Gleanings from Joshua
Joshua 20:2-4,6 Speak to the children of Israel, saying, Designate the cities of refuge, concerning which I spoke to you through Moses, 3 So that the manslayer who kills a person by mistake and unwittingly may flee there. And they will be to you as a refuge from the avenger of blood. 4 And he shall flee to one of these cities and stand at the entrance of the gate of the city and declare his cause in the ears of the elders of that city. And they shall take him into the city to themselves and give him a place; and he shall dwell among them. … 6 And he shall dwell in that city until he can stand before the assembly for a judgment, until the death of the high priest who is at that time; then the manslayer shall return and enter into his own city and into his own house, into the city from which he fled.
This typifies the fact that in the Old Testament age, God forbore with repentant sinners, providing a way for Him to not judge them for their sins through the animals sacrifices. However, it was only the death of Christ in the fulness of time that actually expiated their sins and enabled them to be released. Thus, they had to remain in the refuge of the law until Christ, the High Priest, died; then only could they be fully released from the penalty of their sin. Actually, the cities of refuge were not the law in the sense of commands to be obeyed; they were Christ as the sheepfold for the sheep (John 10) into which God’s chosen people entered and were kept until Christ became the pasture for them to go out to and feast on. Wow; this is full of significance.
Joshua 22:11-14 And the children of Israel heard the report, which said, Now the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh have built an altar out in front of the land of Canaan, in the region of the Jordan, on the side of the children of Israel. 12 And when the children of Israel heard this, all the assembly of the children of Israel gathered together at Shiloh to go up in battle against them. 13 And the children of Israel sent Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest to the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh in the land of Gilead, 14 And with him ten leaders, one leader each to a fathers’ house of all the tribes of Israel; and they were each the head of their fathers’ houses among the thousands of Israel.
Since Reuben and Gad were not counted, and nor was Levi (represented by Phinehas), one of the ten leaders must have represented the half-tribe of Manasseh on the West Side of the Jordan. This must mean that this half-tribe of Manasseh stood up against their own brothers of the same tribe, ready to put them to death if they abandoned Jehovah. What absoluteness! This is in stark contrast to the Benjamites in Judges 20 who patriotically sided with the sodomic Gibeahites just becuase they were their brothers. Thus, this generation of Israel was truly one with God for His interest, before the degradation of the age of the Judges befell them.