Reading Plan 
Daily Bible Reading (daily) February 15
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Numbers 34:1--36:13

Context
The Southern Border of the Land

34:1 1 Then the Lord spoke to Moses: 34:2 “Give these instructions 2  to the Israelites, and tell them: ‘When you enter Canaan, the land that has been assigned to you as an inheritance, 3  the land of Canaan with its borders, 34:3 your southern border 4  will extend from the wilderness of Zin along the Edomite border, and your southern border will run eastward to the extremity of the Salt Sea, 34:4 and then the border will turn from the south to the Scorpion Ascent, 5  continue to Zin, and then its direction 6  will be from the south to Kadesh Barnea. Then it will go to Hazar Addar and pass over to Azmon. 34:5 There the border will turn from Azmon to the Brook of Egypt, and then its direction is to the sea. 7 

The Western Border of the Land

34:6 “‘And for a western border 8  you will have the Great Sea. 9  This will be your western border.

The Northern Border of the Land

34:7 “‘And this will be your northern border: From the Great Sea you will draw a line to Mount Hor; 34:8 from Mount Hor you will draw a line to Lebo Hamath, 10  and the direction of the border will be to Zedad. 34:9 The border will continue to Ziphron, and its direction will be to Hazar Enan. This will be your northern border.

The Eastern Border of the Land

34:10 “‘For your eastern border you will draw a line from Hazar Enan to Shepham. 34:11 The border will run down from Shepham to Riblah, on the east side of Ain, and the border will descend and reach the eastern side of the Sea of Chinnereth. 11  34:12 Then the border will continue down the Jordan River 12  and its direction will be to the Salt Sea. This will be your land by its borders that surround it.’”

34:13 Then Moses commanded the Israelites: “This is the land which you will inherit by lot, which the Lord has commanded to be given 13  to the nine and a half tribes, 34:14 because the tribe of the Reubenites by their families, 14  the tribe of the Gadites by their families, and half of the tribe of Manasseh have received their inheritance. 34:15 The two and a half tribes have received their inheritance on this side of the Jordan, east of Jericho, 15  toward the sunrise.”

Appointed Officials

34:16 The Lord said to Moses: 34:17 “These are the names of the men who are to allocate the land to you as an inheritance: 16  Eleazar the priest and Joshua son of Nun. 34:18 You must take one leader from every 17  tribe to assist in allocating the land as an inheritance. 18  34:19 These are the names of the men: from the tribe of Judah, Caleb son of Jephunneh; 34:20 from the tribe of the Simeonites, Shemuel son of Ammihud; 34:21 from the tribe of Benjamin, Elidad son of Kislon; 34:22 and from the tribe of the Danites, a leader, Bukki son of Jogli. 34:23 From the Josephites, Hanniel son of Ephod, a leader from the tribe of Manasseh; 34:24 from the tribe of the Ephraimites, a leader, Kemuel son of Shiphtan; 34:25 from the tribe of the Zebulunites, a leader, Elizaphan son of Parnach; 34:26 from the tribe of the Issacharites, a leader, Paltiel son of Azzan; 34:27 from the tribe of the Asherites, a leader, Ahihud son of Shelomi; 34:28 and from the tribe of the Naphtalites, a leader, Pedahel son of Ammihud.” 34:29 These are the ones whom the Lord commanded to divide up the inheritance among the Israelites in the land of Canaan.

The Levitical Cities

35:1 19 Then the Lord spoke to Moses in the Moabite plains by the Jordan near Jericho. 20  He said: 35:2 “Instruct the Israelites to give 21  the Levites towns to live in from the inheritance the Israelites 22  will possess. You must also give the Levites grazing land around the towns. 35:3 Thus they will have towns in which to live, and their grazing lands will be for their cattle, for their possessions, and for all their animals. 35:4 The grazing lands around the towns that you will give to the Levites must extend to a distance of 500 yards 23  from the town wall.

