The two tribes and half are sent home with a blessing, strict charge to fear the Lord, and great booty, 1-9. They build an altar of testimony at the brink of Jordan, 10. The Israelites are offended, and assemble to wage war against them, 11, 12. They first send Phinehas and ten princes ambassadors to reprove them, 13-20. They clear themselves; their brethren rest satisfied, 21-34
Verse 43: And the LORD gave unto Israel (Gen. 13:15; 15:18; 26:3; 28:4, 13) all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein.
[And He gave…all the land] Question: How is this true, since the Canaanites were holding a great part of the land? Responses: 1. He gave with respect to right and dominion in the very distribution of the lots (Lapide, Bonfrerius). 2. And He gave a far greater part with respect to actual use and possession. 3. He gave all as He decreed and decided that He was going to give (Bonfrerius); not indeed at one and the same time, but successively, lest wild beasts multiply (Lyra, Lapide, Masius, Bonfrerius). See Joshua 13 (Lyra), and Exodus 23:29, 30 (Bonfrerius). Now, this condition, which He had added to His promise, was not burdensome, but advantageous, to the Israelites (Lapide out of Tostatus). He gave the land, as much as they were able to occupy to this point; and what parts the Canaanites hold, those they as tenants merely maintain and cultivate for the Israelites, as masters/owners, lest they run wild; and then the Canaanites were going to yield, when the Israelites, enlarged with offspring, were able themselves to come to occupy their estates. 4. The promises of God were according to the covenant, and under the condition that they fulfill their duty (Masius).
The LORD gave all the land, etc.: He gave them the right to all, and the actual possession of the greatest part of it, and power to possess the rest as soon as it was needful and convenient for them, which was by degrees, when their numbers were increased, etc., Exodus 23:29, 30, and the absolute dominion of all the people remaining in it.
Verse 44: (Josh. 11:23; 22:4) And the LORD gave them rest round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers: and (Deut. 7:24) there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand.
[And peace was given by Him, וַיָּ֙נַח יְהוָ֤ה לָהֶם֙] And He gave rest to them (Septuagint, Arabic, Montanus, Junius and Tremellius). Question: How is this true, since the Danites, driven into the mountains, were compelled to relinquish the valleys to the Canaanites? Response: It is true κατὰ συνεκδοχὴν, synecdochically, for most of the other Tribes were superior to their enemies. Just as in 1 Corinthians 15:5, He appeared to the twelve, although Judas, having been hanged, had burst asunder. But I, nothing doubting, would say that neither the Danites nor others fought with their enemies unsuccessfully, except after the death of Joshua and the elders, when with piety decaying the affairs of the Israelites also began to grow worse (Masius).
[And no one dared to resist] Hebrew: not a man stood…of all their enemies, namely, whom the Israelites attacked, and were hostilely provoked by them (Junius, Malvenda).
There stood not a man of all their enemies before them: To wit, all the days of Joshua, by comparing Joshua 1:5, for afterwards it was otherwise with them.
Verse 45: (Josh. 23:14) There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.
[Not even one word…was void, לֹֽא־נָפַ֣ל דָּבָ֔ר] Not a word of every good word has fallen (Montanus, similarly the Septuagint, Jonathan, Syriac). No matter has perished (or, been omitted [Masius]) of all the good promises, etc. (Arabic, similarly Junius and Tremellius, Masius). The execution of that Divine benediction promised to the obedient, Deuteronomy 11:27, is here called a good matter (Masius).
 Hebrew: וַיִּתֵּ֤ן יְהוָה֙ לְיִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אֶת־כָּל־הָאָ֔רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֥ר נִשְׁבַּ֖ע לָתֵ֣ת לַאֲבוֹתָ֑ם וַיִּרָשׁ֖וּהָ וַיֵּ֥שְׁבוּ בָֽהּ׃
 Hebrew: וַיָּ֙נַח יְהוָ֤ה לָהֶם֙ מִסָּבִ֔יב כְּכֹ֥ל אֲשֶׁר־נִשְׁבַּ֖ע לַאֲבוֹתָ֑ם וְלֹא־עָ֙מַד אִ֤ישׁ בִּפְנֵיהֶם֙ מִכָּל־אֹ֣יְבֵיהֶ֔ם אֵ֚ת כָּל־אֹ֣יְבֵיהֶ֔ם נָתַ֥ן יְהוָ֖ה בְּיָדָֽם׃
 Hebrew: וְלֹא־עָ֙מַד אִ֤ישׁ בִּפְנֵיהֶם֙ מִכָּל־אֹ֣יְבֵיהֶ֔ם.
 Hebrew: לֹֽא־נָפַ֣ל דָּבָ֔ר מִכֹּל֙ הַדָּבָ֣ר הַטּ֔וֹב אֲשֶׁר־דִּבֶּ֥ר יְהוָ֖ה אֶל־בֵּ֣ית יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל הַכֹּ֖ל בָּֽא׃
Verse 3: (Luke 11:28; Rev. 22:7) Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for (Rom. 13:11; Jam. 5:8; 1 Pet. 4:7; Rev. 22:10) the time is at hand.
