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Numbers - Chapter 32

Bible Study Notes

Numbers 32:1-27 Reuben and Gad requested to Moses and the chiefs of the congregation to occupy the land on the other side of the Jordan instead because they had much livestock and the area they conquered was suited well for livestock. Moses agreed to their request, but they had to send their fighting men to help the other tribes fight all the battles before they could return and settle in the land. The battle-ready men agreed that they will leave their wives, little children, and livestock behind in the cities of Gilead while they crossed the Jordan to fight with their brethren until all the other tribes had possessed their land.

Click here to see image of Jordan River.

Numbers 32:28-32 Moses passed on this arrangement to Eleazar and Joshua and to the heads of the fathers; houses of the tribes of the people of Israel. If Reuben and Gad go back on their word, they will have to abandon the land they requested and instead be given land on the same side of the Jordan as the other tribes.

Notes: It took seven years to conquer the land and seven years to settle the land.

Numbers 32:33-42 Moses agreed to give Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh (the other half being Ephraim – Joseph’s 2 sons) the Kingdom of Sihon, King of the Amorites and the kingdom of Og, King of Bashan, and all its cities and surroundings. Gad built 8 fortified cities and folds for their sheep. Reuben built 6 fortified cities. The sons of Machir, the son of Manasseh captured Gilead and dispossessed the Amorites that lived there and they took Gilead for their inheritance. Jair, the son of Manasseh, also captured villages and took possession of them. Nobah from the tribe of Manasseh also captured villages and took possession of them.


Notes: Once the agreement was reached with Reuben and Gad concerning settlement on the east side of the Jordan, the half-tribe of Manasseh, also rich with flocks, joined in seeking land in that territory. However, vv. 39–42 indicate that Manasseh conquered cities not yet taken and settled in the northern area of Gilead.

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