Joshua 21:1-22:20; Luke 20:1-26; Psalms 89:1-13; Proverbs 13:15-16 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
Cities of the Levites
21 The heads of the Levite families approached Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the heads of the families of the Israelite tribes. 2 At Shiloh, in the land of Canaan, they told them, “The Lord commanded through Moses that we be given cities to live in, with their pasturelands for our livestock.” 3 So the Israelites, by the Lord’s command, gave the Levites these cities with their pasturelands from their inheritance.
4 The lot came out for the Kohathite clans: The Levites who were the descendants of Aaron the priest received 13 cities by lot from the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin. 5 The remaining descendants of Kohath[a] received 10 cities by lot from the clans of the tribes of Ephraim, Dan, and half the tribe of Manasseh.
6 Gershon’s descendants received 13 cities by lot from the clans of the tribes of Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, and half the tribe of Manasseh in Bashan.
7 Merari’s descendants received 12 cities for their clans from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Zebulun.
8 The Israelites gave these cities with their pasturelands around them to the Levites by lot, as the Lord had commanded through Moses.
Cities of Aaron’s Descendants
9 The Israelites gave these cities by name from the tribes of the descendants of Judah and Simeon 10 to the descendants of Aaron from the Kohathite clans of the Levites, because they received the first lot. 11 They gave them Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) with its surrounding pasturelands in the hill country of Judah. Arba was the father of Anak. 12 But they gave the fields and villages of the city to Caleb son of Jephunneh as his possession.
13 They gave to the descendants of Aaron the priest:
Hebron, the city of refuge for the one who commits manslaughter, with its pasturelands, Libnah with its pasturelands, 14 Jattir with its pasturelands, Eshtemoa with its pasturelands, 15 Holon with its pasturelands, Debir with its pasturelands, 16 Ain with its pasturelands, Juttah with its pasturelands, and Beth-shemesh with its pasturelands—nine cities from these two tribes.
17 From the tribe of Benjamin they gave:
Gibeon with its pasturelands, Geba with its pasturelands, 18 Anathoth with its pasturelands, and Almon with its pasturelands—four cities. 19 All 13 cities with their pasturelands were for the priests, the descendants of Aaron.
Cities of Kohath’s Other Descendants
20 The allotted cities to the remaining clans of Kohath’s descendants, who were Levites, came from the tribe of Ephraim. 21 The Israelites gave them:
Shechem, the city of refuge for the one who commits manslaughter, with its pasturelands in the hill country of Ephraim, Gezer with its pasturelands, 22 Kibzaim with its pasturelands, and Beth-horon with its pasturelands—four cities.
23 From the tribe of Dan they gave:
Elteke with its pasturelands, Gibbethon with its pasturelands, 24 Aijalon with its pasturelands, and Gath-rimmon with its pasturelands—four cities.
25 From half the tribe of Manasseh they gave:
Taanach with its pasturelands and Gath-rimmon[b] with its pasturelands—two cities.
26 All 10 cities with their pasturelands were for the clans of Kohath’s other descendants.
Cities of Gershon’s Descendants
27 From half the tribe of Manasseh, they gave to the descendants of Gershon, who were one of the Levite clans:
Golan, the city of refuge for the one who commits manslaughter, with its pasturelands in Bashan, and Beeshterah with its pasturelands—two cities.
28 From the tribe of Issachar they gave:
Kishion with its pasturelands, Daberath with its pasturelands, 29 Jarmuth with its pasturelands, and En-gannim with its pasturelands—four cities.
30 From the tribe of Asher they gave:
Mishal with its pasturelands, Abdon with its pasturelands, 31 Helkath with its pasturelands, and Rehob with its pasturelands—four cities.
32 From the tribe of Naphtali they gave:
Kedesh in Galilee, the city of refuge for the one who commits manslaughter, with its pasturelands, Hammoth-dor with its pasturelands, and Kartan with its pasturelands—three cities.
