Deuteronomy 1: 13‘Choose wise and discerning and experienced men from your tribes, and I will appoint them as your heads.’ 14“You answered me and said, ‘The thing which you have said to do is good.’ 15“So I took the heads of your tribes, wise and experienced men, and appointed them heads over you……16“Then I charged your judges at that time, saying, ‘Hear the cases between your fellow countrymen, and judge righteously…… 17‘You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small and the great alike. You shall not fear man, for the judgment is God’s.
Where Numbers leaves off, Deuteronomy begins: delegation. The Lord chose men who were proven to be respected, wise, and understanding. They were to show no partiality, hearing all men alike. And this would allow them to fear no one, as judgment belongs to the Lord. Their decisions, while no doubt may bring about some untoward behavior from the losing side, can be made freely, as long as they are made with no impartiality, as the only judgment that counts is that of the Lord.
Israel’s History after the Exodus
1These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel across the Jordan in the wilderness, in the Arabah opposite Suph, between Paran and Tophel and Laban and Hazeroth and Dizahab. 2It is eleven days’ journey from Horeb by the way of Mount Seir to Kadesh-barnea. 3In the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses spoke to the children of Israel, according to all that the LORD had commanded him to give to them, 4after he had defeated Sihon the king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, who lived in Ashtaroth and Edrei. 5Across the Jordan in the land of Moab, Moses undertook to expound this law, saying,
6“The LORD our God spoke to us at Horeb, saying, ‘You have stayed long enough at this mountain. 7‘Turn and set your journey, and go to the hill country of the Amorites, and to all their neighbors in the Arabah, in the hill country and in the lowland and in the Negev and by the seacoast, the land of the Canaanites, and Lebanon, as far as the great river, the river Euphrates. 8‘See, I have placed the land before you; go in and possess the land which the LORD swore to give to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to them and their descendants after them.’
9“I spoke to you at that time, saying, ‘I am not able to bear the burden of you alone. 10‘The LORD your God has multiplied you, and behold, you are this day like the stars of heaven in number. 11‘May the LORD, the God of your fathers, increase you a thousand-fold more than you are and bless you, just as He has promised you! 12‘How can I alone bear the load and burden of you and your strife? 13‘Choose wise and discerning and experienced men from your tribes, and I will appoint them as your heads.’ 14“You answered me and said, ‘The thing which you have said to do is good.’ 15“So I took the heads of your tribes, wise and experienced men, and appointed them heads over you, leaders of thousands and of hundreds, of fifties and of tens, and officers for your tribes.
16“Then I charged your judges at that time, saying, ‘Hear the cases between your fellow countrymen, and judge righteously between a man and his fellow countryman, or the alien who is with him. 17‘You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small and the great alike. You shall not fear man, for the judgment is God’s. The case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it.’ 18“I commanded you at that time all the things that you should do.
19“Then we set out from Horeb, and went through all that great and terrible wilderness which you saw on the way to the hill country of the Amorites, just as the LORD our God had commanded us; and we came to Kadesh-barnea. 20“I said to you, ‘You have come to the hill country of the Amorites which the LORD our God is about to give us. 21‘See, the LORD your God has placed the land before you; go up, take possession, as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has spoken to you. Do not fear or be dismayed.’
22“Then all of you approached me and said, ‘Let us send men before us, that they may search out the land for us, and bring back to us word of the way by which we should go up and the cities which we shall enter.’ 23“The thing pleased me and I took twelve of your men, one man for each tribe. 24“They turned and went up into the hill country, and came to the valley of Eshcol and spied it out. 25“Then they took some of the fruit of the land in their hands and brought it down to us; and they brought us back a report and said, ‘It is a good land which the LORD our God is about to give us.’
26“Yet you were not willing to go up, but rebelled against the command of the LORD your God; 27and you grumbled in your tents and said, ‘Because the LORD hates us, He has brought us out of the land of Egypt to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites to destroy us. 28‘Where can we go up? Our brethren have made our hearts melt, saying, “The people are bigger and taller than we; the cities are large and fortified to heaven. And besides, we saw the sons of the Anakim there.”’ 29“Then I said to you, ‘Do not be shocked, nor fear them. 30‘The LORD your God who goes before you will Himself fight on your behalf, just as He did for you in Egypt before your eyes, 31and in the wilderness where you saw how the LORD your God carried you, just as a man carries his son, in all the way which you have walked until you came to this place.’ 32“But for all this, you did not trust the LORD your God, 33who goes before you on your way, to seek out a place for you to encamp, in fire by night and cloud by day, to show you the way in which you should go.
