Bible study 118 – Numbers 1Posted: January 29, 2017
You know, I thought that the “Jews wandering through the desert” part of the Bible was over with Exodus, and that they were now just going to rush through Canaan, kill all of its inhabitants and settle there. Turns out that only a couple of years has passed since leaving Egypt, and that the real wilderness adventure starts after they set off from mount Sinai. But first they are going to sit around some more and receive instructions from God.
The English name “Numbers” comes from the census lists that God now asks Moses to create. All men of fighting age register under their ancestral tribe, each of which originates from one of the twelve sons of Jacob. The Levites don’t have to register since they are on a special, constant tabernacle duty; but Joseph’s sons Ephraim and Manasseh count as separate tribes, so twelve tribes are registered.
So the whole number of the Israelites, by their ancestral houses, from twenty years old and upward, everyone able to go to war in Israel—their whole number was six hundred three thousand five hundred fifty.