|1400's B.C.: Is There A Mystery? God Establishes the Cities of Refuge|
|Written by Dan Curry|
|Sunday, 05 December 2010|
1400's B.C.: God Establishes the Cities of Refuge
The 'Cities of Refuge' are a pretty basic idea in a way. They were commanded to be chosen in Moses's time, and actually selected in Joshua's time, in the land of Canaan, which the Israelite tribes had then entered and were trying to wrest from the hands of the Canaanites, as God had ordered them to do.
In an era of 'an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth' thinking, accidentally killing someone probably meant that there was a good chance that the victim's relatives were going to track down and kill the person who did the accidental killing. You had killed someone accidentally though, with no bad intentions towards them. So did that mean you should have to face the same punishment as a person that purposefully murdered someone? God said no! Intentions do matter! There is a difference. And so, cities were to be set aside for such accidental killlers to flee to.
There were other people, normal every day people, living in the cities of refuge, of course, who had not committed these accidental sort of killings. Before they were designated 'cities of refuge', they had been regular 'cities'. But if you had accidentally killed, and you made it safely to one of these specially designated cities, then the relatives of the killed person had to quit pursuing you until the matter could be sorted out. And if it was found, upon investigation, that you had killed accidentally, then you could remain in the city you had fled to without fear of reprisal ...........so long as you stayed in that particular city. And when the current High Priest of Israel died his natural God ordained death, the accidental man slayer could return to your home city a free man, with no charges against them anymore. If the relatives hadn't caught you by then, they no longer had a right to try.
That's what the cities of refuge were. But....there is something very odd about the whole situation if you look at it closely, and I have a suspicion that there is a very interesting secret tied up in the whole geographical arrangement of these 'cities of refuge'. Maybe a secret planted there by God for men to find.
In fact, I'd like the help of anyone who's job might allow them to chart flight courses for planes or jets, etc.. I am asking for you to help me investigate this possible mystery.
Here's the suggestion: I think that the 6 cities that were chosen to be 'cities of refuge' in Israel might also be specially designated coordinates on the 'latitude/longitude grid' which can be used to chart intersection lines. In other words, I believe that if you were to take a globe of planet Earth, place a dot on the globe where every one of the 6 ancient cities of refuge were located, then chart straight lines through the 'cities of refuge' dots in all of the possible manners in which the 6 cities might be connected to each other, and then extend those lines far outward, they will quite naturally intersect each other in various near and far away places on the globe. I suspect that these places of intersection might, in some cases or all, have significance in history pertaining to refuge.
But the locations of the cities and the courses of the lines would have to be charted pretty carefully to conduct the experiment. The distance between these cities is around a hundred miles, where as the points where their intersecting lines might cross could be a thousand miles away in some cases.
Why might there be something strange hidden here? There are a few pretty odd characteristics associated with assigning these cities.
To start with, there were 6 cities. It was designated that there would be 6, by God. Yet he designated the number that there ought to be before they had ever entered the promised land. There were only 3 tribes destined to dwell on the East side of the Jordan River. Those were Reuben, Gad, and half of the divided tribe of Manasseh. Yet those Eastern tribes had half of the cities of refuge. Why?
There were 13 Israelite tribes, since Joseph was divided into Ephraim and Manasseh, but the Levites didn't have a tribal allotment. So that left 12 tribes. But Manasseh was a divided tribe, and one portion of the people of the tribe of Manasseh ended up living on one side of the Jordan, and the other portion on the other side of the Jordan. So due to Mqanasseh, there were essentially 13 tribes in that respect. So why did 2 1/2 tribes get half of the cities of refuge? Maybe to ensure that such a city was close to any location? That could be why. But I'm not sure.
Secondly, the 3 cities on the west side of the Jordan River are three dots that can be almost perfectly connected by a straight line running generally north and south, even though the cities are many miles apart. To connect 3 dots with one line is an interesting coincidence, though they may not connect perfectly. And it's actually hard to determine if they actually are in a perfect line using national maps. Sometimes the dots for the cities are not placed as accurately as you might wish, though they are good enough for the purpose they serve. Also, the ancient city might be a mile of two from the present day city's location.
Thirdly, though this is not found in the Bible, it is said in Jewish writings that the roads to these cities had to be a certain width - wider than the normal road. How wide is a man who accidentally kills someone compared to an ordinary man? Whether he is on foot or riding a donkey, horse, or camel, why does the road need to be wider to accomodate the relatively rare instance of an accidental killer fleeing the dead person's angry relatives.
Something geometric is going on with the placement of these cities, I suspect. I believe they are pointers of some sort. I believe they had a purpose other than just being refuges for the accidental man slayer.
I am not too certain of the year when the order went out from God to establish cities of refuge, so I hope that no one reading this will assume otherwise. But the Lord spoke these words to Moses, as found in Numbers 35:9 :
"The Lord said to Moses, "Tell the Israelites: When you go across the Jordan into the land of Canaan, select for yourself cities to serve as cities of asylum where a homicide who has killed someone unintentionally may take refuge. These cities shall serve you as places of asylum from the avenger of blood, so that a homicide will not be put to death unless he is first tried before the community. Six cities of asylum shall you assign: three beyond the Jordan, and three in the land of Canaan. These six cities of asylum shall serve not only the Israelites but all the resident or transient aliens among them, so that anyone that has killed another unintentionally may take refuge there."
Once the Israelite tribes had entered the land of Canaan, and had begun to take over the land, they reached a point when they decided that it was time to designate the particular cities that would become cities of refuge. They obeyed God's command to Moses by doing this. Here is what was said of this matter:
Joshua Chapter 20
"The Lord said to Joshua: "Tell the Israelites to designate the cities of which I spoke to them through Moses, to which one guilty of accidental and unintended homicide may flee for asylum from the avenger of blood. To one of these cities the killer shall flee, and standing at the entrance of the city gate, he shall plead his case before the elders, who must receive him and assign him a place in which to live among them. Though the avenger of blood pursues him, they are not to deliver up the hpomicide who slew his fellow man unintentionally and not out of previous hatred. Once he has stood judgement before the community, he shalll live on in that city till the death of the high priest who is in office at the time. Then the killer may go back to his own city from which he fled." "
"So they set apart Kedesh in Galilee in the mountain region of Naphtali, Shechem in the mountain region of Ephraim, and Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the mountain region of Judah. And beyond the Jordan east of Jericho they designated Bezer on the open tableland in the tribe of Reuben, Ramoth in Gilead in the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan in the tribe of Manasseh. These were the designated cities to which any Israelite or stranger living among them who had killed a person accidentally might flee to escape death at the hand of the avenger of blood, until he could appear before the community. "
|Last Updated ( Wednesday, 27 March 2013 )|
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