Numbers 32 Commentary

Numbers 32 Commentary: Two and half tribes settle on the eastern side of the Jordan.

Israel begins to occupy the land. Three tribes request that they settle on the eastern side of the Jordan. But fearful of another rebellion Moses makes them promise that they would accompany their brothers into battle west of the Jordan.

Moses is very much aware of the potential trouble that this request might bring. He reminds the tribes of another rebellion that accounted for a mass clear-out. He knows very well that possession of the LORD’S promises hinges on obedience. The saint today does well to reflect on these pages with a sense of godly fear. The LORD’S promises are not an easy pick for just about everyone. Obedience is key.

One might want to reflect on Moses’ angry reaction with a question. Was he concerned that Israel’s military strength would be less by the two and half tribes? Indeed this appears to be the reason but why was he worried when the battle was actually the LORD’S. We want to believe the LORD fought for Israel.

His reference to the rebellion of chapters 13 and 14 may suggest his worry was elsewhere rather than on diminished military strength. Israel’s weak faith was fragile enough to be a factor in the battles ahead. They needed to feel humanly strong enough to take on the military campaigns on the western side of the Jordan.

The chapter may also raise a point in our direction to consider fellow saints even as we decide to settle. Have they settled or will they settle like we have? The point seems to be that the battle continues until my neighbor also settles. The comfort of a member of the household of faith is as important as my own comfort. It is a call to prayer for all saints, particularly those in troubled situations.

More resources visit

Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: