Numbers Chapter 1

Numbers is the fourth book of Moses found in the Bible. At this point in the narrative of the Old Testament, the Israelites have made it to the desert of Sinai and are encamped around the base of the mount. The Lord has revealed to them many laws and statutes, and has promised to lead them to the land of their fathers. The children of Israel have made covenants with God and have been given instruction regarding the tabernacle of the Lord. My understanding is that the first ten chapters of Numbers will cover the preparations for the Israelites before they march through the wilderness towards the promise land. The book of Numbers begins:

1 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,
2 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;
3 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.
4 And with you there shall be a man of every tribe; every one head of the house of his fathers.

Moses, who was receiving instruction from the Lord, was to number the men of the host of Israel by households and tribes. These men were to be 20 or older and able to fight for the army of Israel. In the number, there was to be a leader of each tribe and a head of each household.

A Family Tree

A Family Tree

5 And these are the names of the men that shall stand with you: of the tribe of Reuben; Elizur the son of Shedeur.
6 Of Simeon; Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai.
7 Of Judah; Nahshon the son of Amminadab.
8 Of Issachar; Nethaneel the son of Zuar.
9 Of Zebulun; Eliab the son of Helon.
10 Of the children of Joseph: of Ephraim; Elishama the son of Ammihud: of Manasseh; Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur.
11 Of Benjamin; Abidan the son of Gideoni.
12 Of Dan; Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai.
13 Of Asher; Pagiel the son of Ocran.
14 Of Gad; Eliasaph the son of Deuel.
15 Of Naphtali; Ahira the son of Enan.
16 These were the renowned of the congregation, princes of the tribes of their fathers, heads of thousands in Israel.

Specific names were given, as who was to stand with Moses in the army of God. These men were being called to this service and were known by the host of Israel as the princes of the tribes. It is notable that the Levites did not have a prince included here, because they were called specifically to serve with the tabernacle. The twelve tribes represented here, included a prince from both of the sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh. It is also notable that Nahshon of the line of Judah, would later be a direct descent of Solomon, David and eventually Joseph, the husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus.

17 And Moses and Aaron took these men which are expressed by their names:
18 And they assembled all the congregation together on the first day of the second month, and they declared their pedigrees after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, by their polls.
19 As the Lord commanded Moses, so he numbered them in the wilderness of Sinai.
20 And the children of Reuben, Israel’s eldest son, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, by their polls, every male from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;
21 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Reuben, were forty and six thousand and five hundred.

As a side note, I love family history. I wish that now was a time in my life where I could put more focus on it, but life with little kids makes it difficult. It is always fun to me to read verses that talk about things like the pedigrees of families, because it shows just how important family histories are. I think it would be awesome to be related to one of these names mentioned in the bible and to have this amazing record of patriarchal lines, which ultimately lead back to Adam. Anyway, Moses and Aaron did as they were commanded by God, and numbered the males of Israel. The tribe of Reuben was totaled as 46,500.

22 Of the children of Simeon, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, those that were numbered of them, according to the number of the names, by their polls, every male from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;
23 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Simeon, were fifty and nine thousand and three hundred.

The tribe of Simeon totaled 59,300.

24 Of the children of Gad, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;
25 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Gad, were forty and five thousand six hundred and fifty.

The tribe of Gad totaled 45,650.

26 Of the children of Judah, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;
27 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Judah, were threescore and fourteen thousand and six hundred.

The tribe of Judah totaled 74,600.

28 Of the children of Issachar, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;
29 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Issachar, were fifty and four thousand and four hundred.

The tribe of Issachar totaled 54,400.

30 Of the children of Zebulun, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;
31 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Zebulun, were fifty and seven thousand and four hundred.

The tribe of Zebulun totaled 57,400.

32 Of the children of Joseph, namely, of the children of Ephraim, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;
33 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Ephraim, were forty thousand and five hundred.

The tribe of Joseph, through Ephraim, totaled 40,500.

34 Of the children of Manasseh, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;
35 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Manasseh, were thirty and two thousand and two hundred.

The tribe of Joseph, through Manasseh, totaled 32,200.

36 Of the children of Benjamin, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;
37 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Benjamin, were thirty and five thousand and four hundred.

The tribe of Benjamin totaled 35,400.

38 Of the children of Dan, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;
39 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Dan, were threescore and two thousand and seven hundred.

The tribe of Dan totaled 62,700.

40 Of the children of Asher, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;
41 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Asher, were forty and one thousand and five hundred.

The tribe of Asher totaled 41,500.

