We are in the World Stream reading from the Easy-to-Read Version.
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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis
Lord Jesus, we have reached the end of Numbers. It was a trek that should have taken two years instead of 38 years. God, let us remain in your saving grace, for grace is what we need. Praises be to God. Amen.
34 – The land is divided and the directions for this division process are given here. Though they are talking it through in Nu. 34, the actual rigors of this process happen in Joshua 13-thru-22. Each tribe was to reside in, live off, farm, build and thrive on their allotment. It was theirs. Culturally this is how God wants things to be run. There are cultures of the world where “everyone owns everything”. Karl Marx had this notion in his Communist Manifesto. This led to the ‘collective farms’ and the land grabbing by a single entity by the government. The problem with this system is that it kills motivation to farm, build something, grow a society, manage things, manage anything for that matter. Consequently, everyone feels ownership of nothing. The mismanagement and the needs that go unmet due to the absence of initiative are unbearable. The pilgrims tried this plan of “all share and share all” their first full year in New England and it nearly starved them the rest of the way because of aimlessness that was soon obvious. Come summer 1622, Bradford their leader, realized that each family needed their own plot for growing their own food. The productivity was explosive as compared to the prior summer. And it was that autumn of 1622 that we learn of the great feast in the New World at Plymouth. The sharing with the Indians is still talked about today and it’s where we get the images in North America for Thanksgiving. The bounty that resulted from the private ownership of land due to endless motivation to produce is the Judeo-Christian concept that feeds much of the world today. Did you know that only countries with a Judeo-Christian heritage export food after feeding their own population? It’s a fact. The root of this whole development is set forth here in Nu. 34.
35 – Next are the divisions; the land allotment for the Levitical priests. They were to have a portion for growing enough to meet their needs and it was paced off precisely. The priests were not beggars as in much of the religions of Asia. Levitical priests were as productive as the next man in the country. And their presence among the people was a constant and ubiquitous reminder of the God who had called them to this land to be a nation that would be a testimony of the Light they were to be to the Gentiles. The cities of refuge were also set in place here and it occupies 25 verses of full explanation. These cities of refuge were established, not because of God and His personality, but because of ours. People who have a relative killed, even on accident are often in a nonsensical rage for a time. The retaliation, from an accident, often leads to abhorrent injustice. The whole thing becomes abysmal and huge beyond logic if the person who accidentally kills someone has no place to escape to until tempers and illogical emotions calm down. This chapter ends up having more affect upon the eventual legal systems of the world than we might suspect. The contingencies are detailed for accidental killing versus intentional killing, plus the accidental killing of someone who is caught in the “crossfire” even though no one was actually angry at them. In retrospect, don’t we wish that everyone would all calm down and care for eachother? Oh dear what would all the attorneys and judges and guards and prison wardens do then?