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Friday, December 20 2013

Numbers 32: The Israel Of East Jordan

The Israelites had not sought any territory east of the Jordan River, nor had the LORD ever stated that the Promised Land of the Israelites (see Abraham's Seed: From The Nile To The Euphrates) would include land east of the Jordan River. Nevertheless, as they advanced toward the Jordan River, they were forced into war by the Moabites (see Numbers 22: Balak and Balaam and Numbers 25: The Moabite Seduction), from which Israel acquired goods and property (see Numbers 31: The Last Battle Of Moses). When people acquire land, it becomes personal property; when a nation acquires land, it becomes sovereign territory of that nation. The Moabite territory that Israel captured in the war, that the Moabites started, became Israel, just as much as the territory west of the Jordan.

Just before the Israelites crossed the Jordan, representatives of the tribes of Reuben and Gad, and later half of the tribe of Manasseh, requested to make the sovereign Israelite land east of the Jordan their tribal inheritance (whether they realized it or not, it was actually in that area, east of the Jordan, near the Jabbok River, where the LORD renamed Jacob as "Israel"; it would also soon be the place where Moses would die and be buried - in the Israelite territory east of the Jordan River).

The Jabbok River

"32:1 Now the children of Reuben and the children of Gad had a very great multitude of cattle: and when they saw the land of Jazer, and the land of Gilead, that, behold, the place was a place for cattle; 32:2 The children of Gad and the children of Reuben came and spake unto Moses, and to Eleazar the priest, and unto the princes of the congregation, saying,

32:3 Ataroth, and Dibon, and Jazer, and Nimrah, and Heshbon, and Elealeh, and Shebam, and Nebo, and Beon, 32:4 Even the country which the LORD smote before the congregation of Israel, is a land for cattle, and thy servants have cattle: 32:5 Wherefore, said they, if we have found grace in thy sight, let this land be given unto thy servants for a possession, and bring us not over Jordan." (Numbers 32:1-5 KJV)

Moses at first resisted the request. He seems to have interpreted it as an attempt to shirk the coming fierce battles against the Canaanites west of the Jordan. They responded however with the answer that they would accompany the other tribes across the Jordan, but would return to their lands east of the Jordan when the war was over: "We will not return unto our houses, until the children of Israel have inherited every man his inheritance. For we will not inherit with them on yonder side Jordan, or forward; because our inheritance is fallen to us on this side Jordan eastward."

"32:6 And Moses said unto the children of Gad and to the children of Reuben, Shall your brethren go to war, and shall ye sit here? 32:7 And wherefore discourage ye the heart of the children of Israel from going over into the land which the LORD hath given them? 32:8 Thus did your fathers, when I sent them from Kadeshbarnea to see the land. 32:9 For when they went up unto the valley of Eshcol, and saw the land, they discouraged the heart of the children of Israel, that they should not go into the land which the LORD had given them. 32:10 And the LORD'S anger was kindled the same time, and he sware, saying, 32:11 Surely none of the men that came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob; because they have not wholly followed me: 32:12 Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite, and Joshua the son of Nun: for they have wholly followed the LORD. 32:13 And the LORD'S anger was kindled against Israel, and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation, that had done evil in the sight of the LORD, was consumed.

32:14 And, behold, ye are risen up in your fathers' stead, an increase of sinful men, to augment yet the fierce anger of the LORD toward Israel. 32:15 For if ye turn away from after him, he will yet again leave them in the wilderness; and ye shall destroy all this people.

32:16 And they came near unto him, and said, We will build sheepfolds here for our cattle, and cities for our little ones: 32:17 But we ourselves will go ready armed before the children of Israel, until we have brought them unto their place: and our little ones shall dwell in the fenced cities because of the inhabitants of the land. 32:18 We will not return unto our houses, until the children of Israel have inherited every man his inheritance. 32:19 For we will not inherit with them on yonder side Jordan, or forward; because our inheritance is fallen to us on this side Jordan eastward." (Numbers 32:6-19 KJV)

Moses then agreed to the request. None of the other tribes objected, mainly perhaps because it would provide more land for them than they otherwise would have received if all of the tribes were west of the Jordan. Most importantly however, the LORD didn't object.

Tribal Map

"32:20 And Moses said unto them, If ye will do this thing, if ye will go armed before the LORD to war, 32:21 And will go all of you armed over Jordan before the LORD, until he hath driven out his enemies from before him, 32:22 And the land be subdued before the LORD: then afterward ye shall return, and be guiltless before the LORD, and before Israel; and this land shall be your possession before the LORD.

32:23 But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.

32:24 Build you cities for your little ones, and folds for your sheep; and do that which hath proceeded out of your mouth.

32:25 And the children of Gad and the children of Reuben spake unto Moses, saying, Thy servants will do as my lord commandeth. 32:26 Our little ones, our wives, our flocks, and all our cattle, shall be there in the cities of Gilead: 32:27 But thy servants will pass over, every man armed for war, before the LORD to battle, as my lord saith." (Numbers 32:20-27 KJV)

So it was then that the sovereign territory of Israel included territory for two and a half (see Why East And West Manasseh?) tribes of Israel east of the Jordan River.

