Numbers 34 Commentary


Numbers: Journey to God's Rest-Land by Irving Jensen- used by permission

Source: Ryrie Study Bible
THE BOOK OF NUMBERS
"Wilderness Wandering"
WALKING
Numbers 1-12
WANDERING
Numbers 13-25
WAITING
Numbers 26-36
Counting &
Camping
Nu 1-4
Cleansing &
Congregation
Nu 5-8
Carping &
Complaining
Nu 9-12
12 Spies &
Death in Desert
Nu 13-16
Aaron & Levites in
Wilderness
Nu 17-18
Serpent of Brass & Story of Balaam
Nu 21-25
Second Census 7 Laws of Israel
Nu 26-30
Last Days of Moses as Leader
Nu 31-33
Sections, Sanctuaries &
Settlements
Nu 34-36
Law
& Order
Rebellion
& Disorder
New Laws
for the New Order
Old
Generation
Tragic
Transition
New
Generation
Preparation for the Journey:
Moving Out
Participation in the Journey:
Moving On
Prize at end of the Journey:
Moving In
At Sinai
Mt Sinai
To Moab
Mt Hor
At Moab
Mt Nebo
En Route to Kadesh
(Mt Sinai)
En Route to Nowhere
(Wilderness)
En Route to Canaan
(Plains of Moab)
A Few Weeks to
2 Months
38 years,
3 months, 10 days
A Few
Months
Christ in Numbers = Our "Lifted-up One"
(Nu 21:9, cp Jn 3:14-15)
Author: Moses

Numbers 34:1  Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

Divisions of Numbers 34

  • The southern boundary (Nu 34:1–5)
  • The western boundary (Nu 34:6)
  • The eastern boundary (Nu 34:7–9)
  • The northern boundary (Nu 34:10–15),
  • List of tribal leaders to whom land would be apportioned (Nu 34:16–29).

This chapter is basically about the boundaries of the land and the apportioning of lots to each tribe, but unfortunately the tribes generally failed to conquer all the land allotted to them. 

THOUGHT - Is there a principle for NT Christians? I think so -- How many believers fail to lay hold of all of the "precious and magnificent promises" we have been granted by God (2 Peter 1:4+). Why do so many fall so short? The answer is failure to obey the "instruction manual" (AKA "THE BIBLE"). 

Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying - These would be words of encouragement, for the giving of the boundaries and then orders for distribution of the land to the tribes would be a clear indication that God was assuring them of successful conquest of the land. 


Matthew Henry - 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. 


Daily Walk -  Perhaps no greater promises can be found in the pages of Scripture than those contained in Numbers 34–36, little-read chapters introduced with the phrase, “When you enter Canaan …” (Numbers 34:2). It is a detailed description of inheritances in the land of Canaan—thousands of square miles—when as yet the nation of Israel does not possess as much as a spadeful. Representatives from each of the 12 tribes cast lots for land they as yet do not own; the Levites are given 48 cities, not one of which has as yet been conquered. Fortified by faith, the people prepare to fight battles that have already been won. With eyes on the television screen, a group of hometown hockey fans howl their approval as the match progresses. When the home team falls behind 1–0 in the first period, the fans are delighted; when the score goes to 2–0 in the second period, the excitement grows; when in the third period the home team still trails 2–1, they go crazy with joy. Why? Because before the broadcast began, the fans turned to another channel and learned the final score—3–2, in favor of the home team! Victory was assured even before the program began.
In the same way, the Israelites could face the walled cities and giant warriors of Canaan confident that the victory had already been won in God’s strength. Tape the words of Luke 1:37+ to the corner of your television or computer screen to remind you that when the battle is the Lord’s, the outcome is already certain.

When God is for us, no one can be against us.

Numbers 34:2  "Command the sons of Israel and say to them, 'When you enter the land of Canaan, this is the land that shall fall to you as an inheritance, even the land of Canaan according to its borders.

  • the land: Nu 33:51-53 Ge 12:6,7 13:15-17 Gen 15:18-21 17:8 De 1:7,8 Ps 78:55 Ps 105:11 Eze 47:14 Ac 17:26 
  • an inheritance (KJV): Ps 16:5,6 Jer 3:19 Ac 26:18 Eph 1:14,18 1Pe 1:3,4 
  • Numbers 34 Resources - Multiples Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

Psalm 78:55  ( He also drove out the nations before them And apportioned them for an inheritance by measurement, And made the tribes of Israel dwell in their tents. 

Spurgeon He cast out the heathen also before them, or "he drove out the nations." Not only were armies routed, but whole peoples displaced. The iniquity of the Canaanites was full; their vices made them rot above ground; therefore, the land ate up its inhabitants, the hornets vexed them, the pestilence destroyed them, and the sword of the tribes completed the execution to which the justice of long provoked heaven had at length appointed them. The Lord was the true conqueror of Canaan; he cast out the nations as men cast out filth from their habitations, he uprooted them as noxious weeds are extirpated by the husbandman.

And divided them an inheritance by line. He divided the land of the nations among the tribes by lot and measure, assigning Hivite, Perizzite, and Jebusite territory to Simeon, Judah, or Ephraim, as the case might be. Among those condemned nations were not only giants in stature, but also giants in crime: those monsters of iniquity had too long defiled the earth; it was time that they should no more indulge the unnatural crimes for which they were infamous; they were, therefore, doomed to forfeit life and lands by the hands of the tribes of Israel. The distribution of the forfeited country was made by divine appointment; it was no scramble, but a judicial appointment of lands which had fallen to the crown by the attainder of the former holders.

Psalm 105:11   Saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan As the portion of your inheritance,” 


Comparison of Promised Land with the promise to Abraham in Genesis 15:18-21
(Source: Thomas Constable)

THE BORDERS OF THE
PROMISED LAND OF CANAAN

Note the map above which shows in light grey the area of land originally promised to Abraham in Genesis 15:18-21+ with the considerably smaller land for which we have the borders given by God here in Numbers 34.

Constable has a very interesting explanation for the differences in the two areas on the map writing that "This was not the same border promised to Abraham but was what God gave the Israelites at their entrance into the land. If they had been obedient to Him, He would have eventually enlarged their border to include the whole area promised to Abraham. Even though they disobeyed God He still enlarged their border beyond the boundaries given here later in their history though not yet to the extent promised Abraham."  He quotes Philip who says "on any estimate and interpretation, the ‘Canaan’ that was the inheritance given to Israel was larger and more extensive than they were ever able to possess, even in David’s and Solomon’s time.”

God had promised the land of Canaan to Abraham in Genesis 17:8 

“I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” 

However God never specifically told the patriarchs the boundaries of the Promised Land, or what constituted all the land of Canaan. The closest we come to boundaries is the promise in Genesis 15:18-21+ where we read

"On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I have given this land, From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates:  the Kenite and the Kenizzite and the Kadmonite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Rephaim and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Girgashite and the Jebusite.”

In this passage in Genesis 15 the land actually goes much further east than we see in the boundaries in Numbers 34. (See the map below).

HCSB NoteThe borders of the promised land represented the limits of the land of Canaan during the late Bronze Age (1550-1200 b.c.) and were the ideal setting for the national boundaries. (HCSB Study Bible).

ESB NoteCanaan consisted of the land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan plus modern Lebanon and a portion of modern Syria.(ESV Study Bible)

Ronald Allen - This chapter presents the land in terms of an outline of its borders. The language is covenantal in nature; the description is that of a contract. Those who were in the final staging area in the plains of Moab would have their sensibilities greatly encouraged by the dimensions and directions of the land so described.....Even when we have difficulty in making identifications of geographical sites (not a very surprising matter, given the nature of the case), we may still be impressed with the order and format of these texts. They were designed to be read aloud. Even geography is a matter of worship, a litany of promise, in the Book of Numbers. This chapter is a celebration of God’s gifting, a liturgy of geography. It presents a trust deed, a legal document from God to his people. Prophetically, it points to realization in Joshua 15. The repetition of the phrase “the land of Canaan” in v.2 (Heb.) has something triumphant about it. These chapters were designed to build confidence in the people and also to provoke their continuing worship of the Lord. (EBC)

Life Application NoteThe boundaries correspond more to the land conquered by David and to the ideal territory portrayed by Ezekiel (Ezekiel 47-48). The size of the land portrays God's generosity. He always gives us more than we could ask or think (Eph 3:20+). (Life Application Study Bible)

Command the sons of Israel and say to them, 'When you enter the land of Canaan (see Nu 33:51-53+), this is the land that shall fall to you as an inheritance, even the land of Canaan according to its borders - NET = "the land that has been assigned to you as an inheritance." Heretofore God had not defined the borders of the Promised Land, but does in the following passages.  Note that God says not IF you enter, but WHEN you enter which should have been an encouragement to the often fearful sons of Israel! Why was God so sure? Was it because they were so wonderfully deserving? Of course not! None of us deserve the benefits of the gracious gifts of God (that's why it is called "grace!"). His assurance of entrance into the promised land was based on His faithfulness to His covenant promises to the patriarchsAbraham (Gen 15:18-21+), Isaac (Gen 26:4), and Jacob (Gen 28:13-14). In the same way, His faithfulness to believers today is not based on our deserving His good gifts (Jas 1:17+) and precious and magnificent promises (, but is based on the New Covenant in Christ's blood (Lk 22:20+), an everlasting covenant, just as was the Abrahamic Covenant. (See Related Resources below -- if you have never studied the concept of Covenant, then you are missing the key truth that motivates God's action in both the Old and New Testament.)

the land that shall fall to you - The verb naphal) means literally to fall and is found over 400v in a variety of settings - Nāphal is used for the way lots fall when they are cast. When the sailors wanted to know who was responsible for the great storm, the lot fell on Jonah (Jonah 1:7). Similar expressions are used in 1 Chr. 26:14 and Est. 3:7 (led to establishment of Feast of Purim, purim being a Persian word for lot). Further, nāphal describes inheritances and property which were distributed by casting lots. Judges 18:1 speaks of the inheritance which had fallen to the tribe of Dan. (See also Num. 34:2; Josh. 17:5; Ps. 16:6; Ezek. 47:14.) (Complete Biblical Library Hebrew-English Dictionary)

Allen on fall to you - In the phrase אֲשֶׁר תִּפֹּל לָכֶם (ʾašer tippōl lāḵem, “which will fall to you”), the use of the verb nāp̱al (“to fall”) is a colorful touch; reference is made to the distribution of the land that will be done by lot but that the lot will be the outworking of the will of the Lord. The same wording is found in Judg 18:1; Ps 16:6; Ezek 47:14. (EBC)


C H Mackintosh - Chapter 34 gives the boundaries of the inheritance, as drawn by the hand of Jehovah. The self-same hand which had guided their wanderings, here fixes the bounds of their habitation. Alas! they never took possession of the land as given of God. He gave them the whole land, and gave it forever: they took but a part, and that for a time. But, blessed be God, the moment is approaching when the seed of Abraham shall enter upon the full and everlasting possession of that fair inheritance, from which they are for the present excluded. Jehovah will assuredly accomplish all His promises, and lead His people into all the blessings secured to them in the everlasting covenant—that covenant which has been ratified by the blood of the Lamb. Not one jot or tittle shall fail of all that He has spoken. His promises are all yea and Amen in Christ Jesus, who is the same yesterday, to-day, and forever. All praise to the Father, and unto the Son, and to the Holy Spirit!


