April 19 – Cities of Refuge

April 19
Joshua 19:1-20:9
Luke 19:28-48
Psalm 88:1-18
Proverbs 13:12-14

1897 Bible Pictures and What They Teach Us by Charles Foster

Joshua 20:2 – What’s the big deal with these Cities of Refuge? Moses spent a whole chapter (Numbers 35) talking about them! John Barnett of Discover the Book explains that Hebrews 6:17-20 talks about those who have fled for refuge to Jesus. Here’s an excerpt from this great sermon on Christ, Our City of Refuge.

The elders of the city would investigate the case. If he was acquitted of intentional killing he must remain within the city until the death of the high priest. We have fled to Jesus Christ, and He is our eternal refuge. As our High Priest, He will never die (Heb. 7:23-25); and we have eternal salvation….

  1. God Himself appointed these cities of refuge (John 3:16)
  2. God’s Word announced these cities of refuge (Joshua 20:7-8, Acts 4:12)
  3. Anyone could access these cities of refuge (Joshua 20:9, John 3:16)


Luke 19:38 – Jesus the King enters as Zechariah 9:9 prophesied. He also rebuts the Pharisees by referencing Habakkuk 2:11, part of the passage prophesying judgment coming upon Israel (Habakkuk 2:8).

Luke 19:43-44 – Jesus the Prophet foretells the destruction of Jerusalem, as reported by Adam Clarke:

Cast a trench about thee – This was literally fulfilled when this city was besieged by Titus. Josephus gives a very particular account of the building of this wall, which he says was effected in three days, though it was not less than thirty-nine furlongs in circumference; and that, when this wall and trench were completed, the Jews were so enclosed on every side that no person could escape out of the city, and no provision could be brought in, so that they were reduced to the most terrible distress by the famine which ensued. The whole account is well worth the reader’s attention. See Josephus, War, book v. chap. xxii. sec. 1, 2, 3.

Luke 19:45 – Jesus the Priest cleansed the temple again, in preparation for the destruction of Jerusalem. Joel McDurmon has a long post on why Jesus cleansed the temple twice.

Jesus [is] fulfilling the role of the High Priest visiting and inspecting the touch of affliction/corruption in the house. This is described in Leviticus 14:33–53. It accounts for the multiple visitations and the repeated act of removing the corruption, then finally pronouncing the house (temple) unclean and decreeing the total destruction of the house.

Psalm 88:1 – What to do when in despair facing destruction? Call out to the Lord daily! (Psalm 88:9).

Proverbs 13:14 – What chapter of the Bible does this sound like? Perhaps Psalm 119?

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