Deuteronomy 19-20

Deuteronomy 19-20

Chapter 19: Murders to be put to Death

Cities of refuge among the children of Israel are established in cases of accidental manslaughter, so that the one who committed the accident can flee that he might not be killed out of revenge. If the person is to be found guilty by two or three witnesses (verse 15), then they shall be put to death. Anyone who is a false witness shall be punished.

Out of the mouth of two or three witnesses, the word shall be established. This is one of the reasons that missionaries in the LDS church preach in pairs, and sometimes in trios.

Chapter 20: Laws of War

When the children of Israel are to go to battle, they are reminded to not be worried when the opposing army is bigger, because the Lord will stand by them. They are told to take care of unfinished business before they go to war, that they might be able to enjoy life in the case that they are killed in battle.

If the children of Israel or anyone goes to war upon a city that wants peace, and are genuine about this peace offering, you must respect it. However, if they want war, then they are commanded to smite all the males with their sword, and kill them in the city. Women, children and animals are to be spared and part of the spoils of war.

Israelites are commanded to “utterly destroy” the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and the Jebusites.


Numbers 33-34

Numbers 33-34

Chapter 33: Journey from Egypt to Canaan

Chapter 33, outlines the trip from Egypt to Canaan. Israel left Egypt under the hand of Moses and Aaron, they departed from Rameses in the first month, in the fifteenth day.

From here, the chapter lists off the different places where the Israelites camped and places they saw during their journey.

At the end of the chapter, the children of Israel make it to the plains of Moab where the Lord gives them instructions. The Lord instructs them by saying:

                “…ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places: And ye shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land, and dwell therein: for I have given you the land to possess it. And ye shall divide the land by lot for an inheritance among your families: and to the more ye shall give the more inheritance, and to the fewer ye shall give the less inheritance: every man’s inheritance shall be in the place where his lot falleth; according to the tribes of your fathers ye shall inherit.” (Numbers 33:52-56)

                He warns them that if they don’t drive out the inhabitants of the land, then they will be smitten themselves. He commands them to do this and divide up the land as their inheritance. Here is a map of the journey and route the Israelites took. As you can see, the Lord had them wandering in circles.

Chapter 34: Borders of Israel

Moses specifies borders of Israel and the inheritances that they will receive in Canaan. Moses names the leader or princes from each tribe that will make this division of land possible.

Numbers 31-32

Numbers 31-32

Chapter 31: Moses sends 12,000 Warriors

At this point in the story, we have learned that Joshua was appointed to succeed Moses as the new leader for the Israelites. Joshua received the priesthood authority. Moses has another task, before he can be gathered completely to his people.

The Lord commands Moses to take vengeance upon the Midianites. Remember Numbers 25? Where the Midianites seduced the Israelites and caused that some of them worshiped their idol gods? Well Moses sends out 12,000 troops to fight the Midianites. This amounts to 1,000 from each tribe. With this group Moses sends Phinehas (the son of Eleazer) who takes some articles from the tabernacle and some trumpets which he uses for signaling.

The Israelites easily defeat the Midianites, killing every single man and taking the women, children and loot for themselves as plunder. They kill the five kings of Midian: Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, Balaam and Reba.

The warriors return with the plunder and everyone except Moses is happy. Moses asks them;  “…Have ye saved all the women alive? Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the Lord in the matter of Peor…” (Numbers 31:15-16).  Essentially telling them that the women were the ones who caused the Israelites to sin, so they should have been killed too.

Moses commands them to kill all the boys and all the women who have slept with a man, but save those who had not slept with a man. Anyone who participated in the killing or touched the dead bodies, would have to stay outside of the camp for seven days as part of the cleansing process.

After that, they divide up the spoils between the soldiers and the rest of the Israelites. The Levites are to receive 1 out of every 500 of everything the soldiers receive and 1 out of every 50 items that the rest of the Israelites receive.

