Numbers 32:1-35:8New Living Translation (NLT)
The Tribes East of the Jordan
32 The tribes of Reuben and Gad owned vast numbers of livestock. So when they saw that the lands of Jazer and Gilead were ideally suited for their flocks and herds, 2 they came to Moses, Eleazar the priest, and the other leaders of the community. They said, 3 “Notice the towns of Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sibmah,[a] Nebo, and Beon. 4 The Lord has conquered this whole area for the community of Israel, and it is ideally suited for all our livestock. 5 If we have found favor with you, please let us have this land as our property instead of giving us land across the Jordan River.”
6 “Do you intend to stay here while your brothers go across and do all the fighting?” Moses asked the men of Gad and Reuben. 7 “Why do you want to discourage the rest of the people of Israel from going across to the land the Lord has given them? 8 Your ancestors did the same thing when I sent them from Kadesh-barnea to explore the land. 9 After they went up to the valley of Eshcol and explored the land, they discouraged the people of Israel from entering the land the Lord was giving them. 10 Then the Lord was very angry with them, and he vowed, 11 ‘Of all those I rescued from Egypt, no one who is twenty years old or older will ever see the land I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, for they have not obeyed me wholeheartedly. 12 The only exceptions are Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun, for they have wholeheartedly followed the Lord.’
13 “The Lord was angry with Israel and made them wander in the wilderness for forty years until the entire generation that sinned in the Lord’s sight had died. 14 But here you are, a brood of sinners, doing exactly the same thing! You are making the Lord even angrier with Israel. 15 If you turn away from him like this and he abandons them again in the wilderness, you will be responsible for destroying this entire nation!”
16 But they approached Moses and said, “We simply want to build pens for our livestock and fortified towns for our wives and children. 17 Then we will arm ourselves and lead our fellow Israelites into battle until we have brought them safely to their land. Meanwhile, our families will stay in the fortified towns we build here, so they will be safe from any attacks by the local people. 18 We will not return to our homes until all the people of Israel have received their portions of land. 19 But we do not claim any of the land on the other side of the Jordan. We would rather live here on the east side and accept this as our grant of land.”
20 Then Moses said, “If you keep your word and arm yourselves for the Lord’s battles, 21 and if your troops cross the Jordan and keep fighting until the Lord has driven out his enemies, 22 then you may return when the Lord has conquered the land. You will have fulfilled your duty to the Lord and to the rest of the people of Israel. And the land on the east side of the Jordan will be your property from the Lord. 23 But if you fail to keep your word, then you will have sinned against the Lord, and you may be sure that your sin will find you out. 24 Go ahead and build towns for your families and pens for your flocks, but do everything you have promised.”
25 Then the men of Gad and Reuben replied, “We, your servants, will follow your instructions exactly. 26 Our children, wives, flocks, and cattle will stay here in the towns of Gilead. 27 But all who are able to bear arms will cross over to fight for the Lord, just as you have said.”
28 So Moses gave orders to Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the leaders of the clans of Israel. 29 He said, “The men of Gad and Reuben who are armed for battle must cross the Jordan with you to fight for the Lord. If they do, give them the land of Gilead as their property when the land is conquered. 30 But if they refuse to arm themselves and cross over with you, then they must accept land with the rest of you in the land of Canaan.”
31 The tribes of Gad and Reuben said again, “We are your servants, and we will do as the Lord has commanded! 32 We will cross the Jordan into Canaan fully armed to fight for the Lord, but our property will be here on this side of the Jordan.”
33 So Moses assigned land to the tribes of Gad, Reuben, and half the tribe of Manasseh son of Joseph. He gave them the territory of King Sihon of the Amorites and the land of King Og of Bashan—the whole land with its cities and surrounding lands.
34 The descendants of Gad built the towns of Dibon, Ataroth, Aroer, 35 Atroth-shophan, Jazer, Jogbehah, 36 Beth-nimrah, and Beth-haran. These were all fortified towns with pens for their flocks.
37 The descendants of Reuben built the towns of Heshbon, Elealeh, Kiriathaim, 38 Nebo, Baal-meon, and Sibmah. They changed the names of some of the towns they conquered and rebuilt.
