Tag Archives: Numbers 33

Numbers 30-36: We want Messiah to give us rest from our dumb oaths and vows

“’Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, ‘YOU SHALL NOT MAKE FALSE VOWS, BUT SHALL FULFILL YOUR VOWS TO THE LORD.’ But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is THE CITY OF THE GREAT KING. Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.” (Matthew 5:33–37 NASB)

Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus the Christ) emphasized that vows and oaths are not to be taken lightly. Why then did the Holy One of Israel give instructions about vows and oaths? Part of it is our distance from the original language and meanings of these words. Another part is we aren’t seeing the lessons from Heaven in these instructions, namely, that just as the LORD promises to give a land of rest to Israel, so too, should those who make promises be as faithful to them.

The dual Torah reading מטות Matot (“tribes,” Numbers 30–32) and  מסעי Massei/Mase’y (“journeys of,” Numbers 33–36) take us to the end of the 40 years of wandering judgment against the rebellious first generation post-Mitzraim (Egypt).

Continue reading Numbers 30-36: We want Messiah to give us rest from our dumb oaths and vows

Parashot Matot/Massei (מטות/מסעי): Numbers 30–36

“As God is my witness, I will do that.” Such words can roll off our tongues easily, but we can forget that One is witnessing such a vow and watching to see whether we respect the Creator enough to follow through. That’s why Moshe (Moses), Yeshua haMashiakh (Jesus the Christ) and His apostle Ya’akob (James) warned us against dragging the LORD in to co-sign on our promises.

Continue reading Parashot Matot/Massei (מטות/מסעי): Numbers 30–36

Numbers 30–36: ‘Be angry, and yet do not sin’

“And Moses said to them, ‘Have you spared all the women? Behold, these caused the sons of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, so the plague was among the congregation of the LORD. Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man intimately.’” (Numbers 31:15–17 NASB)

God killed 24,000 Israelite men for their debauchery with these women. These women were willing tools in Midian and Moab’s efforts to seduce the people of Israel into idolatry. This is why they were killed.

The men of Midian used their wives to seduce the Israelites. In the dual Torah readings מטות Matot and מסעי Massei, we learn that Midian did this under the belief that they had to conquer Israel for their own long-term survival, for the sake of their sons. Hence when God tells Israel to wipe out the men, wives and young boys, he is telling them to wipe out the people complicit in Israel’s idolatry and also the reason for which they excused their idolatry.

Continue reading Numbers 30–36: ‘Be angry, and yet do not sin’

Parashat Massei (מסעי): Numbers 33–36

When life or our trust in the LORD seems to get too tough for too long, it’s tempting to give up. Yet we should look back on how far we have come in our new life in the Kingdom of Heaven through the mercy given us on the name of Yeshua haMashiakh (Jesus the Christ). Our journey from our old life is much like Israel’s journey from bondage in Mitsraim (Egypt) to freedom at Sinai and rest in the Promised Land, a trek recounted for the second generation in the Torah passage (parashah) מסעי Massei (or Mase’y, “journeys of”).

The traditional companion passage (haftarah) for Massei is Jer. 2:4–28; 3:4.

The following are Bible study recordings and notes from Hallel Fellowship teacher Richard.

Parashah: Num. 33:1–36:13

Numbers 32–33: Reuben and Gad linger east of Jordan; remembering the Exodus

We may be tempted to give up when the end of our jobs, our relationships or lives are looming or they get too tough. Yet Moshe embodies apostle Paul’s encouragement to “fight the good fight” and “run the race” with all we have until we reach our goal or it’s time to pass the baton to the next person. Moshe encouraged the tribes of Reuben and Gad to pitch in to the hard settlement of Canaan, even when their new home was secured.

Numbers 33:1-17: Lessons of the Exodus and wilderness wanderings: Ramses to Hazeroth

This is a difficult, laborious chapter with lots of hard-to-pronounce names — 40, 42 or 43 depending on the count. Yet the name of each encampment carries important teachings from what happened at each site and the meaning of the names themselves.

Numbers 33:18-27: Lessons of the Exodus and wilderness wanderings: Rithmah to Tahath

It might not be the literal meaning of the name but based on the symbolism of what occurred at that place. These are God’s names for these places, not necessarily the common names given to those places by the inhabitants at the time.