"32:28 So concerning them Moses commanded Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the chief fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel: 32:29 And Moses said unto them, If the children of Gad and the children of Reuben will pass with you over Jordan, every man armed to battle, before the LORD, and the land shall be subdued before you; then ye shall give them the land of Gilead for a possession: 32:30 But if they will not pass over with you armed, they shall have possessions among you in the land of Canaan.

32:31 And the children of Gad and the children of Reuben answered, saying, As the LORD hath said unto thy servants, so will we do. 32:32 We will pass over armed before the LORD into the land of Canaan, that the possession of our inheritance on this side Jordan may be ours.

32:33 And Moses gave unto them, even to the children of Gad, and to the children of Reuben, and unto half the tribe of Manasseh the son of Joseph, the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites, and the kingdom of Og king of Bashan, the land, with the cities thereof in the coasts, even the cities of the country round about.

32:34 And the children of Gad built Dibon, and Ataroth, and Aroer, 32:35 And Atroth, Shophan, and Jaazer, and Jogbehah, 32:36 And Bethnimrah, and Bethharan, fenced cities: and folds for sheep.

32:37 And the children of Reuben built Heshbon, and Elealeh, and Kirjathaim, 32:38 And Nebo, and Baalmeon, (their names being changed,) and Shibmah: and gave other names unto the cities which they builded.

32:39 And the children of Machir the son of Manasseh went to Gilead, and took it, and dispossessed the Amorite which was in it.

32:40 And Moses gave Gilead unto Machir the son of Manasseh; and he dwelt therein. 32:41 And Jair the son of Manasseh went and took the small towns thereof, and called them Havothjair. 32:42 And Nobah went and took Kenath, and the villages thereof, and called it Nobah, after his own name." (Numbers 32:28-42 KJV)

Fact Finder: Did the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) rename Jacob as "Israel" east of the Jordan River, near the Jabbok River, in what became the east of the Jordan River Israelite territory that we've read about in this study?
Genesis 32:22-28 and see Genesis 32: The Origin Of Israel


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This Day In History, December 20

69: Roman emperor Vitellius was murdered and his body was dragged through the streets by the supporters of his rival Vespian, who then became Emperor (see New Testament Roman Emperors and Whatever Happened To Those Romans?).

1046: At the Synod at Sutri in Italy, German Emperor Heinrich (the German version of Henry) III dismissed Pope Gregory VI (see Emperors and Popes and listen to our Sermon Constantine's Papacy). Four days later, Clement II was elected as Pope. The German Empire became the successor of the original Roman Empire, also thereby inheriting the Church of Rome (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).

German Empire
1192: Richard the Lion-Heart was captured and imprisoned by Leopold V of Austria while returning to England after signing a treaty with Saladin to end the Third crusade (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).

1552: Katherine von Bora died at age 53. The former nun married Protestant reformer Martin Luther in 1525, when Luther was 42 and she was 26. They had 6 children.

1606: English settlers for the Virginia Company (a joint stock company chartered by King James I earlier that year) left London to establish colonies in the wilderness of "New England."

1699: Following the lead of the Church of Rome, Peter the Great announced a reorganization of the Russian calendar, decreeing that the new year would begin on January 1 instead of September 1.

1780: The Fourth Anglo-Dutch War (1780-1784) began.

1860: In defense of slavery, South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union; it was not readmitted until 1868, after the Civil War.

1919: Canadian National Railways was established. It is today North America's longest railway with 31,000 miles / 50,000 kilometers of track.

1922: Fourteen Russian republics were combined as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The USSR lasted 70 years before collapsing to the failure of socialism as a viable economic system.

1924: Austrian-born German Nazi party leader Adolf Hitler was released from Landsberg Prison (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).

1933: The Nazi government of Germany announced that 400,000 citizens were to be sterilized because of "hereditary defects" (included in the "defects" were anyone who opposed the government).

1955: Cardiff was proclaimed the capital city of Wales, United Kingdom.

1973 In Spain, General Franco's prime minister and right-hand man, Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco, was assassinated as he rode through a Madrid street.

1983: Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and 4,000 PLO ("Palestine Liberation Organization"; "Palestine" is a variant English translation of "Philistine") loyalists were evacuated from Lebanon during an Israeli invasion.

1987: A collision between the Philippine ferry Dona Paz and a tanker caused the deaths of 4,386 passengers and crew, all but 11 aboard the ferry - the worst peace-time tragedy at sea. The Dona Paz was licensed to carry just 1,500.

1989: The U.S. invaded Panama to install a new government after President Manuel Noriega began moving Panama toward a declaration of independence from the U.S.

1996: Astronomer Carl Sagan died at age 62 (listen to our Sermon The Creator of Cosmos).


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