Joshua Chapter 20

Moses was given direction from the Lord, as to how the land of promise would be divided by the children of Israel. We read the fulfillment of those directions in the book of Joshua. At this point, the tribes of Israel, had received the inheritances they were promised. There were a few things that were still left to determine, one of those was where the cities of refuge would be located (see Numbers 35). This chapter goes over this item.

1 The Lord also spake unto Joshua, saying,
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:
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.
4 And when he that doth flee unto one of those cities shall stand at the entering of the gate of the city, 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.
5 And if the avenger of blood pursue after him, then they shall not deliver the slayer up into his hand; because he smote his neighbour unwittingly, and hated him not beforetime.
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.

Joshua was given the direction, to appoint the cities of refuge. These were cities for those who were guilty of manslaughter, or killing another unintentionally. In having these cities, they would be spared from revenge of the family members, and the family would not be tempted to intentionally kill them and bring a greater sin upon themselves. Those who sought refuge there, would be given a place to live, and would be protected there until they faced judgment, or until the high priest died. At that point, that person would return back to his homeland.

7 And they appointed Kedesh in Galilee in mount Naphtali, and Shechem in mount Ephraim, and Kirjath-arba, which is Hebron, in the mountain of Judah.
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.
9 These were the cities appointed for all the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them, 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.

Six cities were appointed throughout the land of the Israelites for this purpose. These cities were to be a blessing and a protection to those who had need of them.

This chapter is one of the many, which shows that God delivers on his promises and directions to his people. These instructions had been given to Moses years prior, and at this point Joshua receives the same directions in order to fulfill them. The Lord has given us many revelations from the prophets of old, which teach of these latter days. I believe in continuing revelation through the Lord’s prophets, and that we have prophets on the earth today, who are receiving the revelations necessary to fulfill the words of the Lord for our day. The work of the Lord continues to go forth, and great blessings will come to those who are faithful in living righteously.


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I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.


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