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Numbers Chapter 34
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Deuteronomy

The Land's Boundaries
34:1 God spoke to Moses, telling him to
34:2 give the Israelites instructions and say to them:

When you come to the land of Canaan, this is the land within the borders of the land of Canaan that shall be your hereditary territory.

34:3 Your southern sector shall begin in the Tzin Desert alongside Edom. The southern border to the east shall be the edge of the Dead Sea.
34:4 The border shall then turn to pass to the south of the Akrabim Steps. It shall then pass toward Tzin with its southernmost point at Kadesh Barnea, and then extend to Chatzar Adar and reach as far as Atzmon.
34:5 From Atzmon the border shall turn [north] and follow the Egyptian Wadi which shall be its far boundary to the west.
34:6 The western boundary shall be the Mediterranean Sea and [its] shores. This shall be your western border.
34:7 This shall be your northern boundary. From the Mediterranean Sea, draw a line to Hor Mountain.
34:8 From Hor Mountain draw a line along the Chamath Highway, so that the extreme edge of the boundary is toward Tzedad.
34:9 The border shall then extend through Zifron, with its extreme end at Chatzar Eynan. This shall be your northern border.
34:10 For your eastern boundary, you shall draw a line from Chatzar Eynan to Shefam.
34:11 The boundary shall then run southward from Shefam to Rivlah to the east of Eyin. Continuing to the south, the boundary shall run along the eastern shore of the Kinnereth Sea.
34:12 The boundary shall then continue south along the Jordan, continuing until the Dead Sea.

All these shall be your boundaries on all sides.

34:13 Moses gave the Israelites the following instructions:

This is the land that God commanded you to give to nine tribes and a half tribe, and which you must distribute as hereditary property through a lottery system.

34:14 However, the tribe of the Reubenite descendants, the Gaddite descendants, and half the tribe of Manasseh have already taken their hereditary property.
34:15 These two and a half tribes have already taken their hereditary property across the Jordan from Jericho, to the east.

New Leadership
34:16 God spoke to Moses, saying:
34:17 These are the names of the men who shall parcel out the land. [First, there shall be] Eleazar the priest and Joshua son of Nun.
34:18 You shall also appoint one leader from each tribe to help parcel out the land.
34:19 These are the names of the men:

For the tribe of Judah, Caleb son of Yefuneh.

34:20 For the tribe of Simeon's descendants, Shemuel son of Amihud.
34:21 For the tribe of Benjamin, Elidad son of Kislon.
34:22 For the tribe of Dan's descendants, the leader is Bukki son of Yagli.
34:23 Among Joseph's sons, for the tribe of Manasseh's descendants, the leader is Chaniel son of Ephod.
34:24 For the tribe of Ephraim's descendants, the leader is Kemuel son of Shiftan.
34:25 For the tribe of Zebulun's descendants, the leader is Elitzafan son of Parnakh.
34:26 For the tribe of Issachar's descendants, the leader is Paltiel son of Azzan.
34:27 For the tribe of Asher's descendants, the leader is Achihud son of Shelomi.
34:28 For the tribe of Naphtali's descendants, the leader is Pedah-el son of Amihud.
34:29 These are the [men] whom God commanded to distribute to the Israelites their hereditary property in the land of Canaan.



Commentary:

begin
  (cf. Saadia).

Tzin Desert
  See Numbers 13:21, 20:1. The Tzin Desert is the area to the southwest of the Dead Sea. This also formed the southern border of Judah (Joshua 15:1).

edge of the Dead Sea
  Apparently this is the southern shore of the Dead Sea; see Joshua 15:2.

Akrabim Steps
  Or, 'Ascent of Scorpions;' see Joshua 15:3, Judges 1:36. This denotes the mountains to the southwest of the Dead Sea. It is one of the passes that lead to the northern slope of Wadi el-Fikreh.

Tzin
  See note on Numbers 34:3.

its southern most point at...
  (Saadia). Or, 'to the south of' (Rashi).

Kadesh Barnea
  See Numbers, 32:8. It is thought to be some 63 miles southwest of the Dead Sea, either at the present Eyn Kadis, or Eyn el-Kuderath. Others say that it is in the area of Petra, some 48 miles due south of the Dead Sea.

Chatzar Adar
  Rendered as 'Temples of Adarya' (Targum Yonathan), or, 'Village of Arad' (Septuagint). Saadia translates it as Rapiach, the same as he does chatzeroth in Deuteronomy 2:23. It is thought to be Khirbet el-qudeirat, 5 miles northwest of Kadesh Barnea (Eyn Kadis). In Joshua 15:3, the points are given as Chetzron, Addar and Karka.

