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Numbers 34-36 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Boundaries of the Promised Land

34 The Lord spoke to Moses, “Command the Israelites and say to them: When you enter the land of Canaan, it will be allotted to you as an inheritance[a] with these borders:

Your southern side will be from the Wilderness of Zin along the boundary of Edom. Your southern border on the east will begin at the east end of the Dead Sea. Your border will turn south of the Ascent of Akrabbim,[b] proceed to Zin, and end south of Kadesh-barnea. It will go to Hazar-addar and proceed to Azmon. The border will turn from Azmon to the Brook of Egypt, where it will end at the Mediterranean Sea.

Your western border will be the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea; this will be your western border.

This will be your northern border: From the Mediterranean Sea draw a line to Mount Hor;[c] from Mount Hor draw a line to the entrance of Hamath,[d] and the border will reach Zedad. Then the border will go to Ziphron and end at Hazar-enan. This will be your northern border.

10 For your eastern border, draw a line from Hazar-enan to Shepham. 11 The border will go down from Shepham to Riblah east of Ain. It will continue down and reach the eastern slope of the Sea of Chinnereth.[e] 12 Then the border will go down to the Jordan and end at the Dead Sea. This will be your land defined by its borders on all sides.”

13 So Moses commanded the Israelites, “This is the land you are to receive by lot as an inheritance, which the Lord commanded to be given to the nine and a half tribes. 14 For the tribe of the Reubenites and the tribe of the Gadites have received their inheritance according to their ancestral houses, and half the tribe of Manasseh has received its inheritance. 15 The two and a half tribes have received their inheritance across the Jordan from Jericho, eastward toward the sunrise.”

Leaders for Distributing the Land

16 The Lord spoke to Moses, 17 “These are the names of the men who are to distribute the land as an inheritance for you: Eleazar the priest and Joshua son of Nun. 18 Take one leader from each tribe to distribute the land. 19 These are the names of the men:

Caleb son of Jephunneh from the tribe of Judah;
20 Shemuel son of Ammihud from the tribe of Simeon;
21 Elidad son of Chislon from the tribe of Benjamin;
22 Bukki son of Jogli, a leader from the tribe of Dan;
23 from the sons of Joseph:
Hanniel son of Ephod, a leader from the tribe of Manasseh,
24 Kemuel son of Shiphtan, a leader from the tribe of Ephraim;
25 Eli-zaphan son of Parnach, a leader from the tribe of Zebulun;
26 Paltiel son of Azzan, a leader from the tribe of Issachar;
27 Ahihud son of Shelomi, a leader from the tribe of Asher;
28 Pedahel son of Ammihud, a leader from the tribe of Naphtali.”

29 These are the ones the Lord commanded to distribute the inheritance to the Israelites in the land of Canaan.

Cities for the Levites

35 The Lord again spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho: “Command the Israelites to give cities out of their hereditary property for the Levites to live in and pastureland around the cities. The cities will be for them to live in, and their pasturelands will be for their herds, flocks, and all their other animals. The pasturelands of the cities you are to give the Levites will extend from the city wall 500 yards[f] on every side. Measure 1,000 yards[g] outside the city for the east side, 1,000 yards[h] for the south side, 1,000 yards[i] for the west side, and 1,000 yards[j] for the north side, with the city in the center. This will belong to them as pasturelands for the cities.

“The cities you give the Levites will include six cities of refuge, which you must provide so that the one who kills someone may flee there; in addition to these, give 42 other cities. The total number of cities you give the Levites will be 48, along with their pasturelands. Of the cities that you give from the Israelites’ territory, you should take more from a larger tribe and less from a smaller one. Each tribe is to give some of its cities to the Levites in proportion to the inheritance it receives.”

Cities of Refuge

The Lord said to Moses, 10 “Speak to the Israelites and tell them: When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 11 designate cities to serve as cities of refuge for you, so that a person who kills someone unintentionally may flee there. 12 You will have the cities as a refuge from the avenger, so that the one who kills someone will not die until he stands trial before the assembly. 13 The cities you select will be your six cities of refuge. 14 Select three cities across the Jordan and three cities in the land of Canaan to be cities of refuge. 15 These six cities will serve as a refuge for the Israelites and for the foreigner or temporary resident among them, so that anyone who kills a person unintentionally may flee there.

