- 1 The LORD told Moses:
- 2 Tell this to the people of Israel:
When you invade Canaan, every enemy within Canaan’s border will fall to you.
- 3 The Zin Desert will become your southern border. It will extend over to Edom’s border and up the southern tip of the Dead Sea.
- 4 From there it turns westward and then dips south to Scorpion Pass and then turns up in the direction of Zin and extends south of Kadesh-barnea. The southland border continues to Hazar-addar and on to Azmon.
- 5 And from Azmon, the boundary runs along the Dry Creek1 of Egypt and goes all the way to the Mediterranean Sea.
- 6 You have a natural boundary on the west coast: the Mediterranean Sea.
- 7 For your northern border, draw a line from the Mediterranean Sea to Mount Hor2 of the northland.
- 8 Stretch that line from Mount Hor to Lebo-hamath3 to Zedad.
- 9 Keep the line going to Ziphron and all the way to Hazarenan.4 That’s your northern border.
- 10 Now for your eastern border. Start your line at Hazar-enan. Run it south to Shepham.
- 11 Take the line down to Riblah along Ain’s east side. Run it down into the hills east of the Sea of Galilee.
- 12 Then take that line straight down the Jordan River, all the way to the Dead Sea. There you have it, the borders of your land on all four sides.
Choosing leaders to divide Canaan
- 13 Moses told the Israelites, “This is your land. You need to divide it among the nine and a half tribes5 settling on Canaan’s side of the Jordan River.
- 14 The tribes are Gad, Reuben, and half the tribe of Manasseh have already received their land.
- 15 They’ve settled east of the Jordan River, across the river from Jericho.”
- 16 The LORD told Moses:
- 17 Here are the names of the men I’ve chosen to divide the land among the people: Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun.
- 18 Assign one leader from every tribe to help them.
- 19 Here are the men I want you to enlist for that assignment:
Judah tribe: Caleb, son of Jephunneh.
- 20 Simeon: Samuel, son of Ammihud.
- 21 Benjamin: Elidad, son of Kislon.
- 22 Dan: Bukki, son of Jogli.
- 23 Manasseh: Hanniel son of Ephod and descendant of Joseph.
- 24 Ephraim: Kemuel, son of Shiphtan and descendant of Joseph.
- 25 Zebulun: Elizaphan, son of Parnach.
- 26 Issachar: Paltiel, son of Azzan.
- 27 Asher: Ahihud, son of Shelomi.
- 27 Naphtali: Pedahel, son of Ammihud.
- 29 The LORD chose these men to divide the land of Canaan among the clans and families in their tribes.
Literally “Wadi of Egypt.” Possibly today’s Wadi El-Arish. A wadi is a normally dry pathway that can become a river during a flash flood or in the rainy season of winter in what is now Israel and Palestinian Territories.
“Of the northland” is not in the Hebrew version, but this has to be another mountain by the same name as the one where Aaron died (33:37). If not, the northern border would be pretty disappointing. It’s 40 miles (65 km) from Israel’s southern border today. Hor in Hebrew means “mountain.” There were probably at least a few mountains by that name.
The Hebrew language calls the location lebo Hamath. This could mean the city of Lebo-hamath, in Lebanon, near where the Orontes River begins and the foot of Mount Hermon and Mount Lebanon. Or it could mean “entrance into Hamath” since lebo means “entrance.” Hamath was the name of a gateway into a mountain pass near Mount Hermon and Mount Lebanon. With either location, the idea was that the scouts traveled through all of Canaan, north to south.
Some scholars suggest the northern border location of Hazarenan is an oasis called Qayatein. It’s about 60 miles (95 km) east of Lebo-hamath and 70 miles (115 km) northeast of Damascus. That would place the boundary well into Syria and through perhaps most of Lebanon.
The other two and a half tribes are settling east of the Jordan River.