In Joshua 21, the NIV translation of the Bible has "pasturelands", while the KJV translation has "suburbs" (Jos 21:3,8,27,41). I wonder which one is the right translation?
Jos 21:41 (NIV) The towns of the Levites in the territory held by the Israelites were forty-eight in all, together with their pasturelands.
Jos 21:41 (KJV) All the cities of the Levites within the possession of the children of Israel were forty and eight cities with their suburbs.
There seems to be two conflicting theories. One theory is that the Levites did not own any cattle and was fully depended on the tithe. This theory proposes that there were two tithes, of which the first one the Levites should share ten percent of with the priests. This is argued by the Wikipedia article First Tithe.
The second theory claims that the Levities indeed owned cattle, and that they earned their money in many different professional occupations. This theory also holds that there was just one tithe, and with this tithe they should minister to foreigners, orphans, and widows. This site holds this view.
I am trying to establish if the Levites to a certain extent were self-sufficient, or if they depended completely on the tithes?