The Earthly Inheritance
After typing all of the mechanical information of these verses, such as the meaning of all of the places and names, the technical aspects of the Hebrew, and so on, I laid out all of the names of the locations that are given, and of all of the names of the people that are named, and I looked for patterns which might alert me to a deeper reason as to why they are included. I came up with nothing.
However, there are some interesting patterns which we will see that scholars of the past have laid out. And indeed, they show the marvelous wisdom of God in relaying what will come about in the future before the things even happen.
But concerning a secondary set of reasons why specific names of locations and people are given, nothing jumped out at me with the exception of the name of one of the people listed toward the end of the verses, Parnach.
Nobody can identify the root of where his name comes from. And so, any meaning of the name would be complete speculation, and it would be without any basis for choosing it. And that is what the few references do, they guess and don’t give a reason for the guess.
What that shows us is that the listing is purposefully telling us that it is not a listing with a particular typological meaning. If it was, it would have a definite meaning to fit the type.
Another thing we can grab from the listing of named locations is that they form a border which completely encompasses the land of Canaan. Places have names to identify where they are, and often why the name is given.
By giving the names of the locations which surround Canaan, we can obviously deduce that Canaan is a limited place which may not have walls, but it does have borders, nonetheless. Within those borders are then more borders.
That this is certain is seen in the verses today. There is Canaan for Israel, there are land inheritances for each tribe defined by lot, and then there are family inheritances to be appointed by the leaders. Then, individual properties will be parceled out to the people.
And there are not only these borders on the people’s physical existence in geography, but there are also borders on the physical lives of the people as well. People are born, they live, and they die. They have borders which say, you may go this far, but no further.
The limitations are set, and both are set by the giving of law. Through law came sin, and from sin came death. The limitation is determined. And for Israel in Canaan, through the law came the inheritance, and through the law came its boundaries and divisions.
Text Verse: “Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ. 17 And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect. 18 For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.” Galatians 3:16-18
Because the land could be described, the land has limitations. And so, what appears to me to be the point of the contents of this chapter, beyond the obvious need to grant the inheritance of Canaan to the people in an orderly fashion, is to show that it is earthly, temporary, and not the final inheritance man can expect.
The land of Canaan is given as a pattern of the heavenly, as we will see in parts of the verses today, especially concerning the four directions which are named, but it is only that, a shadowy type of something which cannot be described.
Indeed, John describes the New Jerusalem, including its size and shape, but a city in heaven means there is a heaven for a city to be in. Thus, the exclusion of heaven’s description tells us as much or more than as does the inclusion of the city’s description.
And this may be what Paul was trying to tell us in 2 Corinthians 12. There he speaks of himself in the third person and says that “he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter” (v. 4).
Paul means that it is 1) A paradox – he heard speaking which may not be spoken because it is impossible for us to express the same words. In attempting to do so, he would do injustice to what he had heard. Or, 2) They are words which are not to be uttered by man at this present time. He was allowed to hear them, but forbidden from re-stating them.
The second option seems more likely because of his final words, “…which it is not lawful for a man to utter.” The Bible scholar Bengel explains this by saying –
“Others, who did not hear them, cannot; Paul, who did hear them, is not sufficiently able; and though he were able, yet it would not be lawful, it would not be proper in the state of mortality; because the inhabitants of the earth would not understand them.”
Unlike Canaan, we are not given a description of heaven because we cannot, in our mortal minds, understand what it would be like. So much for people who write books about having gone to heaven; they haven’t. So, save your money.
What we can know, however, is that because it is beyond our ability to express, it will be beyond magnificent, because man can express rather marvelous things. For now, we will contrast that heavenly inheritance with an earthly one.
It’s all to be found in His superior word. And so, let’s turn to that precious word once again and… May God speak to us through His word today and may His glorious name ever be praised.
