But the field of the suburbs of their cities may not be sold,
&c.] The suburbs to the cities of the Levites reached two thousand cubits on every side of their cities, ( Numbers 35:5 ) ; in which they had fields to keep their cattle in, and these belonged to them in common; every Levite had not a particular field to himself as his own property, and which is the reason why it might not be sold, nor might they agree together to sell it, for then they would have nothing to keep their cattle in: the Jewish writers generally understand this of changing their fields, suburbs, and cities: hence they say, in the Misnah, they do not make a field a suburb, nor a suburb a field, nor a suburb a city, nor a city a suburb; upon which Maimonides F15 says, all agree that the Levites may not change a city, or suburb, or field which are theirs, because of what is said, ( Leviticus 25:34 ) ; and the wise men, of blessed memory, say, the meaning of it is, it shall not be changed, for they do not change anything from what it was before: for it [is] their perpetual possession:
and therefore never to be alienated from them, or be sold to another, or changed and put to another use; such care was taken of the ministers of the sanctuary, and of their maintenance and support, under the former dispensation; and suggests that they should continue in their stations without any alteration, as ministers of the Gospel should, who ought to give up themselves to the ministry of the word, and prayer, and not entangle themselves with the affairs of life.
F15 In Misn. Eracin, c. 9. sect. 8.