[Blessed is he who, etc., μακάριος ὁ ἀναγινώσκων, καὶ οἱ ἀκούοντες τοὺς λόγους τῆς, etc.] Thus Daniel 12:12, μακάριος ὁ ὑπομένων, blessed is he that waits. The foresignified retributions of God against the Jews and Romans were able to convey solace to Christians everywhere vexed. See Revelation 13:10 (Grotius). He commends the book, which he foresaw would come to seem useless to many (Durham). The sense: It is exceedingly profitable to read, to learn, and to keep those things that are found here (Menochius). For all these are to be joined (Ribera). [Thus they translate:] He that reads, and (understand, blessed are they [Piscator, Beza]) that hear (a Hebraic change of number [Beza]: he reads, they hear: for we read alone, we hear joined together [Cotterius, similarly Cluverus]: He adds this, that this book was not going to reach unto all immediately; but those that had obtained it were going to read aloud in good faith to others those things that they had read [Grotius]: Or, he changes the number, lest the unlearned, ignorant of reading, should appear to be excluded from this fruit [Pareus, similarly Durham]; and so that the public reading, hearing, and interpretation, of this book might be commended before all [Durham]: But with what fruit will we read and hear what we do not grasp? Response: God will be near and influence those piously reading these mysteries [Cotterius], and the seals of this book have already been opened [Durham]) the words (the word, verse 2: The word is one, as true, manifold, as it truly contains many things [Cotterius]) of this prophecy (τῆς, of the, in the place of ταύτης, of this: See Romans 11:29 [Grotius]: Even if past and present things are described, verse 19 [Cotterius], yet future things principally, with respect to which it is called a Prophecy [Cotterius, similarly Durham]), and keep (that is, retain in memory [Grotius, similarly Lapide, Piscator], in such a way that they often consider them, and have confidence in them, and establish their lives according to those things [Piscator]: Or, observe [Beza, Gomar] through faith of the truth and love of the precepts [Gomar]) those things which are written in it (Piscator, Beza, etc.), namely, so that they might compare them with events, whence they might be further reinforced in faith (Grotius); so that they might be stirred by them unto obedience to God, and a holy life, and suffering for Christ (Lapide). Question: But how are we hence rendered blessed? Response: Because the Apocalypse discusses everywhere the ends especially of good men and of evil men, and the means unto those: the very calamities also, which are here predicted, cry out that there must be repentance (Cotterius). Blessed are they, because they know such things to be guided, not by chance, but by divine providence; because they are not offended by the cross of the Church, but persevere in it; because they know that the insolence of enemies is only going to endure for a brief time, and that they are in the end going to reign with Christ eternally (Apocalyptic Harmony). Τηρεῖν, to keep, here is the same as συντηρεῖν in Luke 2:19, and διατηρεῖν in Luke 2:51 (Grotius).
Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy: from hence is well concluded, that this is a portion of holy writ to be read publicly and privately, otherwise no blessing would have been pronounced to the readers or the hearers of it. It is also well from hence concluded, that this book is no history of things done, but a prediction of things to come to pass; for though prophecy in some scriptures signifieth more largely the revelation of the Divine will, yet here it must signify strictly. And keep those things which are written therein; that keep it in memory, and live in view of it, and as persons that believe it; they are blessed, as they will from it be comforted, concerning all the sufferings of the church, and people of God.
[The time, etc., καιρὸς, etc.] For the time (either, 1. in which those things will begin to be accomplished [Piscator]: or, 2. of certain things; as concerning the civil wars of the Romans, concerning the destruction of Jerusalem [Grotius]: or, 3. of judgment, or of blessedness [Menochius]; or, of seizing thence the most abundant fruit [Lapide, similarly Menochius, Tirinus], that is, for him that reads the words, hears in faith, and keeps in deed [Gagnæus]: Concerning the word καιρὸς, see Acts 1:7 [Grotius]: It is a moment of time [Camerarius]; or, an occasion, or opportuneness of time: In which he tacitly admonishes that present persecutions are not so much calamities as opportunities for rewards and crowns [Ribera, similarly Lapide]) is at hand (Piscator, Beza), or, is near (Camerarius), so that it is possible that some now living might attain to it (Piscator). Thus he renders them more attentive and vigilant, and excites them by the hope of near reward (Ribera). In the writings of the Prophets, קָרֺב יוֹם, near is the day, is common, as in Deuteronomy 32:35; Isaiah 13:6; Jeremiah 48:16; Joel 1:15; Obadiah 15; Zephaniah 1:7, 14. John does not wish to be objected to himself what had been objected to Ezekiel, Ezekiel 12:27 (Grotius).
For the time is at hand; the season for the accomplishment of these things is nigh, not past, but the time when they shall begin to happen is not very far off.
 Greek: μακάριος ὁ ἀναγινώσκων, καὶ οἱ ἀκούοντες τοὺς λόγους τῆς προφητείας καὶ τηροῦντες τὰ ἐν αὐτῇ γεγραμμένα· ὁ γὰρ καιρὸς ἐγγύς.
 Thus Theodotion.
 The demonstrative use of the definite article.
 Luke 2:19: “But Mary kept (συνετήρει) all these things, and pondered them in her heart.”
 Luke 2:51b: “…but his mother kept (διετήρει) all these sayings in her heart.”
 Acts 1:7b: “…It is not for you to know the times or the seasons (χρόνους ἢ καιροὺς), which the Father hath put in his own power.”
 Deuteronomy 32:35: “To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for near is the day (קָרוֹב֙ י֣וֹם) of their calamity, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.”
 Isaiah 13:6: “Howl ye; for near is the day (קָר֖וֹב י֣וֹם) of the Lord; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.”
 Jeremiah 48:16: “The calamity of Moab is near (קָרוֹב) to come, and his affliction hasteth fast.”
 Joel 1:15: “Alas for the day! for near is the day (קָרוֹב֙ י֣וֹם) of the Lord, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.”
 Obadiah 15a: “For near is the day of the Lord (קָר֥וֹב יוֹם־יְהוָ֖ה) upon all the heathen…”
 Zephaniah 1:7: “Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord God: for near is the day (קָרוֹב֙ י֣וֹם) of the Lord: for the Lord hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests.”
 Zephaniah 1:14a: “Near is the day of the Lord (קָר֤וֹב יוֹם־יְהוָה֙), the great day; it is near (קָרוֹב), and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord…”
Verse 41: (Num. 35:7) All the cities of the Levites within the possession of the children of Israel were forty and eight cities with their suburbs.
