Numbers

  • Numbers Facts

    36 chapters
    1,288 verses
    30,855 words
    Pentateuch Genre

  • Numbers Word Cloud

    This word cloud picture shows the most repeated words in Numbers

  • Writings about Numbers

    Christian education materials about Numbers, including book overviews, reading guides for the Pentateuch genre, discussion questions, discipleship lessons, and thought-provoking essays.

  • Numbers Daily Readings

    Start reading or listening to Numbers and its associated daily readers on Day 43 when Numbers begins

Daily Reader for Day 53: Numbers 26 - 28


by Dave Moore

You blinked, and almost forty years has passed in the last twelve chapters.  In chapter 26 the book of Numbers hits the Reset button – compiling the census of a new generation.  The warriors of each tribe are numbered, just as in chapter 1.  For a conversation on the different interpretations of the census numbers, look back to the Daily Reader for Day 43.  

Only Joshua, Caleb, and Moses remain from the generation who left Egypt as adults.  The slave generation has died in the desert, and questions of transition and inheritance now become important. 

The first of these questions is brought in chapter 27 by the daughters of a man named Zelophehad.  Their father has died in the Wilderness, though his daughters point out that he definitely did not die during one of the rebellions.  Their concern was valid for the time: traditionally, males could be counted as heirs, but not females.  The LORD settles this question by again stepping out of traditional bounds and setting Israel apart among their contemporaries.

Inheritance questions have often driven our story, ever since Abraham first left his own inheritance behind to follow the promise of a greater one.  One important question that must be settled is who – if anyone – will inherit Moses’ role as they near the borders of Canaan.   Listen to Moses’ concern for his flock as he asks the LORD to name a leader so Israel will not be “as sheep without a shepherd.” 

Another part of resetting the story is recounting for the people of Israel the statutes they are to observe in their new land.   The Israelites are reminded to bring flour and grain and wine along with their animals for sacrifice.  There is promise here: someday, soon, you will own land in which you can sow and reap.    

Our verse for this week is 1 Corinthians 10:4: “And all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.”

Numbers chapters 26 through 28.  Now let’s read it!

Numbers 26 - 28

26:1 After the plague, the LORD said to Moses and to Eleazar the son of Aaron, the priest, “Take a census of all the congregation of the people of Israel, from twenty years old and upward, by their fathers' houses, all in Israel who are able to go to war.” And Moses and Eleazar the priest spoke with them in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho, saying, “Take a census of the people, from twenty years old and upward,” as the LORD commanded Moses. The people of Israel who came out of the land of Egypt were:

Reuben, the firstborn of Israel; the sons of Reuben: of Hanoch, the clan of the Hanochites; of Pallu, the clan of the Palluites; of Hezron, the clan of the Hezronites; of Carmi, the clan of the Carmites. These are the clans of the Reubenites, and those listed were 43,730. And the sons of Pallu: Eliab. The sons of Eliab: Nemuel, Dathan, and Abiram. These are the Dathan and Abiram, chosen from the congregation, who contended against Moses and Aaron in the company of Korah, when they contended against the LORD and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up together with Korah, when that company died, when the fire devoured 250 men, and they became a warning. But the sons of Korah did not die.

The sons of Simeon according to their clans: of Nemuel, the clan of the Nemuelites; of Jamin, the clan of the Jaminites; of Jachin, the clan of the Jachinites; of Zerah, the clan of the Zerahites; of Shaul, the clan of the Shaulites. These are the clans of the Simeonites, 22,200.

The sons of Gad according to their clans: of Zephon, the clan of the Zephonites; of Haggi, the clan of the Haggites; of Shuni, the clan of the Shunites; of Ozni, the clan of the Oznites; of Eri, the clan of the Erites; of Arod, the clan of the Arodites; of Areli, the clan of the Arelites. These are the clans of the sons of Gad as they were listed, 40,500.

The sons of Judah were Er and Onan; and Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan. And the sons of Judah according to their clans were: of Shelah, the clan of the Shelanites; of Perez, the clan of the Perezites; of Zerah, the clan of the Zerahites. And the sons of Perez were: of Hezron, the clan of the Hezronites; of Hamul, the clan of the Hamulites. These are the clans of Judah as they were listed, 76,500.

The sons of Issachar according to their clans: of Tola, the clan of the Tolaites; of Puvah, the clan of the Punites; of Jashub, the clan of the Jashubites; of Shimron, the clan of the Shimronites. These are the clans of Issachar as they were listed, 64,300.

The sons of Zebulun, according to their clans: of Sered, the clan of the Seredites; of Elon, the clan of the Elonites; of Jahleel, the clan of the Jahleelites. These are the clans of the Zebulunites as they were listed, 60,500.

