Thoughts and Reflection
Today we conclude the books of Numbers and Deuteronomy and the whole Desert Wanderings period. All the tribes of Israel were given land in the Promised Land except for the Levites. They were given forty-eight cities which are known as “cities of refuge.” These cities are places of justice for those who have killed a person to save them from the vengeance of the people. This is the first of distinguishing between manslaughter and murder.
During this time, more than one witness must testify to the alleged crime of murder. This confirmation testimony becomes more required throughout the bible.
Also, when a man dies without sons, it is permitted for his land to be transferred to his daughters. To prevent a man from owning the additional land of a wife of a different tribe, marriage is only permitted within the tribe itself. This will keep all the land within one tribe and shows the importance of land to the Israelites.
I’d like to take a moment and reflect on the life of Moses. This man took the Israelites out of Egypt and kept them together in the desert. Made sure they were fed and order was maintained. As his final act, he was able to see all the land that God promised him but never allowed to go in it. He is truly a father for his people, he took care of them and was able to fulfill his promise to them – land.
I am not sure what words best describe Moses. Hero? Saint? Leader? Friend?
What do you think?
About This Project
For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!
3 The towns must be their homes and the surrounding pasture land must be for their cattle, their possessions and all their animals.
5 ‘Outside the town, measure two thousand cubits to the east, two thousand cubits to the south, two thousand cubits to the west and two thousand cubits to the north, the town lying in the centre; such will be the pasture lands of these towns.
8 Of the towns which you give from the Israelites’ possessions, you will give more from those who have more, and less from those who have less. Each will give some of his towns to the Levites, in proportion to the heritage he himself has received.’
9 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said:
13 Of the towns you give, six will serve you as cities of refuge:
15 These six towns will serve as refuge for the Israelites, for the foreigner and for the resident alien, where anyone who has accidentally killed someone can take sanctuary.
17 If he has struck him with a stone meant for killing, and has killed him, he is a murderer. The murderer will be put to death.
18 Or if he has struck him with a wooden instrument meant for killing, and has killed him, he is a murderer. The murderer will be put to death.
24 then the community will decide in accordance with these rules between the one who struck the blow and the avenger of blood,
25 and will save the killer from the clutches of the avenger of blood. They will send him back to the city of refuge where he had taken sanctuary, and there he will stay until the death of the high priest who has been anointed with the holy oil.
28 since the killer should stay in his city of refuge until the death of the high priest; only after the death of the high priest is he free to go back to his own piece of property.
29 Such will be the legal rule for you and your descendants, wherever you may live.
33 Do not profane the country you live in. Blood profanes the country and, for the country, the only expiation for the blood shed in it is the blood of the man who shed it.
1 Then the heads of families of the clan descended from Gilead, son of Machir, son of Manasseh, one of the clans descended from Joseph, came forward and, addressing Moses and the leaders, the Israelite heads of families,
2 they said: ‘Yahweh has ordered my lord to apportion the Israelites’ heritages in the country by lot and my lord has been ordered by Yahweh to give the heritage of our brother Zelophehad to his daughters.
3 Now, if they marry someone from another Israelite tribe, their heritage will be alienated from our ancestral heritage. The heritage of the tribe to which they will then belong will be increased, and the heritage allotted to us will be diminished.
4 And when the jubilee for the Israelites comes round, these women’s heritage will become part of the heritage of the tribe to which they then belong, and be alienated from the heritage of our ancestral tribe.’
9 No heritage may be transferred from one tribe to another; each Israelite tribe will stick to its own heritage.” ‘
10 Zelophehad’s daughters did as Yahweh had ordered Moses.
4 Yahweh said to him, ‘This is the country which I promised on oath to give to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, saying: I shall give it to your descendants. I have allowed you to see it for yourself, but you will not cross into it.’
5 There in the country of Moab, Moses, servant of Yahweh, died as Yahweh decreed;
12 How mighty the hand and great the fear that Moses wielded in the eyes of all Israel!
1 [Song of Ascents] I lift up my eyes to the mountains; where is my help to come from?
5 Yahweh is your guardian, your shade, Yahweh, at your right hand.
6 By day the sun will not strike you, nor the moon by night.
7 Yahweh guards you from all harm Yahweh guards your life,