I. The Boundaries of Canaan (verses 1-15)
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,
These words follow directly after the last major thought which was given. At the end of Chapter 33, there were seven verses which were given concerning subduing the land of Canaan. That section began with these words –
“Now the Lord spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan, across from Jericho, saying, 51 ‘Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you have crossed the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 52 then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, destroy all their engraved stones, destroy all their molded images, and demolish all their high places; 53 you shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land and dwell in it, for I have given you the land to possess.’” Numbers 33:50-53
Obviously, if the people are given the land to subdue and possess, they must then know what the borders of that land are. Thus, this next section logically follows in order.
There are several obvious reasons for needing to know the exact borders of the land. The first is because they have been instructed to exterminate all the inhabitants of the land. To not have set boundaries would mean either failing to exterminate some who should be exterminated, or it would mean that some who should not be wiped out might be wiped out.
Secondly, the land that is given to them means that land outside of those boundaries is not given to them. They are to be content within their borders, unless the authority of expanding those borders is granted.
This does not mean that they cannot wage war outside of those borders, but any such war is not to be specifically for the expansion of the people into those lands, but as a protective buffer, a land of subdued enemies who must pay tribute to their overloads, a land of exploitation of resources, and so on.
Thirdly, by defining the boundaries of the land, it is a way of showing that the land, which is the Lord’s, is already marked out and prepared by Him for Israel. It is a note of surety that the Lord will be with them, and that the battle is truly already won.
A fourth reason is that with the boundaries defined, and as Canaan is to be the land of rest for Israel, the people were not to rest until the land within those boundaries was subdued. This follows logically with the words of the previous chapter –
“But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall be that those whom you let remain shall be irritants in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land where you dwell. 56 Moreover it shall be that I will do to you as I thought to do to them.” Numbers 33:55, 56
A fifth implied reason for marking out the land is that Israel is to be content and grateful for what they are given. As the Lord gave it, they are to be satisfied with what they have been granted, and they are to never infer that they could have done better elsewhere. The Lord determined, and Israel is to accept and acknowledge that. Because of these things…
2 “Command the children of Israel, and say to them:
The words are for all of Israel to heed and understand. The corporate body is being given corporate instructions concerning their corporate dwelling which is soon to be entered…
2 (con’t) ‘When you come into the land of Canaan,
This is the point of everything concerning the land that has happened since this statement from Genesis 46 –
“So He said, ‘I am God, the God of your father; do not fear to go down to Egypt, for I will make of you a great nation there. 4 I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again; and Joseph will put his hand on your eyes.’” Genesis 46:3, 4
The Lord promised Jacob, who is Israel, that he would go down to Egypt, and that he would be brought back up. Immediately after that, Jacob took his journey from Beersheba and departed to Egypt. It was from that time until now, on the border of Canaan by the Jordan, that Israel had waited to receive their inheritance.
2 (con’t) this is the land that shall fall to you as an inheritance—the land of Canaan to its boundaries.
What will now be described has already been partially detailed to both Abraham and to Moses. In Genesis 15, it says this –
“On the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying:
‘To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates— 19 the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites, 20 the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21 the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.’” Genesis 15:18-21
Again, in Exodus 23, this was spoken by the Lord to Moses –
“And I will set your bounds from the Red Sea to the sea, Philistia, and from the desert to the River. For I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you shall drive them out before you.” Exodus 23:31
What was spoken to both Abraham and later to Moses will now begin to be defined. What will be said here is less than those earlier promises. It encompasses only the land of Canaan, and not the land which extends as far as the Euphrates.
Thus, the term “the land of Canaan” speaks only of the land now to be described. It does not include anything beyond what will be marked out, and it is the standard reference throughout Scripture.
Surprisingly, Israel never actually possessed all of that land because they never fully subdued the area along the southeast where Gaza is. In 1 Kings 4:24, it does say Solomon had peace as far as Gaza, but the inhabitants continued to live there. To this day, those areas are still inhabited by miscreants and enemies of Israel.
Where it says, “this is the land that shall fall to you,” it is speaking of inheritance by lot. As the lot falls, so shall be the inheritance.
The logic of placing the words of this chapter here is evident. First, the Midianites who had harmed Israel on its journey were subdued. Therefore, the matter – which was necessary to resolve at some point – will not interfere with the conquest of Canaan, nor would it be forgotten during the many years in which Canaan was being subdued. It is a matter completed and out of mind.