The sons of Joseph according to their clans: Manasseh and Ephraim. The sons of Manasseh: of Machir, the clan of the Machirites; and Machir was the father of Gilead; of Gilead, the clan of the Gileadites. These are the sons of Gilead: of Iezer, the clan of the Iezerites; of Helek, the clan of the Helekites; and of Asriel, the clan of the Asrielites; and of Shechem, the clan of the Shechemites; and of Shemida, the clan of the Shemidaites; and of Hepher, the clan of the Hepherites. Now Zelophehad the son of Hepher had no sons, but daughters. And the names of the daughters of Zelophehad were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. These are the clans of Manasseh, and those listed were 52,700.

These are the sons of Ephraim according to their clans: of Shuthelah, the clan of the Shuthelahites; of Becher, the clan of the Becherites; of Tahan, the clan of the Tahanites. And these are the sons of Shuthelah: of Eran, the clan of the Eranites. These are the clans of the sons of Ephraim as they were listed, 32,500. These are the sons of Joseph according to their clans.

The sons of Benjamin according to their clans: of Bela, the clan of the Belaites; of Ashbel, the clan of the Ashbelites; of Ahiram, the clan of the Ahiramites; of Shephupham, the clan of the Shuphamites; of Hupham, the clan of the Huphamites. And the sons of Bela were Ard and Naaman: of Ard, the clan of the Ardites; of Naaman, the clan of the Naamites. These are the sons of Benjamin according to their clans, and those listed were 45,600.

These are the sons of Dan according to their clans: of Shuham, the clan of the Shuhamites. These are the clans of Dan according to their clans. All the clans of the Shuhamites, as they were listed, were 64,400.

The sons of Asher according to their clans: of Imnah, the clan of the Imnites; of Ishvi, the clan of the Ishvites; of Beriah, the clan of the Beriites. Of the sons of Beriah: of Heber, the clan of the Heberites; of Malchiel, the clan of the Malchielites. And the name of the daughter of Asher was Serah. These are the clans of the sons of Asher as they were listed, 53,400.

The sons of Naphtali according to their clans: of Jahzeel, the clan of the Jahzeelites; of Guni, the clan of the Gunites; of Jezer, the clan of the Jezerites; of Shillem, the clan of the Shillemites. These are the clans of Naphtali according to their clans, and those listed were 45,400.

This was the list of the people of Israel, 601,730.

The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Among these the land shall be divided for inheritance according to the number of names. To a large tribe you shall give a large inheritance, and to a small tribe you shall give a small inheritance; every tribe shall be given its inheritance in proportion to its list. But the land shall be divided by lot. According to the names of the tribes of their fathers they shall inherit. Their inheritance shall be divided according to lot between the larger and the smaller.”

This was the list of the Levites according to their clans: of Gershon, the clan of the Gershonites; of Kohath, the clan of the Kohathites; of Merari, the clan of the Merarites. These are the clans of Levi: the clan of the Libnites, the clan of the Hebronites, the clan of the Mahlites, the clan of the Mushites, the clan of the Korahites. And Kohath was the father of Amram. The name of Amram's wife was Jochebed the daughter of Levi, who was born to Levi in Egypt. And she bore to Amram Aaron and Moses and Miriam their sister. And to Aaron were born Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. But Nadab and Abihu died when they offered unauthorized fire before the LORD. And those listed were 23,000, every male from a month old and upward. For they were not listed among the people of Israel, because there was no inheritance given to them among the people of Israel.

These were those listed by Moses and Eleazar the priest, who listed the people of Israel in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho. But among these there was not one of those listed by Moses and Aaron the priest, who had listed the people of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai. For the LORD had said of them, “They shall die in the wilderness.” Not one of them was left, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun.

27:1 Then drew near the daughters of Zelophehad the son of Hepher, son of Gilead, son of Machir, son of Manasseh, from the clans of Manasseh the son of Joseph. The names of his daughters were: Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. And they stood before Moses and before Eleazar the priest and before the chiefs and all the congregation, at the entrance of the tent of meeting, saying, “Our father died in the wilderness. He was not among the company of those who gathered themselves together against the LORD in the company of Korah, but died for his own sin. And he had no sons. Why should the name of our father be taken away from his clan because he had no son? Give to us a possession among our father's brothers.”

