Reuben, Gad and Half of Manasseh
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?