After that was accomplished, the tribes of Reuben and Gad called for their inheritance east of the Jordan. It is logical to have that matter resolved first as well.
The next thing that was detailed was the review of the entire set of journeys from the time Israel left Egypt until they had arrived at this point. From a historical perspective, that properly belonged in the narrative prior to delineating the borders of the land they were about to enter.
And finally, the instructions for subduing the land were given. That logically comes prior to the marking out of the land. 1) You are to do this, and 2) Here is where that is to be accomplished. The logic of the placement of each chapter is marvelously seen from a broader view. With those things stated, the land delineation now begins with…
3 Your southern border shall be from the Wilderness of Zin along the border of Edom; then your southern border shall extend eastward to the end of the Salt Sea;
What is described concerning the southern border here is repeated again in Joshua 15:2-4 to describe the border of Judah which is the southernmost tribe in the land of Canaan. The word “south” is negev. That comes from a root meaning “parched.” As the south of Israel is a parched land, the term signifies both the direction, and at times, the desert area known as ha’negev, or “the Negev.”
The Wilderness of Zin has been referred to five times already, starting in Numbers 13. It is the area forming the border of Canaan which is the beginning of the southern border. Tsin means “thorn” or “barb.”
From this starting point, the border extends along Edom’s border. Edom signifies “red” and it is closely connected to adam, or man. Edom’s border goes all the way to the end of yam ha’melakh or
“Sea, the Salt,” meaning the Dead Sea.
The exact lines of what is described here are debated, but the general idea would have been understood by Joshua and those of Israel as they went through the land to subdue it.
4 your border shall turn from the southern side of the Ascent of Akrabbim, continue to Zin, and be on the south of Kadesh Barnea; then it shall go on to Hazar Addar, and continue to Azmon;
Next, there is a turning from the southern side of Maaleh Aqrabim. This means “the Ascent of Akrabbim,” or “the Ascent of Scorpions.” The aqrav, or scorpion, is seen six times in Scripture, and it denotes that which is used for chastisement.
The turn continues to Zin, or Thorn, and the border continues to the south of Kadesh Barnea, or “Holy Purifying Wanderings.” This is the spot where Miriam died, and it is also the point where the spies were sent into Canaan.
Here, a new word is introduced totsaah, or “goings out.” It comes from yatsa which means to go or come out. Thus, this is a place where there is a “goings out” of something, or a termination.
In this case, it is the goings out, or endings of the border from the south to Kadesh Barnea. From there, the border continues on to Hazar Addar. The name comes from two words signifying “village” and “majestic.” Thus, it is the Majestic Village, or Village of Greatness.
From Khastar Adar, the border then proceeds to Azmon. Atsmon comes from atsom, meaning mighty. That comes from etsem, meaning a bone. The idea is that the skeletal structure is what provides strength. Thus, the place is called Mighty, or Mighty One.
5 the border shall turn from Azmon to the Brook of Egypt, and it shall end at the Sea.
From Azmon, the border makes another turn to nakhal mitsrayim, or the Wadi of Egypt. It is a brook which flows during times of rains, but otherwise is a dry riverbed. Here the word totsaah, or “goings out” is used again. The southern border has its ending or “goings out” at the sea.
This location is a bit south of Israel’s border today in a city known as El Arish which is right on the Mediterranean Sea. It is the same border that Ezekiel prophesies will be the southern border of Israel during the millennium as is stated in Ezekiel 47:19.
The southern border, as described here, cuts off the V portion of Israel which extends all the way to the Red Sea today, where Eilat is. That would later be a part of Israel, as is recorded elsewhere. Instead of a long extending V, these borders reflect a shorter U.
6 ‘As for the western border, you shall have the Great Sea for a border; this shall be your western border.
This verse explains some of the misunderstandings that have occurred by scholars in earlier verses of Exodus. The word translated as “western” here is yam. It means “sea,” and it is used two more times in this same verse, first when speaking of yam ha’gadol, or Sea, the Great, and then again as gebul yam, or “border western.”
A literal translation would be, “And border sea and shall have you the sea, the great, and border this shall be your border – sea.”
