((Here are pages 161-179; with further corrections. We this post and submission I have completed Genesis – Numbers, as planned and promised, Chapter 1 completed; Chapter 2 of Deuteronomy – Psalms, is planned for April. I also will attempt to upload a PDF of each Chapter as completed, if I find the way to do so. mjm.))
NUMBERS: Chapters 1-36: Moses IV:
The Fourth Book of Moses, Moses IV, consists of 36 chapters, and takes its name from the content of the book as given verse two, the number of the names; but the Hebrew uses the fourth word, bedmidbar, meaning “in the wilderness” or desert. The connection to Leviticus is obvious and intentional, as the continuation of the story in the scroll. The Book has two significant parts, part one from chapters 1 to 14, and part two, chapters 15 to 36. Part one is at Sinai, when the people were numbered, then moves to the Desert of Paran, where the spies were sent out and returned. Part two Is at the Desert of Paran near Kadesh-Barnea after the rebellion and refusal to invade Canaan and continues through the next 38 years of wandering in the wilderness up to the 40th year after the Exodus, to the last month of Moses life.
The Lord spoke to Moses in the Desert of Sinai in the Tent of Meeting on 1st day of the 2nd year after the Exodus, for him and Aaron to number all the male Israelites by families and clans, from 20 years and above, those able to go to war, to enlist them by their hosts or divisions. Each Tribe to be represented by a leader or general, in this order: of Reuben; of Simeon; of Judah; of Issachar; of Zebulun; of Joseph’s Ephraim; and of Manasseh; of Benjamin; of Dan; of Asher; of Gad; and of Naphtali. These twelve were the Princes of the Tribes of Israel the heads of the thousands of Israel; Moses and the 12 princes with Israel in the Sinai Desert declared their lineages, on the 1st day of the 2nd month, from 20-60, as commanded they were numbered by generations, families, houses, and polls all that could go to war. Those numbered were: of Reuben were 46,500; of Simeon were 59,300; of Gad were 45,650; of Judah were 74,600; of Issachar were 54.400; of Zebulun 57,400; of Joseph’s Ephraim were 40,500; of Joseph’s Manasseh were 32,200; of Benjamin were 35,400; of Dan were 62,700; of Asher were 41,500; of Naphtali were 53,400. The total number of Israel’s military was 603,550. Only the Tribe of Levi was forbidden to be numbered because the Lord appointed the Levites over the Tabernacle of Testimony and its furniture to minister to it and encamp around it and to take it down and to set it up; but the stranger who comes near shall be put to death. The children of Israel shall encamp by their own standards in their divisions, and the Levites must encamp around the Tabernacle that wrath come not on the community.
The tribes of Israel are to camp around the Tabernacle on four sides by the standards and ensigns or banners or flags, opposite or facing the Tent. On the East Judah’s hosts and the tribal prince, with all the numbered men; in like manner next to him is Issachar; next Zebulun; in all on the East side of the Three Tribes is some 186,400; these are to march and camp first. On the South likewise is Reuben and with him is Simeon and Gad, in all 151,450; these to march or set out and camp 2nd. The Tent of Meeting with the camp of the Levites by their standard in between the 12 Tribes, 6 in front and 6 in back. On the West is standard of Ephraim’s camp and host, as the others, along with Manasseh and Benjamin; in all these totaled 108,100; the third to set out or march and camp. On the North is Dan’s standard and host, in like manner, along with Asher and Naphtali; in all these totaled 157,600. These 12 Tribes numbered in all 603,550; excluding the Levites; they set out and encamped by families and houses.
The generations of Moses and Aaron at the time the Lord spoke to Moses at Mount Sinai: Aaron sons were Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar; these were anointed and consecrated to minister or serve in the priest’s office or Aaronic Priesthood. Nadab and Abihu died as childless rebels for offering strange fire to the Lord in the Sinai Desert, leaving only Eleazar and Ithamar minister. The Lord tells Moses to bring and present the tribe of Levi to minister or serve Aaron by keeping his charge and for Israel at the Tent of Meeting in the service of the Tabernacle, to attend to all the furniture and service. The Aaronic priesthood is not to be approached by a stranger or unauthorized person, who must be put to death. The Levites are to be numbered from one month and older, from the names of the families and houses of Aaron three sons: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. The Gershonites encamped westward behind the Tabernacle; with its tribal prince; and their charge and duties in the Tent of meeting was the Tabernacle and Tent, and its inner Covering, the Screen or Curtain for the door or entrance, and Hangings for the court, the outer Screen or Curtain, and its Cords or Ropes. The Kohathites in like manner, on the Tabernacle’s south-side, were numbered, and their charge was the Sanctuary and its Ark, Table, Lampstand, Altars, Vessels, and inner Screen or Curtain. Eleazar is to be Prince of Princes of the all Levitical Priests, and supervisor of the Sanctuary attendants. The Merarites likewise, on Tabernacle’s north-side were numbered and their charge was the Tabernacle’s Boards, Bars, Pillars, Sockets, Instruments, and its Service, its Court-pillars, Sockets, Pins, and Cords or Ropes. The encampment on the Tabernacle’s east-side before the Tent of Meeting as the sun rises was Moses and Aaron and his sons, to keep the charge of the Sanctuary for Israel; the stranger who approaches shall be put to death. The Levites that were numbered by Moses and Aaron by the Lord’s command, males from one month and older, were 22,000. The Lord told Moses to number all males of Israel from one month and older by names; for the Levites are to be a substitute for all the firstborn of Israel, and the Levites’ livestock for the firstlings of Israel. Moses numbered Israel and the male population from one month and older came to 22,273, that is 273 over. For these the redemption is to be 5 sanctuary-shekels a person (one shekel = 20 gerahs); the redemption-money came to 1,365, which Moses gave to Aaron as the Lord commanded.
