Then came near the heads of the fathers of the Levites to Eleazar the priest, and to Joshua the son of Nun…
God provided for the residence of His ministers in most ample extent and number, and in a way suited to the spiritual instruction and benefit of the nation. In temple service they were round about the habitation of His holiness; and yet, in their ministerial instructions, dispersed over the whole land. How exact a fulfilment of dying Jacob's prediction, and that even though mercy changed the curse into a blessing: "I will divide them in Jacob and scatter them in Israel." What an important appointment! and how adapted to the communication and diffusion of Divine truth for their lips, as the messengers of the Lord of hosts, were to keep knowledge, and at their mouth the people were to seek the law! It is no common privilege, under the more exalted and distinguished dispensation of the gospel, that the ministers of salvation are not removed into a corner, but that as servants of the most high God they have their stations assigned them, as may best promote the increase and instruction of the Church. These are the stars which He holds in His right hand, and which, great in wisdom and power, He numbers and calls by their names, What holy and heavenly light and influence are they ordained to impart in their several spheres! Without them the Christian Church would soon be involved in the most degrading and destructive ignorance, and overwhelmed with the miseries of corruption and error. Who that admits the importance of their services would not yield room to them as being equally a privilege as a duty. Their residence is to be esteemed a mercy, and no intrusion. Thus it has appeared that the Lord has ever paid special regard to His ministers, and as here enjoined upon His people, in obligation the most reasonable, to provide them habitations as well as support.
Parallel VersesKJV: Then came near the heads of the fathers of the Levites unto Eleazar the priest, and unto Joshua the son of Nun, and unto the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel;