We now come to the last of the 5 Books of Moses. This book combines and recalls the events of the other books in the Torah, and is a wonderful work of narration and prophecy. Moses starts by going back to the days when the Children of Israel first came out of Egypt, and he reminds them that he set up judges to attend to the daily need of resolving disputes among the people. He then recalled how they were to enter the Land, but when they sent out spies how the spies gave a bad report, resulting (ultimately) in not only being condemned to the desert for 40 years, but also suffering a devastating military defeat. Moses recounts their travels, and how they were not to attack or take possession of the lands of the Edomites or Ammonites. He then comes to the present day, recalling to them their recent defeat of Og and Sihon, and that the tribes of Gad, Reuben and half of Manasseh will have those lands on the East of the Jordan that had been possessed by these two kings. The last part of this portion is when Moses reminds these tribes they are to go over into the land with the rest of the Israelites and fight with them until they have secured their own lands. He tells Joshua that God will be with them in Canaan, as He was with them against Og and Sihon, and to go boldly to take possession and not be afraid.
I find it very interesting, especially in today’s geopolitical context regarding the state of Israel and it’s neighbors, that God tells Moses the people are not to have any of the land of the Edomites (children of Esau), Ammonites or Moabites (descendants of Lot) because God gave it to them as their own possession.
These lands today represent Syria (Edomites) and Jordan (Ammonites.) These two ancient enemies of Israel are still attacking Israel and claiming that Israel has no right to their own land, while all the while Israel has never tried to take the land of Jordan or Syria away from those that live there. Israel is still honoring God’s commandments given through Moses some 3500 years ago, which commanded us to not attack and take the land that God gave them. Yet, the people whose lands we respect as their biblical right to own are not respecting our biblical right to our own land!
Since they don’t care about what the bible says regarding Israel’s right to our land, maybe we should do the same with regards to their land? I believe that if Israel wanted to take over Jordan and Syria, it would be done so quickly that even before the U.N. could react it would be over.
So why don’t we? We don’t because we do as God says, and therefore we leave Jordan and Syria alone to their own people. Given the way things are in both those countries, there isn’t much to take over, anyway. They are destroying themselves.
Here, again, the Torah (which is thousands of years old) still has value and is meaningful in the current world. The commandments to the Jewish people, which are meant for all people, everywhere, when upheld and honored yield blessings. Israel was told to leave those countries alone, and those countries have constantly attacked Israel, yet Israel thrives: economically, scientifically, technologically and socially. Meanwhile, Jordan and Syria are falling to pieces through internal strife and civil war, which is tearing them apart.
Those who honor God will be blessed, and those that reject God and come against His people will be cursed. We’re seeing it today! Right there in the Middle east, and we have been seeing it since 1948.
When will they ever learn?