The officers of the army report to Moses that they had 0 casualties, they wiped out an entire nation without any loss! They thank the Lord for this victory, by presenting an additional offering of 190 kilograms of gold. OR in today’s standard of Gold to US dollar equals:  $6,118,000!!! That’s right… over 6 MILLION dollars in Gold.

Chapter 32: Conquering of Canaan

The Israelites are about to enter into the Promised Land, what will become “Israel”, the land on the west side of Jordan. Before they cross Jordan, the Reubenites and the Gadites take a look at the surrounding lands on the East side, or the former lands of Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Hesbon, Elealeh, Sebam and Beon. The Reubenites and the Gadites see that the land would be good and ask Moses if they can keep these lands instead, because they were favorable in their eyes.

Moses of course gets a little angry, especially since they haven’t made it to the Promised Land that they Lord had planned for them, and they already want something else. Moses speaks to the children of Gad and Reuben, saying: “…Shall your brethren go to war, and shall ye sit here? And therefore discourage ye the heart of the children of Israel from going over into the land which the Lord hath given them?” (Numbers 32:6)

                The Lord has prepared the Promised Land for them and wanting something else, is really not putting their trust in the Lord and this causes him to be angry. The children of Reuben and Gad come back to Moses and tell him that they will go with Israel into the Promised Land.

The Lord even reminds them of why they had traveled in the desert for forty years: “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” (Numbers 32:13). Essentially we learn about trials and tribulations…

The Lord gives us Trials that we can be strengthened. By “filtering” out the evil in the children of Israel, the Lord through a 40 year process was able to find the strongest and most faithful of the Israelites to live in the Promised Land. This reminds me of a scripture in (Romans 5: 1-6)

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”

                We glory in tribulations… knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope.

Reuben, Gad and half of the tribe of Manasseh receive their inheritances east of Jordan. They covenant to join the other tribes in conquering Canaan.

Numbers 13-14

Numbers 13-14

Chapter 13: Twelve Spies to the Land of Canaan

The Lord commands Moses to gather the strongest warrior from each of the Twelve Tribes of Israel to go out and seek the Land of Canaan.

These are the Twelve:

  1. The Tribe of Reuben: Shammua the son of Zaccur
  2. The Tribe of Simeon: Shaphat the son of Hori
  3. The Tribe of Judah: Caleb the son of Jephunneh
  4. The Tribe of Issachar: Igal the son of Joseph
  5. The Tribe of Ephraim: Oshea the son of Nun
  6. The Tribe of Benjamin: Palti the son of Raphu
  7. The Tribe of Zebulun: Gaddiel the son of Sodi
  8. The Tribe of Joseph, namely the Tribe of Manasseh: Gaddi the son of Susi
  9. The Tribe of Dan: Ammiel the son of Gemalli
  10. The Tribe of Asher: Sethur the son of Michael
  11. The Tribe of Naphtali: Nahbi the son of Vophsi
  12. The Tribe of Gad: Geuel the son of Machi

These are the men who went in search for the Land of Canaan. Moses calls Oshea the son of Nun, Jehoshua. They are commanded to go southward toward the Mountain.

The twelve travel to the land of Hebron and find only a people of great number and power. There the sons of Anak dwelt, whose names were: Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai. Hebron was built 7 years be Zoan in Egypt. The twelve travels back home (after 40 days of searching) with the news, but exclaim that they are stronger, because in comparison they were as grasshoppers, because of the giant size of these humans.

Chapter 14: Israel Murmurs against Moses

Israel begins to Murmur, AGAIN. This time they claim that it would be better for them to turn around and head back into Egypt. Joshua and Caleb, however give a good report of the land of Canaan, unlike the “evil” report given in Chapter 13. Moses tells them, that the adults of the congregation of Israel shall not enter the Promised Land (insinuating that they will not go to the land of Canaan right away). Some rebels in the group, try to go by themselves and are slain by Canaanites and Amalekites