Posts Tagged ‘Tribes’


Numbers 34 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Give these instructions to the Israelites: When you come into the land of Canaan, which I am giving you as your special possession, these will be the boundaries… Then Moses told the Israelites, “This territory is the homeland you are to divide among yourselves by sacred lot. The Lord has commanded that the land be divided among the nine and a half remaining tribes. The families of the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh have already received their grants of land on the east side of the Jordan River, across from Jericho toward the sunrise.” And the Lord said to Moses, “Eleazar the priest and Joshua son of Nun are the men designated to divide the grants of land among the people. Enlist one leader from each tribe to help them with the task.

The saying ‘never count your chickens before they hatch’ certainly did not matter to this nation that stood at the extremities of the land they were about to divide. This whole division was to take place before they even conquered the land and instead of God choosing military leaders, He chose was who would divide the land in each tribe. What is God speaking to us today through this mysterious story? (more…)


ImageNumbers 32 The tribes of Reuben and Gad owned vast numbers of livestock. So when they saw that the lands of Jazer and Gilead were ideally suited for their flocks and herds, they came to Moses, Eleazar the priest, and the other leaders of the community. They said, “Notice the towns of Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sibmah, Nebo, and Beon. The Lord has conquered this whole area for the community of Israel, and it is ideally suited for all our livestock. If we have found favor with you, please let us have this land as our property instead of giving us land across the Jordan River.” “Do you intend to stay here while your brothers go across and do all the fighting?” Moses asked the men of Gad and Reuben. “Why do you want to discourage the rest of the people of Israel from going across to the land the Lord has given them? Your ancestors did the same thing when I sent them from Kadesh-barnea to explore the land”… But they approached Moses and said, “We simply want to build pens for our livestock and fortified towns for our wives and children. Then we will arm ourselves and lead our fellow Israelites into battle until we have brought them safely to their land. Meanwhile, our families will stay in the fortified towns we build here, so they will be safe from any attacks by the local people. We will not return to our homes until all the people of Israel have received their portions of land. But we do not claim any of the land on the other side of the Jordan. We would rather live here on the east side and accept this as our grant of land”… So Moses gave orders to Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the leaders of the clans of Israel. He said, “The men of Gad and Reuben who are armed for battle must cross the Jordan with you to fight for the Lord. If they do, give them the land of Gilead as their property when the land is conquered. But if they refuse to arm themselves and cross over with you, then they must accept land with the rest of you in the land of Canaan”… So Moses assigned land to the tribes of Gad, Reuben, and half the tribe of Manasseh son of Joseph. He gave them the territory of King Sihon of the Amorites and the land of King Og of Bashan—the whole land with its cities and surrounding lands.

Is it not wonderful to see how the heads of the tribes of Reuben and Gad wanted to provide for their flocks and families first and yet keep to their commitment of seeing Israel established in the land of Canaan. Why then does Moses tell them off? (more…)


Numbers 2:3-4,9-11,16-19,24-26,31,33-34 “The divisions of Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun are to camp toward the sunrise on the east side of the Tabernacle, beneath their family banners… So the total of all the troops on Judah’s side of the camp is 186,400. These three tribes are to lead the way whenever the Israelites travel to a new campsite. “The divisions of Reuben, Simeon, and Gad are to camp on the south side of the Tabernacle, beneath their family banners… So the total of all the troops on Reuben’s side of the camp is 151,450. These three tribes will be second in line whenever the Israelites travel. “Then the Tabernacle, carried by the Levites, will set out from the middle of the camp. All the tribes are to travel in the same order that they camp, each in position under the appropriate family banner. “The divisions of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin are to camp on the west side of the Tabernacle, beneath their family banners… So the total of all the troops on Ephraim’s side of the camp is 108,100. These three tribes will be third in line whenever the Israelites travel. “The divisions of Dan, Asher, and Naphtali are to camp on the north side of the Tabernacle, beneath their family banners… So the total of all the troops on Dan’s side of the camp is 157,600. These three tribes will be last, marching under their banners whenever the Israelites travel”… But as the Lord had commanded, the Levites were not included in this registration. So the people of Israel did everything as the Lord had commanded Moses. Each clan and family set up camp and marched under their banners exactly as the Lord had instructed them.

Two million slaves that were freed from exile are now being transformed into a nation that is on the move. How improbable that sounds just like how impossible it is to image the parting of the Red Sea or the daily portion of manna God provided them when they journeyed in the desert.

Is there any relevance to these stories in the Bible and if so, how do they relate to us today? (more…)