Story Thirty-Four

 •  8 min. read  •  grade level: 5
WHILE the Ĭś̝ ra-el-ītes were in their camp on the plain beside the river Jôŕ dan, at the foot of the mountains of Mṓ ab, God told Moses to count the number of the men who were old enough and strong enough to go forth to war. And Mṓ s̝es̝ caused the men to be counted who were above twenty years of age, and found them to be a little more than six hundred thousand in number. Besides these were the women and children.
And among them all were only three men who were above sixty years of age, men who had been more than twenty years old forty years before, when the Ĭś̝ ra-el-ītes came out of Ḗ ġy̆pt. The men who had been afraid to enter the land of Cā́ năan, when they were at Kā́ desh=bāŕ ne-ȧ the first time, had all died. Some of them had been slain by the enemies in war; some had died in the wilderness during the forty years; some had perished by the plague; some had been bitten by the fiery serpents. Of all those who had come out of Ḗ ġy̆pt as men, the only ones living were Mṓ s̝es̝, and Jŏsh-ú ȧ, and Caleb. Moses was now a hundred and twenty years old. 'He had lived forty years as a prince in Ḗ ġy̆pt, forty years as a shepherd in Mĭd́ ĭ-an, and forty years as the leader of Ĭś̝ ra-el in the wilderness. But although he was so very old, God had kept his strength. His eyes were as bright, his mind was as clear, and his arm and heart were as strong as they had been when he was a young man.
The people of Ĭś̝ ra-el had now full possession of all the land on the east of the river Jôŕ dan, from the brook Äŕ nŏn up to the great Mount Hēŕ mon. Much of this land was well fitted for pasture; for grass was green and rich, and there were many streams of water.
There were two of the twelve tribes, and half of another tribe, whose people had great flocks of sheep and goats, and herds of cattle.
These were the tribes which had sprung from Reṳ́ben and Gad, the sons of Jā́cob, and half of the tribe of Mā̇-năśseh, the son of Jṓ s̝eph.
For there were two tribes that had sprung from Jṓ s̝eph, his descendants, the tribes of É̄phră-ĭm and Mā-năś seh.
The men of Reṳ́ben, Găd, and half the men of Mā̇-năś seh came to Mṓ s̝es̝, and said: "The land on this side of the river is good for the feeding of sheep and cattle; and we are shepherds and herdsmen. Cannot we have our possessions on this side of the river, and give all the land beyond the river to our brothers of the, other tribes?” Mó̄ s̝es̝ was not pleased at this; for he thought that the men of these tribes wished to have their home at once in order to avoid going to war with the rest of the tribes; and this may have been in their minds.
So Mṓ s̝es̝ said to them: "Shall your brothers of the other tribes go to the war? And shall you sit here in your own land, and not help them? That would be wicked, and would displease the Lord your God." Then the men of the two tribes and the half-tribe came again to Mṓ s̝es̝, and said to him: "We will build sheepfolds here for our sheep, and we will choose some cities to place our wives and our children in; but we ourselves will go armed with our brothers of the other tribes, and will help them to take the land on the other side of the Jôŕ dan. We will not come back to this side of the river until the war is over, and our brothers have taken their shares of the land, each tribe its own part; and we will take no part on the other side of the river, because our place has been given to us here. And when the land is all won and divided, then we will come back here to our wives and our children.”
Then Mṓ s̝es̝ was satisfied with the promise that they had given, and he divided the land on the east of the Jordan to these tribes. To the men of Reṳ́ ben he gave the land on the south; to the men of Găd the land in the middle; and to the half-tribe of Mā̇-năś seh the land on the north, the country called Bā́ shăn. And after their wives and children and flocks had been placed safely, the men of war came to the camp, ready to go with the other tribes across the river when God should call them.
And now the work of Mṓ s̝es̝ was almost done. God said to, him:
"Gather the children of Ĭś̝ ra-el together, and speak to them your last words, for you are not to lead the people across the Jôŕ dan. You are to die in this land, as I said to you at Kā́ desh." (See Story Thirty-one.)
Then Mṓ s̝es̝ called the leaders of the twelve tribes before his tent, and said to them many things, which you can read in the book of the Bible called Deuteronomy. There all the long speech of Mṓ s̞es̝ is given. He told them what wonderful things God had done for their fathers and for them. He gave them again all the words of God's law. He told them that they must not only keep God's law themselves, but must teach it to their children, so that it might never be forgotten. And Mṓ s̝es̝ sang a song of farewell, and wrote down all his last words.
Then he gave a charge to Jŏsh́ u-ȧ, whom God had chosen to take his place as the ruler and leader of the people: though no man could take Moses' place as a prophet of God and the giver of God's law. He laid his hands on Jŏsh́ u-ȧ's head; and God gave to Jŏsh́ u-ȧ some of his spirit that had been on Mṓ s̝es̝.
Then Mṓ s̝es̝, all alone, went out of the camp, while all the people looked at him and wept. Slowly he walked up the mountain side, until they saw him no more. He climbed to the top of Mount Nḗ bō̇, and stood alone upon the height, and looked at the Land of Promise, which lay spread out before him. Far in the north he could see the white crown of Mount Hēŕ mon, where there is always snow. At his feet, but far below, the river Jôŕ dan was winding its way down to the Dead Sea. Across the river, at the foot of the mountains, was standing the city of Jĕŕ ĭ-chō, surrounded with a high wall. On the summits of the mountains beyond he could see Hḗ bron, where Ā́ bră-hăm, and Ĭ́ s̝aac, and Jā́ cob were buried; he could see Jē̇-rṳ́ sā̇-lĕm, and Bĕh́-el, and the two mountains where Shḗ-chem lay hidden in the center of the land. And here and there, through the valleys, he could see afar in the west the gleaming water of the Great Sea.
Then Mṓ s̝es̝, all alone, lay down on the mountain's top, and died. Aâŕ on and Hûr, who had held up the hands of Mṓ s̝es̝ in battle, had both died; and there was no man on Mount Nḗ bō̇ to bury Mṓ s̝es̝; so God himself buried him, and no man knows where God laid the body of Mṓ s̝es̝, who had served God so faithfully.
And after Mṓ s̝es̝ there was never a man who lived so neat to God, and talked with God so freely, as one would talk face to face with his friend, until long afterward Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and greater than Mṓ s̝es̝, came among men.
Lesson 12. From the Wilderness to Canaan.
(Omit Stories 28, 29, 30. Tell Stories 31, 32, 34. Omit Story 33.)
1. To what place did the Israelites go after leaving Mount Sinai? To Kadeshbarnea near the land of Canaan.
2. Whom did Moses send to go through the land, and bring word about it? Twelve men, called spies.
3. What did most of the spies say about the land? That the Israelites could not take it.
4. Who said that the Lord would help them to go in and take the land? Caleb and Joshua.
5. Because the people would not believe in God, and go into the land what happened to the Israelites? They were sent back into the wilderness.
6. How long did they live in the wilderness? Forty years.
7. Where did the long journey of the Israelites end? At the river Jordan.
8. On what mountain did Moses die? On Mount Nebo.
9. By what name is Moses spoken of in the Bible? Moses, the man of God.