Numbers – Chapter 1: The Census

Here it is!  The long awaited first chapter of Numbers!  Well, maybe not long awaited, but starting a new chapter is exciting if only because it’s a new chapter!  🙂

“He said: ‘Take a census of the whole Israelite community by their clans and families, listing every man by name, one by one. You and Aaron are to count according to their divisions all the men in Israel who are twenty years old or more and able to serve in the army.’” – Numbers 1:1-3

Numbers begins with God commanding Moses and Aaron to take a census with the goal of building an army to take the promised land.  God is clearly going to give the Israelites the promised land.  Why does He choose to do it through death and destruction?

“All the Israelites twenty years old or more who were able to serve in Israel’s army were counted according to their families. The total number was 603,550.” – Numbers 1:45

That’s a big army.  That’s just a bit larger than today’s U.S. army.  Granted, technology today means we don’t need an extremely large army, but as a percentage of the population, the Israeli army Moses put together would have consisted of a large chunk of the population.  I’m not saying this is good or bad, just interesting.

“Instead, appoint the Levites to be in charge of the tabernacle of the covenant law—over all its furnishings and everything belonging to it.” – Numbers 1:50

The Levites are not to be part of the Army.  They are in charge of God’s stuff.

“Whenever the tabernacle is to move, the Levites are to take it down, and whenever the tabernacle is to be set up, the Levites shall do it. Anyone else who approaches it is to be put to death.”  Numbers 1:51

Death seems a bit harsh for someone simply trying to help.

As you can see, I skipped over many verses.  Much of Numbers 1 is a list of people and numbers in each group that are making up the Israeli army.  The book is called Numbers, after all, so you expect a few numbers.  🙂

Coming Soon:  Numbers – Chapter 2:  The Arrangement of the Tribal Camps

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