The reference for the translation of yam as west is because the reference is that of the land of Canaan. Even when Israel was outside of Canaan, the term is still used to speak of the west, because Canaan is the basis for the reference.
Scholars, misunderstanding this, claim that the times the word yam are used in this manner, such as in Exodus, must be later inserts. But Israel came from this land, and the concept of yam meaning west goes all the way back to the time of Abraham.
The Pulpit Commentary even includes this incorrect evaluation in their commentary of this verse. They say, “it cannot be overlooked as one small indication that the language of this passage at any rate is the language of an age subsequent to the conquest of Canaan.”
In other words, as has been seen before, they say these words are not original, but are a later insert. But the text stands for itself, especially in the construction of the tabernacle where the western end of the tabernacle also uses the term yam to explain its location.
It is the Lord who is speaking. The western end of the tabernacle is where He dwells, and the western side of the land, which is His – meaning Canaan – is to the yam or sea. The use of yam is consistent, logical, and precise. It is not a later insert.
The word yam comes from an unused root meaning “to roar” as in the roaring, breaking of waves. Thus, one could think of the western border as the Great Roaring. The sea as the western border continues until the next border on the north…
7 ‘And this shall be your northern border:
The word “northern” is tsaphon. It comes from a verb, tsaphan, signifying “to hide” or “to treasure up.” The reason for this is that Canaan is in the northern hemisphere (yes, the world is round), and thus, the north is the direction that is hidden from the sun more and more as the winter months come on.
The northwest is where the sun last alights in the morning, and the northeast is where it first recedes at night. Thus, the north is hidden away. This is also seen in the placement of the lampstand on the south side of the tabernacle, away from the north. Again, the reference is that of Canaan, and of the dwelling place of the Lord.
7 (con’t) From the Great Sea you shall mark out your border line to Mount Hor;
Here is a new word, taah. It is only found here and in the next verse. It gives the sense of pointing out, and thus one can mark out a border based on the pointing. If one stands on the shore of the Great Sea, and points to Mount Hor, that is the marking, just as a bird would fly.
Mount Hor, or Mount of the Mountain, is not the same as Mount Hor where Aaron died. It probably signifies a double mountain. Scholars are wholly divided on what this is speaking of. Some insist it is Mount Hermon. Others, Mount Amana mentioned in the Song of Solomon. Whichever it is, the people would know when they were directed to it.
8 from Mount Hor you shall mark out your border to the entrance of Hamath; then the direction of the border shall be toward Zedad;
Here is the second and last use of taah in the Bible. One can see that the mountain was sufficiently placed where it could be pointed at from the other location and thus keep people from claiming a border which the Lord had not otherwise designated.
From Mount Hor, one would mark out to lebo khamath, or the entrance of Hamath. This is the same location that the spies traveled to in Numbers 13:21. The name means “Defense” or “Citadel.” From there, the border would travel toward Zedad. The name Tsedad is only found here and in Ezekiel 47:15. It comes from tsad, meaning “a side.”
9 the border shall proceed to Ziphron, and it shall end at Hazar Enan. This shall be your northern border.
From Zedad, the border then heads to Ziphron. The best guess of the meaning of Ziphron is Sweet Smell. From there, the northern border ends at Hazar Enan, or “Village of Eyes,” or “Village of Springs,” because springs resemble eyes.
10 ‘You shall mark out your eastern border from Hazar Enan to Shepham;
The final border is qedem, or east. The word signifies aforetime, ancient time, that which is everlasting or eternal, and forward. The reason why it is forward is because the temple of the Lord faces east, thus forward. Again, as has been seen each time, the direction is in reference to Canaan as if the Lord is there in His dwelling.
From the Village of Springs, the eastern border is to be avah, or marked out, south to Shepham. This is a word found only here in the Bible. It signifies “to draw.” Thus, the border is described with a mark, probably like we do on trails today.
