Written by Julie Parker. Posted in Sheepfold Gleanings.


Numbers 33:1 to 36:13
Jeremiah 2:4-28; 4:1-2
Matthew 5:33-37
James 4:1 to 5:20

In the last study of the book of Numbers we find Moses and the Israelites entering the final phase of their long journey closer to their inheritance – the Promised Land. Ultimately the Messiah / Yeshua Ha Mashiach is the embodiment of the Promised Land of Israel in that: Father Yahweh calls Him My servant, My son, my Firstborn, Israel, and it is “in Him we live and move and exist”  (Exodus 4:22; Isaiah 49:1-6; Matthew 12:18; Hosea 11:1; Matthew 2:15).

Our pre-determined pathway back to the Land, and to intimacy and holiness with the Messiah is enumerated here in the words of Moses, as it was Moses who spoke about the Messiah.

  • John 5:46 Yeshua said, “If you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me.”
  • Jeremiah 29:11-14 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares Yahweh, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares Yahweh, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares Yahweh, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile” (Jeremiah 33:6-9; Ezekiel 11:17-20; 36:24-36; 37:15-28).
  • Malachi 4:4-6 “Remember the Law of Moses, My servant, which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of Yahweh. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”

The Stages of Israel’s Journey
Numbers 33:1-49

The book of Numbers now summarizes the stages the Israelite’s journeyed through the wilderness before they entered the Promised Land. The names of the places detailed Yahweh’s direction and the path they were to follow. Their wanderings were not random but were guided by the Spirit of the Holy One as expressed through the movement of the Cloud of Glory (Numbers 9:20). The itinerary disclosed that the Israelites retraced their steps several times taking forty years for a trip that could have been achieved in eleven days. Through all the trials, Yahweh’s mercy taught Israel of His ways that allowed them to enter the Promised Land.

The names of the places revealed how the people struggled with their fears, stumbling many times, pleading to return to Egypt. They fell into idolatry and even cursed Moses and the Land they were about to enter. Through it all, the camp list also revealed how the Israelites time after time returned to Yahweh and then finally put their faith and hope in Him alone. Israel willingly chose to follow despite all of their doubts. At long last they learned not to trust themselves any longer but to fully rest in HIS faithfulness to them.

The account of their journey through the wilderness is also prophetic of future events as Ezekiel 20:35 points out,

  • “I will bring you out from the nations and I will gather you out of the lands in which you have been scattered.”

Each of us has gone through the highs and lows in our sojourn through life, but whatever the challenges encountered, we continue to be overcomers. Past difficulties do not define who we are nor do they govern our future. How we handle the valleys in our lives gives us our mountain top experiences. Future redemption for each individual and for the nation beckons each of us to rise to meet the next challenge. Faith is seeing ourselves as Yeshua sees us – complete and whole in Him. Not only is this a physical redemption but more importantly a look at our spiritual walk with Yeshua.

Some names of the camps listed and their meanings are:
Ramses (child of the sun), Succot (tents), Etham (seabound), Migdol (tower), Marah (bitter), Elim (oaks), Red Sea (sea of reeds), Desert of Sin (bush), Dophkah (drover), Alush (crowd), Rephidim (beds), Desert of Sinai (a bush), Kibroth Hattaavah (the graves of lust), Hazeroth (enclosures), Rithmah(noise), Rimmon Puez (pomegranates of the wrath), Libnah (white), Rissah (dew), Kehelathah (a whole; a congregation), Haradah (fear), Makheloth (congregations), Tahath (depression, humility), Terah (turning, duration), Mithchah (sweetness), Hashmonah (fruitfulness), Moseroth (bonds, discipline), Bene Jaakan (children of Jaakan), Hor Haggidgad (cleft, mountain), Ezion Geber (giant backbone), Kadesh (holy), Mt. Hor (hill), Punon (precious stone), Oboth (desires), Dibon Gad (wasting of God), Almon Diblathian (hiding place of two fig sacks), Mountains of Abarim (mountains beyond), Beth Jeshimoth (house of deserts), and Abel Shittim (meadow/brook of the Acacias).

The biblical account of the journey is extremely valuable information that assists geographers and archaeologists attempting to locate and identify many of these places. These locations prove out the truth of the written Word. In the forty-year journey through the wilderness there had been only forty-two places where they camped. Of these, fourteen locations took place during the first year in the wilderness, and eight in the final year. Rashi teaches that the Israelites tarried at Kadesh nineteen years.

When You Cross the Jordan River
Numbers 33:50-56

Yahweh now gives instructions of how the Israelites were to restore their homeland.

  • Firstly, the Israelite army was to remove all unlawful residents from their land. Not one was to remain, as any pagan intermingling could ensnare the Israelites.
  • Secondly, there was to be no pagan idolatry worship in the land thus they were to remove and destroy all idol worship and cleanse the land of any false religions and gods.
  • Thirdly, after the land was restored, they were to divide it among the twelve tribes of Israel according to their size.

“For I have given you the land to possess”
Numbers 33:53

Clean Out the Land or You Will be Harassed

  • Numbers 33:55-56  “But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall be that those whom you let remain shall be irritants in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land where you dwell.  Moreover it shall be that I will do to you as I thought to do to them.”

We look at what is happening today with the leaders and world powers debating over the State of Israel. The homeland that has been gifted to Abraham and his descendants through his grandson Jacob/Israel is being occupied and divided up by foreign nations with very little thought of the biblical lands of the Israelites. Yahweh proclaimed, “For I have given you [His chosen people Israel] the land to possess.” In spite of this declaration, the issue God’s people face today is that other nations want the land of Israel and are trying to destroy everything about Israel: The name of Israel, the nation of Israel, the people of Israel, the inheritance of Israel and the God of Israel.   

Not only is this Scripture in Numbers 33:55-56 a reminder of how God’s people are to take possession of their physical land, it is also about their personal walk before Him. If His people do not heed His instructions, to remove all foreign idolatry and strange fire from their walk, that which is opposed to Yahweh, the inhabitants of their land will remain irritants in their eyes and thorns in their sides, peace will escape them and their lives will be in constant turmoil. Poverty will be in pursuit of them and they will accumulate like-minded ‘friends’ (parasites) who have similar characteristics, running from constant harassment.

Where is the righteous army of Yahweh, those who remember His words - to walk in His ways desiring to be holy as He is Holy? Where are those who will stand up in defense of the land given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?

  • Isaiah 6:8 “Also I heard the voice of Yahweh, saying: ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.’”
  • Deuteronomy 11:8-9 “Observe therefore all the commands I am giving you today, so that you may have the strength to go in and take over the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, and so that you may live long in the land that Yahweh swore to your forefathers to give to them and their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey.”

When Joshua and Caleb spied out the land forty years earlier they did not see the giants as an obstacle of fear but saw Yahweh’s word as that which encouraged them to take hold of the land. Yahweh said the land belonged to them so they entered expecting to take it!  Today, we will not be able to reclaim the land of Israel until we see Yahweh’s word as Joshua and Caleb did. Instead, we will remain in a suspended Diaspora/exile until we stop listening, believing and walking in the bad reports from the nations around us.

Boundaries of the Land
Numbers 34

First, Yahweh gave the boarders of the Land as seen in Numbers 34:1-14. Comparing this to the borders of the Land given in the Covenant to Abraham and his descendants in Genesis 15:18-21, and we note a size difference. The Israelite’s today live in only a tenth of what was originally given them. According to Ezekiel’s prophetic vision the possession of the entire land of promise has not yet happened (Ezekiel 47:13-48:35).

However, with more and more people returning to the inspired word of Yahweh many are leaning to walk according to His instructions. With that, the land will respond and come into its fullness as the people return. No longer will they live outside the Covenants and promises but walk in full inheritance of their restored land.

Both the journey through the wilderness and the divisions of the Land according to the tribes are prophetic for our day even though many claim all twelve tribes no longer exist at this present time. Yahweh’s promises are prophetic and hold true especially in our present day in spite of those who attempt to dictate Israel’s national and international policies, or foreign negotiators trying to trade His land for a false peace. Yahweh’s promises hold true especially for those living in their land today. They are present day pioneers taking risks everyday. They are establishing communities throughout Judea and Samaria amid hostile neighbors. Many live in poverty and face threats of being bulldozed off their own property daily. Even their own brothers have cursed them for being there. This is a testimony to the bravery and deep faith in a growing number of Israeli’s who believe Yahweh’s promises hold true today in spite of the Goliaths around them. The only time Yahweh ever spoke of dividing the land was to impart the inheritance to the twelve tribes of Israel. He never once spoke about dividing their land or giving away any part of it to another nation. Many people try to govern Yahweh’s plans, but the fact is, Yahweh spoke it and it will come to pass.

