20 Apr. Numbers 34:1-18,35:1-12

20 Apr. The Israelites agree the boundaries of the ‘promised land’

“The LORD said to Moses, ‘Give this command to the people of Israel: “You will soon enter Canaan and it will be yours.”'”

“’These shall be the borders: On the south you will get part of the Desert of Zin near the border of Edom. On the east side your southern border will start at the south end of the Dead Sea, cross south of Scorpion Pass, and go through the Desert of Zin and south of Kadesh Barnea. Then it will go to Hazar Addar and over to Azmon. From Azmon it will go to the brook [wadi] of Egypt, and it will end at the Mediterranean Sea.’”

“’Your western border will be the Mediterranean Sea.’”

“’Your northern border will begin at the Mediterranean Sea and go to Mount Hor. From Mount Hor it will go to Lebo Hamath, and on to Zedad. Then the border will go to Ziphron, and it will end at Hazar Enan…’”

“Your eastern border will begin at Hazar Enan and go to Shepham. From Shepham the border will go east of Ain to Riblah and along the hills east of Lake Galilee [the Sea of Kinnereth]. Then the border will go down along the Jordan River and end at the Dead Sea.’”

“'These are the borders around your country.’”

“So Moses gave this command to the Israelites: ‘This is the land you will receive. Throw lots to divide it among the nine and a half tribes, because the LORD commanded that it should be theirs. The tribes of Reuben, Gad and East Mannaseh have already received their land. These two and a half tribes received land east of the Jordan River, across from Jericho.’”

“Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘These are the men who will divide the land: Eleazar the priest and Joshua son of Nun. Also take one leader from each tribe to help divide the land.’”

“’Command the Israelites to give the Levites cities to live in from the land they receive. Also give the Levites the pastureland around these cities. Then the Levites will have cities where they may live and pastureland for their cattle, flocks and other animals. The pastureland you give the Levites will extend 500 metres from the city wall…’”

“’Six of the cities you give the Levites will be cities of safety. A person who accidentally kills someone may run to one of these cities for safety… There the person will be safe from the dead person’s relative who has the duty of punishing the killer. He will not die before he receives a fair trial in court.’”

          (Numbers 34:1-18, 35:1-12)



While the Israelites were camped on the plains of Moab, opposite the Canaanite city of Jericho, God commanded Moses to make plans to divide the ‘promised land’ of Canaan among the tribes of Israel.

The boundaries of Canaan were mapped out and elders were appointed to assign the land after the conquest to the remaining nine and a half Israelite tribes (see the map).

Provisions were also made to allocate 48 cities and their surrounding pasture land to the Levites who didn’t form part of the army of Israel because their religious duties prevented them from fighting. These were to be allocated from the tribal lands according to the size of the tribe – more cities in the areas of the larger tribes, and fewer cities among the smaller tribes.

Six of these settlements were to become ‘cities of refuge’, to which a person who had killed someone accidentally could flee (see Joshua 20:7). A Levitical court in each of these cities would decide if the death had been accidental. If so, the safety of the person would be guaranteed within the walls of that ‘city of refuge’, and they would be protected from the relatives of the dead person.

In Numbers 36:1-13, further provisions were made to prevent land passing from one tribe to another.

The map shows the boundaries of Canaan agreed before the Israelites invaded the ‘promised land’.

You can read more @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/26-the-journey-continues-from-sinai-to-moab/the-boundaries-of-canaan-are-agreed/

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