[Forty-eight cities] Yest this Tribe was the least of all, having only twenty-three thousand, Numbers 26:62. Why then are so many cities given to the Levites, while to the other tribes, in which there are nearly twice as many tribesmen, are attributed only twelve, sixteen, or twenty towns? Responses: 1. Not all the cities of the remaining tribes are enumerated in those lists of cities obtained by lot; but all those of the Levites are mentioned by name. 2. It was not permitted to the Levities to dwell in the country, nor in the municipalities of their cities (Masius). 3. This was done for the honor of the priesthood, and so that they might give themselves completely to the worship of God, says Philo (Lapide). Moreover, it is to be noted that in the cities of the Levites others also dwelt. 1. Visitors and strangers. What city would be so barbarous as to refuse these? 2. Unintentional manslayers in some of them. 3. Various workmen for necessary uses (Serarius). Now, the Levites were dispersed throughout the individual cities: 1. lest the worship of God should appear to pertain to one tribe only (Lyra); 2. so that they might be sustained by all the people, and lest one Tribe be excessively burdened; 3. So that they might teach all more conveniently (Estius out of Lyra).
Forty and eight cities: Question. Why hath this tribe, which was the least of all, more cities than any of them? Answer. First, It doth not appear that they had more; for though all the cities of the Levites be expressed, it is not so with the other tribes, but divers of their cities are omitted, as is evident. Secondly, The Levites were confined to their cities and suburbs; the rest had large territories belonging to their cities, which also they were in a capacity of improving, which the Levites were not; so that one of their cities might be more considerable than divers of the Levites. Thirdly, God was pleased to deal liberally with his ministers, partly to put honour upon those whom he foresaw many would be prone to despise; and partly, that being free from all outward distractions, they might more entirely and fervently devote themselves to the service of God, and the instruction of souls.
Verse 42: These cities were every one with their suburbs round about them: thus were all these cities.
[With their suburbs, etc.,תִּֽהְיֶ֙ינָה֙ הֶעָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֔לֶּה עִ֣יר עִ֔יר וּמִגְרָשֶׁ֖יהָ סְבִיבֹתֶ֑יהָ כֵּ֖ן לְכָל־הֶעָרִ֥ים הָאֵֽלֶּה׃] Those were (are [Junius and Tremellius]) the cities individual (each one [Junius and Tremellius]; Hebrew, a city a city [Junius]) and their suburbs round about them: thus to all those cities (Pagnine), or, thus it was concerning these individual cities (Munster, similarly the English, Dutch, Arabic, Junius and Tremellius, Vatablus); which is to say, To all those cities suburbs were adjoined (Vatablus). Now, these cities were situated in such a way that to each city its own towns were round about; and all those cities were thus established (Syriac).
 Hebrew: כֹּ֚ל עָרֵ֣י הַלְוִיִּ֔ם בְּת֖וֹךְ אֲחֻזַּ֣ת בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל עָרִ֛ים אַרְבָּעִ֥ים וּשְׁמֹנֶ֖ה וּמִגְרְשֵׁיהֶֽן׃
 Hebrew: תִּֽהְיֶ֙ינָה֙ הֶעָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֔לֶּה עִ֣יר עִ֔יר וּמִגְרָשֶׁ֖יהָ סְבִיבֹתֶ֑יהָ כֵּ֖ן לְכָל־הֶעָרִ֥ים הָאֵֽלֶּה׃
 Hebrew: עִ֣יר עִ֔יר.
Verse 34: (Josh. 21:7; see 1 Chron. 6:77) 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…
[Jokneam, etc.] But in 1 Chronicles 6:77, there are only two cities, and, as far as it appears, diverse from these. Response: It is possible that they received these two on loan, while the Barbarians held those four (Masius).
Verse 35: Dimnah with her suburbs, Nahalal with her suburbs; four cities.
Verse 36: And out of the tribe of Reuben, (Josh. 20:8) Bezer with her suburbs, and Jahazah with her suburbs…
[Out of the tribe of Reuben, etc.] These two verses were not in the most ancient Hebrew codices: and so the Masorah does not number these. Hence they appear to have been added out of Chronicles (Grotius). They are not found in the Venetian edition, but in its margin (Drusius). But these verses are necessarily to be supplied, so that even from this those exemplars of the Massoretes ought to be reckoned as mutilated and less pure (Bonfrerius). For, 1. the Hebrew codices everywhere now have them, and Kimchi testifies that he read them in some most ancient exemplars (Bonfrerius). I myself found them in the other Venetian edition (Drusius). 2. The Septuagint has them, as do the Chaldean and Jerome [add both the Syriac and Arabic], but whence except from the Hebrew (Bonfrerius)? Grotius responds that they had them from Chronicles (Grotius). 3. Otherwise this text of Scripture will be mutilated, neither will the number either of twelve cities in verse 40 or forty-eight cities in verse 41 agree (Bonfrerius, similarly Masius). 4. It was said above (verse 7), that they were going to give cities out of the inheritance of Reuben to the Merarites (Masius, Bonfrerius). 5. They are found in 1 Chronicles 6:78, 79 (Bonfrerius).
Bezer, a city of refuge, as it is called Joshua 20:8, and therefore needless to be here repeated.
Verse 37: Kedemoth with her suburbs, and Mephaath with her suburbs; four cities.
[Bezer in the wilderness, Misor, and Jaser, and Jethson, and Mephaath] Here there are five names; but at the end of the verse they are said to be four. Neither will the number of twelve cities of the Merarites, verse 40, or of forty-eight cities of the Levites, verse 41, otherwise stand (Bonfrerius). Response: Misor is the same with Bezer, that is to say, Bezer, which is Misor (Menochius, Tirinus, Serarius). [But they give themselves unnecessary trouble; for in the Hebrew text Misor is not found, neither in Jonathan, the Syriac, nor the Arabic.] From the text of the Septuagint it crept into the Latin (Serarius).
Verse 38: And out of the tribe of Gad, (Josh. 20:8) Ramoth in Gilead with her suburbs, to be a city of refuge for the slayer; and Mahanaim with her suburbs…
Verse 39: Heshbon with her suburbs, Jazer with her suburbs; four cities in all.
[Heshbon] Question: How was this taken from the Gadites, when previously it was attributed to the Reubenites, Joshua 13:17? Response: It was positioned on the border of those two tribes. Cities of which sort are wont to be ascribed now to one Tribe, now to the other. I would prefer to assert this than to pretend two Heshbons with no authority (Masius).
Verse 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.
 Hebrew: וּלְמִשְׁפְּח֣וֹת בְּנֵֽי־מְרָרִי֮ הַלְוִיִּ֣ם הַנּוֹתָרִים֒ מֵאֵת֙ מַטֵּ֣ה זְבוּלֻ֔ן אֶֽת־יָקְנְעָ֖ם וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶׁ֑הָ אֶת־קַרְתָּ֖ה וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶֽׁהָ׃
 Hebrew: אֶת־דִּמְנָה֙ וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶׁ֔הָ אֶֽת־נַהֲלָ֖ל וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶׁ֑הָ עָרִ֖ים אַרְבַּֽע׃
 Hebrew: וּמִמַּטֵּ֣ה רְאוּבֵ֔ן אֶת־בֶּ֖צֶר וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶׁ֑הָ וְאֶת־יַ֖הְצָה וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶֽׁהָ׃
 Daniel Bomberg (c. 1483-c. 1549) established a printing press in Venice. Although a Christian, he devoted much of his effort to the printing of Hebrew books, including a Rabbinical Hebrew Bible. Bomberg’s work was revised by Jacob ben Hayyim of Tunis (1525).
 Hebrew: אֶת־קְדֵמוֹת֙ וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶׁ֔הָ וְאֶת־מֵיפָ֖עַת וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶׁ֑הָ עָרִ֖ים אַרְבַּֽע׃
 Thus the Vulgate.
 Hebrew: וּמִמַּטֵּה־גָ֗ד אֶת־עִיר֙ מִקְלַ֣ט הָרֹצֵ֔חַ אֶת־רָמֹ֥ת בַּגִּלְעָ֖ד וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶׁ֑הָ וְאֶֽת־מַחֲנַ֖יִם וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶֽׁהָ׃
 Hebrew: אֶת־חֶשְׁבּוֹן֙ וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶׁ֔הָ אֶת־יַעְזֵ֖ר וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶׁ֑הָ כָּל־עָרִ֖ים אַרְבַּֽע׃
 Hebrew: כָּל־הֶ֙עָרִ֜ים לִבְנֵ֤י מְרָרִי֙ לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָ֔ם הַנּוֹתָרִ֖ים מִמִּשְׁפְּח֣וֹת הַלְוִיִּ֑ם וַיְהִי֙ גּוֹרָלָ֔ם עָרִ֖ים שְׁתֵּ֥ים עֶשְׂרֵֽה׃
Verse 27: (Josh. 21:6; 1 Chron. 6:71) And unto the children of Gershon, of the families of the Levites, out of the other half tribe of Manasseh they gave (Josh. 20:8) Golan in Bashan with her suburbs, to be a city of refuge for the slayer; and Beeshterah with her suburbs; two cities.
Verse 28: And out of the tribe of Issachar, Kishon with her suburbs, Dabareh with her suburbs…
Verse 29: Jarmuth with her suburbs, En-gannim with her suburbs; four cities.
Verse 30: And out of the tribe of Asher, Mishal with her suburbs, Abdon with her suburbs…
Verse 31: Helkath with her suburbs, and Rehob with her suburbs; four cities.
Verse 32: And out of the tribe of Naphtali, (Josh. 20:7) Kedesh in Galilee with her suburbs, to be a city of refuge for the slayer; and Hammoth-dor with her suburbs, and Kartan with her suburbs; three cities.
Verse 33: All the cities of the Gershonites according to their families were thirteen cities with their suburbs.
 Hebrew: וְלִבְנֵ֣י גֵרְשׁוֹן֮ מִמִּשְׁפְּחֹ֣ת הַלְוִיִּם֒ מֵחֲצִ֞י מַטֵּ֣ה מְנַשֶּׁ֗ה אֶת־עִיר֙ מִקְלַ֣ט הָרֹצֵ֔חַ אֶת־גָּלוֹ֤ן בַּבָּשָׁן֙ וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶׁ֔הָ וְאֶֽת־בְּעֶשְׁתְּרָ֖ה וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶׁ֑הָ עָרִ֖ים שְׁתָּֽיִם׃
 Hebrew: וּמִמַּטֵּ֣ה יִשָּׂשכָ֔ר אֶת־קִשְׁי֖וֹן וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶׁ֑הָ אֶת־דָּֽבְרַ֖ת וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶֽׁהָ׃
 Hebrew: אֶת־יַרְמוּת֙ וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶׁ֔הָ אֶת־עֵ֥ין גַּנִּ֖ים וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶׁ֑הָ עָרִ֖ים אַרְבַּֽע׃
 Hebrew: וּמִמַּטֵּ֣ה אָשֵׁ֔ר אֶת־מִשְׁאָ֖ל וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶׁ֑הָ אֶת־עַבְדּ֖וֹן וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶֽׁהָ׃
 Hebrew: אֶת־חֶלְקָת֙ וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶׁ֔הָ וְאֶת־רְחֹ֖ב וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶׁ֑הָ עָרִ֖ים אַרְבַּֽע׃
 Hebrew: וּמִמַּטֵּ֙ה נַפְתָּלִ֜י אֶת־עִ֣יר׀ מִקְלַ֣ט הָֽרֹצֵ֗חַ אֶת־קֶ֙דֶשׁ בַּגָּלִ֤יל וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶׁ֙הָ֙ וְאֶת־חַמֹּ֥ת דֹּאר֙ וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶׁ֔הָ וְאֶת־קַרְתָּ֖ן וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶׁ֑הָ עָרִ֖ים שָׁלֹֽשׁ׃
 Hebrew: כָּל־עָרֵ֥י הַגֵּרְשֻׁנִּ֖י לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָ֑ם שְׁלֹשׁ־עֶשְׂרֵ֥ה עִ֖יר וּמִגְרְשֵׁיהֶֽן׃
Verse 20: (Josh. 21:5; 1 Chron. 6:66) 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.