Andrew Murray, the gifted nineteen century writer in Two Covenants speaks to the importance of studying covenant writing… :

Blessed is the man (OR WOMAN) who truly knows God as his God; who knows what the Covenant promises him; what unwavering confidence of expectation it [the truth of covenant] secures, that all its [covenant's] terms will be fulfilled to him; what a claim and hold it gives him on the Covenant-keeping God Himself. To many a man, who has never thought much of the Covenant, a true and living faith in it would mean the transformation of his whole life (ED: THE TRUTH OF COVENANT LITERALLY SAVED OUR MARRIAGE! GOD USED HIS WORD TO SUPERNATURALLY REVIVE OUR DYING MARRIAGE! AND IT DID IT USING OUR STUDY OF COVENANT). The full knowledge of what God wants to do for him; the assurance that it will be done by an Almighty Power; the being drawn to God Himself in personal surrender, and dependence, and waiting to have it done; all this would make the Covenant the very gate of heaven. May the Holy Spirit give us some vision of its glory. (Murray, Andrew: Two Covenants) (Here is a preview of the 11 lesson Precept Study on Covenant - the best Precept course I have ever taken and thereafter taught a number of times with similar responses from the attendees!)

Related Resources:

Numbers 34:3  'Your southern sector shall extend from the wilderness of Zin along the side of Edom, and your southern border shall extend from the end of the Salt Sea eastward.

  • south quarter (KJV): Ex 23:31 Jos 15:1-12 Eze 47:13,19-23 
  • salt sea eastward (KJV): Ge 14:3 Jos 3:16 15:2 Eze 47:8,18 
  • Numbers 34 Resources - Multiples Sermons and Commentaries


Boundaries of the Promised Land (Source)

ESV Study Bible note - The original boundaries of the Promised Land as defined in Numbers 34 are somewhat different from the boundaries of the land that the Israelites eventually occupied. The original boundaries included the mountainous area north of Sidon and Damascus, but the Israelites never occupied this area during the settlement period. Conversely, the original boundaries did not include land east of the Jordan River, but the Israelites occupied this land after capturing it from Og and Sihon.

Your southern sector shall extend from the wilderness of Zin along the side of Edom -  Locate the wilderness of Zin toward the bottom of the map above and follow the boundary north and slightly east between the Promised Land and Edom. 

And your southern border shall extend from the end of the Salt Sea eastward - The Salt Sea is the Dead Sea in the map above. 

Salt Sea - 9v - Gen. 14:3; Num. 34:3; Num. 34:12; Deut. 3:17; Jos. 3:16; Jos. 12:3; Jos. 15:2; Jos. 15:5; Jos. 18:19


COMPARISON OF BOUNDARIES
  Num 34:1–12 Josh 14:1-19:51 Ezek 47:13-20

SOUTH

Zin Wilderness border w/Edom; Salt Sea to Scorpion Pass N. Zin, S. of Kadesh Barnea Hazar Addar, Azmon Brook of Egypt to Great Sea

Zin Wilderness border w/Edom, Salt Sea, S. of Kadesh Barnea, Hezron Addar, Karka, Azmon Brook of Egypt to Great Sea

Dead Sea toward Negeb, Tamar to Waters of Meribah dr. Kedesh, Brook of Egypt to Great Sea

WEST

Great Sea

Great Sea

Great Sea

NORTH

Great Sea to Mt. Hor Lebo Hamath, Zedad, Ziphron, Hazar Enan

Abdon, Rehob, Hammon Kanah, Greater Sidon, back to Ramah, Tyre, Hosah, Great Sea

Great Sea along Helon Rd. to Zedad, Hamath, Berothah, Sibraim (between Damascus and Hamath), Hazar Hatticon; Sea to Hazar Enan, on Damascus border

EAST

Hazar Enan, Shepham, Riblah, East of Ain, Slopes E. of Kinnereth Sea, Along Jordan to Salt Sea

Jordon River and Sea of Kinnereth (Naphtali, Issachar, Manasseh, Ephraim) Except for Transjordan allocations

Hauran / Damascus, to between Gilead and Israel, along Jordan River, E side of [Dead] Sea

Source: Dennis Cole - Numbers - New American Commentary

Numbers 34:4  'Then your border shall turn direction from the south to the ascent of Akrabbim and continue to Zin, and its termination shall be to the south of Kadesh-barnea; and it shall reach Hazaraddar and continue to Azmon.

  • Akrabbim (KJV): Jos 15:3 Jud 1:36 
  • Zin (KJV): Nu 34:3 13:21 20:1 33:36,37 
  • Kadeshbarnea (KJV): Nu 13:26 32:8 
  • Hazaraddar (KJV): Jos 15:3,4 
  • Numbers 34 Resources - Multiples Sermons and Commentaries


Southern Boundary of the Promised Land
(Source)

Then your border shall turn direction from the south to the ascent of Akrabbim (‘Scorpion Pass') and continue to Zin, and its termination shall be to the south of Kadesh-barnea; and it shall reach Hazaraddar and continue to Azmon- It is a bit ironic that the southern border of Kadesh-barnea is where the Israelite scouts first entered the land of Canaan (Nu 13:26). As they say "So close and yet so far!"

