Numbers 35 Commentary

Numbers 35 Commentary

The Levites get their allocation of land. It’s not one large portion like other tribes. Instead, they get towns within tribal allocations – with measured areas around the towns for grazing their animals. So is fulfilled the prophetic utterances of the patriarch Jacob regarding the tribe of Levi.

“Simeon and Levi are brothers. They use their weapons to commit violence. I will not join in their secret talks, nor will I take part in their meetings, for they killed men in anger and they crippled bulls for sport. A curse be on their anger, because it is so fierce, and on their fury, because it is so cruel. I will scatter them throughout the land of Israel. I will disperse them among its people. Genesis 49 verses 5 to 7.

We are reminded of the scattering at Shinar (Tower of Babel) in Genesis 11. When man gathers in order to sin, the LORD moves in to scatter. Importantly we appreciate the LORD’S mercy in ensuring that the scattering did happen but now the punishment was positively shaped by service to the LORD. This is the meaning of grace; that one can serve the LORD from his land of scattering, from a position of one’s punishment.

Even in this chapter, we can see how the LORD provisions for one accused of manslaughter. The provision of Cities of Refuge foreshadows the cross in its function as a safe haven for the sinner today. From this position, one is shielded from the consequences of sin. When the psalmist David sings of the LORD as his refuge, the thought is that the LORD is his safe haven. From this position, David is protected from those who seek his death. Guilty? We too can find our way to the LORD Jesus as our city of refuge.

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Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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