Massey discusses: the journey of the Jewish people, occupying the land, land’s boundaries, distributing the land, Levitical cities, Refuge cities and property rights among tribes.
Did Moses (Moshe) take a recording of all the stops along the journey from Egypt?
Yes! All the stops were recorded and mapped out in this week’s portion.
What did G-d tell Moses to tell the Jewish people about settling in Canaan?
That they should drive out the land’s inhabitants, destroy all their carved stones (temples), destroy all their idols (carved stones and demolish all their cast metal idols and high alters).
How will the land of Israel be distributed?
A lottery system. (See Mattoth for more of an explanation) Each tribe was given a place to settle based on the lottery. Once the tribe received their land the portions were allocated based on family size. A larger family would receive a large portion and a smaller family would receive a smaller portion.
The southern sector:
Tzin Desert alongside Edom.
The southern border to the east shall be the edge of the dead sea. The border shall than turn to pass to the south of the Akrabim steps. It shall then pass towards Tzin with its southernmost point at Kadesh Barnea and than extend to Chatzar Adar and reach as far as Atzmon.From Atzmon the border shall turn north and follow the Egyptian Wadi which shall be its far boundary to the west.
The western boundary
It shall be the Mediterranean Sea and its shores.
From the Mediterranean Sea draw a line to Hor Mountain from Hor Mountain draw a line along the Chamath Highway so that the extreme edge of the boundary is toward Tzedad. The border shall then extend through Zifron with its extreme end at Chatzar Eynan.
Draw a line from Chatzar Eynan to Shefam. The boundary shall draw a line from Chatzar Eynan to Shefam. The boundary shall then run southward from Shefam to Rivlah to the east of Eyin. Continue to the south the boundary shall run along the eastern shore of the Kinnereth Sea. The boundary shall than continue south along the Jordan, continuing until the Dead Sea.
Who was responsible for allocating the land once the lottery was taken?
G-d told Moses that one leader would be picked from each tribe to allocate the inherited lands. Eleazar the priest and Joshua son of Nun would work alongside the appointed leaders from each tribe.
Where did the Levites live if they didn’t receive any inherited property?
Each tribe shall give in proportion to their hereditary property. The tribes allocated lands in the suburbs for their animals, property and other amenities. They lived in the cities. In addition the Levites shall be given six refuge cities.
What were the six refuge cities?
These were the places a murder can flee if they killed accidentally. Therefore, a person could live to stand trial and not be avenged for the death he committed.
What happens if the person is not found guilty?
He is returned to the refuge city to which he fled. The killer must live there until the death of the high priest anointed with the sacred oil.
How is he found guilty?
He is found guilty on the basis of eyewitness testimony. A single eyewitness may not testify against a person where the death penalty is involved.
What happens if the person is found guilty?
He would be put to death for murder. After the trial if he is found guilty than the blood avenger shall kill the murder. (Wherever he finds him)
What happens if a father had no sons to inherit the land?
The daughters would inherit it. They must marry in their tribe so the land can continue to stay within their tribes boundaries.