Numbers 34

1 God spoke to Moses:
2 "Command the People of Israel. Tell them: When you enter Canaan, these are the borders of the land you are getting as an inheritance:
3 "Your southern border will take in some of the Wilderness of Zin where it touches Edom. It starts in the east at the Dead Sea,
4 curves south of Scorpion Pass and on to Zin, continues south of Kadesh Barnea, then to Hazar Addar and on to Azmon,
5 where it takes a turn to the northwest to the Brook of Egypt and on to the Mediterranean Sea.
6 "Your western border will be the Mediterranean Sea.
7 "Your northern border runs on a line from the Mediterranean Sea to Mount Hor,
8 and from Mount Hor to Lebo Hamath, connects to Zedad,
9 continues to Ziphron, and ends at Hazar Enan. This is your northern border.
10 "Your eastern border runs on a line from Hazar Enan to Shepham.
11 The border goes south from Shepham to Riblah to the east of Ain, and continues along the slopes east of the Sea of Galilee.
12 The border then follows the Jordan River and ends at the Dead Sea. "This is your land with its four borders."
13 Moses then commanded the People of Israel: "This is the land: Divide up the inheritance by lot. God has ordered it to be given to the nine and a half tribes.
14 The tribe of Reuben, the tribe of Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh have already received their inheritance;
15 the two tribes and the half-tribe got their inheritance east of Jordan-Jericho, facing the sunrise."
16 God spoke to Moses:
17 "These are the men who will be in charge of distributing the inheritance of the land: Eleazar the priest and Joshua son of Nun.
18 Assign one leader from each tribe to help them in distributing the land.
19 Assign these: Caleb son of Jephunneh from the tribe of Judah;
20 Shemuel son of Ammihud from the tribe of Simeon;
21 Elidad son of Kislon from the tribe of Benjamin;
22 Bukki son of Jogli, leader from the tribe of Dan;
23 Hanniel son of Ephod, leader from the tribe of Manasseh son of Joseph;
24 Kemuel son of Shiphtan, leader from the tribe of Ephraim son of Joseph;
25 Elizaphan son of Parnach, leader from the tribe of Zebulun;
26 Paltiel son of Azzan, leader from the tribe of Issachar;
27 Ahihud son of Shelomi, leader from the tribe of Asher;
28 Pedahel son of Ammihud, leader from the tribe of Naphtali."
29 These are the men God commanded to hand out the assignments of land-inheritance to the People of Israel in the country of Canaan.

Numbers 34 Commentary

Chapter 34

The bounds of the promised land. (1-15) Those appointed to divide the land. (16-29)

Verses 1-15 Canaan was of small extent; as it is here bounded, it is but about 160 miles in length, and about 50 in breadth; yet this was the country promised to the father of the faithful, and the possession of the seed of Israel. This was that little spot of ground, in which alone, for many ages, God was known. This was the vineyard of the Lord, the garden enclosed; but as it is with gardens and vineyards, the narrowness of the space was made up by the fruitfulness of the soil. Though the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof, yet few know him, and serve him; but those few are happy, because fruitful to God. Also, see how little a share of the world God gives to his own people. Those who have their portion in heaven, have reason to be content with a small pittance of this earth. Yet a little that a righteous man has, having it from the love of God, and with his blessing, is far better and more comfortable than the riches of many wicked.

Verses 16-29 God here appoints men to divide the land to them. So sure must they feel of victory and success while God fought for them, that the persons are named who should be intrusted with the dividing of the land.

Chapter Summary


In this chapter the bounds and borders of the land Canaan are described, according to the direction of the Lord to Moses, Nu 34:1,2, the south border, Nu 34:3-5, the western border, Nu 34:6, the north border, Nu 34:7-9, the east border, Nu 34:10-12, which is ordered to be divided by lot to the nine tribes and a half, two tribes and a half having received their inheritance on the other side Jordan, Nu 34:13-15, and the persons are nominated to divide the land, Eleazar and Joshua, with one prince out of every tribe, and who are mentioned by name, Nu 34:16-29.

Numbers 34 Commentaries

Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved.