Sometimes the longest way 'round is the shortest way home.

Adventures with Moses in the Wilderness –

Home at Last!

Numbers 33:1-49, Camps along the Trail
Numbers 33:50—34:29, God’s Orders about the Occupation of Canaan
Numbers 35:1-8, Cities for the Levites
Numbers 35:9-34, Cities of Refuge
Numbers 36:1-13, Inheritance of Daughters, Revisited

More Adventures with Moses in the Wilderness

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Lands of the Wandering. Click to enlarge. See below for provenance.
Numbers 33:1-49, Camps along the Trail (1/9/12)

I’ve been a compulsive reader almost from infancy; if nothing else is available I’ll read bus timetables.  For those of you who are normal, however, I’ve tabulated today’s reading, and volunteer and fellow-reader RPB has provided a map and indexed it for us!  (Many locations are not on the map.)

Index to the Map of the Lands of the Wandering
Dibon C5
Edom D5, E5
Egypt D1, E1, E2, F1, F2
Elim E3
Ezion-geber E4
Goshen D1, D2
Hazeroth E4
Kadesh-barnea D5
Kadesh-barneal D4
Marah E3
Moab C5
Mt. Hor D5
Mt. Sinai F4
Rameses D2
Rephidim F3
River Jordan B5
Shittim C5
Succoth D2
Wilderness of Sin F3

Verse From To
5 Rameses Succoth
6 Succoth Etham on the edge of the waste land
7 Etham Turning back to Pi-hahiroth near Baal-zephon, they put up their tents near Migdol
8 Near Hahiroth Through the sea into the waste land: three days' journey through the waste land of Etham to Marah
9 Marah Elim, where there were twelve water-springs and seventy palm-trees
10 Elim By the Red Sea
11 Red Sea Waste land of Sin
12 Waste land of Sin Dophkah
13 Dophkah Alush
14 Alush Rephidim, where there was no drinking-water
15 Rephidim Waste land of Sinai
16 Waste land of Sinai Kibroth-hattaavah
17 Kibroth-hattaavah Hazeroth
18 Hazeroth Rithmah
19 Rithmah Rimmon-perez
20 Rimmon-perez Libnah
21 Libnah Rissah
22 Rissah Kehelathah
23 Kehelathah Mount Shepher
24 Mount Shepher Haradah
25 Haradah Makheloth
26 Makheloth Tahath
27 Tahath Terah
28 Terah Mithkah
29 Mithkah Hashmonah
30 Hashmonah Moseroth
31 Moseroth Bene-jaakan
32 Bene-jaakan Hor-haggidgad
33 Hor-haggidgad Jotbathah
34 Jotbathah Abronah
35 Abronah Ezion-geber
36 Ezion-geber Waste land of Zin which is Kadesh.
37 Kadesh Mount Hor, on the edge of the land of Edom
41 Mount Hor Zalmonah
42 Zalmonah Punon
43 Punon Oboth
44 Oboth Iye-abarim at the edge of Moab
45 Iyim Dibon-gad
46 Dibon-gad Almon-diblathaim
47 Almon-diblathaim Mountains of Abarim, near Nebo

Numbers 33:50—34:29, God’s Orders about the Occupation of Canaan (1/10/12)

Take a look at the
map of the Holy Land
The boundaries in today’s first table start down in the lower right of the map east side of the Dead Sea, swing across slightly off the bottom of the map to the Mediterranean, go up the coast almost to top, cross over slightly below the top of the map to the right, and then go down to Kadesh in 4B, down to the Sea of Galilee, and down the Jordan River to the Dead Sea.  Notice that these boundaries do not include the lands east of the Jordan already given to Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh.
The tribes are located as follows:  Asher, 3B; Dan, 4B and 2E; Zebulon and Issachar, 3C; Manasseh, 3D and 4C; Ephraim, 3D; Gad, 4D; Benjamin, 3E; Reuben, 4E; Judah, 2E and 3E; Simeon, 2F.  We’ll read about Levi in a day or two.