Depending on the root, the name Shepham means either Swept Bare or Fenced In. From there…
11 the border shall go down from Shepham to Riblah on the east side of Ain;
Here the border is said to “go down.” Thus, there is a descent which goes to Rivlah. The name signifies a fertile, fruitful place.” It is said to be on the east side of Ain. The name means an eye, and thus, literally, a spring of water. It is one of the springs which would feed into the Jordan.
11 (con’t) the border shall go down and reach to the eastern side of the Sea of Chinnereth;
Here, the border would again descend to the “shoulder” of yam kineret, meaning the Sea of Galilee. The word used speaks of the mountain slope on the northeast side of the Sea of Kinereth which is its “shoulder.”
The name Kinereth comes from kinor, meaning a type of harp. The reason for the name is the shape of the sea, which looks like a harp when viewed from above. As the border is on the east of these places, the water rights are included in the land rights of Israel.
12 the border shall go down along the Jordan, and it shall end at the Salt Sea.
From the Sea of Kinereth, the border continues down the Jordan, or Descender, and ends at the Salt, or Dead, Sea.
What is rather beautiful in picture concerns this eastern border and how it looks to Christ. As we already know, the Jordan – meaning the Descender – is a type of Christ. As the Jordan comes from Mt. Hermon, the snow-capped mountain, we can see a picture of Christ who came from heaven where there is no sin; only righteousness.
That is explained by Isaiah where he says –
“’Come now, and let us reason together,’
Says the Lord,
‘Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow.’” Isaiah 1:18
From there, He descended even to death itself, to the Dead Sea, the lowest spot on earth, typical of the pit of death. But while there, He remained in a state of incorruption, typified by yam ha’melakh, or the Salt Sea. Salt, as we have seen (among other things), signifies incorruption. Understanding this, the significance of Acts 2:27 is seen –
“For You will not leave my soul in Hades,
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.”
12 (con’t) This shall be your land with its surrounding boundaries.’”
This is the entire scope of the original land grant to Canaan. The most difficult to determine areas are those of the northern border, but there are disagreements on the exact shape of the south in some places as well.
13 Then Moses commanded the children of Israel, saying: “This is the land which you shall inherit by lot, which the Lord has commanded to give to the nine tribes and to the half-tribe.
These words explain verse 2. The inheritance that falls to Israel is because it is inherited by lot. As the Lord determines in the falling of the lot, so the inheritance falls to the people of these nine and one half tribes. Originally, it was a land of about 160 miles in length, and about 50 miles wide, often much less. It is a sliver of land among the nations.
14 For the tribe of the children of Reuben according to the house of their fathers, and the tribe of the children of Gad according to the house of their fathers, have received their inheritance; and the half-tribe of Manasseh has received its inheritance.
As was seen in Chapter 32, and what is seen again in this chapter, despite this land across the Jordan being possessed by Israel, it is not considered a part of Canaan. It is merely an area of possession. The granting of the inheritance to these two- and one-half tribes was minutely detailed in Chapter 32. It is their inheritance, but it is not a part of Canaan proper.
15 The two tribes and the half-tribe have received their inheritance on this side of the Jordan, across from Jericho eastward, toward the sunrise.”
The words here, again, show Canaan as the reference. It doesn’t say “on this side of the Jordan.” It says, “on side of the Jordan,” a term which can mean on either side. It then explains what that means by saying “eastward, toward the sunrise.”
The borders of your land are already decided
I have set them for you as your place to dwell
In you I have trusted and confided
And so, to you I am granting the land as well
This is the land of Canaan which I promised before
I promised it to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob too
Now you are about to enter as you stand at the door
This is the land that I am giving to you
O Israel, if you will but pay heed to My word
If you will only bend your ear and listen to Me
I have brought you to this land, I the Lord
Open your eyes, Israel, I want you to see
If you will cherish Me and to Me have hearts that are true
You may dwell long in the land which I am giving to you
II. One Leader of Every Tribe (verses 16-29)
16 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,
A new section is introduced with these words. After defining the borders of the land, the Lord now proceeds to define who will be responsible for the division of that land. The division is to be completely fair and impartial, and these men are selected so that such will be the case, and so the Lord proceeds…
17 “These are the names of the men who shall divide the land among you as an inheritance: Eleazar the priest and Joshua the son of Nun.
