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Numbers 34-36, Deuteronomy 1
Even before they actually entered their physical promised land, The Lord gave the Israelites the legal boundaries of the country that their nation (see Country and Nation) would inhabit; they knew exactly "how far they could go" from and within their own sovereignty. No one was to violate their territory, nor were they to violate any other people's territory. As with everything else that is good, The Lord was the Creator of property rights, national and personal (see Landmark and Out Of Line).
"The Lord said to Moses, "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 in its full extent, your south side shall be from the wilderness of Zin [see also The Wilderness of Sin] along the side of Edom, and your southern boundary shall be from the end of The Salt Sea on the east; and your boundary shall turn south of the ascent of Akrabbim, and cross to Zin, and its end shall be south of Kadesh-barnea [see Kadesh-Barnea]; then it shall go on to Hazar-addar, and pass along to Azmon; and the boundary shall turn from Azmon to the Brook of Egypt, and its termination shall be at the sea.
The tribal lands (see Children of Jacob) within the land of Israel (see map) were also determined with precision.
"Moses commanded the people 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; for the tribe of the sons of Reuben by fathers' houses and the tribe of the sons 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 at Jericho eastward, toward the sunrise." (Numbers 34:13-15 RSV)
Numbers Chapter 35
The Levites had no tribal territory of their own, primarily because, as the priesthood, they lived and worked throughout the entire land of Israel. They were nevertheless given towns of their own that made them self-sufficient if need be - an old and wise principle that insured that those who preached and taught the Word of God could not be financially pressured into preaching anything other than the pure Word of God.
"The Lord said to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho, "Command the people of Israel, that they give to the Levites, from the inheritance of their possession, cities to dwell in; and you shall give to the Levites pasture lands round about the cities. The cities shall be theirs to dwell in, and their pasture lands shall be for their cattle and for their livestock and for all their beasts.
Some of the Levite towns were also designated as "cities of refuge" for those accused of murder - not to protect them from justice, but to insure that justice was done i.e. they would be protected from vigilantism until they faced their accusers at a properly authorized trial.
"The cities which you give to the Levites shall be the six cities of refuge, where you shall permit the manslayer to flee" (Numbers 35:6 RSV)
Numbers Chapter 36
"And Moses commanded the people of Israel according to the word of The Lord, saying, "The tribe of the sons of Joseph is right. This is what The Lord commands concerning the daughters of Zelophehad, 'Let them marry whom they think best; only, they shall marry within the family of the tribe of their father. The inheritance of the people of Israel shall not be transferred from one tribe to another; for every one of the people of Israel shall cleave to the inheritance of the tribe of his fathers. And every daughter who possesses an inheritance in any tribe of the people of Israel shall be wife to one of the family of the tribe of her father, so that every one of the people of Israel may possess the inheritance of his fathers. So no inheritance shall be transferred from one tribe to another; for each of the tribes of the people of Israel shall cleave to its own inheritance.'"
Deuteronomy Chapter 1
On the eve of their entering their physical promised land, Moses gave the Israelites a review of their history, their rights, their obligations, and their future (see the Fact Finder question below for the meaning of "deuteronomy").
"And in the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses spoke to the people of Israel according to all that The Lord had given him in commandment to them, after he had defeated Sihon the king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, who lived in Ashtaroth and in Edrei. Beyond the Jordan, in the land of Moab, Moses undertook to explain this law, saying, "The Lord our God said to us in Horeb, 'You have stayed long enough at this mountain; turn and take your journey, and go to the hill country of the Amorites, and to all their neighbors in the Arabah, in the hill country and in the lowland, and in the Negeb, and by the seacoast, the land of the Canaanites, and Lebanon, as far as the great river, the river Euphrates. Behold, I have set the land before you; go in and take possession of the land which The Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give to them and to their descendants after them.'" (Deuteronomy 1:3-8 RSV)
Moses then reminded them why a few months' journey had taken them over forty years - that this was the second time in their history that they were being given the opportunity to go home (see A Journey Without A Destination).
Fact Finder: What does "deuteronomy" mean?