Moses brought their case before the LORD. And the LORD said to Moses, “The daughters of Zelophehad are right. You shall give them possession of an inheritance among their father's brothers and transfer the inheritance of their father to them. And you shall speak to the people of Israel, saying, ‘If a man dies and has no son, then you shall transfer his inheritance to his daughter. And if he has no daughter, then you shall give his inheritance to his brothers. And if he has no brothers, then you shall give his inheritance to his father's brothers. And if his father has no brothers, then you shall give his inheritance to the nearest kinsman of his clan, and he shall possess it. And it shall be for the people of Israel a statute and rule, as the LORD commanded Moses.’”

The LORD said to Moses, “Go up into this mountain of Abarim and see the land that I have given to the people of Israel. When you have seen it, you also shall be gathered to your people, as your brother Aaron was, because you rebelled against my word in the wilderness of Zin when the congregation quarreled, failing to uphold me as holy at the waters before their eyes.” (These are the waters of Meribah of Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.) Moses spoke to the LORD, saying, “Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation who shall go out before them and come in before them, who shall lead them out and bring them in, that the congregation of the LORD may not be as sheep that have no shepherd.” So the LORD said to Moses, “Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him. Make him stand before Eleazar the priest and all the congregation, and you shall commission him in their sight. You shall invest him with some of your authority, that all the congregation of the people of Israel may obey. And he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall inquire for him by the judgment of the Urim before the LORD. At his word they shall go out, and at his word they shall come in, both he and all the people of Israel with him, the whole congregation.” And Moses did as the LORD commanded him. He took Joshua and made him stand before Eleazar the priest and the whole congregation, and he laid his hands on him and commissioned him as the LORD directed through Moses.

28:1 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Command the people of Israel and say to them, ‘My offering, my food for my food offerings, my pleasing aroma, you shall be careful to offer to me at its appointed time.’ And you shall say to them, This is the food offering that you shall offer to the LORD: two male lambs a year old without blemish, day by day, as a regular offering. The one lamb you shall offer in the morning, and the other lamb you shall offer at twilight; also a tenth of an ephah of fine flour for a grain offering, mixed with a quarter of a hin of beaten oil. It is a regular burnt offering, which was ordained at Mount Sinai for a pleasing aroma, a food offering to the LORD. Its drink offering shall be a quarter of a hin for each lamb. In the Holy Place you shall pour out a drink offering of strong drink to the LORD. The other lamb you shall offer at twilight. Like the grain offering of the morning, and like its drink offering, you shall offer it as a food offering, with a pleasing aroma to the LORD.

“On the Sabbath day, two male lambs a year old without blemish, and two tenths of an ephah of fine flour for a grain offering, mixed with oil, and its drink offering: this is the burnt offering of every Sabbath, besides the regular burnt offering and its drink offering.

“At the beginnings of your months, you shall offer a burnt offering to the LORD: two bulls from the herd, one ram, seven male lambs a year old without blemish; also three tenths of an ephah of fine flour for a grain offering, mixed with oil, for each bull, and two tenths of fine flour for a grain offering, mixed with oil, for the one ram; and a tenth of fine flour mixed with oil as a grain offering for every lamb; for a burnt offering with a pleasing aroma, a food offering to the LORD. Their drink offerings shall be half a hin of wine for a bull, a third of a hin for a ram, and a quarter of a hin for a lamb. This is the burnt offering of each month throughout the months of the year. Also one male goat for a sin offering to the LORD; it shall be offered besides the regular burnt offering and its drink offering.

“On the fourteenth day of the first month is the LORD's Passover, and on the fifteenth day of this month is a feast. Seven days shall unleavened bread be eaten. On the first day there shall be a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work, but offer a food offering, a burnt offering to the LORD: two bulls from the herd, one ram, and seven male lambs a year old; see that they are without blemish; also their grain offering of fine flour mixed with oil; three tenths of an ephah shall you offer for a bull, and two tenths for a ram; a tenth shall you offer for each of the seven lambs; also one male goat for a sin offering, to make atonement for you. You shall offer these besides the burnt offering of the morning, which is for a regular burnt offering. In the same way you shall offer daily, for seven days, the food of a food offering, with a pleasing aroma to the LORD. It shall be offered besides the regular burnt offering and its drink offering. And on the seventh day you shall have a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work.

“On the day of the firstfruits, when you offer a grain offering of new grain to the LORD at your Feast of Weeks, you shall have a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work, but offer a burnt offering, with a pleasing aroma to the LORD: two bulls from the herd, one ram, seven male lambs a year old; also their grain offering of fine flour mixed with oil, three tenths of an ephah for each bull, two tenths for one ram, a tenth for each of the seven lambs; with one male goat, to make atonement for you. Besides the regular burnt offering and its grain offering, you shall offer them and their drink offering. See that they are without blemish.

(ESV)

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