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Bible Commentaries

Dr. Constable's Expository Notes

Joshua 20

Verses 1-9

1. The cities of refuge ch. 20

At this time, the tribal leaders formally designated the six cities of refuge, about which Moses had received instructions (Numbers 35). Three stood west of the Jordan: Kadesh in Naphtali, Shechem in Manasseh, and Hebron in Judah (Joshua 20:7). Three more were east of the Jordan: Bezer in Reuben, Ramoth in Gad, and Golan in Manasseh (Joshua 20:8). Their placement meant that no Israelite would have to travel far to reach one of them. [Note: See my notes on Numbers 35:9-34 for further explanation of the cities of refuge.]

"The Christian community must take seriously its responsibility to examine penal institutions and practices and seek to find the ways God would lead us to reform such practices. The innocent man should not suffer unduly and the guilty man should be given sufficient protection and hope for new opportunities as well as sufficient punishment." [Note: Butler, p. 218.]

"The cities of refuge . . . seem to typify Christ to whom sinners, pursued by the avenging Law which decrees judgment and death, may flee for refuge." [Note: Campbell, "Joshua," p. 363.]

Verses 1-42

D. The special cities chs. 20:1-21:42

God also set aside special cities for special purposes within the Promised Land.

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Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Joshua 20". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcc/joshua-20.html. 2012.