Boundries of the tribes

The story is told that one day a beggar by the roadside asked for alms from Alexander the Great as he passed by. The man was poor and wretched and had no claim upon the ruler, no right even to lift a solicitous hand. Yet the Emperor threw him several gold coins. A courtier was as … More


God had already given the eastern bank of Jordan to the two and one-half tribes. In those days there were no survey crews with scientific instruments for determining the property lines. People cited towns and geographical features when they wanted to determine boundaries. The Jews changed the names of many of the cities and they also established forty-eight cities for the Levites to dwell in.

In this chapter He shows Moses the boundaries of the remainder of Canaan to be distributed among the nine and one-half tribes. The land was given by God; no tribe was to claim its own land. The southern border stretched from the southern tip of the Dead Sea to the Mediterranean Sea (vv. 3-5). The western border (v. 6) was the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea. The northern border (vv. 7-9) included the area of Mount Hermon. The eastern border (v. 10) is the Jordan Valley from the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea. The size of the land portrays God s generosity. He always gives us more than we could ever ask or think.

The land was to be divided by the casting of lots, as supervised by fourteen appointed individuals (vv, 16-29). God Himself chose the committee which was to function here. In addition to Eleazar the priest and Joshua, one prince from every tribe was named. In God’s plan for dividing the land he explained what to do. No plan is complete until each job is assigned and everyone understands his or her responsibilities. When you have a job to do, determine what must be done, give clear instructions, and put people in charge of each part.


We serve a God who is so generous and always provides more than we deserve. That is so true of my life beginning with the country and family that I was born into, with the wonderful wife He has given me and the healthy and Christ honoring children he placed in our family. Just as in the illustration, copper coins would have been more than adequate but He has provided the gold.

Numbers 34:1-29 (English Standard Version)

The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "Command the people of Israel, and say to them, When you enter the land of Canaan (this is the land that shall fall to you for an inheritance, the land of Canaan as defined by its borders), your south side shall be from the wilderness of Zin alongside Edom, and your southern border shall run from the end of the Salt Sea on the east. And your border shall turn south of the ascent of Akrabbim, and cross to Zin, and its limit shall be south of Kadesh- barnea. Then it shall go on to Hazar-addar, and pass along to Azmon. And the border shall turn from Azmon to the Brook of Egypt, and its limit shall be at the sea. "For the western border, you shall have the Great Sea and its coast. This shall be your western border. "This shall be your northern border: from the Great Sea you shall draw a line to Mount Hor. From Mount Hor you shall draw a line to Lebo-hamath, and the limit of the border shall be at Zedad. Then the border shall extend to Ziphron, and its limit shall be at Hazar-enan. This shall be your northern border. "You shall draw a line for your eastern border from Hazar-enan to Shepham. And the border shall go down from Shepham to Riblah on the east side of Ain. And the border shall go down and reach to the shoulder of the Sea of Chinnereth on the east. And the border shall go down to the Jordan, and its limit shall be at the Salt Sea. This shall be your land as defined by its borders all around." Moses commanded the people of Israel, saying, "This is the land that you shall inherit by lot, which the LORD has commanded to give to the nine tribes and to the half-tribe. For the tribe of the people of Reuben by fathers' houses and the tribe of the people of Gad by their fathers' houses have received their inheritance, and also the half-tribe of Manasseh. The two tribes and the half-tribe have received their inheritance beyond the Jordan east of Jericho, toward the sunrise." The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "These are the names of the men who shall divide the land to you for inheritance: Eleazar the priest and Joshua the son of Nun. You shall take one chief from every tribe to divide the land for inheritance. These are the names of the men: Of the tribe of Judah, Caleb the son of Jephunneh. Of the tribe of the people of Simeon, Shemuel the son of Ammihud. Of the tribe of Benjamin, Elidad the son of Chislon. Of the tribe of the people of Dan a chief, Bukki the son of Jogli. Of the people of Joseph: of the tribe of the people of Manasseh a chief, Hanniel the son of Ephod. And of the tribe of the people of Ephraim a chief, Kemuel the son of Shiphtan. Of the tribe of the people of Zebulun a chief, Elizaphan the son of Parnach. Of the tribe of the people of Issachar a chief, Paltiel the son of Azzan. And of the tribe of the people of Asher a chief, Ahihud the son of Shelomi. Of the tribe of the people of Naphtali a chief, Pedahel the son of Ammihud. These are the men whom the LORD commanded to divide the inheritance for the people of Israel in the land of Canaan."

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