The Lord told Moses and Aaron to take the Kohathites from 30 – 50 for the service of the Tent of Meeting for the most holy things: before setting out the Aaronic priests take down the Veil of screen or curtain and cover the Ark of Testimony with it, and over the Veil a covering of Sealskin (Badger-skins), and over that a blue Cloth, and its Staves or Poles inserted The Table of Showbread must also be covered with blue-cloth, and on the Table its dishes, spoons, bowls, and cups, these covered with a scarlet-cloth and over this a covering of sealskin or badger-skin, with its poles inserted. The Lampstand of the Light and its lamps, snuffers, snuff dishes, oil vessels, are to be covered with a blue-cloth, and then sealskin, and put on the frame. The Golden Altar is to be covered with blue, and then a covering of sealskin, with its poles inserted; the vessels of ministry in the Sanctuary are to be covered with blue-cloth, covered with sealskin, and placed on the frame. The Altar’s ashes are removed, and the Altar to be covered with purple-cloth, with its vessels, fire pans, flesh-hooks, shovels, basins, and its vessels, and covered them with sealskin, and its poles inserted. After the Aaronic priests have covered the Sanctuary and its furniture then the Kohathites are to carry them, but must not touch them, or they may die; these are their burden (things to be carried and transported) in the Tent of Meeting. Eleazar ben-Aaron the priest is responsible for the oil for the light, sweet incense, continual meal-offering, anointing oil, the Tabernacle and its things, and the Sanctuary and its furniture. The Kohathites are not to be cut off from the Levites in their care of the most holy things in their service and burden; they must not ever look inside the Sanctuary, lest they die. The Gershonites were numbered from 30 to 50 to attend to and serve the work of the Tent of Meeting. Their Service and burdens is to carry the curtains of the Tabernacle and Tent of Meeting, its covering, covering of sealskins, screen or curtain for the door or entrance of the Tent, the court hangings, the screen or curtain for the door or entrance of the gate of the court, their cords and instruments, and whatever is needed in the service. The Merarites in like manner numbered to serve and care and carry the Tabernacle’s boards and bars, its pillars and sockets, its court pillars and sockets, their pins and cords, with all the instruments and service, each instrument by appointment. Moses and Aaron the Princes of Israel numbered the Levites by families and houses, from 30 to 50, for the work of service to carry the burdens in the Tent of Meeting as commanded by the Lord; and the total was 8,580 Levites from Kohath, Gershon, and Merari.
The Lord told Moses to command Israel to isolate the lepers, those with discharges, and those unclean by the dead, male and female, outside the camp, so the camp, the Lord’s dwelling) become not defiled. The guilty soul who sin or trespass against the Lord must confess and make restitution in full and add 1/5th to his victim or the other party; and for the injured party without some kin, the restitution must go to the Lord’s priest, with the ram for his atonement. All heave-offerings of holy things of Israel must go to the priest, and anyone’s hallowed things. A wife who trespass against her husband in secret adultery, being defiled but no witness against her, not being caught in the act; if the spirit of jealousy causes her husband to suspect her adultery, whether true or not, she must be brought to the priest with her offering of 1/10th ephah of barley meal, without oil or frankincense; it is a jealousy meal-offering, a memorial of remembrance. The priest shall take holy water in earthen container and dust from the floor of the Tabernacle mix in it, and before the Lord the woman’s hair loosed, and give her the meal-offering of memorial and jealousy and give her the mixed water of bitterness which causes the curse. The priest must make her swear an oath that she has not committed adultery and uncleanness while married, and then she is to be free from the bitter water of the curse; but if she is guilty and defiled, may the Lord make her a curse and oath to her people, when her thigh is infected and her body swell, after the cursed water enters her stomach; and she must say ‘amen’, ‘amen’. The priest must write these curses in a book, and then blot them out with the water of bitterness; then the woman must drink it bitter. The priest must take the meal-offering of jealousy from the woman, and wave it to the Lord, and bring it to the altar; he shall take a handful of the meal-offering as a memorial, and burn it on the altar, then make her drink it. Afterwards if she is defiled and guilty of trespass the bitter water will cause her to be cursed, and if not, she will not be cursed but conceive seed. This is the law of jealousy of the spirit of jealousy, to free or convict the wife or husband of iniquity.
