from the tribe of Asher, from the tribe of Naphtali, and from the half‐tribe of Manasseh. 7The clans of the Merarites obtained twelve cities from the tribes of Reuben, Gad and Zebulun. 8These cities with their pasture lands the Israelites allotted to the Levites in obedience to the LORD's command through Moses. y Nm 35, 2 .

Cities of the Priests. 9 z 9–19: 1 Chr 6, 54–60 . From the tribes of the Judahites and Simeonites they designated the following cities, 10and assigned them to the descendants of Aaron in the Kohathite clan of the Levites, since the first lot fell to them: 11first, Kiriath‐arba (Arba was the father of Anak), that is, Hebron, in the mountain region of Judah, with the adjacent pasture lands, 12although the open country and villages belonging to the city had been given to Caleb, son of Jephunneh, as his property. a Jos 14, 14; 15, 13 . 13Thus to the descendants of Aaron the priest were given the city of asylum for homicides at Hebron, with its pasture lands; also, Libnah with its pasture lands, 14Jattir with its pasture lands, Eshtemoa with its pasture lands, 15Holon with its pasture lands, Debir with its pasture lands, 16Ashan with its pasture lands, Juttah with its pasture lands, and Beth‐shemesh with its pasture lands: nine cities from the two tribes mentioned. 17From the tribe of Benjamin they obtained the four cities of Gibeon with its pasture lands, Geba with its pasture lands, 18Anathoth b Jer 1, 1 . with its pasture lands, and Almon with its pasture lands. 19These cities which with their pasture lands belonged to the priestly descendants of Aaron, were thirteen in all.

Cities of the Other Kohathites. 20 c 20–26: 1 Chr 6, 66–70 . The rest of the Kohathite clans among the Levites obtained by lot, from the tribe of Ephraim, four cities. 21They were assigned, with its pasture lands, the city of asylum for homicides at Shechem in the mountain region of Ephraim; also Gezer with its pasture lands, 22Kibzaim with its pasture lands, and Beth‐horon with its pasture lands. 23From the tribe of Dan they obtained the four cities of Elteke with its pasture lands, Gibbethon with its pasture lands, 24Aijalon with its pasture lands, and Gath‐rimmon with its pasture lands; 25and from the half‐tribe of Manasseh the two cities of Taanach with its pasture lands and Ibleam with its pasture lands. 26These cities which with their pasture lands belonged to the rest of the Kohathite clans were ten in all.

Cities of the Gershonites. 27 d 27–33: 1 Chr 6, 71–76 . The Gershonite clan of the Levites received from the half‐tribe of Manasseh two cities: the city of asylum for homicides at Golan with its pasture lands; and also Beth‐Astharoth with its pasture lands. 28From the tribe of Issachar they obtained the four cities of Kishion with its pasture lands, Daberath with its pasture lands, 29Jarmuth with its pasture lands, and En‐gannim with its pasture lands; 30from the tribe of Asher, the four cities of Mishal with its pasture lands, Abdon with its pasture lands, 31Helkath with its pasture lands, and Rehob with its pasture lands; 32and from the tribe of Naphtali, three cities: the city of asylum for homicides at Kedesh in Galilee, with its pasture lands; also Hammath with its pasture lands, and Rakkath with its pasture lands. 33These cities which with their pasture lands belonged to the Gershonite clans were thirteen in all.

Cities of the Merarites. 34 e 34–38: 1 Chr 6. 77–81 . The Merarite clans, the last of the Levites, received from the tribe of Zebulun the four cities of Jokneam with its pasture lands, Kartah with its pasture lands, 35Rimmon with its pasture lands, and Nahalal with its pasture lands; 36also, across the Jordan, from the tribe of Reuben, four cities: the city of asylum for homicides at Bezer with its pasture lands, Jahaz with its pasture lands, 37Kedemoth with its pasture lands, and Mephaath with its pasture lands; 38and from the tribe of Gad a total of four cities: the city of asylum for homicides at Ramoth in Gilead with its pasture lands, also Mahanaim with its pasture lands, 39Heshbon with its pasture lands, and Jazer with its pasture lands. 40The cities which were allotted to the Merarite clans, the last of the Levites, were therefore twelve in all.

41Thus the total number of cities f Nm 35, 7 . within the territory of the Israelites which, with their pasture lands, belonged to the Levites, was forty‐eight. 42With each and every one of these cities went the pasture lands round about it.

43And so the LORD gave Israel all the land he had sworn to their fathers he would give them. g Gn 12, 7; 13, 15; 15, 18; 26, 3; 28, 4. 13 . Once they had conquered and occupied it, 44the LORD gave them peace on every side, just as he had promised their fathers. Not one of their enemies could withstand them; the LORD brought all their enemies under their power. 45Not a single promise h Jos 23, 14f . that the LORD made to the house of Israel was broken; every one was fulfilled.

Notes:

w: Ex 6, 16–19; Nm 3, 17–20 .

x: Nm 35, 2 .

y: Nm 35, 2 .

z: 9–19: 1 Chr 6, 54–60 .

a: Jos 14, 14; 15, 13 .

b: Jer 1, 1 .

c: 20–26: 1 Chr 6, 66–70 .

d: 27–33: 1 Chr 6, 71–76 .

e: 34–38: 1 Chr 6. 77–81 .

f: Nm 35, 7 .

g: Gn 12, 7; 13, 15; 15, 18; 26, 3; 28, 4. 13 .

h: Jos 23, 14f .

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