Workers For Jesus Online Bible Study Table of Contents

About this Bible Study........The King James Version of the Bible is written in a beautiful form of the English language. It can be hard for modern English readers to understand.  In this study, you will find notes and summaries in brown just above the the verses from the Bible. We recommend that you read the notes and summaries first, and then read the verses in their KJV form. 


The book of Numbers

This book was written in 1444-1405 BC. The name comes from the census when Moses counted the people.  It tells about the Israelites' wandering in the wilderness for 39 years.  It starts when the Israelites are at Mt. Sinai.  It tells about their travels through the wilderness. It ends in the plains of Moab just before the Israelites enter Canaan. 

The book of Numbers tells about 2 generations of Israelites. The 1st generation did not obey God. They could not enter Canaan. The 2nd generation obeyed God. They were allowed to go into Canaan. 

Please visit this page to see where the book of Numbers fits into the whole Bible. 

Numbers 34 - 36

God tells Moses the borders of Canaan.
God tells Moses how to make cities for the Levites.
Rules about murderers and safe cities
Rules about women who inherit land


Numbers 34

The borders (lines around) the land of Canaan

God told Moses about the borders for the land of Canaan. Here are the borders:

South border: The border is a line from the south part of the Dead sea to the Mediterranean Sea. The line will go through these places: Scorpion Pass, the small town of Zin, the town of Kadesh-Barnea, Hazar-Addar, Azmon, and the Egyptian Gorge.

[1] And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

[2] Command the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land of Canaan; (this is the land that shall fall unto you for an inheritance, even the land of Canaan with the coasts thereof:)

[3] Then your south quarter shall be from the wilderness of Zin along by the coast of Edom, and your south border shall be the outmost coast of the salt sea eastward:

[4] And your border shall turn from the south to the ascent of Akrabbim, and pass on to Zin: and the going forth thereof shall be from the south to Kadesh-barnea, and shall go on to Hazar-addar, and pass on to Azmon:

[5] And the border shall fetch a compass from Azmon unto the river of Egypt, and the goings out of it shall be at the sea.

West border: the Mediterranean Sea

[6] And as for the western border, ye shall even have the great sea for a border: this shall be your west border.

 

North border: This border goes east from the Mediterranean Sea. It goes to Mount Hor, Hamath, Zedad, Ziphron, and Hazar-enan.

[7] And this shall be your north border: from the great sea ye shall point out for you mount Hor:

[8] From mount Hor ye shall point out your border unto the entrance of Hamath; and the goings forth of the border shall be to Zedad:

[9] And the border shall go on to Ziphron, and the goings out of it shall be at Hazar-enan: this shall be your north border.

 

East border: This border will go down to the Sea of Galilee and then the Dead Sea. It will start in Hazar-enan and go through Shepham, Riblah, Ain, the River Jordan, and to the north part of the Dead Sea.

[10] And ye shall point out your east border from Hazar-enan to Shepham:

[11] And the coast shall go down from Shepham to Riblah, on the east side of Ain; and the border shall descend, and shall reach unto the side of the sea of Chinnereth eastward:

[12] And the border shall go down to Jordan, and the goings out of it shall be at the salt sea: this shall be your land with the coasts thereof round about.



 

The land for each tribe


God told Moses to divide the land of Canaan so that each tribe would have land. Nine and a half tribes would have land in Canaan. The other 2 and a half tribes already got their land on the east side of the River Jordan before they got to Canaan.

[13] And Moses commanded the children of Israel, saying, This is the land which ye shall inherit by lot, which the LORD commanded to give unto the nine tribes, and to the half tribe:


The tribes of Reuben and Gad and half of the tribe of Manasseh asked God if they could have land on the east side of the Jordan River.

[14] For the tribe of the children of Reuben according to the house of their fathers, and the tribe of the children of Gad according to the house of their fathers, have received their inheritance; and half the tribe of Manasseh have received their inheritance:
[15] The two tribes and the half tribe have received their inheritance on this side Jordan near Jericho eastward, toward the sunrising.