Allen - The inclusion of Kadesh-barnea, the site of Israel’s long sojourn in the desert (see Nu 33:36), is arresting. There was a sense in which all those years that they lived in the region of Kadesh, they were living on the fringe of the land. 

Kadesh-barnea - 10v - Num. 32:8; Num. 34:4; Deut. 1:2; Deut. 1:19; Deut. 2:14; Deut. 9:23; Jos. 10:41; Jos. 14:6; Jos. 14:7; Jos. 15:3

Numbers 34:5  'The border shall turn direction from Azmon to the brook of Egypt, and its termination shall be at the sea.

  • the brook of Egypt: Ge 15:18 Jos 15:4,47 1Ki 8:65 Isa 27:12 
  • the sea: Nu 34:6,7 
  • Numbers 34 Resources - Multiples Sermons and Commentaries


Southern Boundary of Promised Land
(Source)

TERMINATION OF
THE SOUTHERN BORDER

The border shall turn direction from Azmon to the brook of Egypt, and its termination shall be at the sea - The western extent of the southern border is the Sea, the "Great Sea," the Mediterranean Sea. The Hebrew word for sea (yam) is used 339x with 76 uses translated as "west" (or some variation thereof). 

Gilbrant This is not the great river, the Nile, but the “Wadi of Egypt” (NIV), now called the Wadi el Arish, a channel with occasional water which empties into the Mediterranean. This southern boundary is the same as the southern boundary of the tribe of Judah as given in Josh. 15:2ff. (Complete Biblical Library Commentary)

Numbers 34:6  'As for the western border, you shall have the Great Sea, that is, its coastline; this shall be your west border.

  • Jos 1:4 9:1 15:12,47 23:4 Eze 47:10,15,20 
  • Numbers 34 Resources - Multiples Sermons and Commentaries

THE WESTERN BOUNDARY
OF THE PROMISED LAND

As for the western border, you shall have the Great Sea, that is, its coastline; this shall be your west border - The Great Sea is the Mediterranean Sea, the boundary going to the coastline. 

GilbrantThe western border is clear, the Mediterranean Sea. The question is, did Israel ever extend to the Sea in the south? Did they ever conquer the Philistines? It is an interesting question, but does not affect the present verse. These were the borders allotted. The Israelites conquered them more or less at various times. The Philistines were conquered by David, but he did not exterminate them. Israel lived among the Philistines part of the time, at least the Mediterranean was the western border. A more serious question is, “How far north along the coast did it go?” Unfortunately, we do not know the northern border. (Complete Biblical Library Commentary)

Numbers 34:7  'And this shall be your north border: you shall draw your border line from the Great Sea to Mount Hor.

  • north border (KJV): Nu 34:3,6,9,10 
  • mount Hor (KJV): Nu 33:37 
  • Numbers 34 Resources - Multiples Sermons and Commentaries


Northern Border of Promised Land
(Source)

THE NORTHERN 
BORDER

And this shall be your north border: you shall draw your border line from the Great Sea to Mount Hor - At the outset of this description note that this border is the most obscure of all 4 borders because we do not know the location of several of the named places. Note also that this Mount Hor was not where Aaron died (Nu 20:22-27, Nu 33:37-39), but was another peak by the same name in the Lebanon range (see Wikipedia article on this northern Mt Hor). Locate Mount Hor at the top of the map above. 

Numbers 34:8  'You shall draw a line from Mount Hor to the Lebo-hamath, and the termination of the border shall be at Zedad;

  • the entrance (KJV): Nu 13:21 Jos 13:5,6 2Sa 8:9 2Ki 14:25 Jer 39:5 Eze 47:15-20 
  • Numbers 34 Resources - Multiples Sermons and Commentaries


Northern Border of Promised Land
(Source)

NORTHERN BORDER
CONTINUED

You shall draw a line from Mount Hor to the Lebo-hamath, and the termination of the border shall be at Zedad - Locate Mt Hor at the top of the map and go eastward toward Lebo-hamath and then to the eastern-most extent of the northern border at Zedad (see map). Note that the name Lebo-hamath is literally "the entrance of Hamath."

We see a description of a feast celebrated by King Solomon (about 450 years later) which was composed of all Israel from the northern-most boundary (HAMATH) to the southern-most boundary  (BROOK OF HAMATH) 

So Solomon observed the feast at that time, and all Israel with him, a great assembly from the entrance of Hamath (AKA "LEBO-HAMATH" = NORTHERN BORDER OF PROMISED LAND)  to the brook of Egypt (SOUTHERN BORDER), before the LORD our God, for seven days and seven more days, even fourteen days. (1 Kings 8:65)

Holman Bible Dictionary on Lebo-hamath (CALLED "HAMATH" IN KJV) (lee' boh-hay' math) Place name meaning “entrance to or to come to Hamath.” KJV, RSV translate; other modern translations transliterate the Hebrew name. Many modern interpreters think Lebo-hamath was an independent city in the city-state dominated by Hamath in Syria. It could be Lebwe north of Baalbek or Labau east of the Jordan. If a definite city is not meant, Lebo-hamath would represent the territory bordering the northwestern part of the Orontes River. Lebwe is close to the Litani River about 43 miles north of Damascus. Whatever its precise location, Lebo-hamath represented the northern boundary of Canaan promised to Israel (Numbers 13:21; compare Ezekiel 48:1 ), not conquered by Joshua (Joshua 13:5; Judges 3:3 ), controlled by David (1 Chronicles 13:5 ) and Solomon (1 Kings 8:65 ), and restored to Israel by Jeroboam II about 793-753 B.C. (2 Kings 14:25; compare 2 Kings 13:25 ). Amos predicted complete defeat for Israel starting at Lebo-hamath (2 Kings 6:14 ).

