Reading 49/341, Numbers 33-36

[A] This is the end of the book of Numbers. It ends with a complete itinerary for the past 40 years. Now that the book has ended, it is time for Moses to die, but not before he gives one last speech. That speech is the book of Deuteronomy.
[B] The "avenger of blood" in this reading is the closest male relative of a murdered person who has a responsibility in the age before police to catch and kill the murderer. They have this responsibility even if the death is an accident, but if the death is an accident, the killer can flee to one of the cities of refuge and live there safely.

...Numbers

These are the journeys of the children of Israel, when they went forth out of the land of Egypt by their armies under the hand of Moses and Aaron. Moses wrote down their points of departure for each journey by the command of the Lord, and these are their journeys according to their departures. So the people of Israel set out from Rameses and camped at Succoth. And they set out from Succoth and camped at Etham, which is on the edge of the desert. And they set out from Etham and turned back to Pi-hahiroth, which is east of Baal-zephon, and they camped before Migdol. And they set out from before Hahiroth and passed through the middle of the sea into the desert, and they went a three days' journey in the desert of Etham and camped at Marah.

And they set out from Marah and came to Elim; at Elim there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees, and they camped there. And they set out from Elim and camped by the Red Sea. And they set out from the Red Sea and camped in the wilderness of Sin. And they set out from the wilderness of Sin and camped at Dophkah. And they set out from Dophkah and camped at Alush. And they set out from Alush and camped at Rephidim, where there was no water for the people to drink. And they set out from Rephidim and camped in the desert of Sinai. And they set out from the desert of Sinai and camped at Kibroth-hattaavah. And they set out from Kibroth-hattaavah and camped at Hazeroth. And they set out from Hazeroth and camped at Rithmah. And they set out from Rithmah and camped at Rimmon-perez. And they set out from Rimmon-perez and camped at Libnah. And they set out from Libnah and camped at Rissah. And they set out from Rissah and camped at Kehelathah. And they set out from Kehelathah and camped at Mount Shepher. And they set out from Mount Shepher and camped at Haradah. And they set out from Haradah and camped at Makheloth. And they set out from Makheloth and camped at Tahath. And they set out from Tahath and camped at Terah. And they set out from Terah and camped at Mithkah. And they set out from Mithkah and camped at Hashmonah. And they set out from Hashmonah and camped at Moseroth. And they set out from Moseroth and camped at Bene-jaakan. And they set out from Bene-jaakan and camped at Hor-haggidgad. And they set out from Hor-haggidgad and camped at Jotbathah. And they set out from Jotbathah and camped at Abronah. And they set out from Abronah and camped at Ezion-geber. And they set out from Ezion-geber and camped in the desert of Zin (that is, Kadesh). And they set out from Kadesh and camped at Mount Hor, on the edge of the land of Edom. Aaron the priest went up onto Mount Hor at the commandment of the Lord, and died there, in the fortieth year after the children of Israel had come out of the land of Egypt, in the fifth month, on the first day of the month. Aaron was one hundred twenty-three years old when he died on Mount Hor. The Canaanite, the king of Arad, who lived in the South in the land of Canaan, heard of the coming of the children of Israel. And they set out from Mount Hor and camped at Zalmonah. And they set out from Zalmonah and camped at Punon. And they set out from Punon and camped at Oboth. And they set out from Oboth and camped at Iye-abarim, in the territory of Moab. And they set out from Iyim and camped at Dibon-gad. And they set out from Dibon-gad and camped at Almon-diblathaim. And they set out from Almon-diblathaim and camped in the mountains of Abarim, before Nebo. And they set out from the mountains of Abarim and camped in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho; they camped by the Jordan from Beth-jeshimoth as far as Abel-shittim in the plains of Moab.

The Lord spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them, ‘When you pass over the Jordan into the land of Canaan, you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their carved idols, and destroy all their molten images, and demolish all their high places, and you shall take possession of the land, and dwell in it, for to you I have given the land to possess it. You shall inherit the land by lot according to your families; to the more you shall give the more inheritance, and to the fewer you shall give the less inheritance, wherever the lot falls to any man, that shall be his; according to the tribes of your fathers shall you inherit. If you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then those whom you let remain shall be as pricks in your eyes, and as thorns in your sides, and they shall vex you in the land in which you dwell. It shall happen that as I thought to do to them, so will I do to you.’”