God told Moses that Eleazar and Joshua should divide the land of Canaan. They should pick one man from each tribe to help. These are the men who should help:

Tribe name

Leader

Judah

Caleb

Simeon

Shemuel

Benjamin

Elidad

Dan

Bukki

Manasseh

Hanniel

Ephraim

Kemuel

Zebulun

Elizaphan

Issachar

Paltiel

Asher

Ahihud

Naphtali

Pedahel

[16] And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
[17] These are the names of the men which shall divide the land unto you: Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun.
[18] And ye shall take one prince of every tribe, to divide the land by inheritance.
[19] And the names of the men are these: Of the tribe of Judah, Caleb the son of Jephunneh.
[20] And of the tribe of the children of Simeon, Shemuel the son of Ammihud.
[21] Of the tribe of Benjamin, Elidad the son of Chislon.
[22] And the prince of the tribe of the children of Dan, Bukki the son of Jogli.
[23] The prince of the children of Joseph, for the tribe of the children of Manasseh, Hanniel the son of Ephod.
[24] And the prince of the tribe of the children of Ephraim, Kemuel the son of Shiphtan.
[25] And the prince of the tribe of the children of Zebulun, Elizaphan the son of Parnach.
[26] And the prince of the tribe of the children of Issachar, Paltiel the son of Azzan.
[27] And the prince of the tribe of the children of Asher, Ahihud the son of Shelomi.
[28] And the prince of the tribe of the children of Naphtali, Pedahel the son of Ammihud.
[29] These are they whom the LORD commanded to divide the inheritance unto the children of Israel in the land of Canaan.



Numbers 35


The land for the Levites

God talked to Moses about land for the Levites. The Levites would not have their own large piece of land like the other tribes. The Levites would live in all of the other tribesí land. Each tribe should give the Levites some land for cities and farms.
[1] And the LORD spake unto Moses in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho, saying,
[2] Command the children of Israel, that they give unto the Levites of the inheritance of their possession cities to dwell in; and ye shall give also unto the Levites suburbs for the cities round about them.


The Levites will live in the cities and have their cows and animals on their farms.

[3] And the cities shall they have to dwell in; and the suburbs of them shall be for their cattle, and for their goods, and for all their beasts.

The land for the Levites should be a big square. The Levites' city will be in the middle. Then there will be land for the animals and land for growing things.
[4] And the suburbs of the cities, which ye shall give unto the Levites, shall reach from the wall of the city and outward a thousand cubits round about.
[5] And ye shall measure from without the city on the east side two thousand cubits, and on the south side two thousand cubits, and on the west side two thousand cubits, and on the north side two thousand cubits and the city shall be in the midst: this shall be to them the suburbs of the cities.

The Levites would have 48 cities in Canaan. 6 of the Levitesí cities should be "safe cities". Safe cities were places where someone who accidentally killed another person could go.
[6] And among the cities which ye shall give unto the Levites there shall be six cities for refuge, which ye shall appoint for the manslayer, that he may flee thither: and to them ye shall add forty and two cities.
[7] So all the cities which ye shall give to the Levites shall be forty and eight cities: them shall ye give with their suburbs.

 

Some of the Israelite tribes were bigger than the others. The bigger tribes should give the Levites more cities than the smaller tribes.
[8] And the cities which ye shall give shall be of the possession of the children of Israel: from them that have many ye shall give many; but from them that have few ye shall give few: every one shall give of his cities unto the Levites according to his inheritance which he inheriteth.



Safe cities


God told Moses that after the Israelites went into Canaan, they should make safe cities. If an Israelite had an accident and someone died, he should go to one of the safe cities. He could stay there until it was time for his trial.