Hamath - 30x in 29v in NAS - 2 Sam. 8:9; 1 Ki. 8:65; 2 Ki. 14:25; 2 Ki. 14:28; 2 Ki. 17:24; 2 Ki. 17:30; 2 Ki. 18:34; 2 Ki. 19:13; 2 Ki. 23:33; 2 Ki. 25:21; 1 Chr. 13:5; 1 Chr. 18:3; 1 Chr. 18:9; 2 Chr. 7:8; 2 Chr. 8:4; Isa. 10:9; Isa. 11:11; Isa. 36:19; Isa. 37:13; Jer. 39:5; Jer. 49:23; Jer. 52:9; Jer. 52:27; Ezek. 47:16; Ezek. 47:17; Ezek. 48:1; Amos 6:2; Amos 6:14; Zech. 9:2

Related Resources (Note "Hamath" is the same city as "Lebo-hamath")

  • American Tract Society Hamath
  • Bridgeway Bible Dictionary Hamath
  • Easton's Bible Dictionary Hamath
  • Fausset Bible Dictionary Hamath
  • Holman Bible Dictionary Hamath Lebo-Hamath
  • Hitchcock Bible Names Hamath
  • Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible Hamath
  • International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Hamath
  • Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia Hamath
  • McClintock and Strong's Bible Encyclopedia Hamath
  • The Jewish Encyclopedia Hamath

Numbers 34:9  and the border shall proceed to Ziphron, and its termination shall be at Hazar-enan. This shall be your north border.

NORTHERN BORDER
CONTINUED

 and the border shall proceed to Ziphron, and its termination shall be at Hazar-enan. This shall be your north border - These two place names can no longer located with certainty. This is the only Scriptural mention of ZiphronHazar-enan is mentioned one other time in Ezek 47:17, and marks the eastern-most extent of the northern border. 

Gilbrantthe northern boundary went a long way north of Mt. Hermon and east roughly to a point well north of what are now called the Golan heights.(Ibid)

Jensen - The northern border is very difficult to determine, but apparently included areas of the Hermon mountain range, parts of which were never to be possessed by the Israelites (Nu 34:7–9).

McClintock and Strong's Bible Encyclopedia discussion of Ziphron

[some Ziph'ron] (Heb. Ziphron', זַפְרֹן , fragrance [Gesen.] or beautiful top [Fü rst]; Sept. Ζεφρωνά v.r. Δεφρωνά; Vulg. Zephrona, both from the directive ה of the Heb.), a place on the northern boundary of the Promised Land, and consequently also of Naphtali (Numbers 34:9, where it is mentioned between Zedad and Hazar-enan; possibly the present Kaukaba, a village high. up the western slope of Wady et-Teim (Robinson, Laier Res. p. 385). In the parallel passage (Ezekiel 47:16), Hazar- hattieon (q.v.) occurs in a similar connection. According to Jerome (ad loc. Ezech.), it was the Zephyrium Ciliciae (Mannert,VII, 2, 66,76). But this is too far away. Wetzstein thinks it is the extensive river Zifran, fourteen hours north-east of Damascus (Reisebericht ü ber Hauran, p. 88); but this is equally out of the question (comp. Schwarz, Palest. p. 27). 

Holman Bible Dictionary  discussion of Hazar-enan

(hay' zahr-ee' nuhn) Place name meaning, “encampment of springs.” Site marking northeastern border of Promised Land (Numbers 34:9-10; Ezekiel 47:17 ). Its exact location is not known, but some locate it at Qaryatein about 70 miles east north east of Damascus.

McClintock and Strong's Bible Encyclopedia discussion of Hazar-enan

(Heb. Chatsar'-Eynan', חֲעִר עֵינָן , village of fountains, also [in Ezekiel 47:17] HA'ZARE'NON, Chatsar'-Eynon', חֲצִר עֵינוֹן id.; Sept. Ἀσερναϊ v ν or ἡ αὐλή τοῦ Αἰναν ), a place on the boundary of Palestine, apparently at the north-eastern corner, between Ziphron and Shepham (Numbers 34:9-10), not far from the district of Hamath, in Damascene Syria (Ezekiel 47:17; Ezekiel 48:1). Schwarz (Palestine, p. 20, note) thinks it identical with the village DeirHanon, in the valley of the Fijeh or Amana, near Damascus; but there is no probability that this was included within the limits of Canaan. "Porter would identify Hazar-enan with Kuryetein=‘ the two cities,' a village more than sixty miles east-north- east of Damascus, the chief ground for the identification apparently being the presence at Kuryetein of ‘ large fountains,' the only ones in that ‘ vast region,' a circumstance with which the name of Hazar-enan well agrees (Damascus, 1, 252; 2, 358). The great distance from Damascus and the body of Palestine is the main impediment to the reception of this identification" (Smith). We must therefore seek for Hazar-enan somewhere in the well-watered tract at the northwestern foot of Mount Hermon, perhaps the present Hasbeya, near which are four springs (Ain Kunieb, A. Tinta, A. Ata, and A. Hersha)

Numbers 34:10  'For your eastern border you shall also draw a line from Hazar-enan to Shepham,


Eastern Border of Promised Land
(Source)

EASTERN BORDER OF
THE PROMISED LAND

For your eastern border you shall also draw a line from Hazar-enan to Shepham - The location of both these towns is uncertain and thus they are not on the map above. 

Numbers 34:11  and the border shall go down from Shepham to Riblah on the east side of Ain; and the border shall go down and reach to the slope on the east side of the Sea of Chinnereth.

