Tag Archives: Numbers 35

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 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.

Thought questions

Numbers 34

  • Why is it important to know the borders of the Promised Land God brought Israel into?
    • Which location did God start from in delineating Israel’s borders?
    • What are the meanings of the names of these places?
    • What’s the connection of the location of the southern border and where the spies entered?
    • Where is Mt. Hor on the northern border?
  • When looking at modern Israel, how does it compare to the land God established?
    • What about the writings in the prophets about Israel being cast out of the land?
    • Upon Messiah’s return, will the inheritance go to the original owners (Ezek. 47:13-20)?

Numbers 35

  • What is the significance of the names of people?
    • What do the names mean, such as Ephraim and Manasseh?
  • How many cities did the Levites inherit in the land and where were those cities located?
  • How does God view murder and capital punishment?
    • Is the ransoming of a murderer what we call a “plea bargain”?
      • Does God see different degrees of murder, like we do today?
      • How does this compare with the passage, “Vengeance is mine, says the LORD, I will repay” (Deut. 32:35)?
    • Is the rite about the “blood avenger” advocating lynching?
      • How do the refuge cities factor into this?
    • Modern case law and pundits say that capital punishment makes society no better than the murderer. Does this mean that God is “mean,” “barbaric” or “archaic”?
      • How does the account of the Flood and God’s reaction to having to send it answer this question?
      • What does this chapter say about the attitude of the blood avenger in carrying out the execution?
    • How does bloodshed pollute the land?
    • What is the lesson of capital punishment and the sacrifices?
      • What is the connection between the Messiah and the blood avenger?