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Numbers 33-36 Common English Bible (CEB)

March out of Egypt and through the sea

33 These were the stages by which the Israelites marched when they left the land of Egypt, according to their military units under the leadership of Moses and Aaron. Moses recorded the points of departure for each stage of the march at the Lord’s command. These are the stages of their march according to their points of departure.

They marched from Rameses on the fifteenth day of the first month.[a] On the day after the Passover the Israelites went out defiantly[b] in the sight of all the Egyptians, while the Egyptians were burying their oldest males, whom the Lord had killed. The Lord also executed judgments against their gods. The Israelites marched from Rameses and they camped at Succoth. They marched from Succoth and camped at Etham on the edge of the desert. They marched from Etham and turned back to Pi-hahiroth, which faces Baal-zephon, and they camped before Migdol. They marched from Pi-hahiroth and they crossed through the sea toward the desert.

March through the southern desert

Then they traveled three days in the Etham desert and they camped at Marah.

They marched from Marah and arrived at Elim. At Elim there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees and they camped there.

10 They marched from Elim and camped by the Reed Sea.[c]

11 They marched from the Reed Sea and camped in the Sin desert.

12 They marched from the Sin desert and camped at Dophkah.

13 They marched from Dophkah and camped at Alush.

14 They marched from Alush and camped at Rephidim, where there was no water for the people to drink.

15 They marched from Rephidim and camped in the Sinai desert.

16 They marched from the Sinai desert and camped at Kibroth-hattaavah.

17 They marched from Kibroth-hattaavah and camped at Hazeroth.

18 They marched from Hazeroth and camped at Rithmah.

19 They marched from Rithmah and camped at Rimmon-perez.

20 They marched from Rimmon-perez and camped at Libnah.

21 They marched from Libnah and camped at Rissah.

22 They marched from Rissah and camped at Kehelathah.

23 They marched from Kehelathah and camped at Mount Shepher.

24 They marched from Mount Shepher and camped at Haradah.

25 They marched from Haradah and camped at Makheloth.

26 They marched from Makheloth and camped at Tahath.

27 They marched from Tahath and camped at Terah.

28 They marched from Terah and camped at Mithkah.

29 They marched from Mithkah and camped at Hashmonah.

30 They marched from Hashmonah and camped at Moseroth.

31 They marched from Moseroth and camped at Bene-jaakan.

32 They marched from Bene-jaakan and camped at Hor-haggidgad.

33 They marched from Hor-haggidgad and camped at Jotbathah.

34 They marched from Jotbathah and camped at Abronah.

35 They marched from Abronah and camped at Ezion-geber.

36 They marched from Ezion-geber and camped in the Zin desert (that is, Kadesh).

March through the Transjordan region

37 They marched from Kadesh and camped at Mount Hor, on the edge of the land of Edom. 38 Aaron the priest ascended Mount Hor at the Lord’s command, and he died there in the fortieth year on the first day of the fifth month[d] after the Israelites left the land of Egypt. 39 Aaron was 123 years old when he died on Mount Hor. 40 The Canaanite king of Arad, who ruled in the arid southern plain in the land of Canaan, heard of the Israelites’ coming.

41 They marched from Mount Hor and camped at Zalmonah.

42 They marched from Zalmonah and camped at Punon.

43 They marched from Punon and camped at Oboth.

44 They marched from Oboth and camped at Iye-abarim in the territory of Moab.

45 They marched from Iyim and camped at Dibon-gad.

46 They marched from Dibon-gad and camped at Almon-diblathaim.

47 They marched from Almon-diblathaim and camped in the Abarim mountains in front of Nebo.

48 They marched from the Abarim mountains and camped in the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho.

49 They camped by the Jordan from Beth-jeshimoth to Abel-shittim in the plains of Moab.

Divine instruction about the land

50 The Lord spoke to Moses on the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho: 51 Speak to the Israelites and say to them: When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 52 you will drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you. You will destroy all their carved figures. You will also destroy all their cast images. You will eliminate all their shrines. 53 You will take possession of the land and live in it, because I’ve given the land to you to possess. 54 You will divide up the land by lot according to your clans. To the large you will make its inheritance large, and to the small you will make its inheritance small. To whomever the lot falls, that place will be his. You will inherit land according to your ancestral tribes. 55 But if you don’t drive out the inhabitants of the land before you, then those you allow to remain will prick your eyes and be thorns in your side. They will harass you in the land in which you are living. 56 Then what I intended to do to them, I’ll do to you.