33 All 13 cities with their pasturelands were for the Gershonites by their clans.
Cities of Merari’s Descendants
34 From the tribe of Zebulun, they gave to the clans of the descendants of Merari, who were the remaining Levites:
Jokneam with its pasturelands, Kartah with its pasturelands, 35 Dimnah with its pasturelands, and Nahalal with its pasturelands—four cities.
36 From the tribe of Reuben they gave:
38 From the tribe of Gad they gave:
Ramoth in Gilead, the city of refuge for the one who commits manslaughter, with its pasturelands, Mahanaim with its pasturelands, 39 Heshbon with its pasturelands, and Jazer with its pasturelands—four cities in all. 40 All 12 cities were allotted to the clans of Merari’s descendants, the remaining Levite clans.
41 Within the Israelite possession there were 48 cities in all with their pasturelands for the Levites. 42 Each of these cities had its own surrounding pasturelands; this was true for all the cities.
The Lord’s Promises Fulfilled
43 So the Lord gave Israel all the land He had sworn to give their fathers, and they took possession of it and settled there. 44 The Lord gave them rest on every side according to all He had sworn to their fathers. None of their enemies were able to stand against them, for the Lord handed over all their enemies to them. 45 None of the good promises the Lord had made to the house of Israel failed. Everything was fulfilled.
Eastern Tribes Return Home
22 Joshua summoned the Reubenites, Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh 2 and told them, “You have done everything Moses the Lord’s servant commanded you and have obeyed me in everything I commanded you. 3 You have not deserted your brothers even once this whole time but have carried out the requirement of the command of the Lord your God. 4 Now that He has given your brothers rest, just as He promised them, return to your homes in your own land that Moses the Lord’s servant gave you across the Jordan. 5 Only carefully obey the command and instruction that Moses the Lord’s servant gave you: to love the Lord your God, walk in all His ways, keep His commands, remain faithful[e] to Him, and serve Him with all your heart and all your soul.”
6 Joshua blessed them and sent them on their way, and they went to their homes. 7 Moses had given territory to half the tribe of Manasseh in Bashan, but Joshua had given territory to the other half,[f] with their brothers, on the west side of the Jordan. When Joshua sent them to their homes and blessed them, 8 he said, “Return to your homes with great wealth: a huge number of cattle, and silver, gold, bronze, iron, and a large quantity of clothing. Share the spoil of your enemies with your brothers.”
Eastern Tribes Build an Altar
9 The Reubenites, Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh left the Israelites at Shiloh in the land of Canaan to return to their own land of Gilead, which they took possession of according to the Lord’s command through Moses. 10 When they came to the region of[g] the Jordan in the land of Canaan, the Reubenites, Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh built a large, impressive altar there by the Jordan.
11 Then the Israelites heard it said, “Look, the Reubenites, Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh have built an altar on the frontier of the land of Canaan at the region of[h] the Jordan, on the Israelite side.” 12 When the Israelites heard this, the entire Israelite community assembled at Shiloh to go to war against them.
Explanation of the Altar
13 The Israelites sent Phinehas son of Eleazar the priest to the Reubenites, Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh, in the land of Gilead. 14 They sent 10 leaders with him—one family leader for each tribe of Israel. All of them were heads of their families among the clans of Israel. 15 They went to the Reubenites, Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh, in the land of Gilead, and told them, 16 “This is what the Lord’s entire community says: ‘What is this treachery you have committed today against the God of Israel by turning away from the Lord and building an altar for yourselves, so that you are in rebellion against the Lord today? 17 Wasn’t the sin of Peor, which brought a plague on the Lord’s community, enough for us, so that we have not cleansed ourselves from it even to this day, 18 and now, you would turn away from the Lord? If you rebel against the Lord today, tomorrow He will be angry with the entire community of Israel. 19 But if the land you possess is defiled, cross over to the land the Lord possesses where the Lord’s tabernacle stands, and take possession of it among us. But don’t rebel against the Lord or against us by building for yourselves an altar other than the altar of the Lord our God. 20 Wasn’t Achan son of Zerah unfaithful regarding what was set apart for destruction, bringing wrath on the entire community of Israel? He was not the only one who perished because of his sin.’”
