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October 20    Scripture



Bible Cities: Levitical Cities
Levitical Cities in the Bible

Levitical Cities in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE le-vit'-i-kal I. LEGAL PROVISIONS 1. Numbers 2. Deuteronomy II. WELLHAUSEN'S VIEW III. ALTERNATIVE VIEW AND EVIDENCE 1. Traces of the Cities 2. Wellhausen's Arguments Answered 3. Van Hoonacker's Reply 4. Ezekiel's Vision 5. Priestly Cities and Cities in Which Priests Dwell LITERATURE I. Legal Provisions. 1. Numbers: Nu 35:1-8 provides that 48 cities should be given to the Levites, each surrounded by a pasturage. The exact details are not quite clear, for in the Hebrew, Nu 35:4 would naturally be read as meaning that the pasturage was a radius of 1,000 cubits from the city walls, while 35:5 makes each city the center of a square, each side of which was 2,000 cubits long. Extant variants in the versions suggest, however, that the text has suffered slightly in transmission. Originally there seems to have been no discrepancy between the two verses, and it may be doubted whether the intent was that the city was always to be in the mathematical center of the patch. The Levites were to have the right of redeeming the houses at any time, and in default of redemption they were to go out in the Jubilee. The field was not to be sold (Lev 25:32 f). 2. Deuteronomy: Dt 18:8 undoubtedly recognizes patrimonial possessions of the Levites outside the religious capital, and sees no inconsistency with its earlier statement that Levi had no portion or inheritance with Israel (18:1). The explanation lies in the fact that these cities were not a tribal portion like the territories of the secular tribes. The area occupied by the whole 48 jointly would only have amounted to less than 16 miles. II. Wellhausen's View. Josh 21 relates that this command...

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