Joshua 21-22

Joshua 21-22

Chapter 21: 48 Cities & Suburbs

The Levites receive 48 cities with the suburbs of each city. The Lord fulfills all of the promises that he made with Israel and he gives them rest.

Chapter 22: Altar to the Lord God

The Israelites are now at peace and Joshua calls the tribes who live on the other side of the river Jordan to go home, because the fighting is over. He thanks them for their work and for following the commandments of God.

Joshua sends them home with a warning to “…love the Lord your God, and… walk in his ways… keep his commandments, and… cleave unto him, and… serve him with all your heart and with all your soul” (Joshua 22:5) Almost immediately after crossing over the river to go home, they start to build an altar. When the other Israelites here about this they get upset, because the Israelites are to be worshipping at one altar at the tabernacle and are not to be building their own altars. They even start to prepare to go to war against the tribes who are building this altar. However, Phinehas, the priest decides to call them all down and goes to reason with the tribes who are building this altar.

Phinehas explains that they are breaking the faith from God, by building this altar. Essentially building it without permission. They were thinking that they were building it to another god. But the other tribes explain that they are building it as witness and a way to remember to keep the commandments. It is not an altar to burn incense, but an altar to witness unto the Lord, that he is God and that all men should follow his commandments. When the rest of the tribes hear about this, they are pleased and take it as sign from God, that they are all united.


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