[9] And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
[10] Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come over Jordan into the land of Canaan;
[11] Then ye shall appoint you cities to be cities of refuge for you; that the slayer may flee thither, which killeth any person at unawares.
[12] And they shall be unto you cities for refuge from the avenger; that the manslayer die not, until he stand before the congregation in judgment.

 

There should be 6 safe cities in Canaan. They should make 3 safe cities on the east side of the Jordan River, and they should make 3 safe cities on the west side of the Jordan River.
[13] And of these cities which ye shall give six cities shall ye have for refuge.
[14] Ye shall give three cities on this side Jordan, and three cities shall ye give in the land of Canaan, which shall be cities of refuge.

 

The 6 safe cities are for any Israelite or anyone living with the Israelites. They are for people who kill someone accidentally.
[15] These six cities shall be a refuge, both for the children of Israel, and for the stranger, and for the sojourner among them: that every one that killeth any person unawares may flee thither.



 

Examples of murder that are not accidental

There are some situations of murder that are not accidental. A man hits another man with a piece of iron, and the man dies. The first man is a murderer. He should be killed, too.
[16] And if he smite him with an instrument of iron, so that he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death.


A man throws a rock that hits another man, and the man dies. The first man is a murderer, and he should be killed, too.

[17] And if he smite him with throwing a stone, wherewith he may die, and he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death.


A man hits another man with a piece of wood, and the man dies. The first man is a murderer, and he should be killed, too.

[18] Or if he smite him with an hand weapon of wood, wherewith he may die, and he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death.



The family of the man who died can kill the murderer when they see him.

[19] The revenger of blood himself shall slay the murderer: when he meeteth him, he shall slay him.

 

If a man hates another man and kills him by hitting him, throwing something at him, or pushing him, the dead manís family can kill the murderer when they see him.
[20] But if he thrust him of hatred, or hurl at him by laying of wait, that he die;
[21] Or in enmity smite him with his hand, that he die: he that smote him shall surely be put to death; for he is a murderer: the revenger of blood shall slay the murderer, when he meeteth him.




Examples of murder that are accidental


These are situations when murder is an accidentĖthe person did not mean to kill another person. A man does not hate another man, but he accidentally pushes him or throws something at him. Or maybe he does not see the other man and throws a rock that hits him.

[22] But if he thrust him suddenly without enmity, or have cast upon him any thing without laying of wait,
[23] Or with any stone, wherewith a man may die, seeing him not, and cast it upon him, that he die, and was not his enemy, neither sought his harm:


The Israelite community will decide if the murder was an accident or not. If the murder is accidental, the dead manís family cannot kill the man. The man must go to one of the safe cities. He must stay there until the high priest dies.
[24] Then the congregation shall judge between the slayer and the revenger of blood according to these judgments:
[25] And the congregation shall deliver the slayer out of the hand of the revenger of blood, and the congregation shall restore him to the city of his refuge, whither he was fled: and he shall abide in it unto the death of the high priest, which was anointed with the holy oil.

 

If the dead manís family sees the murderer outside the safe city, they can kill him. They will not be punished for killing him. The murderer is supposed to stay in the safe city until the high priest dies. After the high priest dies, the murderer can leave the safe city and go home.
[26] But if the slayer shall at any time come without the border of the city of his refuge, whither he was fled;
[27] And the revenger of blood find him without the borders of the city of his refuge, and the revenger of blood kill the slayer; he shall not be guilty of blood:
[28] Because he should have remained in the city of his refuge until the death of the high priest: but after the death of the high priest the slayer shall return into the land of his possession.

These are the rules from now on.
[29] So these things shall be for a statute of judgment unto you throughout your generations in all your dwellings.




Witnesses


A murderer should be killed. But he cannot be sentenced to death if there is only one witness who testified against him. There should be at least 2 witnesses. 
[30] Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death by the mouth of witnesses: but one witness shall not testify against any person to cause him to die.


