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Friday, February 9 2018

The Land Of Israel: East Of Jordan

"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"

The modern-day satellite photograph below shows the locations of the territorial sections of the land of Israel as they were when the Israelites took possession, as declared by the LORD to Abraham centuries before (see Biblical Eras: The Lands Promised To Abraham), in the time of Joshua (see Joshua's Commission).

Judea is located in the south. Samaria is in the central area. Galilee is in the north. Also at that time were the tribal territories east of the Jordan River.

Israel From Space

The land of Israel was not at first intended to possess any territory east of the Jordan River. The LORD never commanded 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 the Israelites advanced toward the Jordan River, they were forced into war by the Moabites (see Balak and Balaam and The Moabite Seduction), from which Israel acquired goods and property (see 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.

Immediately 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 opposed 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)

With that understanding, 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 the Fact Finder question below) 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: What is the only tribe (apart from the Levites, who, as the priesthood, were given lands throughout the territories of the other tribes) that had land on both sides of the Jordan River? Was it nevertheless an orderly division, based upon family clans within the tribe?
See Why East And West Manasseh?


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This Day In History, February 9

474: Zeno was crowned as co-Emperor of the Byzantine Empire (the East Roman Empire).

Roman Empire

1267: The Synod of Breslau (at the time, a city in German-occupied Poland) ordered Jews to wear special caps in public (see also Jews - Three Tribes and Three Meanings).

1540: The first recorded horse race meeting in England was held at Roodeye Fields, Chester.

1555: The Bishop of Gloucester, John Hooper, was burned at the stake by English Roman Catholics for his "protestant" beliefs.

1667: The Truce of Andrusovo, a treaty between Poland and Russia that briefly ended their war for control of the Ukraine.

1674: King Charles II of England signed the Treaty of Westminster, bringing the war with the Dutch to a conclusion.

1757: The Treaty of Alinagar; it was the prelude to the British seizure of Bengal.

1788: The Habsburg Empire entered the Russo-Turkish War on the side of Russia (see also The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).

Habsburg

1801: France and Austria signed the Peace of Luneville.

1807: Much to the astonishment of French Christians and Jews alike, a "Sanhedrin" (see also The Passed Over Pharisees and Why Did The Sadducees Fear The Messiah?) was established at the explicit orders of Napoleon Bonaparte. In return, the 40,000 Jews of France were expected to give up their efforts for a separate state in "Palestine" (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel Of Judah).

1849: Giuseppe Mazzini proclaimed Rome a republic.

1917: During the First World War (1914-1918), the infamous Mata Hari (the stage name of a Dutch "exotic dancer"; her real name was Margaretha Zelle) was arrested by the French as a German spy. She was executed by firing squad in October of that year.

Mata Hari

1934: The Balkan Entente was signed; a mutual defense agreement among Greece, Turkey, Romania and Yugoslavia to guarantee the signatories territorial integrity and political independence against attack by another Balkan state (i.e. Bulgaria or Albania). It proved ineffective against German influence during the 1930's and Adolf Hitler's arrogant treaty-ignoring aggression (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion) leading up to and during the Second World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).

1942: The French passenger liner Normandie burned and sank at its pier in New York City.

1950: During the "Red Scare" hysteria, predatory Senator Joseph McCarthy falsely accused the U.S. Department of State of being "filled with Communists." McCarthy and his character assassination tactics (see The Character Assassins) were later discredited and censured. McCarthy died of liver failure from many years of severe alcoholism at age 48.

1959: The Soviet R-7 Semyorka became operational as the first intercontinental ballistic missile.

1966: The National Hockey League (NHL) announced that it was expanding from 6 teams to 12. The original 6 teams (Toronto, Montreal, Detroit, Boston, New York and Chicago) would be joined by the California Seals, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota North Stars, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins and the St. Louis Blues.

1978: Canada expelled 13 Soviet "diplomats" after they tried and failed to infiltrate the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

1994: Nelson Mandela became the first black President of South Africa.





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