Joshua chapter 20, verse 7 begins to name the Cities of Refuge!
I maintained in an earlier Lesson that they (clearly) are pictures of our Lord Jesus Christ!
Let’s see now.
“And they appointed KEDESH in Galilee in mount Naphtali, and SHECHEM in mount Ephraim, and KIRJATHARBA, which is Hebron, in the mountain of Judah.” Joshua 20:7
These first three are located west of the Jordan River. (The next three will be east of the Jordan River!) Also these three (in today’s verse) are listed north to south. (As are the next three, tomorrow’s verse!)
Hint: the cities are evenly distributed through the whole Land! So that ANY innocent (though erring, having inadvertently slain someone) man can flee for refuge! (Sounds to me like a God Who is no respecter of persons! A “whosoever will” God indeed!)
Today’s places again, Kedesh and Shechem and Kirjatharba.
“Symbols” or “Types” of Jesus?
Well, when “Kedesh” is defined it (always) means “Holy Place.”
Could I convince you that Jesus is Holy? That He is the Old Testament Fulfillment of the Tabernacle’s and Temple’s HOLY PLACE, in fact MOST HOLY PLACE?
And Jesus also is our Place of Refuge!
Next, “Shechem,” meaning “back” or “shoulder.” I mean as parts of the body, “back” or “shoulder.” This name may not be as clear as “Kedesh” (“Holy”) but it is equally appropriate of Jesus. The back or shoulder of a man (for that matter of an animal) is picturesque of that one’s “strength, might, ability!”
I therefore advance the thought that Jesus is our STRENGTH, MIGHT, ABILITY! He is the Strong Man of Almighty God! God’s very ARM, the Almighty’s RIGHT HAND!
Jesus, the One of Whom Paul could write: “I can do all things THROUGH CHRIST which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13
Then lastly, for today … “Kirjatharba” meaning “town of Arba” (?) … but with “Arba” meaning “four, foursquare, squared, cubed.” Not much yet, about Jesus, you may be thinking! But “foursquare” also means, in other words, “PERFECTLY PROPORTIONED!”
Something like “altogether lovely!” As in Song of Solomon 5:16, spoken (typically) of Jesus. “His mouth is most sweet: yea, HE IS ALTOGETHER LOVELY. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.”
JESUS, PERFECTLY BALANCED, PROPORTIONED IN ALL THE GRACES OF GOD! “For in Him (Jesus) dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Paul wrote in Colossians 2:9.
Hebrews 1:1-3 of Jesus too. “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by HIS SON, whom he hath appointed HEIR OF ALL THINGS, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being THE BRIGHTNESS OF HIS GLORY, and the EXPRESS IMAGE OF HIS PERSON, and upholding all things by THE WORD OF HIS POWER, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Count the lines describing Jesus’ foursquare beauty, perfect Essence!
By the way, Kirjatharba also was known later as the town of “Hebron.” (As our Text implies.) And Hebron is a Hebrew noun meaning “fellowship, association, communion!” Yes, Jesus too is our “Friend,” the one in Whom we can have fellowship and communion and company!
Wow, for the fourth time this Lesson!
Jesus indeed … our Refuge!
— Dr. Mike Bagwell