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Numbers 32 - Study- Write-Up- & Video ...

The Tribes Settling East of the Jordan

32 Now the children of Reuben and the children of Gad had a very great multitude of livestock; and when they saw the land of Jazer and the land of Gilead, that indeed the region was a place for livestock, 2 the children of Gad and the children of Reuben came and spoke to Moses, to Eleazar the priest, and to the leaders of the congregation, saying, 3 “Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Shebam, Nebo, and Beon, 4 the country which the Lord defeated before the congregation of Israel, is a land for livestock, and your servants have livestock.” 5 Therefore they said, “If we have found favor in your sight, let this land be given to your servants as a possession. Do not take us over the Jordan.”

6 And Moses said to the children of Gad and to the children of Reuben: “Shall your brethren go to war while you sit here? 7 Now why will you discourage the heart of the children of Israel from going over into the land which the Lord has given them? 8 Thus your fathers did when I sent them away from Kadesh Barnea to see the land. 9 For when they went up to the Valley of Eshcol and saw the land, they discouraged the heart of the children of Israel, so that they did not go into the land which the Lord had given them. 10 So the Lord’s anger was aroused on that day, and He swore an oath, saying, 11 ‘Surely none of the men who came up from Egypt, from twenty years old and above, shall see the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, because they have not wholly followed Me, 12 except Caleb the son of Jephunneh, the Kenizzite, and Joshua the son of Nun, for they have wholly followed the Lord.’ 13 So the Lord’s anger was aroused 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 gone. 14 And look! You have risen in your fathers’ place, a brood of sinful men, to increase still more the fierce anger of the Lord against Israel. 15 For if you turn away from following Him, He will once again leave them in the wilderness, and you will destroy all these people.”

16 Then they came near to him and said: “We will build sheepfolds here for our livestock, and cities for our little ones, 17 but we ourselves will be armed, ready to go before the children of Israel until we have brought them to their place; and our little ones will dwell in the fortified cities because of the inhabitants of the land. 18 We will not return to our homes until every one of the children of Israel has [a]received his inheritance. 19 For we will not inherit with them on the other side of the Jordan and beyond, because our inheritance has fallen to us on this eastern side of the Jordan.”

20 Then Moses said to them: “If you do this thing, if you arm yourselves before the Lord for the war, 21 and all your armed men cross over the Jordan before the Lord until He has driven out His enemies from before Him, 22 and the land is subdued before the Lord, then afterward you may return and be blameless before the Lord and before Israel; and this land shall be your possession before the Lord. 23 But if you do not do so, then take note, you have sinned against the Lord; and be sure your sin will find you out. 24 Build cities for your little ones and folds for your sheep, and do [b]what has proceeded out of your mouth.”

25 And the children of Gad and the children of Reuben spoke to Moses, saying: “Your servants will do as my lord commands. 26 Our little ones, our wives, our flocks, and all our livestock will be there in the cities of Gilead; 27 but your servants will cross over, every man armed for war, before the Lord to battle, just as my lord says.”

28 So Moses gave command concerning them to Eleazar the priest, to Joshua the son of Nun, and to the chief fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel. 29 And Moses said to them: “If the children of Gad and the children of Reuben cross over the Jordan with you, every man armed for battle before the Lord, and the land is subdued before you, then you shall give them the land of Gilead as a possession. 30 But if they do not cross over armed with you, they shall have possessions among you in the land of Canaan.”

31 Then the children of Gad and the children of Reuben answered, saying: “As the Lord has said to your servants, so we will do. 32 We will cross over armed before the Lord into the land of Canaan, but the possession of our inheritance shall remain with us on this side of the Jordan.”

33 So Moses gave to the children of Gad, to the children of Reuben, and to half the tribe of Manasseh the son of Joseph, the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites and the kingdom of Og king of Bashan, the land with its cities within the borders, the cities of the surrounding country. 34 And the children of Gad built Dibon and Ataroth and Aroer, 35 Atroth and Shophan and Jazer and Jogbehah, 36 Beth Nimrah and Beth Haran, fortified cities, and folds for sheep. 37 And the children of Reuben built Heshbon and Elealeh and Kirjathaim, 38 Nebo and Baal Meon (their names being changed) and Shibmah; and they gave other names to the cities which they built.

39 And the children of Machir the son of Manasseh went to Gilead and took it, and [c]dispossessed the Amorites who were in it. 40 So Moses gave Gilead to Machir the son of Manasseh, and he dwelt in it. 41 Also Jair the son of Manasseh went and took its small towns, and called them Havoth Jair.[d] 42 Then Nobah went and took Kenath and its villages, and he called it Nobah, after his own name.



32:5-7: The armies of Israel were able to secure the lands east of the Jordan, there they would find suitable lands for cattle and other ways to live off the land and be provided for … The sons of Reuben and Gad requested these lands as their inheritance, without necessity of crossing the Jordan River to help their brothers fight for theirs … So, they appealed to Moses as the arbitrator and judge … But Moses called these sons “A BODY OF SINFUL MEN” – (v. 14) … They coveted what they saw at the expense of their brothers … This covetous spirit eventually led them into idolatry and into captivity in Assyria – (1 Chronicles 5:25-26) …


1 Chronicles 5:25-26:

But they were unfaithful to the God of their fathers and played the harlot after the gods of the peoples of the land, whom God had destroyed before them … So, the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria … He carried the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh into captivity … He took them to Halah, Habor, Hara, and the river of Gozan to this day …


- So, the faithful must always be vigilant and continue to trust in God … It is when we think we can stand on our own through God’s blessing in the past that the enemy is able to bring us down …

A man from the crowd asked Jesus to make his brother divide the inheritance with him, but Jesus declined, because He did not come to be a judge or arbitrator like Moses … Then He went on to say to this man, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” – (Luke 12:15) … Jesus came to save the world, but we cannot be saved if we are covetous …


It was custom for respected rabbis to arbitrate person disputes, However, a dispute over AN INHERITANCE is detrimental to salvation … This greed is pure idolatry – (Colossians 3:5) and is unfitting for anyone who knows God … Notice how incompatible this question is with what the Lord had just finished saying …

Colossians 3:5

Therefore, put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry …


True asceticism: As baptized Christians, we are putting to practice and action what we are in the Spirit … In Baptism we die with Christ, so we must be ready and willingly experience death daily by “KILLING” OLD AND SINFUL AND DISINTEGRATING PASSIONS – (see vv. 5-9 in Colossians 3) … As we are raised with Christ, so we must experience life daily by the virtuous and unifying desires of the NEW MAN we all are in the body of Christ – (vv. 10-14 in Colossians 3) …


THE NEW MAN grows from one stage of perfection to another, becoming THE IMAGE of Jesus Christ and throughout eternity remaining the image of HIM WHO CREATED HIM – (US) …

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