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42 and Masay

I was looking up what I may have written in past years that is relevant to this week's parasha  and found one of the pieces from my grandfather's sefer here:

This part jumped out at me:
"There were an additional 42 cities of refuge due to the Levi cities serving as such: 36 in Israel proper and another 6 to the east."

The mandate for the cities of refuge only called for 6 in all: 3 on either side of the Yarden. But in reality many more cities served that function because any Levi city could also offer sanctuary for the person who killed unintentionally. That's not specified in the directions relayed in our  parsha, but we do see how the cities of refuge were set up in Yehoshua. First the 6 specified are established (chapter 20) and then the cities are allocated to the Leviim, including the ones identified as an ir miklat.

As any Douglas Adams fan knows, 42 is not just any number but one…

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