A person who is sentenced to death cannot pay money to live. He must die because he killed another person. A person who must live in a safe city cannot pay money so that he can leave the city. He must stay in the safe city until the high priest dies.
[31] Moreover ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer, which is guilty of death: but he shall be surely put to death.
[32] And ye shall take no satisfaction for him that is fled to the city of his refuge, that he should come again to dwell in the land, until the death of the priest.

 

God lives with the Israelites. The land must be clean. When a murder happens, the land is unclean. The only way to clean the land is for the murderer to die, too.
[33] So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: for blood it defileth the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it.
[34] Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit, wherein I dwell: for I the LORD dwell among the children of Israel.



Numbers 36

The land for the daughters of Zelophehad


Back in Numbers 27, Zelophehadís 5 daughters talked to Moses. Zelophehad had died, and he did not have any sons. The daughters wanted to make sure that his name was not forgotten. So they asked Moses if they could have his part of the land. In other families, only men could have land. God told Moses that the 5 daughters could have land. To read that part of the Bible again,
click here.


The leaders of the tribe of Manasseh came to talk to Moses. They talked about the land that the daughters of Zelophehad would get. They were worried about what would happen to the land when the girls got married. 

[1] And the chief fathers of the families of the children of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of the sons of Joseph, came near, and spake before Moses, and before the princes, the chief fathers of the children of Israel:
[2] And they said, The LORD commanded my lord to give the land for an inheritance by lot to the children of Israel: and my lord was commanded by the LORD to give the inheritance of Zelophehad our brother unto his daughters.


If the girls married men from other tribes, their land would then belong to their husbandís tribe.  In the year of jubilee, the land would go back to the husbandís tribe, not the tribe of Manasseh.
[3] And if they be married to any of the sons of the other tribes of the children of Israel, then shall their inheritance be taken from the inheritance of our fathers, and shall be put to the inheritance of the tribe whereunto they are received: so shall it be taken from the lot of our inheritance.
[4] And when the jubile of the children of Israel shall be, then shall their inheritance be put unto the inheritance of the tribe whereunto they are received: so shall their inheritance be taken away from the inheritance of the tribe of our fathers.

God told Moses what to tell the men from the tribe of Manasseh. They were right about this. God said that the daughters of Zelophehad could only marry men from their own tribe. Then their land would stay in the tribe of Manasseh.
[5] And Moses commanded the children of Israel according to the word of the LORD, saying, The tribe of the sons of Joseph hath said well.
[6] This is the thing which the LORD doth command concerning the daughters of Zelophehad, saying, Let them marry to whom they think best; only to the family of the tribe of their father shall they marry.
[7] So shall not the inheritance of the children of Israel remove from tribe to tribe: for every one of the children of Israel shall keep himself to the inheritance of the tribe of his fathers.

Daughters who owned land should marry men from their own tribe only. Then the land inheritance would stay in the family. The land should not be switched to another tribe.
[8] And every daughter, that possesseth an inheritance in any tribe of the children of Israel, shall be wife unto one of the family of the tribe of her father, that the children of Israel may enjoy every man the inheritance of his fathers.
[9] Neither shall the inheritance remove from one tribe to another tribe; but every one of the tribes of the children of Israel shall keep himself to his own inheritance.

 

Zelophehadís daughters did what God told them to do. They married their cousins. The land stayed in the tribe of Manasseh.
[10] Even as the LORD commanded Moses, so did the daughters of Zelophehad:
[11] For Mahlal, Tirzah, and Hoglah, and Milcah, and Noah, the daughters of Zelophehad, were married unto their father's brothers' sons:
[12] And they were married into the families of the sons of Manasseh the son of Joseph, and their inheritance remained in the tribe of the family of their father.

 

These are the laws and rules that God told Moses while the Israelites were waiting to cross the Jordan River and go into Canaan.
[13] These are the commandments and the judgments, which the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses unto the children of Israel in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho.

 

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