We have here an account of the Levites’ cities. They are here called their castles (1 Chron. 6:54), not only because walled and fortified, and well guarded by the country (for it is the interest of every nation to protect its ministers), but because they and their possessions were, in a particular manner, the care of the divine providence: as God was their portion, so God was their protection; and a cottage will be a castle to those that abide under the shadow of the Almighty. This account is much the same with that which we had, Josh. 21:1-45 We need not be critical in comparing them (what good will it do us?) nor will it do any hurt to the credit of the holy scripture if the names of some of the places be not spelt just the same here as they were there. We know it is common for cities to have several names. Sarum and Salisbury, Salop and Shrewsbury, are more unlike than Hilen (1 Chron. 6:58) and Holon (Josh. 21:15), Ashan (1 Chron. 6:59) and Ain (Josh. 21:16), Alemeth (1 Chron. 6:60) and Almon (Josh. 21:18); and time changes names. We are only to observe that in this appointment of cities for the Levites God took care, 1. For the accomplishment of dying Jacob’s prediction concerning this tribe, that it should be scattered in Israel, Gen. 49:7. 2. For the diffusing of the knowledge of himself and his law to all parts of the land of Israel. Every tribe had Levites’ cities in it; and so every room was furnished with a candle, so that none could be ignorant of his duty but it was either his own fault or the Levites’. 3. For a comfortable maintenance for those that ministered in holy things. Besides their tithes and offerings, they had glebe-lands and cities of their own to dwell in. Some of the most considerable cities of Israel fell to the Levites’ lot. Every tribe had benefit by the Levites, and therefore every tribe must contribute to their support. Let him that is taught in the word communicate to him that teacheth, and do it cheerfully.
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