A fair division of the land

Last updated on January 25, 2024

“The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘These are the names of the men who shall divide the land to you for inheritance: Eleazar the priest and Joshua the son of Nun. You shall take one chief from every tribe to divide the land for inheritance.’” (Numbers 34:16-18)

The people of Israel were ready to conquer the promised land. Even before they moved, God gave instructions about the division of the land. Each tribe within Israel was to have its own territory to live in, which in turn was divided among the various families. In this process, the area was matched to the number of people a tribe or family counted (see Numbers 33:53-54). The location of everyone’s area was determined “by lot”. How this was done is not explained in detail. What we do know is that the outcome of this lot was accepted as a decision of the Lord God Himself (see Proverbs 16:33). The distribution of the land had to take place under the watchful eye of Joshua, the priest Eleazar and the leaders of each tribe. This ensured a fair procedure.

So Joshua’s leadership was not characterized by self-enrichment or backroom politics. On the contrary, the Lord God laid an important foundation for social equality with a fair distribution of land, and Joshua oversaw the implementation of this process.
What do you think, is it right for government leaders to enjoy certain privileges and status? Are they allowed to benefit from their position, or should there be no social difference at all?

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