  • Riblah (KJV): 2Ki 23:33 25:6 Jer 39:5,6 52:10,26,27 
  • side (KJV): Heb. shoulder
  • sea of Chinnereth (KJV): De 3:17 Jos 11:2, Chinneroth, Jos 19:35 Mt 14:34 Lu 5:1, Gennesaret, Joh 6:1, Sea of Tiberias
  • Numbers 34 Resources - Multiples Sermons and Commentaries


Eastern Border of Promised Land
(Source)

EASTERN BORDER
CONTINUED

And the border shall go down from Shepham to Riblah on the east side of Ain - The location of these names is no longer certain. 

And the border shall go down and reach to the slope on the east side of the Sea of Chinnereth - Sea of Chinnereth is another name for the Sea of Galilee shown on the map above.

Numbers 34:12  'And the border shall go down to the Jordan and its termination shall be at the Salt Sea. This shall be your land according to its borders all around.'"

  • the salt sea (KJV): Nu 34:3 Ge 13:10 14:3 19:24-26 
  • Numbers 34 Resources - Multiples Sermons and Commentaries


Eastern Border of Promised Land
(Source)

TERMINATION OF THE 
EASTERN BORDER

And the border shall go down to the Jordan and its termination shall be at the Salt Sea - The eastern border goes along the Jordan River and continues to the Dead Sea. 

This shall be your land according to its borders all around - In other words all four borders have now been described. 

Allen - These are words of grand gifting; the role of God as the Giver of the land cannot be stressed too highly. At no time in Israel’s history did she ever realize the full extent of the land as these verses present it (but cf. Josh 23:14). But the ideal was ever there. One day, many Christians believe, the rule of David’s greater son, the Lord Jesus, will fulfill each of these promises to overflowing. At that time the boundaries of ancient promise will form living markers for the heart of his reign; yet, ultimately, there is no line that may be drawn to show the full extent of his rule.

John Currid - The specific allocation of land according to prescribed boundaries was an important feature of ancient Near-Eastern land grants. In particular, Numbers 34 looks much like a royal land grant typically made by a king (in this instance Yahweh) to a subordinate or vassal (here Israel). Niehaus has pointed out that perhaps an even more appropriate parallel is ‘the assertions of ancient kings that their gods granted them specific lands and peoples to conquer’.9 Land grants with specific boundaries were common parts of ancient Near-Eastern covenants and that is what we are witnessing in Numbers 34.

In the OT Israel received a grant of land, whereas in the NT believers receive a gift of life in Christ. But we also receive a "gift of land" as Peter reminds the afflicted saints in his first epistle (no crown without a cross)..

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, (Read those 4 descriptions again - memorize this passage so the Spirit can use it to encourage you when afflictions arise, as we know they will). 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  (1 Peter 1:3–5+).

Comment - Of course believers will also reign with Christ on the earth in His Messianic Kingdom for 1000 years. We get the best of both worlds so to speak - this present earth with Christ reigning and renewing and the the New Heavens and New Earth forever and ever. Thank You Jesus. Amen And so John writes

Rev 20:6+ "Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection (ALL BELIEVERS); over these the second death has no power (ALL BELIEVERS IN CHRIST), but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years."

Numbers 34:13  So Moses commanded the sons of Israel, saying, "This is the land that you are to apportion by lot among you as a possession, which the LORD has commanded to give to the nine and a half tribes.


Note Grey-Brown is Land of Reuben, Gad, Half tribe of Manasseh 
(Source)

ALLOTMENT BY
TRIBAL LEADERS

So Moses commanded the sons of Israel, saying, "This is the land that you are to apportion by lot among you as a possession, which the LORD has commanded to give to the nine and a half tribes -

Are to apportion (05157)(nahal) means inherit, get possession of, take as a possession. The Lxx uses katakleronomeo which means to give over as an inheritance, to distribute by lot. TWOT says it "basically signifies giving or receiving property which is part of a permanent possession and as a result of succession. Sometimes the idea of succession is absent but the "possessing" carries with it a connotation of permanence (e.g. Ex 34:9; Pr 14:18)." Uses in Numbers - Num. 18:20; Num. 18:23; Num. 18:24; Num. 26:55; Num. 32:18; Num. 32:19; Num. 33:54; Num. 34:13; Num. 34:17; Num. 34:18; Num. 34:29; Num. 35:8


G Campbell Morgan - Num. 34:13 
In this chapter we have the arrangements Divinely made for the positive side of the purpose for which the people were to be brought into this land. They were really to take possession of it, and so, to realize its resources and their own national life. Again the Divine care is manifested, in that the division was made by Divine choice and arrangement. A careful examination will show how, as to amount of territory, that division was based upon the comparative needs of the tribes; and as to position, it was based upon the will of Jehovah, which unquestionably was based upon His perfect knowledge of the characteristics of the different tribes. The divisions given were for those who were about to pass over into the land beyond Jordan. Reuben and Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh had no part in this inheritance. Thrice over it is said: "They have received." They had made their own choice, and it was now ratified. Long after, they were the first to be captured and carried away. While the arrangement for division was Divine, human instruments were appointed to see them carried out. They were the priest Eleazar; the leader, Joshua; and the princes of the tribes. Among these, one name arrests our attention. It is that of Caleb. Thus he reaped the reward of his fidelity. How wonderfully this story illustrates the order and beauty of the Divine government, and of the principles of obedience through which we may derive the blessing and benefit thereof.


F B Meyer - Numbers 34:13   This is the land which ye shall inherit. (R.V.)

It is important that we should know the limits and possibilities of our lives. We must beat the bounds, first to know how far we may go; and secondly where we must stop, in our inheritance.

