Masei – Shlishi

Know Your Boundaries

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

G-d told Moshe to tell the Jews that when they crossed the river into Israel, they were to drive out the Canaanites and obliterate any trace of idolatry. If they fail to drive out the previous inhabitants, they will be a constant trap for the Jews, who would ultimately suffer the fates intended for their enemies. (Sadly, they failed to drive the Canaanites out, the idolators were a constant stumbling block for the Jews and they did suffer because of it.)

G-d told Moshe the boundaries of the land. On the south, it ran along the desert of Tzin by Edom to the Dead Sea. The southernmost point would be Kadesh Barnea. On the west, the boundary is the Mediterranean Sea. The northern border would extend from the Mediterranean to Mt. Hor and from there to a few other points. The eastern border runs down the Sea of Galilee. This land – Israel proper – would be divided by lottery among nine and a half Tribes, since two and a half Tribes were taking their portion in Trans-Jordan. (There are many other points named in defining the Biblical boundaries of Israel. Refer to verses 1-12 and a good map to get the full picture.)

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