Numbers 35-36

Deuteronomy 34

Psalm 121

And the cities which you give shall be your six cities of refuge. You shall give three cities beyond the Jordan, and three cities in the land of Canaan, to be cities of refuge. – Numbers 35:13-14

The land was divided up for the tribes of Israel except for the tribe of Levi. Recall that the Levites were not to own land as an inheritance. In Numbers, however, we are told that the Levites are given forty-eight towns to live in. Six of those towns will be designated as Cities of Refuge. Of those six towns, three will be in Moab and three will be in Canaan so that all people will have easy access to one of these cities should they need them.

It is also very interesting to read what Moses has to add to the laws on murder and on female inheritance. We can see the laws evolving, as we talked about before. We are told that anyone using a weapon to commit murder is likely to have thought about the act before and intended to kill – and therefore is a murderer.

There was concern raised by the tribes regarding the inheritance of the land by the daughters of the landowners. Should the daughters of the landowner marry someone outside their tribe, the land would be handed over to another tribe. God declares, through Moses, that a daughter inheriting land must only marry within their own tribe. Laws coming out of our brokenness and practically created!

We all belong together. We live in community. It is our responsibility to ensure we provide dignity and respect for all and that we can overcome our differences by working together. It is not just the laws themselves that we need to learn, but the nature of the law which brings us together as one.

Do we look out our windows and see those around us as one of us? Do we behave as one of them? Are we good neighbours? Do we act as if we belong together?

“A single act of love makes the soul return to life“

- St Maximilian Kolbe