The law of the Nazirite, by the Lord’s command to Moses for Israel, that when an Israelite, man or woman, makes a special vow of a Nazirite to separate to the Lord, they must abstain from wine or alcohol, from wine-vinegar or vinegar, from grape-juice or grapes or raisins. A Nazirite must abstain from partaking of anything that comes from the grapevine; a Nazirite must not cut the hair or beard, till the vow is fulfilled, he is holy in his separation; the locks of the hair of his head must grow long. A Nazirite must not come near a dead body to become unclean, not for any relative, because he is holy and separated to God. If he is accidently defiled by the dead, he must shave his head on the 7th day of his cleansing and offer his sacrifices on the 8th day at the Tent, a sin and burnt offering for his atonement for sin of death. He may renew a vow of separation to the Lord but must not resume the days of his former vow voided by defilement. When a Nazirite vow is completed he must offer all his sacrifices to the Lord at the Tent; after the priest is done the Nazirite must shave, and take the hair and put it under the fire of peace-offerings; then the priest give him the boiled shoulder of the ram, a cake, and a wafer, and the priest must wave them as a wave-offering to the Lord; this is holy for the priest, and also the wave-breast and heave-thigh; then may the Nazirite drink wine.
The Lord said to Moses to tell Aaron and sons to bless Israel in this way: ‘The Lord bless them, keep them, shine on them, and be gracious to them, lift is countenance on them, and give them peace’; thus His Name is put on them to bless them. When Moses setup the completed constructed Tabernacle (a year from the Exodus) and anointed and sanctified it and all related to it, that the tribal princes of Israel of the militia offered their oblations to the Lord at the Tabernacle; 6 covered wagons or carts, one per two tribes, and 12 oxen, one per tribe were offered; for the service of the Tent for the Levites; to the Gershonites 2 wagons and 4 oxen; and to Merarites 4 carts and 8 oxen. The Kohathites were given none, because they shouldered the Sanctuary service. The princes offered on a set day the offering for the dedication of the Altar, for 12 days, 1st Judah, 2nd Issachar, 3rd Zebulun, 4th Reuben, 5th Simeon, 6th Gad, 7th Ephraim, 8th Manasseh, 9th Benjamin, 10th Dan, 11th Asher, and the 12th was Naphtali. The tribal Princes each offered the same offerings which was alike: 1 silver platter 130 sanctuary-shekels in weight, 1 silver bowl of 70 sanctuary-shekels, both filled with fine flour mixed with oil for a meal-offering; 1 golden spoon of 10 shekels, full of incense; for a burnt-offering one bullock, one ram, one he-lamb a year old; for a sin-offering one male goat; for the sacrifice of peace-offerings were 2 oxen, 5 rams, 5 he-goats, 5 he-lambs a year old. Each Prince offered the same kind and number of offerings each for his tribes’ day for the Altar’s dedication in its anointing: 12 silver platters of the same weight, 12 silver bowls of same weight, 12 golden spoons of same weight; the silver totaled 2400 sanctuary-shekels; the gold totaled 120 shekels; the bullocks, rams, he-lambs, their meal-offerings, and he-goats were 12 in all for burnt and sin offerings; for sacrifice of peace-offerings were in all 24 bullocks, 60 rams, 60 he-goats, 60 he-lambs. Now when Moses entered the Tent of Meeting to speak to God, he heard a Voice speaking to him from above the Mercy-seat or Atonement-cover, from between the two cherubs.
The Lord told Moses that Aaron must light the 7 lamps or candles of the Lampstand to give light in front of the Candlestick, which was made of beaten gold and its base and flowers exactly as the Lord showed Moses in the mount. The Levites are to be cleansed with water of expiation or purification, and all their flesh shaved, and their clothes washed, and they must bathed, and must offer the sacrifices of the sin-offering; they present them to the Lord at the entrance of the Tent with all Israel; and Israel must lay their hands on the Levites, and Aaron must offer them as a wave-offering in place of Israel to minister to the Lord. The Levites must then lay their hands on the heads of the bullocks offered as sin and burnt offering to the Lord for atonement for the Levites as a wave-offering; they are made separate for the ministry of the Tent in substitution for Israel the Lord’s Firstborn. The Levites are a gift to the Aaronic priests for the ministry of atonement of Israel to prevent plague and death when they approach the Lord’s Sanctuary. The Levites must serve and wait on the work or ministry of the Tent from age 25 to 50; and from 50 years and older must cease from the work and service, but from 50 and older must minister with their brethren in the Tent and its charge.
The Lord spoke to Moses in the Wilderness or Desert of Sinai in the 1st month of the 2nd year after the Exodus. The Passover must be kept as prescribed in the 14th day of the 1st month, Abib, at night. If some are unclean by death contact, or on a journey, they must keep the Passover on the 14th day of the 2nd month at night with unleavened bread and bitter herbs, and nothing must remain till the morning. But if anyone is clean and at home and does not keep the Passover in its appointed season, he will bear his sin. This applies to even the stranger or foreigner in the land, for one statute applies to all. When the Tabernacle was erected the cloud covered the Tent of Testimony, and at night the cloud appeared as fire; but when the cloud lifted and moved on so too Israel journeyed and followed, and Israel encamped where it rested; by the Lord’s command the journeyed and at His command they rested, according to the cloud, whether it rested on the Tabernacle many or few days, even if only for one day, so did they; whether two days, a month, or a year.
