This week’s portion discusses the following topics: selection of judges, retelling of the story with the twelve spies, travels in the desert, encountering Ammon and the last episode in the desert.

How were theses judges chosen?

Moses told the Jewish people that they should designate for themselves men who are wise, understanding and known by their tribe. The Jewish people told Moses that he should make the decision.

Moses selected wise and well known men from amongst their tribal leaders and appointed them to serve the following positions: captains of thousands, captains of hundreds, captains of fifties, captains of tens and police officers for their tribe.

Did Moses give instructions to the judges?

Yes.

Listen to every dispute among your brethren, judge honestly between each man and his brother, do not give anyone special consideration when rendering judgment.

Listen to all claims both small and great. Remember to listen to the great and small alike.

What happened with the spies?

The spies brought back samples of fruit from the land of Israel before it was conquered. They also said that the race was larger and taller (children of giants) and had great cities fortified to the sky. This discouraged the Jewish people from wanting to fight for the land. Moses had to convince them that G-d will watch over them like He had done in Egypt.

How did G-d travel with the Jewish people in the desert?

G-d would carry the Jewish people along the way throughout their journeys. During the day a cloud went before them to clear away the path of any thorns etc… In the evening a pillar of fire would lighten up the path. He compared the love of G-d to that of a father who carries his son.

Who did G-d promise would enter the land of Israel?

The ones who will enter will be the children.
Who were these children?
When the spies came to tell the Jewish people about the land of Israel many were scared their children would be taken captive. It was these children who will be the victors and not the captors in their quest for Israel.

Did the Jewish people receive the land of Ammon?

No, it was given to the descendants of Lot as a heritage. This was considered the territory of the Rephaim (land of giants).

Where did Esau’s descendants live?

In Seir. Before, Esau’s descendants lived in Seir the Horites dwelled in that location.

How did the Jewish people conquer the land?

They crossed the Arnon Brook. Than they went to Sichon (Amorite king of Chesbon). The Jewish people asked if they could cross their boundaries. He refused and a battle broke out. The Jewish people conquered the land and its cities. When the battle was finished with Sichon another King named Og (of Bashan)met up with the Jews to battle with them as well.

What did Joshua tell the Jewish people after the above two lands were conquered?

Not to fear for G-d is the one who will be fighting for you.G-d will do the same to all the kingdoms in the land to which you (the Jews) will be crossing.

Next week we will read about the Ten Commandments