How far we go. — It is our privilege to know God and the hope of his calling, and the riches of the glory of his indwelling in our hearts, and the power of the Resurrection throbbing within us, lifting us to share the risen life of Jesus. Day by day we may be kept from yielding to known sin; day by day, though keenly conscious of temptation, we may be more than conquerors; day by day, the Holy Spirit may work in us perfect love towards God and man, to the limit of our light; day by day the Lord Jesus may be more perfectly formed within us.

Where we must stop. — We may expect to be blameless, but not faultless, till He present us to Himself to be delivered from temptation, but not freed from its assaults: to be kept in perfect peace, but not secured from the pressure of adversity: to be dead to sin and self, but not daring to say that either is dead within us: to be delivered from this present evil world, as to spirit and temper, though still called to inhabit it as its salt and light. Take possession of every inch of God-given territory in Jesus, but beware of going beyond it.

It is a solemn question to all who have been appointed leaders in God’s hosts, whether they are rightly dividing their heritage. We must hold back nothing that is profitable: nor must we shun to declare the whole counsel of God. Let our Preaching and teaching include all God’s provision for his children. 

Numbers 34:14  "For the tribe of the sons of Reuben have received theirs according to their fathers' households, and the tribe of the sons of Gad according to their fathers' households, and the half-tribe of Manasseh have received their possession.

  • Nu 32:23,33 De 3:12-17 Jos 13:8-12 14:2,3 
  • Numbers 34 Resources - Multiples Sermons and Commentaries

For - Term of explanation. In this case it explains what 9.5 tribes are mentioned in the previous passage.

the tribe of the sons of Reuben have received theirs according to their fathers' households, and the tribe of the sons of Gad according to their fathers' households, and the half-tribe of Manasseh have received their possession The tribes of Reuben and Gad had ask Moses for the land east of the Jordan (Nu 32:1-24, 25+). In Nu 32:33+ we see the half-tribe of Manasseh also was granted land on the eastern side of the Jordan. It is interesting that this was not consider part of the Promised Land demarcated by God in giving the boundaries. 

Numbers 34:15  "The two and a half tribes have received their possession across the Jordan opposite Jericho, eastward toward the sunrising."

POSSESSION OF THE
 2.5 TRIBES ON THE EAST

The two and a half tribes (Reuben, Gad, Manasseh) have received their possession across the Jordan opposite Jericho, eastward toward the sun rising

TSK Note - These two tribes inherited the dominions of Sihon and Og, the two vanquished kings of the Amorites, which extended from the Arnon to Mount Hermon.  Of those counties, Moses gave to the tribe of Reuben the south-west part, which was bounded on the south by the river Arnon, on the west by Jordan, and on the north and east by the tribe of Gad.  The tribe of Gad was bounded by the river Jordan and tribe of Reuben on the west, by the half tribe of Manasseh on the north, by the kingdom of the Amorites and Arabia Deserta on the East, and by the tribe of Reuben on the south.  The part belonging to the tribe of Manasseh was bounded by the tribe of Gad on the south, by the sea of Galilee and part of Jordan on the west, by Hermon and Lebanon on the north, and by the mountains of Trachonitis on the east.

Numbers 34:16  Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

Matthew Henry - 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. 

Numbers 34:17  "These are the names of the men who shall apportion the land to you for inheritance: Eleazar the priest and Joshua the son of Nun.

  • Eleazar (KJV): Jos 14:1 19:51 
  • Joshua (KJV): Nu 13:8,16 
  • Numbers 34 Resources - Multiples Sermons and Commentaries

ELEAZAR AND JOSHUA
TO APPORTION THE LAND

These are the names of the men who shall apportion the land to you for inheritance: Eleazar the priest and Joshua the son of Nun - Given that all the men of Israel were sinners (like us), the division of land (where?, how much?, etc) could have been an explosive, divisive ordeal. God therefore called for the two most capable, godly and prominent leaders to supervise the potentially controversial land distribution, the spiritual leader and the military leader. Note that the actual assignment of lands is recorded in Joshua 13–19. 

Wiersbe - God assigned the tribes their inheritance and set their boundaries, but He used human leaders to do it. What a privilege it is to help people claim their inheritance from God! We must accept what God assigns to us and not complain or covet what others possess. Some land fronted on wilderness (v. 3), and other portions faced the Great Sea (v. 6). Some tribes had mountains in their territory. Like Canaan, the Christian life is “a land of hills and valleys” (Deut. 11:11), and our God is a God of both the hills and the valleys (1 Kings 20:23ff.). He knows what is best for us, and He is always with us. When you are tempted to complain about what God has assigned to you, ponder John 3:27 and 1 Corinthians 4:7; 12:4–7, 11. Through faith in Christ, we can be content with our lot (Phil. 4:11–13).

TSK on these are the names - It is worthy of remark, that Moses does not follow any order hitherto used in arranging the tribes, but places them exactly in the order in which they possessed the land, and according to their fraternal relationship.  Judah is first, having the first lot, in the South (Jos ch. 15); and next to him is Simeon, because his inheritance was "within the inheritance of the children of Judah." (Jos 19:1.)  Benjamin, the third, had his portion between "Judah and the children of Joseph." (Jos 18:11.)  Dan was the fourth, and his lot was westward of Benjamin.  (Jos 19:40, 41.)  Manasseh and his brother Ephraim had their inheritances behind that of Benjamin.  (Jos 16:7.) Next these dwelt Zebulun and Issachar, (Jos 19:10-17;) and then Asher and Naphtali.  (Jos 19:24-32.)