35:5 “You must measure 24  from outside the wall of the town on the east 1,000 yards, 25  and on the south side 1,000 yards, and on the west side 1,000 yards, and on the north side 1,000 yards, with the town in the middle. 26  This territory must belong to them as grazing land for the towns. 35:6 Now from these towns that you will give to the Levites you must select six towns of refuge to which a person who has killed someone may flee. 27  And you must give them forty-two other towns.

35:7 “So the total of the towns you will give the Levites is forty-eight. You must give these together with their grazing lands. 35:8 The towns you will give must be from the possession of the Israelites. From the larger tribes you must give more; and from the smaller tribes fewer. Each must contribute some of its own towns to the Levites in proportion to the inheritance allocated to each.

The Cities of Refuge

35:9 Then the Lord spoke to Moses: 35:10 “Speak to the Israelites and tell them, ‘When you cross over the Jordan River 28  into the land of Canaan, 35:11 you must then designate some towns as towns of refuge for you, to which a person who has killed someone unintentionally may flee. 35:12 And they must stand as your towns of refuge from the avenger in order that the killer may not die until he has stood trial before the community. 35:13 These towns that you must give shall be your six towns for refuge.

35:14 “You must give three towns on this side of the Jordan, and you must give three towns in the land of Canaan; they must be towns of refuge. 35:15 These six towns will be places of refuge for the Israelites, and for the foreigner, and for the settler among them, so that anyone who kills any person accidentally may flee there.

35:16 “But if he hits someone with an iron tool so that he dies, 29  he is a murderer. The murderer must surely be put to death. 35:17 If he strikes him by throwing a stone large enough that he could die, and he dies, he is a murderer. The murderer must surely be put to death. 35:18 Or if he strikes him with a wooden hand weapon so that he could die, and he dies, he is a murderer. The murderer must surely be put to death. 35:19 The avenger 30  of blood himself must kill the murderer; when he meets him, he must kill him.

35:20 “But if he strikes him out of hatred or throws something at him intentionally 31  so that he dies, 35:21 or with enmity he strikes him with his hand and he dies, the one who struck him must surely be put to death, for he is a murderer. The avenger of blood must kill the murderer when he meets him.

35:22 “But if he strikes him suddenly, without enmity, or throws anything at him unintentionally, 35:23 or with any stone large enough that a man could die, without seeing him, and throws it at him, and he dies, even though he was not his enemy nor sought his harm, 35:24 then the community must judge between the slayer and the avenger of blood according to these decisions. 35:25 The community must deliver the slayer out of the hand of the avenger of blood, and the community must restore him to the town of refuge to which he fled, and he must live there 32  until the death of the high priest, who was anointed with the consecrated oil. 35:26 But if the slayer at any time goes outside the boundary of the town to which he had fled, 35:27 and the avenger of blood finds him outside the borders of the town of refuge, and the avenger of blood kills the slayer, he will not be guilty of blood, 35:28 because the slayer 33  should have stayed in his town of refuge until the death of the high priest. But after the death of the high priest, the slayer may return to the land of his possessions. 35:29 So these things must be a statutory ordinance 34  for you throughout your generations, in all the places where you live.

35:30 “Whoever kills any person, the murderer must be put to death by the testimony 35  of witnesses; but one witness cannot 36  testify against any person to cause him to be put to death. 35:31 Moreover, you must not accept a ransom for the life of a murderer who is guilty of death; he must surely be put to death. 35:32 And you must not accept a ransom for anyone who has fled to a town of refuge, to allow him to return home and live on his own land before the death of the high priest. 37 

35:33 “You must not pollute the land where you live, for blood defiles the land, and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed there, except by the blood of the person who shed it. 35:34 Therefore do not defile the land that you will inhabit, in which I live, for I the Lord live among the Israelites.”

