Numbers 34:2

(2, 3) When ye come . . . --Better, Ye are entering into the land of Canaan; this is the land which shall fall unto you for an inheritance, (even) the land of Canaan, according to the borders thereof. And your south quarter (or, district) shall be from the wilderness of Zin by the side of Edom; and your south border shall be from the extremity of the salt sea eastward (or, on the east). It was important for the Israelites to be taught that, whilst divinely commissioned to exterminate the idolatrous inhabitants of the land of Canaan, they had no commission to make aggressive wars upon the surrounding nations which were beyond the confines of the land which was allotted to them. The southern boundary which is here described is the same as that of the tribe of Judah, as described in Joshua 15:1-2. The land of the Israelites was to extend towards the south as far as the wilderness of Zin, which was to divide their territory from that of the Edomites.

Chapter 34:2. - Into the land of Canaan. Canaan has here its proper signification as the land (roughly speaking) between Jordan and the sea (so in Numbers 32:32; Joshua 22:11, 82). Nor is there any clear instance of its including the trans-Jordanic territories. In the prophets the word reverts to its proper (etymological) meaning, as the "flat country" along the Mediterranean coast (cf. Isaiah 19:18; Zephaniah 2:5; Matthew 15:22). This is the land that shall fall unto you. These words should not be placed in a parenthesis; it is a simple statement in the tautological style so common in these books. With the coasts thereof, or, "according to its boundaries," i.e., within the limits which nature and the Divine decree had set to the land of Canaan.

34:1-15 Canaan was of small extent; as it is here bounded, it is but about 160 miles in length, and about 50 in breadth; yet this was the country promised to the father of the faithful, and the possession of the seed of Israel. This was that little spot of ground, in which alone, for many ages, God was known. This was the vineyard of the Lord, the garden enclosed; but as it is with gardens and vineyards, the narrowness of the space was made up by the fruitfulness of the soil. Though the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof, yet few know him, and serve him; but those few are happy, because fruitful to God. Also, see how little a share of the world God gives to his own people. Those who have their portion in heaven, have reason to be content with a small pittance of this earth. Yet a little that a righteous man has, having it from the love of God, and with his blessing, is far better and more comfortable than the riches of many wicked.Command the children of Israel, and say unto them,.... Not to fix the borders, and settle the boundaries of the land, for that is done by the Lord himself, who has determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of men's habitations, and particularly of Israel, see Deuteronomy 32:8, but to observe and take notice of the limits he had fixed, that they might know how far they were to go on every side, whom they were to drive out, and what they were to divide and inherit, and see what was their right, and preserve it from the encroachments of their neighbours, as well as observe the goodness of God unto them, in thus providing for them:

when ye come into the land of Canaan; to take possession of it by virtue of a grant of it to them:

this is the land that shall fall unto you for an inheritance; it is said to "fall", because it was divided by lot, each tribe having such a part of it assigned to them, according to the lot that came up unto them: even

the land of Canaan, with the coasts thereof; or according to its borders, which are as follow.

Numbers 34:1
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