Boundaries of the land of Canaan

34 The Lord said to Moses: Command the Israelites and say to them: When you enter the land of Canaan, this is the land that will fall to you as an inheritance. The land of Canaan according to its boundaries:

Your southern boundary extends from the Zin desert alongside Edom. Your southern border extends from the edge of the Dead Sea on the east. Your border will turn south of the ascent of Akrabbim and cross toward Zin. Its limit will be south of Kadesh-barnea. It will go out to Hazar-addar and cross toward Azmon. The border will then turn from Azmon to the Egypt ravine. Its limit will be at the Mediterranean Sea.

Your western border will be the Mediterranean Sea. This will be your western border.

This will be your northern border: From the Mediterranean Sea you will mark out your boundary to Mount Hor. From Mount Hor you will mark out your boundary to Lebo-hamath. The limit of the border will be Zedad. The border will go out to Ziphron. Its limit will be Hazar-enan. This will be your northern border.

10 You will mark out your eastern border from Hazar-enan to Shepham. 11 The border will descend from Shepham to Riblah on the east side of Ain. The border will go down and meet the eastern slope of the Galilee Sea. 12 The border will descend to the Jordan. Its limit will be the Dead Sea.

This will be your land with its borders all around.

13 Moses commanded the Israelites: This is the land that you will inherit by lot, which the Lord has commanded to give to the nine and a half tribes, 14 because the tribe of Reuben by their households and the tribe of Gad by their households, and half the tribe of Manasseh have taken their inheritance. 15 The two and a half tribes have taken their inheritance across the Jordan at Jericho toward the east.

Appointment of leaders to assign the inheritance

16 The Lord spoke to Moses: 17 These are the names of the men who will assign the inheritance of the land: Eleazar the priest and Joshua, Nun’s son. 18 You will also take one chief from each tribe to apportion the land. 19 These are the names of the men: from the tribe of Judah, Caleb, Jephunneh’s son; 20 from the tribe of the Simeonites, Shemuel, Ammihud’s son; 21 from the tribe of Benjamin, Elidad, Chislon’s son; 22 from the tribe of the Danites, a chief, Bukki, Jogli’s son; 23 from Joseph’s descendants: of the tribe of the Manassites, a chief, Hanniel, Ephod’s son; 24 and from the tribe of the Ephraimites, a chief, Kemuel, Shiphtan’s son; 25 from the tribe of the Zebulunites, a chief, Elizaphan, Parnach’s son; 26 from the tribe of the Issacharites, a chief, Paltiel, Azzan’s son; 27 from the tribe of the Asherites, a chief, Ahihud, Shelomi’s son; 28 from the tribe of the Naphtalites, a chief, Pedahel, Ammihud’s son.

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

Cities and pastures of the Levites

35 The Lord spoke to Moses in the Moab plains by the Jordan across from Jericho: Command the Israelites that they give cities from their inherited property to the Levites in which to live. You will also give the Levites pastures around their cities. The cities will be theirs in which to live. Their pastures will be for their cattle, their possessions, and all their animals. The pastures of the cities that you must give to the Levites will extend from the wall of the city outward for one thousand five hundred feet in all directions. You will measure outside the city on the east side three thousand feet, on the south side three thousand feet, on the west side three thousand feet, and on the north side three thousand feet, with the city in the middle. These will be their cities’ pastures.

Six of the cities that you give to the Levites will be refuge cities. You will allow the person who kills someone to flee there. In addition to these you will give them forty-two cities. All the cities that you give to the Levites will total forty-eight, along with their pastures. As for the cities that you give from the property of the Israelites, you will take more from the larger tribes and less from the smaller. Each in proportion to its inheritance will give cities to the Levites.

Refuge cities

The Lord spoke to Moses: 10 Speak to the Israelites and say to them: When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 11 identify for yourselves cities to be refuge cities, where a person who kills someone by accident may flee. 12 The cities will be for you a place of refuge from the close relative of the dead. The person who killed someone may not be put to death until he stands before the community for judgment. 13 You will establish six refuge cities for yourselves. 14 You will establish three cities across the Jordan and three cities in the land of Canaan. They will be the refuge cities. 15 These six cities will be refuge for Israelites, immigrants, and temporary residents, as a place to flee for anyone who kills a person by accident.