Women and Land Inheritance

36:1 Then the heads of the family groups 38  of the Gileadites, the descendant of Machir, the descendant of Manasseh, who were from the Josephite families, approached and spoke before Moses 39  and the leaders who were the heads of the Israelite families. 40  36:2 They said, “The Lord commanded my lord to give 41  the land as an inheritance by lot to the Israelites; and my lord was commanded by the Lord to give the inheritance of our brother Zelophehad to his daughters. 36:3 Now if they should be married to one of the men 42  from another Israelite tribe, their inheritance would be taken from the inheritance of our fathers and added to the inheritance of the tribe into which they marry. 43  As a result, it will be taken from the lot of our inheritance. 36:4 And when the Jubilee of the Israelites is to take place, 44  their inheritance will be added to the inheritance of the tribe into which they marry. So their inheritance will be taken away from the inheritance of our ancestral tribe.” 45 

Moses’ Decision

36:5 Then Moses gave a ruling 46  to the Israelites by the word 47  of the Lord: “What the tribe of the Josephites is saying is right. 36:6 This is what 48  the Lord has commanded for Zelophehad’s daughters: ‘Let them marry 49  whomever they think best, 50  only they must marry within the family of their father’s tribe. 36:7 In this way the inheritance of the Israelites will not be transferred 51  from tribe to tribe. But every one of the Israelites must retain the ancestral heritage. 36:8 And every daughter who possesses an inheritance from any of the tribes of the Israelites must become the wife of a man from any family in her father’s tribe, so that every Israelite 52  may retain the inheritance of his fathers. 36:9 No inheritance may pass from tribe to tribe. But every one of the tribes of the Israelites must retain its inheritance.”

36:10 As the Lord had commanded Moses, so the daughters of Zelophehad did. 36:11 For the daughters of Zelophehad – Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Noah – were married to the sons of their uncles. 53  36:12 They were married into the families of the Manassehites, the descendants of Joseph, and their inheritance remained in the tribe of their father’s family.

36:13 These are the commandments and the decisions that the Lord commanded the Israelites through the authority 54  of Moses, on the plains of Moab by the Jordan River 55  opposite Jericho. 56 

1 sn This chapter falls into several sections: the south (vv. 1-5), the west (v. 6), the north (vv. 7-9), the east (vv. 10-15), and then a list of appointed officials (vv. 16-29).

2 tn Or “command.”

3 tn Heb “this is the land that will fall to you as an inheritance.”

4 tn The expression refers to the corner or extremity of the Negev, the South.

5 tn Or “the Ascent of Scorpions” (עַקְרַבִּים [’aqrabbim] means “scorpions” in Hebrew).

6 tn Heb “its going forth,” or the way it runs.

7 sn That is, the Mediterranean.

8 tn The word for west is simply “sea,” because the sea is west of Israel.

9 sn That is, the Mediterranean Sea (also in the following verse).

10 tn Or “to the entrance to Hamath.”

11 tn Or “the Sea of Galilee” (so NLT); NCV, TEV, CEV “Lake Galilee.”

sn The word means “harp.” The lake (or sea) of Galilee was so named because it is shaped somewhat like a harp.

12 tn The word “River” is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

13 tn The infinitive forms the direct object of what the Lord commanded. It actually means “to give,” but without an expressed subject may be made passive.

14 tn Heb “the house of their fathers.” So also a little later in this verse.

15 map For the location of Jericho see Map5 B2; Map6 E1; Map7 E1; Map8 E3; Map10 A2; Map11 A1.

16 tn The verb can be translated simply as “divide,” but it has more the idea of allocate as an inheritance, the related noun being “inheritance.”

17 tn This sense is created by repetition: “one leader, one leader from the tribe.”

18 tn The sentence simply uses לִנְחֹל (linkhol, “to divide, apportion”). It has been taken already to mean “allocate as an inheritance.” Here “assist” may be added since Joshua and Eleazar had the primary work.

19 sn This section has two main parts, the Levitical cities (vv. 1-8) and the Cities of Refuge (vv. 9-34).