Two silver Trumpets or Horns of beaten work must be made for the calling and gathering of the congregation of Israel to assemble at the Tent of Meeting. If the Trumpets are blown only once, the leaders are to the gather; if the Trumpets are sounded for alarm the 1st time, the East camp must move; if sounded 2nd time the South camp must follow; an alarm must be trumpeted for their journeys. But for gathering the assembly they must trumpet without alarm; and the Aaronic priests are to sound the Trumpets as a permanent statute for all generations. There must be a sound of alarm for war with the Trumpets, and the Lord God will remember and save Israel from their enemies. There must be trumpet sounds for gladness and feasts, for the new months, for the different sacrifices and offerings, for such celebrations as a memorial to God. In the 2nd year in the 2nd month on the 20th day the cloud lifted off the Tabernacle of Testimony, and Israel left the Desert of Sinai and came to the Wilderness of Paran. The order of the journey of the hosts or army by standards and camps and princes was: Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, then the Tabernacle, after it is taken down, and the Gershonites and Merarites; after them Reuben, Simeon, Gad; then followed the Kohathites transporting the Sanctuary and those to setup the Tabernacle; after these were Ephraim, Manasseh, Benjamin; and last was Dan, Asher, and Naphtali. They journeyed and marched. Moses conversed with his father-in-law Hobab (Jethro) ben-Reuel the Midianite, inviting him to join Israel in their journey to Canaan, and he would be treated well; but he turned down the invitation to return to his land and people. Moses entreated him to accompany Israel in the desert as eyes for Israel, and they truly will treat him good. Israel departed from the Mountain of the Lord and went 3 days journey, with Ark of Covenant of the Lord leading the way to find a new resting place, the cloud leading above. When the Ark moved forward Moses bid the Lord to Rise and scatters His enemies and put to flight those who hate Him; when the Ark rested he bid the Lord to Return to the hundreds of thousands of Israel.
The people complained with evil, and the Lord heard it and burned in anger and He devoured to the edges of the camp; and they cried to Moses, and he prayed and then the fire abated; for which reason the place was called Taberah. The mixed crowd in Israel lusted exceedingly crying for flesh to eat like when they were in Egypt, when they ate freely, along with cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic; for their soul was tired of the manna (it looked as coriander seed (zera-gad), as bdellium (here only and in Gen. 2; the bedolach is a resin or pearl, whitish or grayish; but mostly uncertain; its connection to the dew, seeds, and quails is curious),and it was gathered and grounded, or beaten or boiled, and made into oil tasting cakes; and it fell only at night. The people’s complaints and tears angered the Lord and displeased Moses, who complained to the Lord of the burden of caring for such a people, as if as a mother to conceive and birth them, or a nursing-father to carry them as nursing-babes in the bosom to Canaan (here the Lord and Moses are pictured as Shaddai). Moses despaired how he could feed all these unbearable people with flesh and chooses rather to die now than to guide them. In response the Lord appointed 70 elders and officers of Israel to stand with Moses at the Tent, and He told him that He would take of the Spirit on Moses and put it on the Elders to share the burden of the people with him. But the people must sanctify themselves for the next day they will indeed eat flesh according to their cries and demands, not just a day or more, but an entire month till it comes out of their nostrils and they despise it, since they rejected and complained against the Lord. Moses replied that the footmen alone numbered over 600,000, how he could give them flesh to eat for a month, and even all the flocks and herds slain, or all the fishes of the sea would not be enough to satisfy them. The Lord replied to Moses that His Hand is not so short to fulfill His every word. So, when the Spirit rested on the 70 Elders gathered around the Tent they prophesied. Two of Elders (Eldad and Medad) remained in the camp and the Spirit rested on them and they prophesied; a young man ran and reported it to Moses, and Joshua ben-Nun, his minister, a chosen man, ask Moses to stop them, but Moses replied that is it jealousy for him, but wished that all the Lord’s people were prophets and His Spirit rest on them. Moses and the Elders returned to the camp, and the Lord sent a wind that brought quails from the sea (here is a clue to Israel’s location in Arabia), and they fell near the camp, about a day’s journey on both sides of the camp all around, flying about 2 feet above the ground. The people gathered quails for a day and half, each 10 homers or more, and then distributed them throughout the camp. While they stuff themselves, even before they could chew it, the Lord’s anger ignited and severely plagued them; and they called the place Kibroth-hat-taavah, for they buried those who lusted.
From Kibrothhattaavah they journeyed to Hazeroth and stayed; there Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses for marrying a Cushite (Ethiopian, African of southern Egypt, black or dark, not a remarriage of Zipporah the Midianite) woman. They equated themselves with Moses in hearing the Lord, and the Lord heard it; now Moses was the meekest of men. The Lord demanded Moses and Aaron and Miriam to appear at the Tent, and He appeared in a pillar of cloud, and called to Aaron and Miriam, and told them that to a prophet among the people He will appear in a vision or dream, but to His servant Moses who is faithful in all His house, He will speak mouth to mouth clearly and not obscurely; he may see the Form of Jehovah; and He asked why they were not afraid to speak against His servant. The Lord’s anger burned against them, and He departed, and the cloud lifted, and Miriam was leprous as snow-white. Aaron seeing her, begged Moses for forgiveness for their foolish sin, and to spare Miriam from a more severe case of the plague, as a miscarriage. Moses begged the Lord to heal her; but the Lord said that if she had spit on her father’s face she should be shamed for 7 days, so she must be outside the camp for a week. The people remained in Hazeroth till Miriam returned.
From Hazeroth they came to Desert of Paran and encamped in the wilderness. The Lord instructed Moses to commission 12 spies who are tribal princes from the tribes of Israel to survey and spy out the land of Canaan. Two of the 12 were Caleb ben-Jephunneh of Judah, and Hoshea (who Moses renamed Joshua) ben-Nun of Ephraim; these 12 were sent out as spies. They were to enter Canaan by the South borders and into the Hill-Country, to get intelligence of the entire land and its people, their strength and number, the country’s condition and landscape, its cities and forts, the camps, the crops, the trees, and such. The spies are to return bravely and with some fruit of the land. The time was the season of the first-ripe grapes (about summer, July). The spies surveyed from the Desert of Zin to Rehob to Hamath; from the South to Hebron, where the 3 sons of Anak lived (Hebron was built 7 years before Zoan of Egypt); then they came to the valley of Eshcol (or wady or stream or pass of Grape-clusters) and they cut down clusters of grapes. They returned in 40 days and reported to Moses and Aaron and to Israel in the Desert of Paran to Kadesh. They said the good news is the land flows with milk and honey and fruit; but the bad news is the people are strong, the cities are great and fortified, and the Anakims live there; in the South dwell Amalek; and Hittite, Jebusite, and Amorite in the hill-country; the Canaanites are by the sea coasts and along the Jordan. Now Caleb hushed the people before Moses and encouraged them to invade and conquer quickly. But the 10 spies insisted that the occupants are too strong, giving an evil report that the land consumes its inhabitants, and have giants, even the Nephilim or Anakims; and that the spies appeared as grasshoppers compared to them. Israel cried in despair and complained against Moses, and sighing for to have died in Egypt or the Desert; asking why the Lord delivered them to kill them in Canaan, desiring to return to Egypt by a new captain. Moses and Aaron prostrate before the assembly, and Joshua and Caleb tore their clothes and tried to persuade the company that the land is worth it, that if the Lord delights in them He will give them this rich land; but they must not rebel and be afraid for they will be their bread. The congregation wanted to stone them; then the Lord’s glory appeared at the Tent to all Israel; and He asked Moses how long they will despise Him in unbelief of all His miracles; and offered to plague them and disinherit them, and to make of him a new greater and mightier nation in their place. But Moses pleaded that the Egyptians will hear the news and broadcast it to the Canaanites, for they all know the Lord dwells in Israel, and He is seen by Face, and His cloud and pillar leads them. If the Lord kills them, the nations which heard the news of His fame of the Exodus will reason that the Lord was not able to bring them to their new home in the land He promised, so He killed them in the desert. Moses prayed that the Lord’s great power, with His slow anger, mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, punishing the guilty, visiting parents’ wickedness on the children to the 4th generation; he begs pardon for the people as in forgiveness to them from Egypt to the present. The Lord replied that He has forgiven them as Moses prayed, but by His Life all the earth will be filled with His glory and these men of unbelief and rebellion and disobedience and ungrateful, who has tempted him by testing and provoking Him these 10 Times (Ex. 5; 14; 15; 16; 17; 32; Num. 11; 11; 12; 14)) disregarding His Voice; He swore by oath to them that that generation of those who despised the Lord will not enter Canaan, except for Caleb (and Joshua), because his spirit was different, and fully followed Him, for he and his seed will enter.
Now the Amalekite and Canaanite resided in the valley; He made them return to the desert near the way to the Red Sea (Yam Suph, Gulf of Aqaba). The Lord told Moses He is fed up tolerating these complaining stubborn people, tell them that as they have desired and demanded so it will be; their dead bodies will fall in the desert, everyone from the age of 20 and older who have complained will never enter Canaan, excluding Caleb and Joshua. But the children that they were worried about becoming a prey they will enter the land they rejected, but they will die in the wilderness, and their children must be wanderers and pilgrims in the desert for 40 years, a day for a year (40 days for 40 years) to bear their inequities and know my alienation. Thus, did He say and swore and so it must be. He spared the children but slew the parents; He favored the younger generation and destroyed the older one; and the spies that brought the evil report died by the plague of the Lord. Moses told all this to the people, and Israel mourned and decided to go up to the mountain top and determined to invade Canaan as previously ordered; but Moses rebuked them again of a new transgression against the Lord’s command and told them to not go up because the Lord will not go with them.
Korah a Kohathite priest along with the Reubenites Dathan and Abiram and with a company of 250 Israelite famed princes who assembled against Moses and Aaron; accusing them of usurping the priesthood, since all Israel is a holy assembly of the Lord, then Moses fell face down, and told Korah and his company that the Lord will show and say who is holy and choose who may approach Him. The next day all of them are to take censers filled with fire and incense before the Lord Who will decide who is holy, for the Levites were usurping by rebellion against their appointed service and ministry from the Lord to usurp the priesthood opposing Aaron. When Moses sent for Dathan and Abiram they refused to come, complaining that he has led them away from Canaan (milk and honey) to be killed in the desert, and has made himself the prince, and has not led them to the rich new land, but desire to put out their eyes. Moses enraged asked the Lord to reject their offering, for he has taxed or oppressed anyone. Moses told Korah and his crowd to take a position and Aaron another place everyone with 250 censers; they gathered at the Tent, and the Lord’s glory appeared to all. The Lord told Moses and Aaron to separate their selves away from the congregation that He may instantly consume them; but they fell down and begged the God of the spirits of all flesh not to destroy all for one man’s sin, and not be angry with all. The Lord told Moses that the congregation must remove from the tabernacle (tent and home) of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, and their families. He and the elders told the people to depart from their tents, and touch nothing of theirs or they may be consumed; and they moved back and about. Moses declared that the Lord will confirm His commission to Israel by the rebels not dyeing a common death or visited as other men; but the Lord make a new thing by opening the ground swallow them all and all that belongs to them, going alive into hell or the grave (sheol); all will know these men despised the Lord. It was so done, they were swallowed alive by the earth, into sheol, and the earth closed again, and they perished from the assembly; and Israel ran away that they might not be swallowed up. But the fire of the Lord devoured the 250 men who offered the incense. The Lord ordered that Eleazar the priest take the 250 burnt censers and scatter the fire yonder because they are holy, censers of sinners against their souls; the censers must be beaten and made into a covering of the Altar, a memorial to Israel to prevent a non-Aaronic stranger from approaching to burn incense as did Korah and his crowd.