34“Then the LORD heard the sound of your words, and He was angry and took an oath, saying, 35‘Not one of these men, this evil generation, shall see the good land which I swore to give your fathers, 36except Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him and to his sons I will give the land on which he has set foot, because he has followed the LORD fully.’ 37“The LORD was angry with me also on your account, saying, ‘Not even you shall enter there. 38‘Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall enter there; encourage him, for he will cause Israel to inherit it. 39‘Moreover, your little ones who you said would become a prey, and your sons, who this day have no knowledge of good or evil, shall enter there, and I will give it to them and they shall possess it. 40‘But as for you, turn around and set out for the wilderness by the way to the Red Sea.’
41“Then you said to me, ‘We have sinned against the LORD; we will indeed go up and fight, just as the LORD our God commanded us.’ And every man of you girded on his weapons of war, and regarded it as easy to go up into the hill country. 42“And the LORD said to me, ‘Say to them, “Do not go up nor fight, for I am not among you; otherwise you will be defeated before your enemies.”’ 43“So I spoke to you, but you would not listen. Instead you rebelled against the command of the LORD, and acted presumptuously and went up into the hill country. 44“The Amorites who lived in that hill country came out against you and chased you as bees do, and crushed you from Seir to Hormah. 45“Then you returned and wept before the LORD; but the LORD did not listen to your voice nor give ear to you. 46“So you remained in Kadesh many days, the days that you spent there.
Wanderings in the Wilderness
1“Then we turned and set out for the wilderness by the way to the Red Sea, as the LORD spoke to me, and circled Mount Seir for many days. 2“And the LORD spoke to me, saying, 3‘You have circled this mountain long enough. Now turn north, 4and command the people, saying, “You will pass through the territory of your brothers the sons of Esau who live in Seir; and they will be afraid of you. So be very careful; 5do not provoke them, for I will not give you any of their land, even as little as a footstep because I have given Mount Seir to Esau as a possession. 6“You shall buy food from them with money so that you may eat, and you shall also purchase water from them with money so that you may drink. 7“For the LORD your God has blessed you in all that you have done; He has known your wanderings through this great wilderness. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you; you have not lacked a thing.”’
8“So we passed beyond our brothers the sons of Esau, who live in Seir, away from the Arabah road, away from Elath and from Ezion-geber. And we turned and passed through by the way of the wilderness of Moab. 9“Then the LORD said to me, ‘Do not harass Moab, nor provoke them to war, for I will not give you any of their land as a possession, because I have given Ar to the sons of Lot as a possession. 10(The Emim lived there formerly, a people as great, numerous, and tall as the Anakim. 11Like the Anakim, they are also regarded as Rephaim, but the Moabites call them Emim. 12The Horites formerly lived in Seir, but the sons of Esau dispossessed them and destroyed them from before them and settled in their place, just as Israel did to the land of their possession which the LORD gave to them.) 13‘Now arise and cross over the brook Zered yourselves.’ So we crossed over the brook Zered. 14“Now the time that it took for us to come from Kadesh-barnea until we crossed over the brook Zered was thirty-eight years, until all the generation of the men of war perished from within the camp, as the LORD had sworn to them. 15“Moreover the hand of the LORD was against them, to destroy them from within the camp until they all perished.
16“So it came about when all the men of war had finally perished from among the people, 17that the LORD spoke to me, saying, 18‘Today you shall cross over Ar, the border of Moab. 19‘When you come opposite the sons of Ammon, do not harass them nor provoke them, for I will not give you any of the land of the sons of Ammon as a possession, because I have given it to the sons of Lot as a possession.’ 20(It is also regarded as the land of the Rephaim, for Rephaim formerly lived in it, but the Ammonites call them Zamzummin, 21a people as great, numerous, and tall as the Anakim, but the LORD destroyed them before them. And they dispossessed them and settled in their place, 22just as He did for the sons of Esau, who live in Seir, when He destroyed the Horites from before them; they dispossessed them and settled in their place even to this day. 23And the Avvim, who lived in villages as far as Gaza, the Caphtorim who came from Caphtor, destroyed them and lived in their place.) 24‘Arise, set out, and pass through the valley of Arnon. Look! I have given Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land into your hand; begin to take possession and contend with him in battle. 25‘This day I will begin to put the dread and fear of you upon the peoples everywhere under the heavens, who, when they hear the report of you, will tremble and be in anguish because of you.’
26“So I sent messengers from the wilderness of Kedemoth to Sihon king of Heshbon with words of peace, saying, 27‘Let me pass through your land, I will travel only on the highway; I will not turn aside to the right or to the left. 28‘You will sell me food for money so that I may eat, and give me water for money so that I may drink, only let me pass through on foot, 29just as the sons of Esau who live in Seir and the Moabites who live in Ar did for me, until I cross over the Jordan into the land which the LORD our God is giving to us.’ 30“But Sihon king of Heshbon was not willing for us to pass through his land; for the LORD your God hardened his spirit and made his heart obstinate, in order to deliver him into your hand, as he is today. 31“The LORD said to me, ‘See, I have begun to deliver Sihon and his land over to you. Begin to occupy, that you may possess his land.’
