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Monday, February 20 2017

The Plains Of Moab

"And the children of Israel set forward, and pitched in the plains of Moab on this side Jordan by Jericho"

The "plains of Moab" is the translated term for the eastern side of the Jordan Valley, across the Jordan River from Jericho. Moses died on an adjacent mountain (see Moses' Farewell Song and Blessing and The Passage Of Moses).

It was upon the arrival of the Israelites at the plains of Moab that Balak the king of Moab brought about their famous encounter with Balaam (see Balak and Balaam and Balaam's Parables and Balaam's Blessing Of Israel).

The Dead Sea

"22:1 And the children of Israel set forward, and pitched in the plains of Moab on this side Jordan by Jericho.

22:2 And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. 22:3 And Moab was sore afraid of the people, because they were many: and Moab was distressed because of the children of Israel.

22:4 And Moab said unto the elders of Midian, Now shall this company lick up all that are round about us, as the ox licketh up the grass of the field.

And Balak the son of Zippor was king of the Moabites at that time. 22:5 He sent messengers therefore unto Balaam the son of Beor to Pethor, which is by the river of the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying,

Behold, there is a people come out from Egypt: behold, they cover the face of the earth, and they abide over against me: 22:6 Come now therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people; for they are too mighty for me: peradventure I shall prevail, that we may smite them, and that I may drive them out of the land: for I wot that he whom thou blessest is blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed.

22:7 And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination in their hand; and they came unto Balaam, and spake unto him the words of Balak." (Numbers 22:1-7 KJV)

The LORD (see A Biography Of Jesus Christ: The LORD God Of Creation) then commanded Moses to make a military census of the Israelites for the upcoming battles for Canaan (see Joshua's Commission). The total of all military-age males was 601,730.

"26:1 And it came to pass after the plague, that the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest, saying,

26:2 Take the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, from twenty years old and upward, throughout their fathers' house, all that are able to go to war in Israel. 26:3 And Moses and Eleazar the priest spake with them in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho, saying, 26:4 Take the sum of the people, from twenty years old and upward; as the LORD commanded Moses and the children of Israel, which went forth out of the land of Egypt." (Numbers 26:1-4 KJV)

"26:51 These were the numbered of the children of Israel, six hundred thousand and a thousand seven hundred and thirty." (Numbers 26:51 KJV)

The census on the plains of Moab was not of the adults of the Exodus generation, almost all of whom were then dead (see the Fact Finder question below), but rather their children and grandchildren who were either children at the time of the Exodus or who were born in the Sinai after the Exodus. That was the major difference factor in the Exodus census (see The First Sinai Census) and the census that was done just before the Israelites entered the land of Canaan (see Israel's Jordan Census).

"26:63 These are they that were numbered by Moses and Eleazar the priest, who numbered the children of Israel in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho. 26:64 But among these there was not a man of them whom Moses and Aaron the priest numbered, when they numbered the children of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai. 26:65 For the LORD had said of them, They shall surely die in the wilderness. And there was not left a man of them, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun." (Numbers 26:63-65 KJV)

Fact Finder: Why did nearly all of the adult Israelites at the time of the Exodus not enter the Promised Land?
See Why A Book Of Deuteronomy In The Bible?


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This Day In History

This Day In History, February 20

1339: The Battle of Parabiago between the Milanese army and the St. George's (San Giorgio) Mercenaries of Lodrisio Visconti.

1547: Edward VI was crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey.


1579: Sir Nicholas Bacon died at age 70. He was a high official in the government of Queen Elizabeth I (reigned 1558-1603) and the father of the philosopher Francis Bacon.

1685: Rene-Robert Cavelier established Fort St. Louis (St. Louis was named after French King Louis IX), thereby establishing the "New France" claim to Texas.

New France

1653: During the first English-Dutch War, the Dutch fleet under Van Tromp fought the British at the Battle of Portland.

1707: Aurangzeb died at age 89. He was the last of the great Mughal emperors of India (1658-1707). Under him the Mughal empire reached its greatest extent, although his policies helped lead to its end.

1790: Holy Roman emperor Joseph II died at age 49 (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).

1811: Austria declared itself bankrupt.

1831: Polish revolutionaries defeated the Russians at the Battle of Growchow.

1862: William Lincoln, age 11, son of President Abraham Lincoln, died at the White House.

1895: Frederick Douglas, escaped slave and U.S. antislavery leader, died at age 78.

1920: At the end of the First World War (1914-1918), when Britain inherited the Middle East nations that had been under the Ottoman Empire for centuries (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate and listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire), Britain recognized the government of Trans-Jordan (listen to our Sermon The Balfour Declaration).

1938: British Foreign Minister Anthony Eden resigned in protest because of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's appeasement of Adolf Hitler (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).

1943: During the Second World War (1939-1945), U.S. movie studio executives agreed to allow the Office of War Information to censor movies and integrate nationalistic and political propaganda in "entertainment" films (a practice that has never stopped).

1947: Louis Mountbatten was appointed the last British Viceroy of India.

1959: "Black Friday" for the Canadian aviation industry of the 1950s. Prime Minister John Diefenbaker ended the CF-105 Arrow project. Built in Toronto by Avro Canada, the delta-winged interceptor Arrow was one of the fastest, most advanced fighters in human history (Mach 2 at altitude of 50,000 feet). Fighter aircraft designed and built over 50 years later (including the McDonnell-Douglas F-15 and F-18, both of which are slower and have a lower maximum operational height than the Arrow) are still inferior to the Arrow in some performance characteristics. When the Arrow was canceled, many of the Canadian Arrow engineers found work at NASA where elements of Arrow design and technology were used in the U.S. Space Shuttle.

1962: John Glenn became the second U.S. astronaut in space (after Alan Shepherd in May 1961) and the first U.S. astronaut to orbit the earth. Although almost totally ignored by U.S. historians and news media (leaving many of the U.S. population with a very inward-looking, limited awareness of the genuine accomplishments of other people), Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was actually the first man in space, in April 1961. Russia also put the first woman in space - 20 years before Sally Ride of the U.S.


1965: Charles Woolley died at age 80. The British archaeologist spent over 40 years in the field; he excavated Ur of the Chaldees (birthplace of Abraham; see The Journey From Ur Of The Chaldees) and discovered the ancient Sumerian civilization.

1984: Harris Shoerats, the oldest man in Britain, died at age 111.

1986: The Soviet space station Mir was launched into Earth orbit. It was the world's first space station.

Mir Space Station

1990: Soviet Parliamentary leaders proposed a draft law which would allow the republics the right to break away from the Soviet Union.

2005: Spain became the first European nation to hold a referendum on ratification of the Constitution of the European Union.




Copyright © Wayne Blank