Three Cities of Refuge and Levitical Cities
As instructed, three cities were chosen as cities of refuge: Kedesh in the northern part of Naphtali, Shechem in the land of Ephraim, and Hebron in the land of Judah.
In addition to the cities of refuge, the Levites were given other cities to live in. They were grouped geographically by sub-tribe. The priests received the cities in the southern tribes of Simeon, Judah and Benjamin. The non-priest Kohathites had cities in the next three tribes moving north: Dan, Ephraim and western Manasseh. Gershon had cities in the far northern tribes. And Merari’s cities were split—in the southern part of the eastern tribes, and in Zebulun.
In its note on the end of chapter 21, verses 43-45, The Nelson Study Bible states: “This glorious conclusion to these two chapters and to the entire section (chs. 13-21) celebrates the fact that all came to pass exactly as God promised. [That is, it should be clarified, while there was still more to come, all had so far gone exactly as God had said it would.] What has been visible all along is now said plainly—the God of Israel is a promise-keeping God, who gave Israel the land in accordance with the promises He had made with its ancestors, including Moses and the patriarchs. And in addition to giving them the land, He also granted them rest.”