  • Jeremiah 33:7 “I will bring Judah and Israel back from captivity and will rebuild them as they were before.”

The Way Home

  • Ezekiel 37:11-14 “Then Yahweh said to me: ‘Son of man, these bones are the Whole House of Israel [House of Judah/House of Ephraim] They say, “Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.” Therefore prophesy and say to them: “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves [release you from captivity/exile] and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, my people [Judah/Ephraim], will know that I am Yahweh, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land.Then you will know that I Yahweh have spoken, and I have done it, declares Yahweh.” ”

The way home still exists. It is called the highway of holiness (Isaiah 35).  In Genesis 17:7-8 Yahweh established His Covenant with Abraham and his descendants through his promised son Isaac, as an everlasting covenant. Yahweh gave to Abraham’s descendants all of the land of Canaan for a perpetual possession. Approximately 3,500 years have passed since the Covenant was spoken to Abraham. Many wars, occupations and tragedies have come and gone – but true Israel has not forgotten Yahweh’s word.

So, is God finished with Israel? Has He forgotten or revoked His Covenant with Israel regarding the people and their land, and the blessings? For thousands of years people have been filled with animosity toward the Jews. Who would have believed that after the horrific events in the second world war the Jewish people would be faced with such levels of anti Semitism that we are seeing across the world today; and now also against the Christians. Thankfully, His word is true. He has declared it over and over again in His word.

  • Ezekiel 11:17 “I will gather you [Israel] from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again.”
  • John 14:14 “You may ask me for any thing in my name, and I will do it.”

Ezekiel was given a very detailed vision describing the Temple, the Land and its boundaries. It is also clear that Scripture says,

  • “You are to distribute this land among yourselves according to the tribes of Israel. You are to allot it as an inheritance for yourselves and for the aliens who have settled among you and who have children. You are to consider them as native-born Israelites; along with you they are to be allotted an inheritance among the tribes of Israel. In whatever tribe the alien settles, there you are to give him his inheritance,’ declares the Sovereign Yahweh” (Ezekiel 47:21-23).

The boundaries spoken to Abraham in Yahweh’s Covenant to him are still valid today. This was made clear in Ezekiel chapters 47-48. The boundaries and the divisions of the Land are given to the twelve tribes of Israel by name. Every tribe is individually listed and not one is missing. All are given their portion of land in the land of Israel. Yahweh has very carefully written this all down for future generations so there will be no mistaking His intentions or promises to the twelve tribes. The prophetic listing for all twelve tribes, along with the Priests and Levites territories are as follows:

  • Ezekiel 48:1-7 “At the northern frontier,

    Dan will have one portion; it will follow the Hethlon road to Lebo Hamath; Hazar Enan and the northern border of Damascus next to Hamath will be part of its border from the east side to the west side.
    Asher will have one portion; it will border the territory of Dan from east to west.
    Naphtali will have one portion; it will border the territory of Asher from east to west.
    Manasseh will have one portion; it will border the territory of Naphtali from east to west.
    Ephraim will have one portion; it will border the territory of Manasseh from east to west.
    Reuben will have one portion; it will border the territory of Ephraim from east to west.
    Judah will have one portion; it will border the territory of Reuben from east to west. The special portions will be next to Judah from east to west and border on Benjamin for the priests and Levites.”
  • Ezekiel 48:23-29 “As for the rest of the tribes:

    Benjamin will have one portion; it will extend from the east side to the west side.
    Simeon will have one portion; it will border the territory of Benjamin from east to west.
    Issachar will have one portion; it will border the territory of Simeon from east to west.
    Zebulun will have one portion; it will border the territory of Issachar from east to west.
    Gad will have one portion; it will border the territory of Zebulun from east to west. The southern boundary of Gad will run south from Tamar to the waters of Meribah Kadesh, then along the Wadi of Egypt to the Great Sea.”

This is the land you are to allot as an inheritance to the tribes of Israel, and these will be their portions, declares the Sovereign LORD/Yahweh” (Ezekiel 48:29).

The future gates into the Holy City are also named after the twelve tribes of Israel.

  • Revelation 21:12-13 “Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west.”

The name of the city from that time on will be called, “Yahweh is There” (Ezekiel 48:35).

