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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad

Mattot 42-6


Numbers 32:1-19

the land that the LORD struck down before the congregation of Israel, is a land for livestock, and your servants have livestock.

Num. 32:4 ESV

What is more important, business or family?

The children of Reuven said that they had a lot of cattle, but they did not mention their children. In verse 16, we see that the cattle were mentioned before the children. It seems as though the descendants of Reuven did not appreciate their children. They were more interested in their business than they were in their families. This is an age-old problem for man; to worry more about his professional life than about his own children. Moshe rebuked this attitude in verse 24, where it is written, "Build you cities for your little ones and folds for your sheep?" He put the children before the cattle.

In Genesis 42:37, it is written: "Re'uven spoke to his father, saying, "Kill my two sons, if I don't bring him to you. Deliver him into my hand, and I will bring him to you again." (HNV) Reuven's attitude toward his children is sad. He does not value their lives. The life of a human being is of much more value than business.

A society where career and position are prioritized above raising children is an unhealthy society, doomed to destruction. A society where the woman is forced out into the working world, forced to leave her children in the care of others is a society that breeds criminality. A society where women choose abortion to avoid losing their job is a society that does not understand the principles that lead to success. A society where a human being is murdered in order that another may steal a little money is a society close to annihilation.

In Hosea 6:8, it is written: "Gil`ad is a city of those who work iniquity; it is stained with blood." (HNV) The area east of the Yarden, where the two and a half tribes settled, was an area full of conflict, where the value of human life was drastically reduced. Therefore three cities of refuge were needed for two and a half tribes, as opposed to three cities of refuge for nine and a half tribes on the other side of the Yarden. This teaches us that violence and a low value for human life dominated the area of the two and a half tribes.

This area was the most exposed to attacks by the enemies of Israel. Those who lived there were the first to be taken away into exile by the Assyrians and other nations.

Appreciate your children highly. Don't let anyone else educate them for you. Take time with them, educate them, instruct them, correct them and play with them. They are much more important than your job or business. Your children need much more of your time than of your money.

Kol tuv,


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