Numbers 32: But we like it here!


The children of Reuben and Gad, being cattle people, decided the liked the land of Gilead and asked Moses permission to settle there. Moses was enraged, God wants us to cross the Jordan, if you settle, you won’t help us take that land. So the tribe of Reuben and of Gad promised that they would indeed fight on behalf of Israel if they would be allowed to settle on this side of the Jordan. Moses agrees and they take over the cities.

In other words:

Two of the tribes want out but they don’t want to piss off Moses, so they strike a deal that allows them to settle down but still support and fight for the land of Canaan.

Favorite bit:

(Numbers 32:6-15) Where Moses tells them that if they settle down, they will be turning their back on God and that would be bad.

Second favorite bit:

(Numbers 32:16-28) When the tribes of Reuben and Gad argue successfully that they are still “with” the tribe, they will support them with their armies, they really aren’t abandoning the quest, they are just settling claim on land for the future. Yeah – that’s it!

Least favorite bit:

All the place names in Numbers 32:34-42 – it’s where the cities were built. They are meaningless to me. Interesting, but meaningless. Perhaps if we had a map!

Moral Lesson Learned:

Be flexible in negotiations (Numbers 32)
Always stand by your commitments (Numbers 32)