Joshua 20: 7-8 tells us the following: “…they appointed Kedesh in Galilee, in the mountains of Naphtali, Shechem in the mountains of Ephraim, and Kirjath Arba (which is Hebron) in the mountains of Judah. And on the other side of the Jordan, by Jericho eastward, they assigned Bezer in the wilderness on the plain, from the tribe of Reuben, Ramoth in Gilead, from the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan, from the tribe of Manasseh.”
There were six cities of refuge in all: Three located on the West side of the Jordan, three on the East side. They were all well-marked and easily accessible. Five of them were situated on the tops of mountains, with the exception of Bezer, which was located on a plain. This is a perfect depiction of Psalm 121:1-2 which says, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.”
Hebrew is a language of picture writing, like Chinese. Every word, name, place, and thing mentioned in scripture, even numbers, all add to the richness and meaning of any text. The names of these cities are no exception! They are listed below in order of the way they mentioned in scripture along with their meanings:
Put them all together and they spell out a message for us: “A Sanctuary is His Shoulder offered in Fellowship, a Fortress to Highly Exalt us with Rejoicing!” That’s our Jesus! Reminds me of the Shepherd who left the 99 to seek out the one that was lost!
He will exalt you high above all your troubles, far above all principalities and powers, far above satan, far above all the powers of darkness; far above disease, far above above poverty, and above EVERY curse that is named. You don’t need to do anything in your own strength. Simply rest on both of His strong shoulders, upheld by His Love and Strength.
That’s our Jesus! He’s our City of Refuge!