39 Then the descendants of Makir of the tribe of Manasseh went to Gilead and conquered it, and they drove out the Amorites living there. 40 So Moses gave Gilead to the Makirites, descendants of Manasseh, and they settled there. 41 The people of Jair, another clan of the tribe of Manasseh, captured many of the towns in Gilead and changed the name of that region to the Towns of Jair.[b] 42 Meanwhile, a man named Nobah captured the town of Kenath and its surrounding villages, and he renamed that area Nobah after himself.
Remembering Israel’s Journey
33 This is the route the Israelites followed as they marched out of Egypt under the leadership of Moses and Aaron. 2 At the Lord’s direction, Moses kept a written record of their progress. These are the stages of their march, identified by the different places where they stopped along the way.
3 They set out from the city of Rameses in early spring—on the fifteenth day of the first month[c]—on the morning after the first Passover celebration. The people of Israel left defiantly, in full view of all the Egyptians. 4 Meanwhile, the Egyptians were burying all their firstborn sons, whom the Lord had killed the night before. The Lord had defeated the gods of Egypt that night with great acts of judgment!
5 After leaving Rameses, the Israelites set up camp at Succoth.
6 Then they left Succoth and camped at Etham on the edge of the wilderness.
7 They left Etham and turned back toward Pi-hahiroth, opposite Baal-zephon, and camped near Migdol.
9 They left Marah and camped at Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees.
10 They left Elim and camped beside the Red Sea.[f]
11 They left the Red Sea and camped in the wilderness of Sin.[g]
12 They left the wilderness of Sin and camped at Dophkah.
13 They left Dophkah and camped at Alush.
14 They left Alush and camped at Rephidim, where there was no water for the people to drink.
15 They left Rephidim and camped in the wilderness of Sinai.
16 They left the wilderness of Sinai and camped at Kibroth-hattaavah.
17 They left Kibroth-hattaavah and camped at Hazeroth.
18 They left Hazeroth and camped at Rithmah.
19 They left Rithmah and camped at Rimmon-perez.
20 They left Rimmon-perez and camped at Libnah.
21 They left Libnah and camped at Rissah.
22 They left Rissah and camped at Kehelathah.
23 They left Kehelathah and camped at Mount Shepher.
24 They left Mount Shepher and camped at Haradah.
25 They left Haradah and camped at Makheloth.
26 They left Makheloth and camped at Tahath.
27 They left Tahath and camped at Terah.
28 They left Terah and camped at Mithcah.
29 They left Mithcah and camped at Hashmonah.
30 They left Hashmonah and camped at Moseroth.
31 They left Moseroth and camped at Bene-jaakan.
32 They left Bene-jaakan and camped at Hor-haggidgad.
33 They left Hor-haggidgad and camped at Jotbathah.
34 They left Jotbathah and camped at Abronah.
35 They left Abronah and camped at Ezion-geber.
36 They left Ezion-geber and camped at Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.
37 They left Kadesh and camped at Mount Hor, at the border of Edom. 38 While they were at the foot of Mount Hor, Aaron the priest was directed by the Lord to go up the mountain, and there he died. This happened in midsummer, on the first day of the fifth month[h] of the fortieth year after Israel’s departure from Egypt. 39 Aaron was 123 years old when he died there on Mount Hor.
40 At that time the Canaanite king of Arad, who lived in the Negev in the land of Canaan, heard that the people of Israel were approaching his land.
41 Meanwhile, the Israelites left Mount Hor and camped at Zalmonah.
42 Then they left Zalmonah and camped at Punon.
43 They left Punon and camped at Oboth.
44 They left Oboth and camped at Iye-abarim on the border of Moab.
45 They left Iye-abarim[i] and camped at Dibon-gad.
46 They left Dibon-gad and camped at Almon-diblathaim.
47 They left Almon-diblathaim and camped in the mountains east of the river,[j] near Mount Nebo.
48 They left the mountains east of the river and camped on the plains of Moab beside the Jordan River, across from Jericho. 49 Along the Jordan River they camped from Beth-jeshimoth as far as the meadows of Acacia[k] on the plains of Moab.
