MARCH 10 Chapters 18 and 19 cover the portion of the land given to the other tribes. Seven tribes failed to claim their possession, evidently because of a lack of faith and courage. The Tabernacle is erected at Shiloh; Shiloh being the focal point of the twelve tribes of Israel until the destruction of that city in the capture of the Ark of the Covenant by the Philistines. Chapter 20 again refers to the establishing of the cities of refuge. The provision of these cities was according to the law of Deuteronomy 19:1-13. You might also want to refer back to Numbers 35:1-34 regarding the cities of refuge. You will recall, and it is repeated in today's reading (verses 3 and 5), that "the avenger of blood" was the deceased man's nearest relative, upon whom the responsibility fell of avenging his death. The gate of the city (verse 4) was the place where the council of elders convened and where town business was normally transacted. It was not merely an entrance in the city wall, but an enclosed building built into the wall with several chambers and several stories. As the person who had accidentally killed someone came into the city, he must declare his cause to the elders of the city. They would then take him into the city and give him a place where he would dwell among them until the time of judgment. At that time, if he was cleared of murder, he could remain until the death of the high priest and was then allowed to return to his own house in the city from whence he had fled. The cities of refuge are specified in verses 7-9.