16 “If anyone strikes a person with an iron object and death results, he is a murderer; the murderer must be put to death. 17 If a man has in his hand a stone capable of causing death and strikes another person and he dies, the murderer must be put to death. 18 If a man has in his hand a wooden object capable of causing death and strikes another person and he dies, the murderer must be put to death. 19 The avenger of blood himself is to kill the murderer; when he finds him, he is to kill him. 20 Likewise, if anyone in hatred pushes a person or throws an object at him with malicious intent and he dies, 21 or if in hostility he strikes him with his hand and he dies, the one who struck him must be put to death; he is a murderer. The avenger of blood is to kill the murderer when he finds him.

22 “But if anyone suddenly pushes a person without hostility or throws any object at him without malicious intent 23 or without looking drops a stone that could kill a person and he dies, but he was not his enemy and wasn’t trying to harm him, 24 the assembly is to judge between the slayer and the avenger of blood according to these ordinances. 25 The assembly is to protect the one who kills someone from the hand of the avenger of blood. Then the assembly will return him to the city of refuge he fled to, and he must live there until the death of the high priest who was anointed with the holy oil.

26 “If the one who kills someone ever goes outside the border of the city of refuge he fled to, 27 and the avenger of blood finds him outside the border of his city of refuge and kills him, the avenger will not be guilty of bloodshed, 28 for the one who killed a person was supposed to live in his city of refuge until the death of the high priest. Only after the death of the high priest may the one who has killed a person return to the land he possesses. 29 These instructions will be a statutory ordinance for you throughout your generations wherever you live.

30 “If anyone kills a person, the murderer is to be put to death based on the word of witnesses. But no one is to be put to death based on the testimony of one witness. 31 You are not to accept a ransom for the life of a murderer who is guilty of killing someone; he must be put to death. 32 Neither should you accept a ransom for the person who flees to his city of refuge, allowing him to return and live in the land before the death of the high priest.[k]

33 “Do not defile the land where you are,[l] for bloodshed defiles the land, and there can be no atonement for the land because of the blood that is shed on it, except by the blood of the person who shed it. 34 Do not make the land unclean where you live and where I reside; for I, Yahweh, reside among the Israelites.”

The Inheritance of Zelophehad’s Daughters

36 The family leaders from the clan of the descendants of Gilead—the son of Machir, son of Manasseh—who were from the clans of the sons of Joseph, approached and addressed Moses and the leaders who were over the Israelite families. They said, “Yahweh commanded my lord to give the land as an inheritance by lot to the Israelites. My lord was further commanded by Yahweh to give our brother Zelophehad’s inheritance to his daughters. If they marry any of the men from the other Israelite tribes, their inheritance will be taken away from our fathers’ inheritance and added to that of the tribe into which they marry. Therefore, part of our allotted inheritance would be taken away. When the Jubilee comes for the Israelites, their inheritance will be added to that of the tribe into which they marry, and their inheritance will be taken away from the inheritance of our ancestral tribe.”

So Moses commanded the Israelites at the word of the Lord, “What the tribe of Joseph’s descendants says is right. This is what the Lord has commanded concerning Zelophehad’s daughters: They may marry anyone they like provided they marry within a clan of their ancestral tribe. An inheritance belonging to the Israelites must not transfer from tribe to tribe, because each of the Israelites is to retain the inheritance of his ancestral tribe. Any daughter who possesses an inheritance from an Israelite tribe must marry someone from the clan of her ancestral tribe, so that each of the Israelites will possess the inheritance of his fathers. No inheritance is to transfer from one tribe to another, because each of the Israelite tribes is to retain its inheritance.”

10 The daughters of Zelophehad did as the Lord commanded Moses. 11 Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Noah, the daughters of Zelophehad, married cousins on their father’s side. 12 They married men from the clans of the descendants of Manasseh son of Joseph, and their inheritance remained within the tribe of their father’s clan.

13 These are the commands and ordinances the Lord commanded the Israelites through Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho.

Footnotes:

  1. Numbers 34:2 Lit inheritance—the land of Canaan
  2. Numbers 34:4 Lit of Scorpions; Jos 15:3; Jdg 1:36
  3. Numbers 34:7 In Lebanon; Nm 20:22-28; 33:37-56
  4. Numbers 34:8 Or to Lebo-hamath
  5. Numbers 34:11 = the Sea of Galilee; Jos 12:3; 13:27; Lk 5:1
  6. Numbers 35:4 Lit 1,000 cubits
  7. Numbers 35:5 Lit 2,000 cubits
  8. Numbers 35:5 Lit 2,000 cubits
  9. Numbers 35:5 Lit 2,000 cubits
  10. Numbers 35:5 Lit 2,000 cubits
  11. Numbers 35:32 Sam, LXX, Syr read high priest
  12. Numbers 35:33 Sam, LXX, Syr, Vg, Tg read live

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