Numbers 33:28-56: Lessons of the Exodus and wanderings: Mithkah to Abel-Shittim

There’s a bigger picture to be found in the names of these places that Moses records and we endeavor to discover God’s picture.

Numbers 34-36: Maximum justice, maximum mercy

In the closing chapters of the book of Numbers, among a discussion of land grants to the tribes of Israel we read of a justice-and-mercy system for murderers that prophetically links ransom of the accidentally guilty to the death of the high priest.

Numbers 34–36: Big vision for Israel’s borders in Messianic age

The borders of the modern state of Israel are a fraction of the territory the LORD granted the long ago. The promises for a much larger area from Genesis to Revelation speak to the wider vision of many nations in the Kingdom of Heaven and how our vision for our own potential may be too narrow.

Book of Numbers recap: Important messages behind the censuses, travelogues

The book of Numbers is more than just a collection of long lists of numbers of people in the tribes and families of Israel and of places where the people camped for 40 years. It shows us how God prepares His people then and now to move forward into the tasks He has for them. Numbers contains lessons of character refinement of a people.

Numbers 34-36: Maximum justice, maximum mercy

In the closing chapters of the book of Numbers, among a discussion of land grants to the tribes of Israel we read of a justice-and-mercy system for murderers that prophetically links ransom of the accidentally guilty to the death of the high priest. Continue reading Numbers 34-36: Maximum justice, maximum mercy

Numbers 32–33: Reuben and Gad linger east of Jordan; remembering the Exodus

We may be tempted to give up when the end of our jobs, our relationships or lives are looming. Yet Moshe embodies apostle Paul’s encouragement to “fight the good fight” and “run the race” with all we have until we reach our goal or it’s time to pass the baton to the next person. Moshe encouraged the tribes of Reuben and Gad to pitch in to the hard settlement of Canaan, even when their new home was secured.

Thought questions

  • What are the “high places”?
  • How many campsites were there between Egypt to the entry into Canaan?
    • What’s the significance of the number of sites?
  • What is the setting of the book of Deuteronomy?
  • Why did Reuben and Gad want to stay on the east side of the Jordan?
    • What was involved in conquering that?
    • What geography is east of that area?
    • What was Moses’ response to their request?
    • What would be the consequence if they weren’t part of the conquest of Canaan?
    • How did God deal with the first generation that rebelled against God?
      • How did God impress this upon the second generation?
    • How would Reuben’s and Gad’s reticence affect the rest of the tribes?
    • How was the message that God got across during the 40 years in the desert related to their relationship to each other and to God?
    • How did Gad and Reuben respond?
      • Did all the people of those two tribes go over the Jordan with the other tribes?
  • Who were the leaders of the people and did most of the leadership?
    • Moshe (Moses)?
    • Aharon (Aaron)?
    • Eleazar?
    • How’s that form of government similar to our form of government?
  • Num. 32:28-30 is one of the first times Moshe makes provision for how things will work after he is no longer around. How long did Moshe have to conquer the east side of Jordan?
    • How was that timeframe connected to Moshe’s  coming death?
    • What does that diligence say about Moshe’s character?
    • What did he realize about the importance of what God has been building in the people of Israel after the Exodus?
  • How is the division of the territory of Manasseh important to keeping the tribes together?
    • What was the significance of the half-tribe that was on the east side of the Jordan?
    • What did Gad andf Reuben do with the cities they conquered? How did the east half of Manasseh do it?
    • How much did Moshe know about Israel’s future?
      • How did that play into the division of the territory of Manasseh?
      • What does that say?
  • Most of the meanings of the of place names in Moses’ list  of camps has been lost. What’s the signifcance in the number of generations to Messiah and the number of campsites from Moshe’s leaving Egypt to Joshua’s entering Canaan?
    • What’s the significance of the multiples of 6 and 7?
    • Some ideas have surfaced about the meaning of the 42 camp sites:
      1. Could they be 42 steps to achieve godliness?
      2. Could the place names be symbolic of the generations connected in the previously mentioned time spans?
        • Ramses to Sukkot
        • Abram to when Abram was called out
  • What were the five requirements for Israel in conquering the land?
    1. Expel people.
    2. Destroy carved images.
    3. Demolish high places.
    4. Divide the land by lots.
    5. Live in the land.
  • How successful was Israel in these five?
    • How do the sages interpret “barbs” and “thorns” in the curse for nonobedience?
    • How did God follow through with this promise to “to to you what I plan to do to them”?