Here the towns and villages are named according to the different territories in which they are located. In this way, the inheritance is enjoyed, in these different contexts. A village is not what we understand by it. It is more like a hamlet consisting of one or two families living and working together. It speaks of individual believers who share blessings with each other in a smaller context, for example a family context.
A city speaks more of a local church. Every family is different, as is every local church. We notice this when we read the letters to the various churches in the New Testament. Taking possession of the land is not something of the study room, to enjoy those things only for ourselves. It is something we share with our families, fathers, mothers and children or also with the brothers and sisters with whom we form a local church.
If we don’t, we will capture the inheritance as Reuben and Gad did. Of these tribes only the men have captured the inheritance. Although, they did not do this for themselves, but for others. Their wives and children have never seen the inheritance. Not sharing with others what we have taken possession of is also visible in Ephraim and Manasseh: there are hardly any villages and towns mentioned of them. Judah really is a tribe after the thoughts of God.
Can any local authority be seen as a city, in the wilderness or in the mountains? We are all needed to build up each other and complement each other. This happens mainly in the local Bible reading. Can the church where we are be considered a church in the wilderness or in the mountain? Is it a city in the land, i.e. is it a church where the blessings of heaven are enjoyed, either in relation to life on earth or in relation to the position of believers in Christ?
Spiritually speaking, the border of Judah is a curious border. No tribe has a view like Judah. Those who live in the south have the view on Edom (verses 21-3221Now the cities at the extremity of the tribe of the sons of Judah toward the border of Edom in the south were Kabzeel and Eder and Jagur,22and Kinah and Dimonah and Adadah,23and Kedesh and Hazor and Ithnan,24Ziph and Telem and Bealoth,25and Hazor-hadattah and Kerioth-hezron (that is, Hazor),26Amam and Shema and Moladah,27and Hazar-gaddah and Heshmon and Beth-pelet,28and Hazar-shual and Beersheba and Biziothiah,29Baalah and Iim and Ezem,30and Eltolad and Chesil and Hormah,31and Ziklag and Madmannah and Sansannah,32and Lebaoth and Shilhim and Ain and Rimmon; in all, twenty-nine cities with their villages.). Edom is a brother nation and at the same time the most hateful enemy. Edom speaks of the flesh in the believer. That limit may not be crossed, that is to say that the flesh may not have the opportunity to enter the inheritance, because that will result in destruction of (the enjoyment of) the inheritance.
Then verses 33-4733In the lowland: Eshtaol and Zorah and Ashnah,34and Zanoah and En-gannim, Tappuah and Enam,35Jarmuth and Adullam, Socoh and Azekah,36and Shaaraim and Adithaim and Gederah and Gederothaim; fourteen cities with their villages.37Zenan and Hadashah and Migdal-gad,38and Dilean and Mizpeh and Joktheel,39Lachish and Bozkath and Eglon,40and Cabbon and Lahmas and Chitlish,41and Gederoth, Beth-dagon and Naamah and Makkedah; sixteen cities with their villages.42Libnah and Ether and Ashan,43and Iphtah and Ashnah and Nezib,44and Keilah and Achzib and Mareshah; nine cities with their villages.45Ekron, with its towns and its villages;46from Ekron even to the sea, all that were by the side of Ashdod, with their villages.47Ashdod, its towns and its villages; Gaza, its towns and its villages; as far as the brook of Egypt and the Great Sea, even [its] coastline. mention the cities in the lowland. That is the low part of the land between the sea and the mountains of Judea. The low speaks of the realm of Christian life where heavenly blessings are shown, the practical life of faith of every day. In the letter to the Ephesians, those territories are seen in marriages and families and working environment. Women and men, children and parents, slaves and gentlemen are all addressed (Eph 5:22-3322Wives, [be subject] to your own husbands, as to the Lord.23For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself [being] the Savior of the body.24But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives [ought to be] to their husbands in everything.25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,26so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,27that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.28So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself;29for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also [does] the church,30because we are members of His body.31For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.32This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.33Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must [see to it] that she respects her husband.; 6:1-4,5-91Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.2Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise),3so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.4Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.5Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ;6not by way of eye service, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.7With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men,8knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free.9And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.).
There are also cities in the hill country (verses 48-6048In the hill country: Shamir and Jattir and Socoh,49and Dannah and Kiriath-sannah (that is, Debir),50and Anab and Eshtemoh and Anim,51and Goshen and Holon and Giloh; eleven cities with their villages.52Arab and Dumah and Eshan,53and Janum and Beth-tappuah and Aphekah,54and Humtah and Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), and Zior; nine cities with their villages.55Maon, Carmel and Ziph and Juttah,56and Jezreel and Jokdeam and Zanoah,57Kain, Gibeah and Timnah; ten cities with their villages.58Halhul, Beth-zur and Gedor,59and Maarath and Beth-anoth and Eltekon; six cities with their villages.60Kiriath-baal (that is, Kiriath-jearim), and Rabbah; two cities with their villages.). This relates to knowing the victories in Christ in the heavenly places. Paul prays for the believers in Ephesus that they will know their blessings (Eph 1:17-2117that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.18[I pray that] the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,19and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. [These are] in accordance with the working of the strength of His might20which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly [places],21far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.). John is taken “in the spirit to a great and high mountain” to see the new Jerusalem, that is the church (Rev 21:1010And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,). Churches like Ephesus are located “in the hill country”. Are there still such churches in Christianity today?
Finally, the cities are mentioned in the wilderness of Judea, east of the mountains to the Dead Sea (verses 61-6261In the wilderness: Beth-arabah, Middin and Secacah,62and Nibshan and the City of Salt and Engedi; six cities with their villages.). Judea is constantly reminded of the wilderness, its aridity. The awareness of all the blessings in heaven also includes the awareness that this world has nothing to offer for faith. In the kingdom of peace, however, the wilderness will “blossom like a crocus” (Isa 35:11The wilderness and the desert will be glad,
And the Arabah will rejoice and blossom;
Like the crocus
). That is what faith looks forward to.