42 Of the children of Naphtali, throughout their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;
43 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Naphtali, were fifty and three thousand and four hundred.
44 These are those that were numbered, which Moses and Aaron numbered, and the princes of Israel, being twelve men: each one was for the house of his fathers.
45 So were all those that were numbered of the children of Israel, by the house of their fathers, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war in Israel;
46 Even all they that were numbered were six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty.

The tribe of Naphtali totaled 53,400. They had twelve princes over the twelve tribes. The total number among them was 603,550 (I checked for fun).

47 But the Levites after the tribe of their fathers were not numbered among them.
48 For the Lord had spoken unto Moses, saying,
49 Only thou shalt not number the tribe of Levi, neither take the sum of them among the children of Israel:
50 But thou shalt appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of testimony, and over all the vessels thereof, and over all things that belong to it: they shall bear the tabernacle, and all the vessels thereof; and they shall minister unto it, and shall encamp round about the tabernacle.
51 And when the tabernacle setteth forward, the Levites shall take it down: and when the tabernacle is to be pitched, the Levites shall set it up: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.
52 And the children of Israel shall pitch their tents, every man by his own camp, and every man by his own standard, throughout their hosts.
53 But the Levites shall pitch round about the tabernacle of testimony, that there be no wrath upon the congregation of the children of Israel: and the Levites shall keep the charge of the tabernacle of testimony.
54 And the children of Israel did according to all that the Lord commanded Moses, so did they.

We are told here that the Levites were not numbered with the Israelites, because they were instead to be over the tabernacle and the things having to do with it. They were to dwell around the tabernacle, move it when it was to be moved, and minister to it. They were called to take it down and pitch it up. Anyone who came then, who was not of their tribe, or was not authorized to be there, was to be put to death. Only the Levites held the priesthood authority to do these things. The families of Moses and Aaron, and the Levites surrounded the tabernacle. The remainder of the tribes were to camp with their tribes outside the Levites. One thing to learn from this, is that the Lord instructed them to have the tabernacle as the center of their encampment. This should stand an example to us that we are to have the Lord’s temple as the center of our own lives if we hope to make covenants and remain worthy of the spirit of the Lord in our lives.

There will be many times in the scriptures, when the Lord commands the prophets and priests to number the people of God. In this case, they numbered only those who would be soldiers in the army of the Lord, so the actual number of all the Israelites was something much great (the manual suggests closer to 2 million). It makes sense to me, that this idea of numbering, or of taking a census, has to be important to the Lord. I am a secretary in my calling at church and I can’t help but think of why taking attendance is so important. It was one of the only duties that I was told specifically to be sure I performed. I think that this is important in part because when we are not numbered, we are not known. Moreover, when we are not known, we can be lost. The Lord is the great Shepherd and he knows his sheep. In 1 Nephi 22:25 we read, “And he gathereth his children from the four quarters of the earth; and he numbereth his sheep, and they know him; and there shall be one fold and one shepherd; and he shall feed his sheep, and in him they shall find pasture.” Leaders of the Lord’s church, need to be shepherds as well, whether they are the leaders of the little children in a ward, leaders of the tens of thousands of missionaries in the field, or the prophet who leads all the members of the gospel. Whoever they are, they need to count their flock, so that not one is lost. The Savior taught us of the lost sheep in Matthew 18:

11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?
13 And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.
14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

Since I mark a list of who attends each week in our class, I am continually thinking of who is able to come to church and who we are not seeing. I can then give that information to the leaders and they can be mindful of those who are not there as well. This idea of numbering can extend even further. We all have a calling to number our sheep. All of us have a duty to seek for those who may be lost in our own circle of influence. If we regularly take a count of our family members, our friends, those we visit or home teach, and so on, we will notice quickly when one has begun to stray from the flock. I am so glad that I have been counted in my life. I am grateful that in the times of life when I have truly been lost, my friends, family and church leaders have noticed my absence and went seeking for me.

About these ads

0 Responses to “Numbers Chapter 1”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




About My Scripture Study Buddy

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.

Testimony

I made an album with my dad in 2011. Check it out!

Testimony

NEW!!! Digital Downloads (mp3) available directly from the site.

Current Study

Currently I am studying the The Old Testament. I will be studying from the LDS - King James Version of the Bible (see link below). I am studying along with the book, Scripture Study for Latter-day Saint Families: The Old Testament by Dennis H. Leavitt and Richard O. Christensen.

Learn More:

I'm a Mormon

The Book of Mormon

You can order a free copy of the Book of Mormon here:

Book of Mormon Request

Archives

Follow me on Facebook:

Popular Posts

My Wonderful Husband and Artist


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 166 other followers

%d bloggers like this: