Friday, August 19, 2016

Friday - Numbers 35 - Urban Safety

Because I was reared out in the country" I'm personally predisposed to think of rural safety and urban blight, but such was not to be the case in Israel... at least not for the 6 Levite cities of refuge. These cities were to be known as safe places, especially for the accused in capital criminal cases.

Perhaps it hasn't ever struck you as odd, but to me it is strange that God originally made this planet all rural (beginning with the Garden of Eden) but has called a people unto Himself and to His city (Hebrews 11:10 & 16). In my very limited experience it seems that cities are generally the bastions of evil while more conservative family values and traditional morals are preserved out where the stars can still be seen.

Regardless of my perceptions though, this was God's program for the Jews.  The Levites were given 48 cities throughout the nation. Now, 6  of them  (and  their  suburbs)  were  set  aside  for  the  Levites  to  inhabit for the  preservation  of  a  proper  balance  between  mercy  and justice.  God ordained 3 cities for the 9 tribes on the west side and 3 for the 2 tribes on the east side (for the safety of men guilty of unintentional manslaughter and for any man who claimed innocence ... until he could stand trial - see Numbers 35:12). Thus the cities were spread out geographically so as to make  them  accessible  with relative  ease  from  anywhere  in the nation.

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