Reuben, Gad and Half of Manasseh

Deuteronomy 3:12-22

The portion ends by reiterating the establishment of Reuben, Gad and half of Manasseh’s portion on the eastern side of the Jordan River. The two and a half tribes were given the lands of Sihon and Og in Numbers 32. However, Moses at the time, he reminds the nation, instructed these tribes to build homes for their families and pens for their animals, then enter the Promised Land ahead of their brethren to lead the charge of conquest. Until the rest of the land is conquered, the tribes on the eastern side of the river will not be able to settle down either.


Moses also tells the nation what he told Joshua: God will be with the nation, just as they saw He was until now. They need not fear their enemies, for God will fight their battles.


The Israel Bible points to the similarities between Moses’s call to the tribes of Reuben and Gad to serve their nation and Israel’s modern-day army. To this day, Israel drafts its youth, at age 18, into the IDF, typically for three years of service. The State calls on the Jews of the diaspora to do their part, too, asking them to contribute to Israel’s vitality, growth and security.


Virtual Classroom Discussion

Why do you think Moses reminds the people of an event that just happened?

Comments ( 4 )

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  • Steve

    Is there an estimate of how long the two and a half tribes fought for Israel on the west side of the Jordan river?

  • Herman Arentsen

    The one fact that was mentioned was that of Og in Basan. A very strong man with a bed of iron, yet he was submitted and the people of Jisrael had the victory. Why? Because it is G-d Who fight the battles on one side and they should care to be at His disposal, ready to do their part. That's why Reuven and Gad had to be in the army of Jisrael to fight at the side of their brothers and not stay home with their cattle.

  • Diana Brown

    Because history will repeat itself and it is good when brothers deal in unity of purpose for the good of the nation.

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