The city of Shechem was given to Yosef by Yaakov (Bereshis 48:22) yet when the Jewish people entered Israel Yehoshua designated the city as a city of refuge (Yehoshua 20:7). Why was this done? Doesn't this designation negate Yaakov's earlier gift?

Note: I realize some commentaries read 48:22 as not referring to the city itself, I am only asking according to the other commentaries who do

1 Answer 1


Schechem was chosen likely because it was a large city in the left middle third of Eretz Yisrael. Look up a map of the 6 cities. They are spaced out. Just because is was a city of refuge doesn't make it not a city of Efraim, just as Hebron being a one doesn't make it not a city of Judah.

  • And note that Hebron was explicitly given to Caleb. (IIRC.)
    – msh210
    Feb 1, 2015 at 16:22

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