The next morning the congregation of Israel accused Moses and Aaron of killing the Lord’s people; and while assembled thus they saw the Lord’s glory appear in the cloud above the Tent. Moses and Aaron stood in front of the Tent, and the Lord told them to get away from the Congregation that He might quickly consume them; and they prostrated themselves. Moses told Aaron to quickly take his censer with fire and incense to the Congregation and make atonement for them to halt the Lord’s wrath and plague. And he did so to stand between the living and the dead, and the plagued stopped; but the plague killed 14,700, excluding those of Korah’s rebellion. The Lord told Moses that Israel must take 12 rods for the tribal princes and write their names on each and Aaron’s name to be written on a rod for Levi; and all the rods placed inside the Tent of meeting before the Testimony where the Lord appeared. He will choose the rod and it will bud and the complainers of Israel will be silenced; and it was so; the Aaron’s rod for the house of Levi budded and blossomed and produced ripe almonds; and the Lord commanded that Aaron’s rod must be kept before the Testimony as a token or sign of the rebels, and that others may not murmur and die. Israel spoke to Moses afraid that they might die as undone, since those who approach the Lord’s Tabernacle are dead and perish.
The Lord told Aaron that he and his sons and the Levites must bear the iniquity of the Sanctuary, and the Aaronic priests will bear the wickedness of their priesthood. The Levites are to help and minister to him, but only the Aaronic priests may be before the Tent of Testimony; to keep the charge of the Sanctuary and the Altar, that none may die. The Levites are to assist as a gift in the charges and service of the Tent to the Aaronic priesthood in all concerning the Altar and inside the Veil, their priesthood is a service gift; no stranger must approach, or he will die. Also, to Aaron and sons He gave the charge of His heave-offerings and the holy anointed things of Israel as their continual portion. All the fire sacrifices of the most holy things of the various oblations, every male must eat of it; also the heave and wave offerings of Israel all the priest’s family may eat who are clean; also of the best first fruits of the crops; also of the first ripe fruits, and of the devoted things, and the firstborn of man and beast, and those redeemed firstborn and firstlings. All the redeemed of Israel valued by the priests; but the firstlings of the animal sacrifices are a fire offering to the Lord and to be burnt up, but the waived breast and the right thigh may be eaten. The heave-offerings the priest’s family may eat as a covenant of salt before the Lord forever. The tithe of Israel belongs to the Levites as an inheritance as payment for their service in the Tent, that Israel may not approach with sin and die. The Levites must do the service of the Tent to bear their inequities always for the tithe of Israel is theirs. And the Levites are to tithe of the tithe as a heave-offering to the Lord and must be given to Aaron the priest. All the gifts must be offered as a heave-offering and sanctify part of it, and reckoned as increase produce; and eat it as reward for service without sin.
The Lord told Moses for Israel that the statute of the law of the spotless and unblemished and Red Heifer, never yoked, is that she is to be given to Eleazar the priest, and he must take her outside the camp and she must be slain in his presence, and he shall sprinkle her blood toward the front of the Tent 7 times, and the Red Heifer must be entirely burnt up. The priest must throw some cedar-wood, hyssop, and scarlet into the fire of the burning heifer; then he must wash clothes, bathe, and remain unclean till eve; the one who burnt her shall do likewise. Then a clean man shall collect the ashes of the heifer and store it outside the camp in a clean place and be kept for the Congregation as water for impurity as a sin-offering; and he who gathers the ashes shall do likewise. So too with one who touches a dead person’s body and does not purify himself, he defiles the Lord’s Tabernacle; he must die because the water for impurity was not applied to him, and he remains unclean still. The law of a dead man in a tent defiles everyone and everything in the tent for 7 days; so too the death contact in the field or elsewhere. The ashes of the burnt sin-offering by fresh water must be sprinkled on the unclean by death, on the 3rd and 7th day; and he who applies the water himself must be cleansed; and death to the who refuses to purify himself since he has defiled the Lord’s Sanctuary.
Now Israel encamped in the Desert of Zin in the 1st month (of the 40th year) at Kadesh (we are now concluding Numbers, and its relations to Genesis and Deuteronomy, and are preparing for Moses V), and Miriam died and was buried. Again, the assembly complained and opposed Moses and Aaron wishing to die quickly as their brethren earlier rather than slowly by thirst to death; they criticized them for their deliverance to an evil place without seed, figs, grapes, pomegranates, or water. They left the assembly of complainers and prostrated before the Lord’s glory; and He told Moses to take the Rod with the assembly, and to speak to the Rock to bring forth water for the people and animals. They gathered the assembly of rebels and denounced to them that they must produce water from the Rock; he struck the Rock twice (instead of once) and water flowed abundantly. But the Lord said to them that since they did sanctify the Lord in the eyes of Israel they will not enter Canaan with the people. These are the waters of Meribah of Israel’s strife with the Lord and He was not sanctified. Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom, relating Israel’s stay in Egypt, their mistreatment and travail, their deliverance and exodus, the Lord’s Angel bringing them up to Edom’s southern borders to the city Kadesh. Moses requested passage through Edom to Canaan, and he promised that Israel would only go along the King’s Highway and will not touch or eat or drink anything. Edom refused, and Israel requested again, but Edom again refused, and came to oppose them with many people; Israel turned away; and journeyed from Kadesh to mount Hor at the border of Edom. The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, telling Aaron must die here before Israel enters Canaan because they rebelled against the Lord’s word at the waters of Meribah; and he must bring Aaron and Eleazar to mount Hor; and must strip Aaron of his priestly garments and put them on his son Eleazar. Aaron died in mount Hor in the sight of Israel; Moses and Eleazar descends the mount, and all the congregation of the house of Israel grieved for Aaron 30 days.
Now the Canaanite king of Arad, who lived in the South hearing that Israel went by the way of Atharim, attacked and captured some of them; Israel vowed that if the Lord defeats them by Israel then their cities will be utterly destroyed. So, He did, and Israel destroyed the cities of the southern Canaanites near Hormah. They journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red Sea (Yam Suph, Aqaba) going around Edom; and the souls of the people was much discouraged on the way, and they complained against God and Moses for bringing them from Egypt to die in the wilderness, without bread and water, and they hated the light bread of manna. The Lord sent fiery serpents (seraphim serpents, poisonous snakes) to bite and kill many people. The people came to Moses repenting and confessing their sins, and begging Moses to pray that the Lord remove the snakes; and he did. The Lord told him to make a fiery serpent of brass and set it on a standard, and anyone bitten by a snake looking on it shall live; and it was so. Then Israel journeyed and encamped in Oboth, then again to Lyeabarim in the desert near Moab eastward to the sun-rising. Again, they traveled to the valley of Zered, then to Arnon’s other side in the desert borders of the Amorites and Moab. Here is it said, in the Book of Jehovah’s Wars (Sepher Milchamoth), Vaheb in Suphah (eth-Waheb beSuphah), and the Valleys of Arnon (Hannechalim Arnon, Arnon’s Nachalim, Nachal, or Stream, Torrent, Vale, Wady, or Wady), and the Slope of the Valleys (Eshed Nachalim) towards Ar’s dwelling, adjacent to Moab’s border; thence to Beer, the Well, where the Lord told Moses to gather the people, and He gave them water, and Israel sang the ‘Song of Spring Up O Well’, the well princes dug, nobles delved, with scepter and staves. They left the desert went to Mattanah, then to Nahaliel, then to Bamoth, then to the valley in the field of Moab, to the top of Pisgah overlooking the desert.
Israel then out messengers to Sihon the king of the Amorites, just as they did earlier to the king of Moab, to be permitted to pass through his land into Canaan; but he also refused and mustered and attacked Israel at Jahaz. Israel defeated them by the sword and captured and occupied his land from Arnon to Jabbok at the strong and secure border of the Ammonites. Israel captured and occupied all the cities of the Amorites, Heshbon and all the surrounding towns. Now Heshbon was the city of Sihon the king of the Amorites who captured it by defeating the king of Moab and occupied all his land up to Arnon. Thus those who speak in proverbs say to invite them to come to Heshbon and build and establish the city of Sihon; for a fire from Heshbon and a flame from Sihon devoured Ar of Moab, and the lords of Arnon’s high-places; woe to Moab and undone is Chemosh’s people; his sons are fugitives, and his daughters captives to Sihon king of the Amorites; they were shot, and Heshbon perished up to Dibon, and destroyed up to Nophah and to Medeba. Israel occupied the land of the Amorites. Moses sent spies or scouts to Jazer and captured it and drove out the Amorites; then they turned to the way Bashan and Og its king engaged at the battle of Edrei. The Lord told Moses not fear him or his people for He has given Israel their land, and they must be treated just as Sihon king of the Amorites at Heshbon; Israel utterly destroyed them and possessed their land.
