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Monday, March 18 2019
A Bible Journey, 149: The Eastside Israelites
"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"
The nation (i.e. the people) of Israel (see A Bible Journey, 46: The Family At The Heart Of A Nation) had not sought any territory east of the Jordan River for their new country (i.e. sovereign territory), nor had the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ; see The Real Jesus: The Word Of The LORD God and A Bible Journey, 56: The Sacred Name) ever declared 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 made their way toward the Jordan River, the Israelites were forced into war by the Moabites (see A Bible Journey, 139: King Balak and The Diviner Balaam), from which Israel acquired goods and property. 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 would become a little later.
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" (see A Bible Journey, 32: Thy Name Shall Be Called No More Jacob, But Israel); it would also soon be the place where Moses would die and be buried - in the Israelite territory east of the Jordan).
"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,
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.
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.
"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.
So it was then that the sovereign territory of Israel included territory for two and a half 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.
Fact Finder: Jacob's famous "stairway to heaven" dream happened as he was crossing the Jordan about 400 years earlier. What did Jacob actually see?
This Day In History, March 18
37: The accession of Caligula, the third Roman emperor (see The Roman Emperors: Caligula). The first two, Augustus and Tiberius, are recorded in the Bible (see The Roman Emperors: Tiberius and The Roman Emperors: Augustus).
235: Emperor Alexander Severus (official name Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander Augustus) and his mother Julia Mamaea were killed by Roman troops near Moguntiacum (modern Mainz), thereby ending the Severan dynasty.
1229: During the Sixth Crusade (see Emperor Constantine's Sun Dogs and Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy), Emperor Frederick II crowned himself king of Jerusalem (see A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad).
1241: The Battle of Chmielnik; Mongols overran the Polish army in Krakow.
1286: Alexander III, 45, king of Scotland 1249-1286, died. He was the last major ruler of the dynasty of kings descended from Malcolm III Canmore (ruled 1058-1093), who consolidated royal power in Scotland.
1314: Jacques de Molay, the last "Grand Master of the Knights Templar," was burned at the stake.
1438: Albrecht II ("the Bear") was elected King of Germany and Holy Roman Emperor. The official title of the "Holy Roman Empire" was actually the "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).
1584: Ivan IV, the first czar of Russia, died. His cruelty and oppression earned him the nickname Ivan the Terrible.
1673: Lord Berkeley of England sold his half of the colony of New Jersey to the Quakers.
1834: In Dorset, England, 6 laborers were sentenced to 7 years banishment to a penal colony in Australia for forming a trade union. They became known as the Tolpuddle Martyrs.
1850: American Express was founded by Henry Wells and William Fargo.
1913: King George I of Greece was assassinated.
1916: On the Eastern Front during the First World War (1914-1918; see also The Assassination That Triggered Two World Wars), the Russian army countered the Verdun assault with an attack at Lake Naroch. The Russians lost 100,000 men and the Germans 20,000 (see also Russia Or Europe - Who Has Been The Invader?).
1922: Mahatma Gandhi was sentenced to 6 years in prison for civil disobedience.
1938: Mexico nationalized all foreign-owned oil properties within its borders.
1940: Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini met at the Brenner Pass in the Alps and agreed that Italy would eventually join the war (see Is Iniquity Liberal Or Conservative? and What Did A Father Of Democracy Predict About It?).
1965: Russian Cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov exited his spacecraft Voskhod 2 to become the first human to walk in space (U.S. astronaut Edward White became the second human to do so months after, on June 3 1965; White died in 1967 along with Virgil Grissom and Roger Chaffee in the Apollo 1 launch pad fire).
1965: King Farouk I of Egypt died in exile in Italy.
1967: The oil tanker Torrey Canyon was wrecked off the Cornish coast of England, spilling 919,000 barrels of oil into the sea.
1968: The U.S. Congress repealed the requirement for a gold reserve to back U.S. currency. The U.S. dollar thereafter became only printed paper with a declared value (see also The Birth Of The Dollar).
1969: Richard Nixon (see also The Impeachment Of The President) began the secret bombing of North Vietnamese forces in Cambodia; it lasted 14 months. Nixon kept it a secret for domestic political reasons, the North Vietnamese said nothing because they didn't want the world to know that they were in Cambodia (see also Guns Versus Butter).
1989: A 4,400-year-old mummy was found near the Pyramid of Cheops in Egypt (see also Jacob's Mummy).
1996: The Palestinian Authority (formerly known as the terrorist organization the Palestine Liberation Organization) renamed the Gaze Strip and the West Bank as the "District of Gaze" and the "Northern Counties of Palestine" (see Where Is Palestine? and Jordan's West Bank Invasion).