Lost Identity, Lost Heritage

Many people from both Houses were caught in wars, enemy occupations, crusades, pogroms, and holocausts throughout the ages. As a result many lost the vision Yahweh had given them in the Covenant He made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, which contained all of their promises and inheritance. Also lost to them was the truth of their redemption and their return to their land promised through the prophets Jeremiah, Isaiah and Ezekiel etc. Many people lost faith in Yahweh’s faithfulness during these seasons, but many more were kept alive by remembering His truth, which they passed on as hope to their next generations.

  • Habakkuk 2:2-3 “Then the LORD/Yahweh answered me and said: ‘Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”

Repentance and Restoration

Please do not give their land away. It is not for sale…

All those who sojourn with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are the physical present day family of the promised seed of Israel. This truth is found in Scripture from Genesis to Revelation. Today, many are responding to the call of the Spirit of the Holy One/Ruach Ha Kodesh by repenting and returning to His Ways. They are applying His Word in their lives and returning to their land. A remnant is being drawn back to the land as a witness to this truth.

  • Numbers 33:55-56 “IF you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land, those you allow to remain will become barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will give you trouble in the land where you will live. And then I will do to you what I plan to do to them.”
  • Psalm 83:1-5, 12 “Do not keep silent, O God! Do not hold Your peace, and do not be still, O God!  For behold, Your enemies make a tumult; and those who hate You have lifted up their head. They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, and consulted together against Your sheltered ones. They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more. For they have consulted together with one consent; they form a confederacy against You: Who said, “Let us take for ourselves the pastures of God for a possession.”

In these prophetic verses the nations put forth in a clear and concise form their objectives that are unmistakable. It is first and foremost to trample underfoot and defeat the Holy One of Israel. The people who surround Israel have made a covenant together against Israel. This union of Israel’s enemies has one objective: “That the name of Israel will be remembered no more.”

In the prophetic Psalm 83:6-8 it names these nations (that in the last century have been renamed), who have conspired against Yahweh and His people. The Scripture reads as follows, “The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites, Gebal and Ammon and Amalek, Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre, Assyria also has joined with them. They have become a help to the children of Lot.”

Other nations make grand policies that seek to divide the land of Israel and Jerusalem, as well as uproot and destroy the Jewish people from the land promised to them. The purpose of Yahweh’s Covenantal blueprint/design (called the path of righteousness in Isaiah 35) is to bring all of His people back to the land He promised Abraham and his decedents as an everlasting possession (Genesis 15:13-21; Galatians 3:8).

  • Genesis 13:14-17 “And the LORD/Yahweh said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: ‘Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are - northward, southward, eastward, and westward; for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants  forever. And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered. Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you.”
  • Zephaniah 3:17-20 “The LORD/Yahweh your God/Elohim in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. ‘I will gather those who sorrow over the appointed assembly, who are among you, to whom its reproach is a burden. Behold, at that time I will deal with all who afflict you; I will save the lame, and gather those who were driven out; I will appoint them for praise and fame in every land where they were put to shame. At that time I will bring you back, even at the time I gather you; for I will give you fame and praise among all the peoples of the earth, when I return your captives before your eyes,’ Says the LORD/Yahweh.”

Cities of Refuge
Numbers 35:6-34

Of the forty-eight cities given to the Levites, six were designated as refuge cities for those who accidentally killed a fellow man. There were to be three cities on the west side of the Jordan and three cities for the Transjordan Tribes. It is interesting that the three refuge cities in the land are the most hotly disputed real estate today (Joshua 20).

Zelophehad’s Daughters Marry
Numbers 36:1-13

The teaching of Zelophehad’s daughters is a continuation from the Numbers 27:1-11 study. Yahweh gave further protection to Zelophehad’s daughters once they were married so their father’s physical inheritance would not be absorbed into the daughters’ future husbands’ allotted lands if he was not of her tribe. It was advised that every daughter who inherited land was to marry within the tribal clan of her father. In this case the daughters married into the tribe of Manasseh. No inheritance in Israel was to pass from one tribe to another, for every Israelite was to keep their tribal land inherited from his forefathers.

The Book of Numbers/Bamidbar closes with,

  • “These are the commands and regulations Yahweh gave through Moses to the Israelites on the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho” (Numbers 36:13).

Chazak! Chazak! Venishchzeik!
Be Strong! Be Strong! And May We Be Strengthened!

Shabbat Shalom,

Julie Parker

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