Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The DEEP

Making Out Great

The wrong perspective.

Joshua 21:9–26

So they gave from the tribe of the children of Judah and from the tribe of the children of Simeon these cities which are designated by name, which were for the children of Aaron, one of the families of the Kohathites, who were of the children of Levi; for the lot was theirs first. And they gave them Kirjath Arba (Arba was the father of Anak), which is Hebron, in the mountains of Judah, with the common-land surrounding it. But the fields of the city and its villages they gave to Caleb the son of Jephunneh as his possession.

Thus to the children of Aaron the priest they gave Hebron with its common-land (a city of refuge for the slayer), Libnah with its common-land, Jattir with its common-land, Eshtemoa with its common-land, Holon with its common-land, Debir with its common-land, Ain with its common-land, Juttah with its common-land, and Beth Shemesh with its common-land: nine cities from those two tribes; and from the tribe of Benjamin, Gibeon with its common-land, Geba with its common-land, Anathoth with its common-land, and Almon with its common-land: four cities. All the cities of the children of Aaron, the priests, were thirteen cities with their common-lands.

And the families of the children of Kohath, the Levites, the rest of the children of Kohath, even they had the cities of their lot from the tribe of Ephraim. For they gave them Shechem with its common-land in the mountains of Ephraim (a city of refuge for the slayer), Gezer with its common-land, Kibzaim with its common-land, and Beth Horon with its common-land: four cities; and from the tribe of Dan, Eltekeh with its common-land, Gibbethon with its common-land, Aijalon with its common-land, and Gath Rimmon with its common-land: four cities; and from the half-tribe of Manasseh, Tanach with its common-land and Gath Rimmon with its common-land: two cities. All the ten cities with their common-lands were for the rest of the families of the children of Kohath.

These cities, along with their pasture land, take up a lot of prime real estate. When we first read that the Levites didn’t get a homeland of their own, it might have sounded like they’re getting shortchanged.

Now it looks like they made out great.


How the Levites “made out” is the wrong perspective. This isn’t about who did best; it’s about God’s glory. Everything is about God’s glory.

That’s why the people accept the allocation without complaining. They understand that it’s all about His glory.

Or not. Maybe they’re in a spot where they’re expected to act like they’re okay with everything.

In Joshua 17:14–18, the sons of Joseph complained about their allocation and Joshua just gave them “what fer” in return. After that, everyone knew that whining would get them nowhere.

But that means that their apparent faith may not be as solid as it looks.

Unfortunately, that will prove to be the case.


These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Weekend DEEPs are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:

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The weekly study guides, which include the Monday–Friday devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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