The Journey from Egypt to Canaan
As we conclude B’Midbar, the locations of the desert wanderings are listed for us – all 24 of them. These are the names by which they were known at the time of the Exodus, but since then they have been destroyed, rebuilt, and renamed a dozen times or more. Unfortunately, many of these place names have been lost to history. But we do learn two things from this passage: 1) The date of Aaron’s death = the 1st of Av. NOTE: Yeshua’s is the only other death date recorded in Scripture. 2) God’s warning should Israel not completely subdue The Land. NOTE: Israel did not completely subdue The Land and, as God warned, those areas where the Canaanites were not destroyed (Golan Heights, Gaza, and central areas around Jerusalem) are still thorns in Israel’s side today.
Israel’s Real Borders
Today Israel occupies only a small fraction of the land that God promised to them. We see here that Israel’s future borders will eventually extend from the Nile to the Euphrates and from central Saudi Arabia all the way to Turkey’s southern border.
The Cities of Refuge
God promises each of the 12 Tribes a portion of The Land according to their census. But to the Levites He promises 48 cities—6 of which are to be designated as Cities of Refuge (3 east of the Jordan and 3 west). Israel has no police force, no judicial system, and no prisons. A man found guilty of murder is to be punished by the victim’s next of kin according to the “eye-for-eye” decree.
A City of Refuge provides a sanctuary where a man guilty of accidental murder (manslaughter) can flee to, plead his case to the city elders, and if they are convinced it was accidental, be allowed to remain in the city protected from his avenger. He can live in the city but must remain within the city walls…until the death of the High Priest. Then he is free to leave and return to his previous life. This ancient practice seems to be another one of those strange Middle Eastern customs that has no relevance to us in the 21stCentury. But when we overlay Yeshua on this story, we see a perfect fit! Yeshua is our City of Refuge! Yeshua is our High Priest!
The Daughters of Zelophehad
This portion concludes by restating and clarifying the ruling God gave Moses concerning the distribution of a man’s inheritance to his daughters when there are no sons. We see again that this is the foundation of Yeshua’s claim to the Throne of David when He returns. Hallelujah!
While B’Midbar relates just a few of the events during Israel’s 40-year Exodus, we can see patterns developing – patterns of Yeshua in the Tanach. We see Yeshua in the formation of the Camp of Israel, in the Red Heifer Sacrifice, in the Brazen Serpent, in the Rock from which water poured, and in the Cities of Refuge. He is throughout theTanach. In John 5:39 Yeshua said, “Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life; and they are they which testify of Me.”