16 But if someone strikes a person with an iron object and he dies, he is a murderer. The murderer must definitely be put to death. 17 If someone strikes another with a stone in hand that could cause death and he dies, he is a murderer. The murderer must definitely be put to death. 18 Or if someone strikes with a wood object in hand that could cause death, he is a murderer. The murderer must definitely be put to death. 19 The close relative responsible for the blood[e] of the dead is the one who will put the murderer to death. When he meets him, he will execute him. 20 If in hatred someone hits another or throws something at him with premeditation, he will be put to death. 21 Or if in hostility someone strikes another with his hand and he dies, the one who struck is a murderer and he will be put to death. The close relative will put the murderer to death when he meets him.

22 But if suddenly and without hostility someone hits another or throws any object at him without premeditation, 23 or accidentally drops any stone on him that could cause death and he dies—even though they weren’t enemies and no evil was intended— 24 then the community must come to a verdict between the killer and the close relative in accordance with these case laws. 25 The community will protect the killer from the hand of the close relative and return him to the refuge city where he fled. He will live there until the death of the high priest who was anointed with holy oil. 26 But if the killer ever goes outside the boundaries of the refuge city where he fled 27 and the close relative finds him outside the boundary of his refuge city and kills him, he will not be responsible for his blood. 28 The killer must live in his refuge city until the high priest’s death. After the high priest’s death the killer may return to the land he owns.

29 These will be the regulations and case laws for all time in all your settlements.

30 Anyone who kills another will be executed on the evidence of witnesses. But one witness alone cannot testify against a person for a death sentence. 31 You may not accept a ransom for the life of a killer, who is guilty of a capital crime, for he must definitely be put to death. 32 You may not accept a ransom for someone who has fled to his refuge city so that he can return and live in the land before the priest’s death. 33 You may not pollute the land in which you live, for the blood pollutes the land. There can be no recovery[f] for the land from the blood that is shed in it, except by the blood of the one who shed it. 34 You will not make the land in which you live unclean, the land in the middle of which I reside, for I the Lord reside among the Israelites.

Inheritance of Zelophehad’s daughters

36 The leaders of the households of the clans of Gilead, Machir’s son and Manasseh’s grandson, of Joseph’s clans, approached and spoke before Moses and the chiefs, who were the leaders of the Israelite households. They said, “The Lord commanded my master to give the land as an inheritance by lot to the Israelites. But my master was also commanded by the Lord to give the inheritance of Zelophehad our brother to his daughters. If they are married to someone from another Israelite tribe, their inheritance will be taken away from our household and given to another tribe into which they marry. Then it will be taken away from the lot of our inheritance. At the Israelite Jubilee, their inheritance will be added to the inheritance of the tribe into which they married. Then their inheritance will be taken away from the inheritance of our ancestral tribe.”

Then Moses commanded the Israelites according to the Lord’s word: “The tribe of Joseph’s descendants are correct in what they’re saying. This is the word that the Lord commands to Zelophehad’s daughters: They may marry whomever seems best to them, but they may only marry into one of the clans of their ancestral tribe, so that the inheritance of the Israelites doesn’t transfer from one tribe to another. The Israelites will each retain the tribal inheritance of his ancestral tribe. Every daughter who inherits land from an Israelite tribe must marry into one of the clans of her father’s tribe. In this way each Israelite will own the land of his ancestors. An inheritance of land may not be transferred from one tribe to another, for the Israelite tribes will each retain its own inheritance.”

10 Zelophehad’s daughters did as the Lord commanded Moses. 11 Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Noah, Zelophehad’s daughters, married their cousins. 12 They married into the clan of Manasseh, Joseph’s son. Their inheritance remained in the tribe of their father’s clan.


13 These are the commandments and the case laws that the Lord commanded the Israelites through Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho.


  1. Numbers 33:3 March–April, Nisan
  2. Numbers 33:3 Or with a high hand
  3. Numbers 33:10 Or Red Sea
  4. Numbers 33:38 July–August, probably Av
  5. Numbers 35:19 Or (here and throughout Num 36) the close relative of the blood
  6. Numbers 35:33 Or reconciliation
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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