The families which remained of the children of Kohath, over and above those of them who were priests.
Verse 21: For they gave them (Josh. 20:7) Shechem with her suburbs in mount Ephraim, to be a city of refuge for the slayer; and Gezer with her suburbs…
Verse 22: And Kibzaim with her suburbs, and Beth-horon with her suburbs; four cities.
Verse 23: And out of the tribe of Dan, Eltekeh with her suburbs, Gibbethon with her suburbs…
Verse 24: Aijalon with her suburbs, Gath-rimmon with her suburbs; four cities.
Verse 25: And out of the half tribe of Manasseh, Tanach with her suburbs, and Gath-rimmon with her suburbs; two cities.
The half tribe of Manasseh: To wit, that half which dwelt in Canaan, by comparing this with Joshua 21:27.
Verse 26: All the cities were ten with their suburbs for the families of the children of Kohath that remained.
[Ten cities] But in 1 Chronicles 6 only eight are named. Response: It was not the purpose of the writer of that book to pursue this matter with accuracy, which could be supplied from another source, if anything be missing. Moreover, that book does not make mention of the Tribe of Dan among them, but only of Ephraim and Manasseh; apparently comprehending the Danites under the Ephraimites (Bonfrerius).
[They were given to the children of Kohath, לְמִשְׁפְּח֥וֹת] Something is to be understood; either, they were of the families, etc., or, which they have to the families (Vatablus).
 Hebrew: וּלְמִשְׁפְּח֤וֹת בְּנֵֽי־קְהָת֙ הַלְוִיִּ֔ם הַנּוֹתָרִ֖ים מִבְּנֵ֣י קְהָ֑ת וַֽיְהִי֙ עָרֵ֣י גֽוֹרָלָ֔ם מִמַּטֵּ֖ה אֶפְרָֽיִם׃
 Hebrew: וַיִּתְּנ֙וּ לָהֶ֜ם אֶת־עִ֙יר מִקְלַ֧ט הָרֹצֵ֛חַ אֶת־שְׁכֶ֥ם וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶׁ֖הָ בְּהַ֣ר אֶפְרָ֑יִם וְאֶת־גֶּ֖זֶר וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶֽׁהָ׃
 Hebrew: וְאֶת־קִבְצַ֙יִם֙ וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶׁ֔הָ וְאֶת־בֵּ֥ית חוֹרֹ֖ן וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶׁ֑הָ עָרִ֖ים אַרְבַּֽע׃
 Hebrew: וּמִמַּ֙טֵּה־דָ֔ן אֶֽת־אֶלְתְּקֵ֖א וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶׁ֑הָ אֶֽת־גִּבְּת֖וֹן וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶֽׁהָ׃
 Hebrew: אֶת־אַיָּלוֹן֙ וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶׁ֔הָ אֶת־גַּת־רִמּ֖וֹן וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶׁ֑הָ עָרִ֖ים אַרְבַּֽע׃
 Hebrew: וּמִֽמַּחֲצִית֙ מַטֵּ֣ה מְנַשֶּׁ֔ה אֶת־תַּעְנַךְ֙ וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶׁ֔הָ וְאֶת־גַּת־רִמּ֖וֹן וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶׁ֑הָ עָרִ֖ים שְׁתָּֽיִם׃
 Hebrew: כָּל־עָרִ֥ים עֶ֖שֶׂר וּמִגְרְשֵׁיהֶ֑ן לְמִשְׁפְּח֥וֹת בְּנֵֽי־קְהָ֖ת הַנּוֹתָרִֽים׃
Verse 13: Thus (1 Chron. 6:57, etc.) they gave to the children of Aaron the priest (Josh. 15:54; 20:7) Hebron with her suburbs, to be a city of refuge for the slayer; and (Josh. 15:42) Libnah with her suburbs…
[He gave, therefore…Hebron, etc.] If you compare 1 Chronicles 6 with these lists, there is certainly a great discrepancy in the names of many (of the cities): For there the city of Juttah is omitted; and in the place of Ain, there it is Ashan (Masius). According to the Hebrews, the variety arose from this, that, while some of the allotted cities were under the power of the Canaanites, others were provided, until those that had been appointed would come into the power of the Israelites: and so in one text the substitute cities are read, but in the other those designated initially. Perhaps it might be able to be said more truly that some places are called by a twofold name, or that over the course of time changes were made in the names (Menochius out of Masius).
Verse 14: And (Josh. 15:48) Jattir with her suburbs, (Josh. 15:50) and Eshtemoa with her suburbs…
Holon, called Hilen, 1 Chronicles 6:58, as Juttah here is called Ashan, 1 Chronicles 6:59, and Kibzaim called Jokmeam, 1 Chronicles 6:68, and so some others, the names of the places being changed by length of time, and upon special occasions, as was frequent among the Jews; though their doctors add, that some of these places here mentioned, being now in the Canaanites’ possession, and not speedily recovered from them, there were others put in their stead.
Verse 16: And Ain (Ashan, 1 Chron. 6:59; Josh. 15:42) with her suburbs, (Josh. 15:55) and Juttah with her suburbs, and (Josh. 15:10) Beth-shemesh with her suburbs; nine cities out of those two tribes.