20 map For location see Map5 B2; Map6 E1; Map7 E1; Map8 E3; Map10 A2; Map11 A1.

21 tn The verb is the perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive: “command…and they will give,” or “that they give.”

22 tn Heb “they”; the referent (the Israelites) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

23 tn Heb “one thousand cubits.” The standard cubit in the OT is assumed by most authorities to be about eighteen inches (45 cm) in length, so this would be a distance of 1,500 feet or 500 yards (675 meters).

24 tn The verb is the Qal perfect of מָדַד (madad, “to measure”). With its vav (ו) consecutive it carries the same instructional force as the imperfect.

25 tn Heb “two thousand cubits” (also three more times in this verse). This would be a distance of 3,000 feet or 1,000 yards (1,350 meters).

26 sn The precise nature of the layout described here is not altogether clear. V. 4 speaks of the distance from the wall as being 500 yards; v. 5, however, describes measurements of 1,000 yards. Various proposals have been made in order to harmonize vv. 4 and 5. P. J. Budd, Numbers (WBC), 376, makes the following suggestion: “It may be best to assume that the cubits of the Levitical pasture lands are cubit frontages of land – in other words on each side of the city there was a block of land with a frontage of two thousand cubits (v 5), and a depth of 1000 cubits (v 4).”

27 tn The “manslayer” is the verb “to kill” in a participial form, providing the subject of the clause. The verb means “to kill”; it can mean accidental killing, premeditated killing, or capital punishment. The clause uses the infinitive to express purpose or result: “to flee there the manslayer,” means “so that the manslayer may flee there.”

28 tn The word “River” is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

29 tn the verb is the preterite of “die.” The sentence has :“if…he strikes him and he dies.” The vav (ו) consecutive is showing the natural result of the blow.

30 tn The participle גֹּאֵל (goel) is the one who protects the family by seeking vengeance for a crime. This is the same verb used for levirate marriages and other related customs.

31 tn The Hebrew text is more vivid: “by lying in wait.”

32 tn Heb “in it.”

33 tn Heb “he.”

34 tn Heb “a statute of judgment” (so KJV).

35 tn Heb “ at the mouth of”; the metonymy stresses it is at their report.

36 tn The verb should be given the nuance of imperfect of potentiality.

37 tn Heb “the priest.” The Greek and the Syriac have “high priest.” The present translation, along with many English versions, uses “high priest” as a clarification.

38 tn The expression is “the heads of the fathers by the family of the Gileadites.”

39 tn The Greek and the Syriac add “and before Eleazar the priest.”

40 tn Heb “heads of the fathers.”

41 tn The infinitive construct “to give” serves here as the complement or object of the verb, answering what the Lord had commanded Moses.

42 tn “Men” is understood; it says “to one from the sons of the tribes of the Israelites for a wife,” or if he has her for a wife.

43 tn Heb “which they will be to them,” meaning, to those who have them, i.e., the marriages.

44 tn The verb הָיָה (hayah) is most often translated “to be,” but it can also mean “to happen, to take place, to come to pass,” etc.

45 tn Heb “the tribe of our fathers.”

46 tn Heb “commanded.”

47 tn Heb “mouth.”

48 tn Heb “the word that.”

49 tn The idiom again is “let them be for wives for….”

50 tn Heb “to the one who is good in their eyes.”

51 tn Heb “turned aside.”

52 tn The subject is “Israelites” and the verb is plural to agree with it, but the idea is collective as the word for “man” indicates: “so that the Israelites may possess – [each] man the inheritance of his fathers.”

53 tn They married in the family as they were instructed. But the meaning of דּוֹד (dod) is not necessarily restricted to “uncle.”

54 tn Heb “by the hand.”

55 tn The word “River” is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

56 map For the location of Jericho see Map5 B2; Map6 E1; Map7 E1; Map8 E3; Map10 A2; Map11 A1.



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