The last two chapters of Numbers neatly wrap up a host of lingering issues. In chapter 35, instructions are given regarding the inheritance to the Levites and the provision made for the six cities of refuge. In chapter 36, the ever-faithful daughters of Zelophehad reappear to remind that not all of Israel rebelled against the Lord for God always has a remnant on the earth.
The land of Canaan was designated by God to be Israel's promised inheritance. The general boundaries of this territory had been designated by God 400 years before Israel's approach to the land, but now, as the people are about to enter, God outlines with great specificity all the boundary markers encompassing the north, south, east, and west borders. Then God reiterates it will be Eleazar the priest and Joshua the son of Nun who distribute to each tribe their allotted land.
As the children of Israel prepare for the conquest, Moses pauses to review the journey thus far focusing primarily on geography rather than major events or incidents. Many of the places mentioned in this chapter have been lost to time, but enough is known that we can have a rough idea of the trek they made from Egypt through the wilderness and onward toward the promised land.
The tribes of Reuben and Gad made waves among the children of Israel when they, while the people of God were on the precipice of entering the promised land, made a request to stay on the east side of the Jordan River and not to cross with their brethren. Moses was troubled by this and brought it to the Lord. God made a decree regarding the situation, putting some stringent stipulations of these tribes going forward.
Numbers 31 can be a difficult chapter for Bible students. In it, God's judgement against the Midianites is poured out as He commands His people to destroy them. The Midianites had previously plotted against Israel to draw them into idolatry and sexual immorality. Thus, God had deemed their punishment to be death, likened unto the punishment of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Swearing an oath or committing to a vow was serious business to God. The Lord demands honesty and integrity from His people, and He expects them to follow though with their word. In this interesting chapter, God considers the obligation of vow-keeping in light of various relationship statuses in which women could find themselves.
The children of Israel were commanded by God to bring regular sacrifices to the Tabernacle in worship. These included daily, weekly, and monthly offerings, as well as those sacrifices made during the annual feasts. Numbers 28-29 outline the immense number of animals sacrificed over the course of a year.