Ain here, and Gibeon verse 17, and some others here named, are not named 1 Chronicles 6, either because they were destroyed in some of those hostile invasions and wars wherewith their land was grievously harassed and wasted before that time; or they appear there under other names, as was said.
Verse 19: All the cities of the children of Aaron, the priests, were thirteen cities with their suburbs.
 Hebrew: וְלִבְנֵ֣י׀ אַהֲרֹ֣ן הַכֹּהֵ֗ן נָֽתְנוּ֙ אֶת־עִיר֙ מִקְלַ֣ט הָרֹצֵ֔חַ אֶת־חֶבְר֖וֹן וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶׁ֑הָ וְאֶת־לִבְנָ֖ה וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶֽׁהָ׃
 Joshua 21:16.
 1 Chronicles 6:59.
 Hebrew: וְאֶת־יַתִּר֙ וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶׁ֔הָ וְאֶת־אֶשְׁתְּמֹ֖עַ וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶֽׁהָ׃
 Hebrew: וְאֶת־חֹלֹן֙ וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶׁ֔הָ וְאֶת־דְּבִ֖ר וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶֽׁהָ׃
 1 Chronicles 6:58: “And Hilen (חִילֵז, but חִילֵן in many manuscripts) with her suburbs, Debir with her suburbs…”
 Hebrew: וְאֶת־עַ֣יִן וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶׁ֗הָ וְאֶת־יֻטָּה֙ וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶׁ֔הָ אֶת־בֵּ֥ית שֶׁ֖מֶשׁ וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶׁ֑הָ עָרִ֣ים תֵּ֔שַׁע מֵאֵ֕ת שְׁנֵ֥י הַשְּׁבָטִ֖ים הָאֵֽלֶּה׃
 Hebrew: עָשָׁן.
 Hebrew: וּמִמַּטֵּ֣ה בִנְיָמִ֔ן אֶת־גִּבְע֖וֹן וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶׁ֑הָ אֶת־גֶּ֖בַע וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶֽׁהָ׃
 Joshua 18:24: “And Chephar-haammonai, and Ophni, and Gaba (וָגָ֑בַע); twelve cities with their villages…”
 Hebrew: אֶת־עֲנָתוֹת֙ וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶׁ֔הָ וְאֶת־עַלְמ֖וֹן וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶׁ֑הָ עָרִ֖ים אַרְבַּֽע׃
 Hebrew: עָלֶמֶת.
 Hebrew: כָּל־עָרֵ֥י בְנֵֽי־אַהֲרֹ֖ן הַכֹּֽהֲנִ֑ים שְׁלֹשׁ־עֶשְׂרֵ֥ה עָרִ֖ים וּמִגְרְשֵׁיהֶֽן׃
[From Judah and Simeon] The Divine providence is here to be noted in superintending the lots. Gershon went before Kohath in age, but Kohath is preferred to him because of the dignity of Aaron. Besides, the Aaronites are placed in Judah and Benjamin, so that they might thus be near the Temple. Then, the rest of the Kohathites, so that they might be most closely to those in their own clan, thus obtain by lot the closest places, namely, in Ephraim, Manasseh, and Dan. Finally, the Gershonites are set before the Merarites: for the latter nature itself had willed to be born last (Masius).
Judah and Simeon are mentioned together, because the cities of Simeon lay within Judah’s portion.
Verse 10: (Josh. 21:4) Which the children of Aaron, being of the families of the Kohathites, who were of the children of Levi, had: for theirs was the first lot.
Of the families, that is, of the family, the plural number for the singular, which is not unusual.
Verse 11: (1 Chron. 6:55) And they gave them the city of Arba (or, Kirjath-arba, Gen. 23:2) the father of (Josh. 15:13, 14) Anak, which city is Hebron, (Josh. 20:7; Luke 1:39) in the hill country of Judah, with the suburbs thereof round about it.
[Kirjath-Arba of the father of Anak] That is, the greatest of the giants (Vatablus). The Septuagint refers the אֲבִ֧י/father to the dignity of the city, and render it μητρόπολιν/metropolis (Masius). Arba begat Anak. See what things were said on Joshua 14:15 (Bonfrerius).
Verse 12: But (Josh. 14:14; 1 Chron. 6:56) the fields of the city, and the villages thereof, gave they to Caleb the son of Jephunneh for his possession.
[But the fields] But why is this repeated with such consistency? Inasmuch as it would indeed be absurd for a city, previously allotted to another, to be now allotted to the Levites; and for not all the cities, presently given to them, previously to fall by lot to others. And yet they had fallen by lot, but they had not yet been distributed among the families; otherwise some would have been disinherited from them (Masius). Some praise here the modesty of Caleb, who allowed Hebron to be taken from him (Serarius and Tostatus in Menochius). But the city of Hebron was not bestowed upon Caleb, but only its fields, etc. (Estius, Menochius, Masius), and places not fortified with walls: and so Debir was not his, which it is evident was heavily fortified, because he offered rewards to the one capturing it. Question: Why then did he offer rewards to on taking another’s city? Responses: 1. If he was wishing to take possession of his own field, the enemies certainly had to be expelled (Masius). 2. Because it was a public concern that it be captured (Menochius).
The fields of the city, that is, all beyond the two thousand cubits expressed Numbers 35:5. This is here mentioned, not as his peculiar case, but as one eminent instance, to show that it was so in all the rest of the cities here named; that the fields and villages thereof still belonged to the several tribes from whom the cities and their suburbs were taken; and to make the rest of the Israelites more contentedly and cheerfully resign so great a part of their possessions to the Levites, because even Caleb did so, though his possession had been long before promised, and now actually given to him by God’s special command, as a mark of honour and compensation for his long and faithful service.