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Command the children of Israel, and tell them, ‘When you come into the land of Canaan (this is the land that shall fall to you for an inheritance, the land of Canaan according to the borders of it), then your south quarter shall be from the desert of Zin along by the side of Edom, and your south border shall be from the end of the Salt Sea eastward, and your border shall turn south of the ascent of Akrabbim, and pass along to Zin, and the limits of it shall be south of Kadesh Barnea, and it shall go on to Hazar-addar, and pass along to Azmon, and the border shall turn from Azmon to the Brook of Egypt, and the limits of it shall be at the sea. For the western border, you shall have the great sea and its border, this shall be your west border. This shall be your north border, from the great sea you shall draw a line to Mount Hor; from Mount Hor you shall draw a line to the entrance of Hamath, and the limits of the border shall be at Zedad, and the border shall go on to Ziphron, and the limits of it shall be at Hazar-enan; this shall be your north border. You shall draw a line for your east border from Hazar-enan to Shepham, and the border shall go down from Shepham to Riblah, on the east side of Ain, and the border shall go down, and shall reach to the side of the sea of Chinnereth eastward, and the border shall go down to the Jordan, and the limits of it shall be at the Salt Sea. This shall be your land according to the borders of it round about.’” Moses commanded the children of Israel, saying, “‘This is the land which you shall inherit by lot, which the Lord has commanded to give to the nine tribes, and to the half-tribe; for the tribe of the children of Reuben according to their fathers' houses, and the tribe of the children of Gad according to their fathers' houses, have received, and the half-tribe of Manasseh have received, their inheritance; the two tribes and the half-tribe have received their inheritance beyond the Jordan at east of Jericho, toward the sunrise.”

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “These are the names of the men who shall divide the land for your inheritance: Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun. You shall take one prince from every tribe, to divide the land for the inheritance. These are the names of the men: From the tribe of Judah: Caleb the son of Jephunneh. From the tribe of the people of Simeon: Shemuel the son of Ammihud. From the tribe of Benjamin: Elidad the son of Chislon. From the tribe of the people of Dan: a chief, Bukki the son of Jogli. From the people of Joseph: from the tribe of the people of Manasseh: a chief, Hanniel the son of Ephod. And from the tribe of the people of Ephraim: a chief, Kemuel the son of Shiphtan. From the tribe of the people of Zebulun: a chief, Elizaphan the son of Parnach. From the tribe of the people of Issachar: a chief, Paltiel the son of Azzan. And from the tribe of the people of Asher: a chief, Ahihud the son of Shelomi. From the tribe of the people of Naphtali: a chief, Pedahel the son of Ammihud. These are the ones whom the Lord commanded to divide the inheritance for the children of Israel in the land of Canaan.

The Lord spoke to Moses on the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho, saying, “Command the children of Israel that they give to the Levites, out of the inheritance in their possession, cities to dwell in, and fields for the cities round about them, you shall give to the Levites. The cities they shall have to dwell in, and their fields shall be for their livestock, and for their subsistence, and for all their animals. The fields of the cities, which you shall give to the Levites, shall be from the wall of the city and outward one thousand cubits round about. You shall measure outside of the city for the east side two thousand cubits, and for the south side two thousand cubits, and for the west side two thousand cubits, and for the north side two thousand cubits, the city being in the middle. This shall be for them the fields of the cities. The cities which you shall give to the Levites shall be the six cities of refuge, which you have for the manslayer to flee to, and, besides these, you shall give forty-two cities. All the cities which you shall give to the Levites shall be forty-eight cities; these with their fields. Concerning the cities which you shall give out of the possession of the children of Israel, from the many you shall take many, and from the few you shall take few, everyone according to his inheritance which he inherits shall give of his cities to the Levites.”