Unless this is simply speaking of casting lots, this cannot be speaking of tribal division of the land. The lots would be thrown for the division among the tribes, but then the size of the family within the tribe was to be the standard for division within the allotted territory. Therefore, this is speaking of that.
Eleazar and Joshua represent the leaders of the congregation which is formed as a theocracy. They would thus be included in any division to ensure that everything was done according to the will of the Lord. Along with them…
18 And you shall take one leader of every tribe to divide the land for the inheritance.
One leader was to be selected with overall authority of the division of the land between families. It would be this person who worked under the approving eyes of Eleazar and Joshua to ensure the family inheritances were met according to size. Interestingly, Albert Barnes notes the following –
“The order in which the tribes are named is peculiar to this passage. If they be taken in pairs, Judah and Simeon, Benjamin and Dan, Manasseh and Ephraim, Zebulun and Issachar, Asher and Naphtali, the order of the pairs agrees with the order in which the allotments in the Holy land, taken also in couples, followed each other in the map from south to north.” Albert Barnes
It is a note, then, that the Lord is in complete control of what will occur concerning the lots. Long before they are cast, the order of tribal selection for inherited land is already set in the written record. Despite not matching the order in which the lots were cast, they match the order in which they are laid out. It is an obscure pattern which makes it all the more astonishing when considered.
19 These are the names of the men: from the tribe of Judah, Caleb the son of Jephunneh;
Here, Caleb is the only leader who was selected as a tribal leader in Numbers 13. Other than him, all of the other leaders had died in the wilderness wanderings. Caleb means “Dog.” Yephunneh means “He will be beheld.”
20 from the tribe of the children of Simeon, Shemuel the son of Ammihud;
The name Shemuel is the same as our English Samuel. It means “Name of God,” or “Heard of God.” Ammihud means “My Kinsman is Glorious.”
21 from the tribe of Benjamin, Elidad the son of Chislon;
Elidad means “Whom God Loves.” Khislon means “Factless Confidence.”
22 a leader from the tribe of the children of Dan, Bukki the son of Jogli;
Bukki means “Wasteful.” Yogli means “Exiled.”
23 from the sons of Joseph: a leader from the tribe of the children of Manasseh, Hanniel the son of Ephod,
Hanniel means “Graciousness of God.” Ephod means something like “Girdle.”
24 and a leader from the tribe of the children of Ephraim, Kemuel the son of Shiphtan;
Kemuel means something like “Gathering of God.” Shiphtan means something like “Judicial.”
25 a leader from the tribe of the children of Zebulun, Elizaphan the son of Parnach;
Elizaphan means “God Hides,” or “God Has Protected.” The meaning of Parnakh is unknown.
26 a leader from the tribe of the children of Issachar, Paltiel the son of Azzan;
Paltiel means “Deliverance of God.” Azzan means “Very Strong.”
27 a leader from the tribe of the children of Asher, Ahihud the son of Shelomi;
Akhihud means “Brother of Majesty.” Shelomi means “My Peace.”
28 and a leader from the tribe of the children of Naphtali, Pedahel the son of Ammihud.”
Pedahel means “God has Ransomed.” Ammihud again means “My Kinsman is Glorious.”
*29 (fin) These are the ones the Lord commanded to divide the inheritance among the children of Israel in the land of Canaan.
Not only were these tribes organized from a geographical perspective, as noted in verse 18, but they were also structured in a unique family way. This is described by Joseph Benson –
“Judah and Simeon, both sons of Leah, dwelt by one another: next, Benjamin of Rachel, and Dan of Rachel’s maid: Manasseh and Ephraim, both sons of Joseph, had the next place: Zebulon and Issachar, who dwelt next together, were both sons of Leah: and the last pair were Asher of Leah’s maid, and Naphtali of Rachel’s maid. Here, therefore, we have an evident proof of the wisdom of God’s providence, and of his peculiar care of his people.” Joseph Benson
The chances of such unusual groupings between these two patterns, and the fact that nothing is openly said about them anywhere in Scripture, reveals a marvelous wisdom was at work long before the divisions were actually made.
