Numbers 35-36

Numbers 35-36

Chapter 35: Murderers

The Lord speaks to Moses and tells him to command the Israelites to give a portion of their inheritance to the Levites. The Israelites are to allocate 48 towns (verse 7). Each land has a place for their flocks. Each Levite town would be” 1 thousand cubits roundabout” (1,500 feet or about 1/3 of a mile). In each Levite town there were pasture lands (in squares, 2000 cubits on each side) OR each pasture land was squared by 1/2 miles.

Each tribe of the Israelites would give a fair/proper portion of their lands. Tribes with more land would give more to the Levites, than a tribe with less land.

Six of the cities given to the Levites (3 on each side of the river Jordan) were designated as “cities of refuge”. If someone accidently murdered someone, they could run to a city of refuge and stay there until the high priest died, to return back to their home. However, if that person came back before the High Priest died and the “avenger” of the person he killed saw him, the “avenger” could kill the “murderer” without consequence of being a “murderer” himself.

The Rules of Murder among the Israelites is set forth in verses 15-34.

If someone accidently kills someone, then they can flee to a city of refuge to avoid the “revenger of blood” – maybe a relative of the person killed?

If however it was not an accident, but a murder. Then the murderer would be put to death.

The end of the chapter leaves us with a warning from God, that we should not pollute the land with blood. Also warns about “defiling the land”, because the Lord dwells among his people. A warning not to pollute, or misuse the land that God has given us? I think so.

Chapter 36: Marry in Your Tribe

The chief fathers of the families of Gilead come to speak before Moses, asking them about inheritances and marrying within or without of your tribe.

Their complaint/worry is that the daughters of Zelophehad (read Numbers 27:1-11) were given their fathers inheritance and they were worried that they would marry outside of the tribe of their fathers. The worry here, is that the name and property (inheritance) would disappear from the clan.

The Lord responds to this, by saying that the daughters of Zelophehad can marry anyone they choose, just as long as they marry within their tribe (verse 6). Zelophehad’s daughters do as they are commanded and marry their father’s, brothers, sons. OR their cousins on their fathers side. This would keep the land and their name in the tribe of their father.

Numbers 1-2

Numbers 1-2

Chapter 1: Each Tribe is Numbered

The Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tabernacle of the congregation on the first day of the second month, in the second year after they had departed from Israel. There, the Lord instructs that the members of each tribe, all males from the age of 20 up, should gather together. The total gathering together was 603,550 men. These men would be prepared for war. The only tribe not included in these numbers, is the tribe of Levi. The Levites are commanded to watch over and protect the tabernacle and its testimony from all outsiders and strangers.

  • Tribe of Reuben: Elizur son of Shedeur
  • Tribe of Simeon: Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai
  • Tribe of Judah: Nashon son of Amminadab
  • Tribe of Issachar: Nethaneel the son of Zuar
  • Tribe of Zebulun: Eliab the son of Helon
  • Tribe of Joseph:
    • of Ephraim: Elishama the son of Amihud
    • of Manasseh: Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur
  • Tribe of Benjamin: Abidan son of Gideon
  • Tribe of Dan: Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai
  • Tribe of Asher: Pagiel son of Ocran
  • Tribe of Gad: Eliasaph son of Deuel
  • Tribe of Naphtali: Ahira son of Enan

Chapter 2: Order and Leaders are established

The Lord speaks again to Moses and Aaron, commanding them to have every man and his children (in the tribes of Israel) to place an Ensign (flag of standard and truth) to fly above their camp.

  • On the east side, the camp of Judah is to pitch their tents on the east side toward the rising sun far off from the tabernacle. Nahshon the son of Amminadab is appointed the captain over the children of Judah.
    • The camp of Issachar; Nathaneel the son of Zuar is appointed captain over the children of Issachar.
    • The camp of Zebulun; Eliab the son of Helon is appointed captain over the children of Zebulun.
  • On the south side shall be the camp of Reuben; the captain of the children of Reuben is appointed to Elizur the son of Shedeur.
    • Pitching tents alongside the camp of Reuben, is the tribe of Simeon; Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai is appointed captain of the children of Simeon.
    • The camp of Gad; Eliasaph the son of Reuel is appointed captain over the children of Gad.
  • On the west side shall be the standard of the camp of Ephraim; Elishama the son of Ammihud is appointed captain over the children of Ephraim.
    • Next to the tribe of Ephraim shall reside the tribe of Manasseh; Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur is appointed captain of the tribe of Manasseh.
    • The camp of Benjamin; Abidan the son of Gideoni is appointed captain over the children of Benjamin.
  • On the north side; shall encamp the tribe of Dan; Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai is appointed captain over the children of Dan.
  • Next to the children of Dan, resides the tribe of Asher; Pagiel the son of Ocran is appointed captain over the children of Asher.
  • The tribe of Naphtali; Ahira the son of Enan is appointed captain over the children of Naphtali.

The total number of these camps were 63,550 these numbers excluding the tribe of Levi. Each tribe set a standard over their camps and harkened unto the commandments of the Lord.