50 While they were camped near the Jordan River on the plains of Moab opposite Jericho, the Lord said to Moses, 51 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel: When you cross the Jordan River into the land of Canaan, 52 you must drive out all the people living there. You must destroy all their carved and molten images and demolish all their pagan shrines. 53 Take possession of the land and settle in it, because I have given it to you to occupy. 54 You must distribute the land among the clans by sacred lot and in proportion to their size. A larger portion of land will be allotted to each of the larger clans, and a smaller portion will be allotted to each of the smaller clans. The decision of the sacred lot is final. In this way, the portions of land will be divided among your ancestral tribes. 55 But if you fail to drive out the people who live in the land, those who remain will be like splinters in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will harass you in the land where you live. 56 And I will do to you what I had planned to do to them.”
Boundaries of the Land
34 Then the Lord said to Moses, 2 “Give these instructions to the Israelites: When you come into the land of Canaan, which I am giving you as your special possession, these will be the boundaries. 3 The southern portion of your country will extend from the wilderness of Zin, along the edge of Edom. The southern boundary will begin on the east at the Dead Sea.[l] 4 It will then run south past Scorpion Pass[m] in the direction of Zin. Its southernmost point will be Kadesh-barnea, from which it will go to Hazar-addar, and on to Azmon. 5 From Azmon the boundary will turn toward the Brook of Egypt and end at the Mediterranean Sea.[n]
6 “Your western boundary will be the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea.
7 “Your northern boundary will begin at the Mediterranean Sea and run east to Mount Hor, 8 then to Lebo-hamath, and on through Zedad 9 and Ziphron to Hazar-enan. This will be your northern boundary.
10 “The eastern boundary will start at Hazar-enan and run south to Shepham, 11 then down to Riblah on the east side of Ain. From there the boundary will run down along the eastern edge of the Sea of Galilee,[o] 12 and then along the Jordan River to the Dead Sea. These are the boundaries of your land.”
13 Then Moses told the Israelites, “This territory is the homeland you are to divide among yourselves by sacred lot. The Lord has commanded that the land be divided among the nine and a half remaining tribes. 14 The families of the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh have already received their grants of land 15 on the east side of the Jordan River, across from Jericho toward the sunrise.”
Leaders to Divide the Land
16 And the Lord said to Moses, 17 “Eleazar the priest and Joshua son of Nun are the men designated to divide the grants of land among the people. 18 Enlist one leader from each tribe to help them with the task. 19 These are the tribes and the names of the leaders:
29 These are the men the Lord has appointed to divide the grants of land in Canaan among the Israelites.”
Towns for the Levites
35 While Israel was camped beside the Jordan on the plains of Moab across from Jericho, the Lord said to Moses, 2 “Command the people of Israel to give to the Levites from their property certain towns to live in, along with the surrounding pasturelands. 3 These towns will be for the Levites to live in, and the surrounding lands will provide pasture for their cattle, flocks, and other livestock. 4 The pastureland assigned to the Levites around these towns will extend 1,500 feet[p] from the town walls in every direction. 5 Measure off 3,000 feet[q] outside the town walls in every direction—east, south, west, north—with the town at the center. This area will serve as the larger pastureland for the towns.
6 “Six of the towns you give the Levites will be cities of refuge, where a person who has accidentally killed someone can flee for safety. In addition, give them forty-two other towns. 7 In all, forty-eight towns with the surrounding pastureland will be given to the Levites. 8 These towns will come from the property of the people of Israel. The larger tribes will give more towns to the Levites, while the smaller tribes will give fewer. Each tribe will give property in proportion to the size of its land.”
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
It looks like you’re already subscribed to Bible Gateway Plus! To manage your subscription, visit your Bible Gateway account settings.
Try Bible Gateway Plus, a brand-new service that lets you experience Bible Gateway free of banner ads! It also gives you instant access to over 40 Bible study and inspirational devotional books, including the NIV Study Bible. With Bible Gateway Plus, you can experience and understand God's Word in life-changing new ways, without the distraction of ads. Try it free for 30 days—you can cancel at any time. Following your 30-day free trial, Bible Gateway Plus is only $3.99/month.
Three easy steps to start your free trial subscription to Bible Gateway Plus.