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them, ‘When you pass over the Jordan into the land of Canaan, then you shall appoint cities to be cities of refuge for you, that the manslayer who kills any person unwittingly may flee there. The cities shall be for you for refuge from the avenger, that the manslayer not die, until he stands before the congregation for judgment. The cities which you shall give shall be for you six cities of refuge. You shall give three cities beyond the Jordan, and three cities shall you give in the land of Canaan; they shall be cities of refuge. For the children of Israel, and for the stranger and for the foreigner living among them, these six cities will be refuge; that everyone who kills any person unwittingly may flee there. But if he struck him with an instrument of iron, so that he died, he is a murderer; the murderer shall surely be put to death. If he struck him with a stone in the hand, by which a man may die, and he died, he is a murderer; the murderer shall surely be put to death. Or if he struck him with a weapon of wood in the hand, by which a man may die, and he died, he is a murderer; the murderer shall surely be put to death. The avenger of blood shall himself put the murderer to death. When he meets him, he shall put him to death. If he thrust him of hatred, or hurled at him, lying in wait, so that he died, or in enmity struck him with his hand, so that he died; he who struck him shall surely be put to death; he is a murderer, the avenger of blood shall put the murderer to death, when he meets him. But if he thrust him suddenly without enmity, or hurled at him anything without lying in wait, or with any stone, by which a man may die, not seeing him, and cast it toward him, so that he died, and he was not his enemy, nor sought his harm; then the congregation shall judge between the striker and the avenger of blood according to these ordinances, and the congregation shall deliver the manslayer out of the hand of the avenger of blood, and the congregation shall restore him to his city of refuge, where he was fled, and he shall dwell there until the death of the high priest, who was anointed with the holy oil. But if the manslayer shall at any time go beyond the border of his city of refuge, where he fled, and the avenger of blood find him outside of the border of his city of refuge, and the avenger of blood kills the manslayer; he shall not be guilty of blood, because he should have remained in his city of refuge until the death of the high priest, but after the death of the high priest the manslayer shall return into the land of his possession. These things shall be a statute and ordinance to you throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

Whoever kills any person, the murderer shall be slain at the word of witnesses, but no person shall be put to death on the testimony of one witness. Moreover you shall take no ransom for the life of a murderer who is guilty of death; he shall surely be put to death. You shall take no ransom for him who has fled to his city of refuge, that he may come again to dwell in the land, until the death of the priest. So you shall not pollute the land in which you are, for blood pollutes the land, and no expiation can be made for the land for the blood that is shed in it except the blood of him who shed it. You shall not defile the land which you inhabit, in the midst of which I dwell, for I, the Lord, dwell in the midst of the children of Israel.

The heads of the fathers' houses of the family of the children of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of the sons of Joseph, came near, and spoke before Moses, and before the princes, the heads of the fathers' houses of the children of Israel, and they said, “The Lord commanded my lord to give the land for inheritance by lot to the children of Israel, and my lord was commanded by the Lord to give the inheritance of Zelophehad our brother to his daughters. If they be married to any of the sons of the other tribes of the children of Israel, then will their inheritance be taken away from the inheritance of our fathers, and will be added to the inheritance from the tribe to which they shall belong, so it will be taken away from the lot of our inheritance. When the jubilee of the children of Israel comes, then will their inheritance be added to the inheritance from the tribe to which they shall belong, so their inheritance will be taken away from the inheritance of the tribe of our fathers.” Moses commanded the children of Israel according to the word of the Lord, saying, “The tribe of the sons of Joseph speaks right. This is the thing which the Lord does command concerning the daughters of Zelophehad, saying, ‘Let them be married to whom they think best, but only into a family from the tribe of their father shall they be married. So shall no inheritance of the children of Israel remove from tribe to tribe; for the children of Israel shall hold on to the inheritance from the tribe of his fathers. Every daughter, who possesses an inheritance in any tribe of the children of Israel, shall be wife to one of the family from the tribe of her father, that every man of the children of Israel may possess the inheritance of his fathers. So shall no inheritance remove from one tribe to another tribe, for everyone of the tribes of the children of Israel shall hold on to their own inheritance.” As the Lord commanded Moses, so the daughters of Zelophehad did, for Mahlah, Tirzah, and Hoglah, and Milcah, and Noah, the daughters of Zelophehad, were married to their father's brothers' sons. 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 commandments and the ordinances which the Lord commanded through Moses to the children of Israel in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho.

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