The book of Numbers was written to the people of Israel approximately 1450-1410 B.C.
The theme of the Book of Numbers is the journey of the Israelites into the land of Canaan. It is named "Numbers"
because of the numbering of the nation of Israel.
The first ten chapters covers fifty days in which Moses organizes the people of Israel for the march from Sinai to
the promised land. At the beginning, Moses and Aaron were instructed to take a census. The first census that was taken
was of all the able-bodied men over twenty years old and they were taxed half a shekel each. This money was used to build
the tabernacle. This was the second census and it was to count all in Israel who were able to go to war. The people were
listed by families in this census. Once again, every man from twenty years upward were expected to join.
It is interesting to notice that the numbers of both the first and second census are the same: 603,550 men over twenty. It
has been estimated that, counting men too old to go to war, women, children and the tribe of Levi the nation of Israel numbered
approximately two million. The third census, taken in Numbers 26:51, nearly forty years later, is very similar: 601,730.
Chapters 11-12 we find the Three Complaints.
Chapters 13-14 we find the Rebellion of the Spies.
Chapter 15 lists Laws on Offerings.
Chapter 19 lists Laws on Cleansing.
Chapters 22-24 tells the story of Balaam and Balak
Chapters 27-30 list Laws of Land, Offerings and Vows.
Chapters 31-32 tells of the Defeat of the Midian.
Chapters 34-36 lists more Laws of the Land.
"And the LORD spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tabernacle of the congregation, on the first day of the second month, in the second year after
they were come out of the land of Egypt, saying, Take ye the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, after their families, by the house of their fathers,
with the number of their names, every male by their polls; From twenty years old and upward, all that are able to go forth to war in Israel: thou and Aaron shall
number them by their armies."
"Even all they that were numbered were six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty."
"Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and
have not hearkened to my voice; Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it:"
PROMISED LAND (CANAAN
PLAINS OF MOAB
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