For the student of the Bible who takes the time to understand what is otherwise hidden, there is an amazing degree of confidence in the fact that this is truly the divinely inspired word of God.
And because it is, and because it tells us of our assured inheritance in heaven (and this you will see all too well in a coming sermon) because of the Person and work of Jesus, we can and should have the greatest encouragement and hope in this life. What is coming is so magnificent that Paul himself could not lawfully utter concerning what he had seen.
He had a moment, a mere moment, in the presence of glory, and words failed him. As heaven is without borders, it is an eternal expanse, and because our lives will continue without the border of the ending of time, we have an eternal future to search out that eternal expanse of heaven – looking into the mind of God with unceasing and endless joy as we do.
Canaan was a land of promise and abundance, but it was a land of law and death. We will have the former – forever – because Jesus prevailed over the latter for us. God be praised. Jesus has prevailed!
Closing Verse: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:3-5
Next Week: Numbers 35:1-8 It is just as the Lord willed… (The Levitical Cities – A Prophecy Fulfilled) (68th Numbers Sermon)
The Lord has you exactly where He wants you. He has a good plan and purpose for you. It may seem at times as if you are lost in a desert, wandering aimlessly. But the Lord is there, carefully leading you to the Land of Promise. So, follow Him and trust Him and He will do marvelous things for you and through you.
The Earthly Inheritance
Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying
These are the words He was to him relaying
“Command the children of Israel, and say to them:
‘When you come into the land of Canaan, please take note
This is the land that shall fall to you as an inheritance
The land of Canaan to its boundaries, as to you I quote
Your southern border shall be from the Wilderness of Zin
Along the border of Edom, as fixed by Me
Then your southern border shall extend
Eastward to the end of the Salt Sea
Your border shall turn from the southern side
Of the Ascent of Akrabbim, continue to Zin, so you are shown
And be on the south of Kadesh Barnea
Then it shall go on to Hazar Addar, and continue to Azmon
The border shall turn from Azmon to the Brook of Egypt
———-as directed by Me
And it shall end at the Sea
“As for the western border, you shall have the Great Sea
———-for a border
This shall be your western border, according to My order
‘And this shall be your northern border:
From the Great Sea you shall mark out your border line
———-to Mount Hor
From Mount Hor you shall mark out your border
———-to the entrance of Hamath
Then the direction of the border shall be toward Zedad
———-but that’s not all as there is more
The border shall proceed to Ziphron
———- and it shall end at Hazar Enan, according to My order
This shall be your northern border
‘You shall mark out your eastern border
From Hazar Enan to Shepham, but I am not done yet
The border shall go down from Shepham to Riblah
———-on the east side of Ain
The border shall go down and reach to the eastern side
———-of the Sea of Chinnereth
The border shall go down along the Jordan
———-and it shall end at the Salt Sea
This shall be your land with each surrounding boundary
Then Moses commanded the children of Israel, saying:
More words to them He was relaying
“This is the land which you shall inherit by lot
Which the LORD has commanded to give to the nine tribes
———-and to the half-tribe; this shall be their spot
For the tribe of the children of Reuben
———-according to the house of their fathers
And the tribe of the children of Gad
———-according to the house of their fathers too
Have received their inheritance
And the half-tribe of Manasseh has received its inheritance
———-it is true
The two tribes and the half-tribe have received their inheritance
For them, it was like an early surprise
On this side of the Jordan
Across from Jericho eastward, toward the sunrise
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying
These words to him, He continued relaying
“These are the names of the men
Who shall divide the land among you as an inheritance:
Eleazar the priest and Joshua the son of Nun
Starting with these two fine gents
And you shall take one leader of every tribe, so I say
To divide the land for the inheritance, as I instruct you today
These are the names of the men:
From the tribe of Judah, Caleb the son of Jephunneh
From the tribe of the children of Simeon
———-Shemuel the son of Ammihud
From the tribe of Benjamin, Elidad the son of Chislon
———-as to you I do say