Atzmon
  This is identified as Kesam (Targum Yonathan), which is Queseimah or Kutzemah, 5 miles west of Chatzar Adar. Saadia renders it Menazel.

Egyptian Wadi
  Wadi el Arish (Saadia; Kaftor VaPherach 11, 41b). See note on Genesis 15:18, Exodus 23:31. This is some 80 miles west of the Dead Sea, in the middle of the Sinai Peninsula.

Mediterranean Sea
  Literally, 'Great Sea.'

its
  (Saadia). This includes offshore islands (Rashi) and prominatories (Targum Yonathan).

draw a line
  (Targum; Bachya). Or, 'mark a boundary' (Saadia; Radak, Sherashim), or, 'turn around' (Rashi).

Hor Mountain
  This is not the same Hor Mountain as in Numbers 33:37 (Abarbanel; Paaneach Razah). This is identified with Amanah mountains (Targum Yonathan; Rashi, Gittin 8a, s.v. Eyzehu), which are usually identified with Jebel Zebedani, the range passing through Lebanon and Syria. See Song of Songs (Rashi ad loc.), 2 Kings 5:12. It may also be Mount Amanus, the modern Giaour Dagh. Other sources identify it with Banas, possibly associated with the modern Baniyas on the Syrian Coast. Some say that it is the mountain El Hori Adah, some 15 miles south of Latakia, on the Syrian Coast due west of Chamath (Kaftor VaPherach 11, 42a). It would be some 160 miles south of the present Israeli border.

Chamath Highway
  See Numbers, 13:21; 2 Kings 14:25. Chamath is a city in Syria, some 50 miles from the Mediterranean; the modern Hamah.

Some sources note that Chamath is near Antioch (Targum Yerushalmi; Rashi). Others note that the boundary line runs approximately from the Amanah Mountains to Tiberias (Targum Yonathan).

Tzedad
  See Ezekiel 47:15. The Septuagint renders it as Saradac. Tzedad is thought to be Sedad, some 70 miles east of Byblos, and 55 miles south of Chamath. This would indicate that the border turns sharply south at Chamath. Others identify Tzedad with the Baghche Pass.

Other sources identify Tzedad with Khirbet Serada, north of Abil, East of Merj Ajun, toward Hermon. Ancient sources state that Tzedad is Avlas of Kilka'ey (Targum Yerushalmi), which is probably Avlas in Cilicia, or Pylae Ciliciae on the northeast corner of the Mediterranean.

Zifron
  This is possibly Zifran, which is northeast of Damascus or Zaferane between Chums and Chamath. The Septuagint renders it as Defrona. Some say that this is Afrin, on the river of the same name.

Chatzar Eynan
  See Ezekiel 47:17, 48:1. This is the northeast border (Rashi). Some identify this with Al Qaryatein, 80 miles northeast of Damascus. Classic sources identify it with Chatzan Alakrat, some 30 miles southwest of Chamath (Kaftor VaPherach 11, 42b). Others identify it with Aintab.

Shefam
  Identified as Sepphamar (Septuagint), Paamia (Saadia), or, Afmia (Targum Yonathan). Some say that this is Apamea, east of the lower Orontes valley, now known as Kulat el-Mudik.

southward
  Literally, 'down.'

Rivlah
  This is identified as Dafne (Targum Yonathan; Saadia), the current Khirbet Dafne, 10 miles north of Lake Hulah. The Septuagint renders it as Bela. It appears obvious that the border veers sharply toward the west, most probably at Shefam.

Eyin
  A proper name (Targum; Rashi), or, 'the spring' (Septuagint).

run along
  Or, 'strike' (Radak, Sherashim; Bachya), or, 'become obliterated' (HaKethav VeHaKabbalah).

Kinnereth...
  That is, the Sea of Gallilee.

half tribe
  The other half of Manasseh; see Numbers 32:33.

lottery system
  Numbers 26:55.

parcel out
  (Saadia). Or, 'make inherit.'

Caleb...
  See Numbers 13:6.

Shemuel
  The same as the name of the prophet, known in English as Samuel.

Amihud
  A common name, see Numbers 1:10, 34:28.

Elidad
  Some identify him with Eldad in Numbers 11:26 (q.v.; Baal HaTurim; cf. Septuagint).

Yagli
  Or, Yogli.

Kemuel...
  Some identify him with Medad in Numbers 11:26 (q.v.; BeMidbar Rabbah 15:19).

Elitzafan...
  Some say that when Amram divorced Yochebed for a short time, Elitzafan married her, and she gave birth to Eldad and Medad (Targum Yonathan on Numbers 11:26). See Exodus 6:22, 1 Chronicles 15:5, 2 Chronicles 29:13.





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