Jos 20: The 6 cities of refuge could protect individuals for a
lifetime, but not for eternity. This could be done only by the 7th city of
refuge, ie Zion: Isa 26:1. We are safe in God's city (Eph 2:18-22) becs our High
Priest Jesus lives forever. Also, cp 7 cities of refuge to the 7-branched
These six cities of refuge could guarantee one's life for a
time, but not for eternity. This only the seventh city of refuge (that is, Zion:
Exo 21:13,14) can do. "We have a strong city, salvation will God appoint for
walls and bulwarks" (Isa 26:1).
With three cities west of Jordan, and three east, spaced out
from north to south, and the seventh city of refuge being Jerusalem, in the
approximate center of the land, the whole seven cities of refuge may be
compared, roughly, to the seven-branched lampstand, or menorah.
In the land of Canaan, cities of refuge were so arranged, that
any man might reach one of them within half a day at the most. The main roads
leading to each of the cities were strictly preserved, every river was bridged,
and every obstruction removed, so that the man who fled might find an unimpeded
path to the refuge. Once a year the city elders went along the roads and
inspected them -- nothing must cause the fugitive, through delay, to be
overtaken and slain. How wonderfully do the promises of the gospel remove
stumbling blocks from the way! Wherever there were side-roads and forks, there
were erected signposts, with the inscription upon them -- "This way to the city
Likewise, every ecclesia -- and every member of every ecclesia
-- ought to stand ready to direct every "fugitive" to the ultimate place of
safety. Signs should be erected, and nothing should be allowed to stand in the
way: "This is the way to the cross of Christ, and to the gospel of saving truth.
'Come unto Christ, and you will find rest!' '
Even the "accident" of mortality is fully requited in flight
to Christ, the place of refuge for mortal man (Xd 116:448). "O LORD; I say, You
are my refuge'... Rescue me from those who pursue me" (Psa 142:4-6). "At the
hand of every man's bro will I require the life of man" (Gen 9:5,6).
PLACE: Heb marom, a "holy place".
BEFORE THE ASSEMBLY: He must return to the city where
the accident occurred, to appear in open court (Num 35:12,24,25).
UNTIL THE DEATH OF THE HIGH PRIEST: As long as the High
Priest lived, the fugitive was safe in the city (Heb 6:18. But we are safe
forever in God's city (Eph 2:18-22)... becs Christ our High Priest lives
forever. "As for you, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will free
your prisoners from the waterless pit" (Zec 9:11).