Joshua 20:7

7 So they set apart 1Kedesh in Galilee in the hill country of Naphtali, and 2Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and 3Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) 4in the hill country of Judah.

Joshua 20:7 Meaning and Commentary

Joshua 20:7

And they appointed Kedesh in Galilee in Mount Naphtali
Of which see ( Joshua 19:37 ) ; the appointment of this and the two cities following was made by the children of Israel at this time:

and Shechem in Mount Ephraim;
called Sichem, ( Genesis 12:6 ) ; and Shechem from a prince of that name that possessed it, ( Genesis 34:2 ) ; it fell to the lot of the tribe of Ephraim; its name in the New Testament is Sychar, ( John 4:5 ) ; and it is now called Neapolis, or Naplouse:

and Kirjatharba, which [is] Hebron, in the mountain of Judah;
it stood in the hill country of Judea, ( Luke 1:39 Luke 1:65 ) ; of which see ( Joshua 14:15 ) ( Joshua 15:54 ) . There seems to be a difficulty here, since this city was before given to Caleb, ( Joshua 14:13 Joshua 14:14 ) ; and yet afterwards given to the Levites, and appointed a city of refuge. The Jews reconcile this by observing, that the city and suburbs were given to the Levites, and fixed for a city of refuge; but the villages and fields, and country around it, and belonging to it, were given to Caleb, ( Joshua 21:12 ) ; and Abarbinel makes no doubt that the children of Judah gave something else to Caleb in lieu of it. As these cities of refuge were typical of Christ, as has been observed on ( Numbers 35:29 ) ; their names are applicable to him. "Kedesh" signifies "holy" or "holiness"; Christ is holy in both his natures, divine and human; and so abundantly qualified to be the Mediator, Saviour, and Redeemer; and is the fountain of holiness to his people, and is made sanctification to them, ( Psalms 16:10 ) ( Hebrews 7:26 ) ( 1 Corinthians 1:30 ) ; and "Shechem" signifies the "shoulder"; and not only the government of the church and people of God is on the shoulder of Christ, but all their sins have been laid upon him, and bore by him; and every particular soul in conversion, every lost sheep, is looked up by him, and taken up and brought home on his shoulder, ( Isaiah 9:6 ) ( 53:6 ) ( Luke 15:4 ) . "Hebron" signifies "fellowship"; in the effectual calling, the saints are called into fellowship with Christ, and their fellowship is with the Father, and his Son Jesus Christ; through him they have access to God, and communion with him now, and shall have uninterrupted communion with him to all eternity, ( 1 Corinthians 1:9 ) ( 1 John 1:3 ) ( Ephesians 2:18 ) ( John 17:24 ) .

Joshua 20:7 In-Context

5 And if the avenger of blood pursues him, they shall not give up the manslayer into his hand, because he struck his neighbor unknowingly, and did not hate him in the past.
6 And he shall remain in that city until he has stood before the congregation for judgment, until the death of him who is high priest at the time. Then the manslayer may return to his own town and his own home, to the town from which he fled.'"
7 So they set apart Kedesh in Galilee in the hill country of Naphtali, and Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the hill country of Judah.
8 And beyond the Jordan east of Jericho, they appointed Bezer in the wilderness on the tableland, from the tribe of Reuben, and Ramoth in Gilead, from the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan, from the tribe of Manasseh.
9 These were the cities designated for all the people of Israel and for the stranger sojourning among them, that anyone who killed a person without intent could flee there, so that he might not die by the hand of the avenger of blood, till he stood before the congregation.

Cross References 4

  • 1. Joshua 21:32; 1 Chronicles 6:76
  • 2. Joshua 21:21
  • 3. Joshua 21:11, 13; See Joshua 14:13-15
  • 4. Joshua 21:11; Luke 1:39
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.