A leader from the tribe of the children of Dan
———- Bukki the son of Jogli
From the sons of Joseph: a leader from the tribe
———-of the children of Manasseh, Hanniel the son of Ephod
And a leader from the tribe of the children of Ephraim
———- Kemuel the son of Shiphtan
A leader from the tribe of the children of Zebulun
———-Elizaphan the son of Parnach; just as I have to you showed
A leader from the tribe of the children of Issachar
———-Paltiel the son of Azzan
A leader from the tribe of the children of Asher
———-Ahihud the son of Shelomi
And a leader from the tribe of the children of Naphtali
———-Pedahel the son of Ammihud
All of these as directed by Me
These are the ones the LORD commanded to divide
The inheritance among the children of Israel in the land of Canaan
———-with their borders on each side
Lord God, we are even now in a wilderness
And we are wanting to be led by You
Without You to direct, our lives would be a mess
And so be our guide, O God; You who are faithful and true
We long for the water in this barren land
May it flow forth from the Rock, our souls to satisfy
Give us this refreshing, spiritual hand
And may we take it, and to our lives daily it apply
And we shall be content and satisfied in You alone
We will follow You as we sing our songs of praise
Hallelujah to You; to us Your path You have shown
Hallelujah we shall sing to You for all of our days
Hallelujah and Amen…
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Command the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you come into the land of Canaan, this is the land that shall fall to you as an inheritance—the land of Canaan to its boundaries. 3 Your southern border shall be from the Wilderness of Zin along the border of Edom; then your southern border shall extend eastward to the end of the Salt Sea; 4 your border shall turn from the southern side of the Ascent of Akrabbim, continue to Zin, and be on the south of Kadesh Barnea; then it shall go on to Hazar Addar, and continue to Azmon; 5 the border shall turn from Azmon to the Brook of Egypt, and it shall end at the Sea.
6 ‘As for the western border, you shall have the Great Sea for a border; this shall be your western border.
7 ‘And this shall be your northern border: From the Great Sea you shall mark out your border line to Mount Hor; 8 from Mount Hor you shall mark out your border to the entrance of Hamath; then the direction of the border shall be toward Zedad; 9 the border shall proceed to Ziphron, and it shall end at Hazar Enan. This shall be your northern border.
10 ‘You shall mark out your eastern border from Hazar Enan to Shepham; 11 the border shall go down from Shepham to Riblah on the east side of Ain; the border shall go down and reach to the eastern side of the Sea of Chinnereth; 12 the border shall go down along the Jordan, and it shall end at the Salt Sea. This shall be your land with its surrounding boundaries.’ ”
13 Then Moses commanded the children of Israel, saying: “This is the land which you shall inherit by lot, which the Lord has commanded to give to the nine tribes and to the half-tribe. 14 For the tribe of the children of Reuben according to the house of their fathers, and the tribe of the children of Gad according to the house of their fathers, have received their inheritance; and the half-tribe of Manasseh has received its inheritance. 15 The two tribes and the half-tribe have received their inheritance on this side of the Jordan, across from Jericho eastward, toward the sunrise.”
16 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 17 “These are the names of the men who shall divide the land among you as an inheritance: Eleazar the priest and Joshua the son of Nun. 18 And you shall take one leader of every tribe to divide the land for the inheritance. 19 These are the names of the men: from the tribe of Judah, Caleb the son of Jephunneh; 20 from the tribe of the children of Simeon, Shemuel the son of Ammihud; 21 from the tribe of Benjamin, Elidad the son of Chislon; 22 a leader from the tribe of the children of Dan, Bukki the son of Jogli; 23 from the sons of Joseph: a leader from the tribe of the children of Manasseh, Hanniel the son of Ephod, 24 and a leader from the tribe of the children of Ephraim, Kemuel the son of Shiphtan; 25 a leader from the tribe of the children of Zebulun, Elizaphan the son of Parnach; 26 a leader from the tribe of the children of Issachar, Paltiel the son of Azzan; 27 a leader from the tribe of the children of Asher, Ahihud the son of Shelomi; 28 and a leader from the tribe of the children of Naphtali, Pedahel the son of Ammihud.”
29 These are the ones the Lord commanded to divide the inheritance among the children of Israel in the land of Canaan.