The Authority of Jesus Challenged
20 One day[a] as He was teaching the people in the temple complex and proclaiming the good news, the chief priests and the scribes, with the elders, came up 2 and said to Him: “Tell us, by what authority are You doing these things? Who is it who gave You this authority?”
3 He answered them, “I will also ask you a question. Tell Me, 4 was the baptism of John from heaven or from men?”
5 They discussed it among themselves: “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why didn’t you believe him?’ 6 But if we say, ‘From men,’ all the people will stone us, because they are convinced that John was a prophet.”
7 So they answered that they did not know its origin.[b]
8 And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
The Parable of the Vineyard Owner
9 Then He began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard, leased it to tenant farmers, and went away for a long time. 10 At harvest time he sent a slave to the farmers so that they might give him some fruit from the vineyard. But the farmers beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11 He sent yet another slave, but they beat that one too, treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. 12 And he sent yet a third, but they wounded this one too and threw him out.
13 “Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What should I do? I will send my beloved son. Perhaps[c] they will respect him.’
14 “But when the tenant farmers saw him, they discussed it among themselves and said, ‘This is the heir. Let’s kill him, so the inheritance will be ours!’ 15 So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
“Therefore, what will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 He will come and destroy those farmers and give the vineyard to others.”
But when they heard this they said, “No—never!”
17 But He looked at them and said, “Then what is the meaning of this Scripture:[d]
18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and if it falls on anyone, it will grind him to powder!”
19 Then the scribes and the chief priests looked for a way to get their hands on Him that very hour, because they knew He had told this parable against them, but they feared the people.
God and Caesar
20 They[g] watched closely and sent spies who pretended to be righteous,[h] so they could catch Him in what He said,[i] to hand Him over to the governor’s rule and authority. 21 They questioned Him, “Teacher, we know that You speak and teach correctly, and You don’t show partiality,[j] but teach truthfully the way of God. 22 Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
23 But detecting their craftiness, He said to them,[k] 24 “Show Me a denarius. Whose image and inscription does it have?”
“Caesar’s,” they said.
25 “Well then,” He told them, “give back to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.”
- Luke 20:1 Lit It happened on one of the days
- Luke 20:7 Or know where it was from
- Luke 20:13 Other mss add when they see him
- Luke 20:17 Lit What then is this that is written
- Luke 20:17 Lit the head of the corner
- Luke 20:17 Ps 118:22
- Luke 20:20 The scribes and chief priests of v. 19
- Luke 20:20 Or upright; that is, loyal to God’s law
- Luke 20:20 Lit catch Him in [a] word
- Luke 20:21 Lit You don’t receive a face
- Luke 20:23 Other mss add “Why are you testing Me?
- Luke 20:26 Lit catch Him in [a] word
- Luke 20:26 Lit in front of the people
Perplexity about God’s Promises
A Maskil of Ethan the Ezrahite.
1 I will sing about the Lord’s faithful love forever;
I will proclaim Your faithfulness to all generations
with my mouth.
2 For I will declare,
“Faithful love is built up forever;
You establish Your faithfulness in the heavens.”
3 The Lord said,
“I have made a covenant with My chosen one;
I have sworn an oath to David My servant:
4 ‘I will establish your offspring forever
and build up your throne for all generations.’”
5 Lord, the heavens praise Your wonders—
Your faithfulness also—
in the assembly of the holy ones.
6 For who in the skies can compare with the Lord?
Who among the heavenly beings[a] is like the Lord?
7 God is greatly feared in the council of the holy ones,
more awe-inspiring than[b] all who surround Him.
8 Lord God of Hosts,
who is strong like You, Lord?
Your faithfulness surrounds You.
9 You rule the raging sea;
when its waves surge, You still them.
10 You crushed Rahab like one who is slain;
You scattered Your enemies with Your powerful arm.
11 The heavens are Yours; the earth also is Yours.
The world and everything in it—You founded them.
12 North and south—You created them.
Tabor and Hermon shout for joy at Your name.
13 You have a mighty arm;
Your hand is powerful;
Your right hand is lifted high.