 Hebrew: וַֽיִּתְּנ֗וּ מִמַּטֵּה֙ בְּנֵ֣י יְהוּדָ֔ה וּמִמַּטֵּ֖ה בְּנֵ֣י שִׁמְע֑וֹן אֵ֚ת הֶֽעָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֔לֶּה אֲשֶׁר־יִקְרָ֥א אֶתְהֶ֖ן בְּשֵֽׁם׃
 Hebrew: יִקְרָא.
 See Genesis 46:11; Exodus 6:16; Numbers 3:17; 26:57; 1 Chronicles 6:1; 23:6.
 See Exodus 6:18, 20; Joshua 21:4, 10.
 Hebrew: וַֽיְהִי֙ לִבְנֵ֣י אַהֲרֹ֔ן מִמִּשְׁפְּח֥וֹת הַקְּהָתִ֖י מִבְּנֵ֣י לֵוִ֑י כִּ֥י לָהֶ֛ם הָיָ֥ה הַגּוֹרָ֖ל רִיאשֹׁנָֽה׃
 Hebrew: וַיִּתְּנ֙וּ לָהֶ֜ם אֶת־קִרְיַת אַרְבַּ֙ע֩ אֲבִ֧י הָֽעֲנ֛וֹק הִ֥יא חֶבְר֖וֹן בְּהַ֣ר יְהוּדָ֑ה וְאֶת־מִגְרָשֶׁ֖הָ סְבִיבֹתֶֽיהָ׃
 Hebrew: קִרְיַת אַרְבַּע.
 Hebrew: וְאֶת־שְׂדֵ֥ה הָעִ֖יר וְאֶת־חֲצֵרֶ֑יהָ נָֽתְנ֛וּ לְכָלֵ֥ב בֶּן־יְפֻנֶּ֖ה בַּאֲחֻזָּתֽוֹ׃
[96 AD] Verse 1: The Revelation of Jesus Christ, (John 3:32; 8:26; 12:49) which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which (Rev. 4:1; 1:3) must shortly come to pass; and (Rev. 22:16) he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John…
[And, etc., καὶ ἐσήμανεν ἀποστείλας, etc.] And (namely, Christ [Menochius]: or, which things, the copula in the place of the Relative pronoun [Grotius]) He signified (that is, either, He showed by signs and the obscurity of figures [certain interpreters in Ribera, similarly Cotterius]; rightly, if you observe the Apocalypse, how promiscuously it is set before mortals [Cotterius]: or rather, He manifested or indicated [Ribera, Gagnæus, similarly Pareus, Grotius], as the word is taken in John 12:33; 18:32; 21:19 [Ribera]: for it is explaind by δεῖξαι, to show, Revelation 22:6, and μαρτυρῆσαι, to testify/ witness, Revelation 22:16 [Pareus]) sending (that is, this Apocalypse [Menochius], that is, depositing it in his presence; to him entrusting this treasure, so that he might send it to the Church under his own seal [Cotterius]) by His Angel (sometimes by this, sometimes by that, Angel that He had sent: Now, this construction is not dissimilar to Matthew 2:16 and 14:10: Learn this also that, when God or Christ is said to have appeared, it ought to be understood as by an Angel acting in the name of God or Christ and representing His attributes: See on Revelation 1:13, and the things said on the Decalogue, and on Acts 18:9 [Grotius] [and what things others here and there produce to the contrary]: He makes use of an Angel as an instrument [Cotterius], either, so that He might preserve His own dignity; or, so that He might win confidence for the Prophecy [Durham]; or, because human weakness was not able to bear gazing upon His majesty [Brightman]) to His servant (namely, by special delegation and office [Durham]: He does not say to the Apostle; for those that are enlighted by Divine visions, for them especially a lowliness of spirit is fitting: So also Isaiah call himself a servant of God, Isaiah 49:5; and Daniel, Daniel 9:17 [Grotius]) John (Montanus), namely, the Apostle (Cotterius, Piscator, Grotius, Hammond, Durham, Erasmus, Beza): while the name of the Angel is suppressed (Cotterius). Now, the Prophets are wont to set down and repeat a number of times their names, so that those that trust good men might apply faith to their sayings (Grotius).
And he sent and signified it by his angel; first by one angel, and then by another, or (possibly) constantly by the same. Unto his servant John: who this John was, we shall declare further, Revelation 1:2, 4.
Verse 2: (1 Cor. 1:6; Revelation 6:9; 12:17; 1:9) Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things (1 John 1:1) that he saw.