Verse From To
Southern Boundary
3-4 waste land of Zin by the side of Edom, and your limit on the south will be from the east end of the Salt Sea [=Dead Sea] south of the slope of Akrabbim, and on to Zin:  south of Kadesh-barnea, as far as Hazar-addar and on to Azmon
5 Azmon the stream of Egypt as far as the sea
Western Boundary
6 The Great Sea [=Mediterranean] and its edge
Northern Boundary
7 Great Sea Mount Hor
8-9 Mount Hor toward Hamath to Zedad and Ziphron Hazar-enan
Eastern Boundary
10-11 Hazar-enan to Shepham to Riblah on the east side of Ain east side of the sea of Chinnereth [=Sea of Galilee]
12 Down the Jordan Salt Sea
Chiefs of Tribes
Verse Tribe Chief Son of
19b Judah Caleb Jephunneh
20 Simeon Shemuel Ammihud
21 Benjamin ElidadChislon
22 Dan Bukki Jogli
23 Joseph/Manasseh Hanniel Ephod
24 Joseph/Ephraim Kemuel Shiphtan
25 Zebulun Elizaphan Parnach
26 Issachar Paltiel Azzan
27Asher Ahihud Shelomi
28 Naphtali Pedahel Ammihud

Numbers 35:1-8, Cities for the Levites (1/11/12)

Those of us who remain awake after 34 chapters of Numbers will have noticed that the tribe of Levi received no portion in the allotment of tribal lands.  There seem to be at least three reasons for this.  One is that the Levites (including priests) were given a portion of the meat, oil, grain, and wine sacrifices made by the general populace; in a subsistence economy, this represented a large portion of their needed income.  (And a good thing, too, because they had other duties than farming to occupy their time.)  Secondly, prior to the creation of the Temple, people needed to have access to priests and Levites so that they could be certified as clean, make offerings, etc. 

Finally, six of the cities of the Levites were also the cities of refuge (see below), and to be useful a city of refuge has to be close enough that the hunted man can reach it before dropping from exhaustion.  The cities of refuge are marked with a dot in a circle on our
map of the Holy Land.

It looks to me like you’d never be more than one day’s good, hard run from a city of refuge, especially since the Israelites really never did control the coast.

Numbers 35:9-34, Cities of Refuge (1/12/12)

Throughout history, the vendetta has been one of the standard ways of dealing with violent death, and it has the advantage that it doesn’t require a lot of police and legal infrastructure.  Unfortunately, it does tend to trigger another violent death, which becomes the subject of an expanded vendetta, and so on until eventually you get the Hatfields and the McCoys.

The cities of refuge that we learned about yesterday have more than one purpose.  For one thing, they give someone who killed someone else, either by accident or on purpose, a safe place to go before the “trial.”  If it turns out to have been murder, then the perpetrator must be put to death, but with any luck it will end there.  If it wasn’t murder, the second purpose comes into play:  the perpetrator must stay in the city of refuge until the death of the current high priest, but then he’s free to go home.

Numbers 36:1-13, Inheritance of Daughters, Revisited (1/13/12)
Study Tip for Friday the 13th:  Today is your lucky day!  It’s the end of the book of Numbers!

When I first mentioned to Pastor Craig that I was going to do a study on Numbers, he said, “count backward from 100…’re getting sleepy….sleepier…”  Fellow-reader Pauleta H. said that reading Numbers is “like reading the white pages.”  Fellow-reader Don F. asked me whether this study would excuse him from ever reading Numbers again.  (What I want to know is, where were all these people when I decided to do
Job?  I could have been talked out of Job at the drop of a hat.)  On the other hand, several readers wrote to say that Numbers wasn’t half bad, once the censuses and offerings were tabulated.

By now you have probably realized why Numbers is important.  At the end of Exodus, the people of God were a bunch of crybabies who had no confidence in God and were incapable of carrying out God’s program.  By the end of Numbers they are spiritually fit, aware of God’s power and authority, and ready to follow his instructions.  This transformation took a while – 40 years – and it’s documented in the book of Numbers.

More Adventures with Moses in the Wilderness
Census and Organization
The Order of March
Failure to Enter Canaan
Laws and Consequences
Complaints in the Desert
Balaam and Barak
Almost Ready to Leave
Scheduled Sacrifices
Getting Close to Canaan
Home at Last!

Copyright 2012 by Regina L. Hunter. All rights reserved.

The map showing the the lands of the wandering is from the Thomas family Bible, now in a private collection of a family member.

Opinions expressed on this page are solely those of the author, Regina Hunter, and may or may not be shared by the sponsors or the Bible-study participants.  Thanks to the Holy Spirit for any useful ideas presented here, and thanks to all the readers for their support and enthusiasm.  All errors are, of course, the sole responsibility of the author.

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