Numbers 34:18  "You shall take one leader of every tribe to apportion the land for inheritance.

NET  Numbers 34:18 You must take one leader from every tribe to assist in allocating the land as an inheritance.

NLT  Numbers 34:18 Enlist one leader from each tribe to help them with the task.

ESV  Numbers 34:18 You shall take one chief from every tribe to divide the land for inheritance.

NIV  Numbers 34:18 And appoint one leader from each tribe to help assign the land.

DIRECTIONS TO ELEAZAR
AND JOSHUA

You shall take one leader of every tribe to apportion the land for inheritance - The NET has "to assist in allocating the land as an inheritance." These tribal leaders (except Caleb) are not mentioned elsewhere and are not even mentioned in connection with Joshua’s settling of the tribes in Joshua 14-19. 

Gilbrant comments that "Wonderfully, there was not much wrangling among the tribes about the eventual allotment. Ephraim and the half tribe of Manasseh thought it had too little room, but Joshua told them to go and conquer more (Josh. 17:14-18). The principle had already been stated: the larger tribes were to get a larger area." (Ibid)

Numbers 34:19  "These are the names of the men: of the tribe of Judah, Caleb the son of Jephunneh.

  • Caleb (KJV): Nu 13:30 14:6,24,30,38 26:65 
  • Numbers 34 Resources - Multiples Sermons and Commentaries

BEGINNING OF APPORTIONING
LAND TO EACH TRIBE - JUDAH FIRST

These are the names of the men: of the tribe of Judah, Caleb the son of Jephunneh - The leader of Judah was the famous name Caleb. Recall the promise God had given him in Nu 14:24+ "But My servant Caleb, because he has had a different spirit and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land which he entered, and his descendants shall take possession of it."

Currid - The order of tribes is given according to the area of settlement in Canaan from south to north. The first four tribes (Judah, Simeon, Benjamin, Dan) settle in the south. Dan later moves to the north, of course (Josh. 19:40–48). The next two tribes (Manasseh and Ephraim) settle in the central highlands of Canaan. And the last four tribes (Zebulun, Issachar, Asher and Naphtali) inherit land in northern Canaan. One important shift in the normal order of the tribes ought to be noted: Judah is mentioned first in the list, even before Simeon (cf. 26:12–14, 19–22). This probably demonstrates the position of prominence that Judah now has in the tribal structure of Israel. (Ibid) 

Irving Jensen - An interesting observation is the translation of each personal name:

  •  Judah: Caleb, “attacker, seizer”
  •  Simeon: Shemuel, “heard of God”
  •  Benjamin: Elidad, “loved of God”
  •  Dan: Bukki, “reverer of Jehovah”
  •  Joseph-Manasseh: Hanniel, “grace of God”
  •  Ephraim: Kemuel, “assembly of God”
  •  Zebulun: Elizaphan, “whom God shields”
  •  Issachar: Paltiel, “whom God rescues”
  •  Asher: Ahihud, “friend of union”
  •  Naphtali: Pedahel, “whom God redeems”

Numbers 34:20  "Of the tribe of the sons of Simeon, Samuel the son of Ammihud.

TRIBE OF
SIMEON

Of the tribe of the sons of Simeon, Samuel the son of Ammihud

Numbers 34:21  "Of the tribe of Benjamin, Elidad the son of Chislon.

TRIBE OF 
BENJAMIN

Of the tribe of Benjamin, Elidad the son of Chislon.

Numbers 34:22  "Of the tribe of the sons of Dan a leader, Bukki the son of Jogli.

TRIBE OF
DAN

Of the tribe of the sons of Dan a leader, Bukki the son of Jogli.

Numbers 34:23  "Of the sons of Joseph: of the tribe of the sons of Manasseh a leader, Hanniel the son of Ephod.

TRIBE OF
MANASSEH

Of the sons of Joseph: of the tribe of the sons of Manasseh a leader, Hanniel the son of Ephod

Numbers 34:24  "Of the tribe of the sons of Ephraim a leader, Kemuel the son of Shiphtan.

TRIBE OF 
EPHRAIM

Of the tribe of the sons of Ephraim a leader, Kemuel the son of Shiphtan

Numbers 34:25  "Of the tribe of the sons of Zebulun a leader, Elizaphan the son of Parnach.

TRIBE OF 
ZEBULUN

Of the tribe of the sons of Zebulun a leader, Elizaphan the son of Parnach

Numbers 34:26  "Of the tribe of the sons of Issachar a leader, Paltiel the son of Azzan.

Of the tribe of the sons of Issachar a leader, Paltiel the son of Azzan

Numbers 34:27  "Of the tribe of the sons of Asher a leader, Ahihud the son of Shelomi.

TRIBE OF
ASHER

Of the tribe of the sons of Asher a leader, Ahihud the son of Shelomi

Numbers 34:28  "Of the tribe of the sons of Naphtali a leader, Pedahel the son of Ammihud."

TRIBE OF
NAPHTALI

Of the tribe of the sons of Naphtali a leader, Pedahel the son of Ammihud

Numbers 34:29  These are those whom the LORD commanded to apportion the inheritance to the sons of Israel in the land of Canaan

APPORTIONMENT TO TRIBES
COMPLETED

These are those whom the LORD commanded to apportion the inheritance to the sons of Israel in the land of Canaan

Allen - The chapter ends in the report of accomplishment: “These are the men” (v.29). These are the names of the second generation; the leaders of the earlier listings were now dead. But with the outlines of the land now in mind, and with new leaders of the tribes now in place, certainly soon the new generation will begin its long-anticipated conquest of the land under the hand of God.

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