[Who, etc., ὃς ἐμαρτύρησε τὸν λόγον—καὶ τὴν μαρτυρίαν—ὅσα τε εἶδε] Because John was a name common to many, he designates himself more particularly. Μαρτυρεῖν, to bear record, generally takes the Dative; but here the Accusative, because it is put in the place of κηρύσσειν, to proclaim, or ἀναγγέλλειν, to announce. See John 21:24 and Revelation 22:16, 20. Ἐμαρτύρησε μαρτυρίαν, he testified a testimony, is an expression both Hebraic and Greek. Thus 2 Kings 17:13 (Grotius). Who testified (that is, confirmed by his own testimony [Camerarius]; or, announced, or proclaimed [Vatablus, Grotius], to many peoples [Grotius]) the word of God (by which he understood, either, 1. Christ [Zegers, thus Ribera], with respect to His Divinity [Zegers], which he everywhere preached [Ribera], John 1:1 [Zegers]; or, 2. his Gospel [Piscator, Louis Cappel on Revelation 19:10, Bede and Lyra and others in Pererius, Durham], the precepts of the Gosepl [Grotius]: To which it is opposed that the Gospel was written after the Apocalypse [concerning which see Pererius]: John testified concerning the word of God, that is, concerning the faith and doctrine of Christ, both by preaching, and by miracles and suffering for it [Pererius]: Or, 3. the Apocalypse [Cotterius, thus Lapide], which he calls the Gospel, that is, the best announcement of the coming persecution on account of Christ, and the blessedness following it [Lapide]) and the testimony of Jesus Christ (he explains what he said [Ribera]; that is to say, Concerning Jesus Christ, who is that word of God, for it is Hendiadys and Apposition [Lapide out of Ribera]: Of Christ, that is, concerning Christ; an objective Genitive [Piscator]: He understands, either, 1. the very things concerning which he bears testimony, or those things which Christ did, as the following things show [Grotius]; or, 2. the Gospel, as preached by Christ, who is called the faithful witness, Revelation 1:5, whence it is called both the testimony [both] of Christ, 1 Corinthians 1:6; 2 Timothy 1:8, [and] of God, 1 Corinthians 2:1 [Hammond]; or, 3. the Spirit of Prophecy, from a comparison with Revelation 19:10 [Louis Cappel on Revelation 19:10]; or, 4. the Apocalypse, which the Father by the words of this book [which are the word of God] signified, and which Christ confirmed by His own testimony: Note τὸ πρέπον, the correlation: For the testimony agrees with the Father, the Word with Christ, John 5:32; 12:47 [Cotterius]: The sense, that is to say, he who wrote this revelation, which is the testimony of Christ, and testified that that is from God [Menochius]: Here John commends his own confidence in delivering this Prophecy [certain interpreters in Gomar]: To others the sense is, Who singularly declared the word of God, that is, the testimony concerning Christ, both in writing and in word, from a comparison of Revelation 1:9; 6:9; 20:4 [Gomar]: He describes here his Apostolic function [Cluverus, thus Brightman], of which two certain and proper emblems are here related, a testimony presented to the word of God, etc., and a manifest confidence in the things that he solemnly asserts [Brightman]) and whatsoever he saw (Erasmus, Beza, Piscator, etc.). He explains what he understands [by] the testimony of Jesus Christ, namely, those things which he had seen, the Miracles, Death, restored Life, Ascension into heaven, of Christ. See 1 John 1:1-3 (Grotius, similarly Ribera). Others: This is to be referred to the Apocalyptic visions themselves (Lapide, similarly Louis Cappel, Piscator, Durham, Cotterius, Gomar). He teaches that he relates, not things imagined, but things done and seen, so that he might acquire authority for the work (Gomar). What things he saw, that is, John saw, since these visions were set before him (Menochius). He saw, namely, in the Spirit and in figure. Indeed, he heard many things, Revelation 22:8, but he saw a very great many. Thus verse 1, that He might show. What, says he, God speaks, Christ testifies, John saw, all that is worthy of faith. But the Apocalypse is of that sort (Cotterius). Some Greek Codices add here, καὶ ὅσα ἤκουσε, καὶ ἅτινά εἰσι, καὶ ἅ χρὴ γενέσθαι μετὰ ταῦτα, and as many things as he heard, and whatsoever things are, and what things must be after these (Gagnæus, thus Grotius). Which things crept in out of verse 19: for these things are not in the best manuscripts, nor in the Latin (Grotius). The things written near the division were copied into the context by unskilled copyists (Cotterius).
Who bare record of the word of God: this phrase determines the controversy about the penman of this part of holy writ, and puts it out of doubt that it was John the apostle and evangelist; the phrase so agrees to John 1:19, 32, 34; 19:35. The word in the Greek signifies, bare testimony to, or of, the word of God. Some understand Christ, so called, 1 John 1:1, 2. Some would have the gospel meant by it; and if any think this the more probable sense, because, though Christ be elsewhere called the Word, yet he is not called the word of God; and it is not here in the dative, but the accusative case; I see no reason to contradict them. And of the testimony of Jesus Christ: by the testimony of Christ is to be understood the doctrine of Christ, called so, because it is a testimony concerning him; or rather, that which he testified, who is elsewhere called the true and faithful witness. And of all things that he saw: this may be understood with reference to what went before; so it agreeth with 1 John 1; or to what followeth in this Revelation, made to him in visions in a great measure.
 John 12:33: “This he said, signifying (σημαίνων) what death he should die.”
 John 18:32: “That the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spake, signifying (σημαίνων) what death he should die.”
 John 21:19a: “This spake he, signifying (σημαίνων) by what death he should glorify God….”
 That is, a participle of attending circumstance.
 Matthew 2:16: “Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sending forth (ἀποστείλας) he slew all the children that were in Bethlehem…”
 Matthew 14:10: “And sending (πέμψας) he beheaded John in the prison.”
 Greek: ὃς ἐμαρτύρησε τὸν λόγον τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ τὴν μαρτυρίαν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ὅσα τε εἶδε.
 John 21:24: “This is the disciple which testifieth of these things (ὁ μαρτυρῶν περὶ τούτων), and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.”
 Revelation 22:16a: “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify (μαρτυρῆσαι) unto you these things (ταῦτα, in the accusative) in the churches….”
 Revelation 22:20a: “He which testifieth (ὁ μαρτυρῶν) these things (ταῦτα, in the accusative) saith, Surely I come quickly….”
 Louis Cappel (1585-1658) was a Huguenot divine of broad and profound learning. He served as a minister of the gospel and Professor of Hebrew and Theology at Saumur. Although his expertise in the Hebrew language was beyond question, his denial of the authority of the vowel points and of the absolute integrity of the Hebrew texts were hotly contested.
 Bede (c. 672-735), known as the Venerable Bede, was an English monk whose fame rests largely on his ecclesiastical history of England (c. 731). He wrote many other works, including commentaries on the Pentateuch, Kings, Esdras, Tobias, the Gospels, Acts, and the Catholic Epistles. His interpretive work is characterized by his commitment to the tradition of the Fathers and by his use of the allegorical method of interpretation.
 Little is known about the early life of Nicholas de Lyra (1270-1340). He entered the Franciscan Order and became a teacher of some repute in Paris. His Postilla in Vetus et Novum Testamentum are remarkable for the time period: Lyra was firmly committed to the literal sense of the text, as a necessary control for allegorical exposition; and he drew heavily upon Hebraic and Rabbinical materials. His commentary was influential among the Reformers.