32“Then Sihon with all his people came out to meet us in battle at Jahaz. 33“The LORD our God delivered him over to us, and we defeated him with his sons and all his people. 34“So we captured all his cities at that time and utterly destroyed the men, women and children of every city. We left no survivor. 35“We took only the animals as our booty and the spoil of the cities which we had captured. 36“From Aroer which is on the edge of the valley of Arnon and from the city which is in the valley, even to Gilead, there was no city that was too high for us; the LORD our God delivered all over to us. 37“Only you did not go near to the land of the sons of Ammon, all along the river Jabbok and the cities of the hill country, and wherever the LORD our God had commanded us.
1“Then we turned and went up the road to Bashan, and Og, king of Bashan, with all his people came out to meet us in battle at Edrei. 2“But the LORD said to me, ‘Do not fear him, for I have delivered him and all his people and his land into your hand; and you shall do to him just as you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon.’ 3“So the LORD our God delivered Og also, king of Bashan, with all his people into our hand, and we smote them until no survivor was left. 4“We captured all his cities at that time; there was not a city which we did not take from them: sixty cities, all the region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan. 5“All these were cities fortified with high walls, gates and bars, besides a great many unwalled towns. 6“We utterly destroyed them, as we did to Sihon king of Heshbon, utterly destroying the men, women and children of every city. 7“But all the animals and the spoil of the cities we took as our booty.
8“Thus we took the land at that time from the hand of the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, from the valley of Arnon to Mount Hermon 9(Sidonians call Hermon Sirion, and the Amorites call it Senir): 10all the cities of the plateau and all Gilead and all Bashan, as far as Salecah and Edrei, cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan. 11(For only Og king of Bashan was left of the remnant of the Rephaim. Behold, his bedstead was an iron bedstead; it is in Rabbah of the sons of Ammon. Its length was nine cubits and its width four cubits by ordinary cubit.)
12“So we took possession of this land at that time. From Aroer, which is by the valley of Arnon, and half the hill country of Gilead and its cities I gave to the Reubenites and to the Gadites. 13“The rest of Gilead and all Bashan, the kingdom of Og, I gave to the half-tribe of Manasseh, all the region of Argob (concerning all Bashan, it is called the land of Rephaim. 14Jair the son of Manasseh took all the region of Argob as far as the border of the Geshurites and the Maacathites, and called it, that is, Bashan, after his own name, Havvoth-jair, as it is to this day.) 15“To Machir I gave Gilead. 16“To the Reubenites and to the Gadites I gave from Gilead even as far as the valley of Arnon, the middle of the valley as a border and as far as the river Jabbok, the border of the sons of Ammon; 17the Arabah also, with the Jordan as a border, from Chinnereth even as far as the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, at the foot of the slopes of Pisgah on the east.
18“Then I commanded you at that time, saying, ‘The LORD your God has given you this land to possess it; all you valiant men shall cross over armed before your brothers, the sons of Israel. 19‘But your wives and your little ones and your livestock (I know that you have much livestock) shall remain in your cities which I have given you, 20until the LORD gives rest to your fellow countrymen as to you, and they also possess the land which the LORD your God will give them beyond the Jordan. Then you may return every man to his possession which I have given you.’ 21“I commanded Joshua at that time, saying, ‘Your eyes have seen all that the LORD your God has done to these two kings; so the LORD shall do to all the kingdoms into which you are about to cross. 22‘Do not fear them, for the LORD your God is the one fighting for you.’
23“I also pleaded with the LORD at that time, saying, 24‘O Lord GOD, You have begun to show Your servant Your greatness and Your strong hand; for what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as Yours? 25‘Let me, I pray, cross over and see the fair land that is beyond the Jordan, that good hill country and Lebanon.’ 26“But the LORD was angry with me on your account, and would not listen to me; and the LORD said to me, ‘Enough! Speak to Me no more of this matter. 27‘Go up to the top of Pisgah and lift up your eyes to the west and north and south and east, and see it with your eyes, for you shall not cross over this Jordan. 28‘But charge Joshua and encourage him and strengthen him, for he shall go across at the head of this people, and he will give them as an inheritance the land which you will see.’ 29“So we remained in the valley opposite Beth-peor.
Psalm 37:21 The wicked borrows and does not pay back,
But the righteous is gracious and gives.
22 For those blessed by Him will inherit the land,
But those cursed by Him will be cut off.
23 The steps of a man are established by the LORD,
And He delights in his way.
24 When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong,
Because the LORD is the One who holds his hand.
25 I have been young and now I am old,
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
Or his descendants begging bread.
26 All day long he is gracious and lends,
And his descendants are a blessing.
27 Depart from evil and do good,
So you will abide forever.
28 For the LORD loves justice
And does not forsake His godly ones;
They are preserved forever,
But the descendants of the wicked will be cut off.
29 The righteous will inherit the land
And dwell in it forever