Israel then moved and encamped in the plains of Moab across Jordan’s Jericho; and Balak ben-Zippor the king of Moab aware of Israel’s defeat of the Amorites, and that Moab was afraid and distressed by Israel’s number and strength; that he told the elders of Midian that Israel will lick up all the nearby country as the ox eats the grass. He sent messengers to Balaam ben-Beor to Pethor by the River (Euphrates), to his people’s land, saying that a people come from Egypt and cover the earth, and residing nearby; soliciting him to come and curse Israel that he might prevail and strike them to drive them out of the country. But God told Balaam he must not go nor curse for they are blessed. Balaam arose in the morn and told the princes of Balak to return home for the Lord refuses to permit him to go. They returned and reported to Balak, but he sent other more honorable princes to Balaam with an offer of great honor and reward, at any cost, that he may curse the people. Balaam told them not even Balak’s house full of silver and gold could make him alter the word of the Lord God. But he bid them stay the night to see what the Lord might say. God visited him at night and told him to go with the men who came to hire him, but he must only speak only what He speaks to him. He awoke and readied his donkey and went with them; but God’s anger burned against him, and the Lord’s angel stood to oppose him, as he rode along with his two servants. The donkey seeing the angel blocking the passage with a sword drawn, it turned away into the field; Balaam hit her to turn her back. The angel moved to a narrow path between the vineyards between walls, the donkey seeing the angel went into the wall crushing Balaam’s foot; he struck her again. Again, the angel moved further to a narrower place without room to pass, the donkey seeing him she collapsed under him, and he struck her with his staff; but the Lord opened her mouth, and she asked him what wrong has she done to be struck these 3 times. He replied to her that she has mocked him, and if he had a sword he would kill her; she replied that he has ridden her all her life, and has never acted this way, and he agreed; but the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes to see the angel standing with a drawn sword, so he bowed to the ground. The angel rebuked him for beating the donkey 3 times, and that he came as an adversary to him for his perverse course, that if the donkey had not halted and turned away he would have slain him and spared her. Balaam replied that he was unaware of the angel’s opposition, and if he was displeased he would return home; and he told him to go with them and warned him to only speak what he would tell him; he went with the princes. Balak met him at the city of Moab at the furthest border of Arnon and asked why he delayed responding to his urgent plea and generous offer of reward. Balaam reminded Balak that he has no power but to speak God’s expressed words; they both went to Kiriath-huzoth, there Balak sacrificed oxen and sheep and fed Balaam and the princes. Next day Balak took him to Baal’s high places to see all the people. Balaam instructed Balak to construct 7 altars and prepare 7 bulls and 7 rams; he did so and offered the sacrifices. Balaam told Balak to wait by his burnt-offering while he would go see if the Lord might visit him, and he related the words and vision to Balak. God met Balaam and he told Him that he had prepared and offered two sacrifices each on 7 altars. Then the Lord put a word in Balaam’s mouth, and to return to speak it to speak to them; he turned and found them all waiting by the burnt-offering.
Then Balaam related his parable and vision: Balak the king of Moab brought me from Aram, from the mountains of the East (Mesopotamia) to curse Jacob and defy Israel. But how can he curse one whom God has not cursed or defy whom the Lord has not defied; for from the top of the rocks and hills he sees them dwelling alone and not numbered with the nations. Jacob’s dust cannot be counted, and the 4th of Israel cannot be numbered; and may Balaam’s death and end be like righteous Israel. Balak protested that instead of cursing his enemies he has altogether blessed them; but Balaam insisted he can only speak what the Lord inspires. Again, Balak took him to a 2nd place to see only a small part of Israel and to curse them; to the field of Zophim to the top of Pisgah and sacrificed as before; likewise did Balaam as before, and so also the Lord. Balaam returned to Balak and the princes of Moab; and Balak asked what the Lord said, and Balaam related his 2nd parable and vision. Arise and listen Balak ben-Zippor, God is not a liar like man, does not repent as the son of man, He will do what He says and fulfill His words; he must bless because He blessed, and cannot reverse it. He sees no iniquity in Jacob and no perversity in Israel; the Lord his God is with him, the shout of a King among them God rescued them from Egypt, as with the strength of the wild-ox (thoaphoth, high-horns, strong-horns, and unicorn). Jacob is without enchantment and Israel without divination; they will say of Jacob and Israel: what has God done? The people rises as a lioness and a lion, he will not rest till he devours his prey and drink their blood. Balak protested that he neither curse nor bless them; but Balaam reminded him that he must only speak what the Lord has spoken. Again, Balak took Balaam to another place in hopes that God will permit him to curse Israel; but the 3rd time he took him to the top of Peor overlooking the desert; and as before made sacrifices on 7 altars. But Balaam seeing that the Lord determined to bless Israel turned his face towards the wilderness without enchantments but gazed upon Israel’s tribes; and the Spirit of God came upon him. Balaam’s 3rd parable and vision, with closed eyes, which speaks and hears the words of God; which sees the vision of Shaddai, falling down with eyes open. Beautiful are Jacob’s tents and Israel’s tabernacles; as spacious valleys, as gardens by the river-side, as the Lord’s planted lign-aloes; and as watered cedar-trees. Water flowing buckets, seed of many waters; his King higher than Agag, and his kingdom exalted. God delivered them from Egypt, with strength of a wild-ox; and he will consume the nations his adversaries, breaking their bones, and shooting them with arrows; as couched lion and lioness at rest. Blessed are those who bless them and cursed are those which curse them.
Balak very angry at Balaam clapped his hands saying he invited him to curse his enemies, but instead 3 times he has blest them; he told him to return home since the Lord has deprived him of honor. Balaam reminded him that he told the messengers his limitations to speak only what the Lord revealed, no matter what the bribe or rewards offered; Balaam before leaving offered his advertisement and prediction of the future actions of Israel against Moab. As before, he uttered his prophetic parable of God’s words and Elyon’s knowledge and Shaddai’s vision in his trance: he saw in the distant future a Star of Jacob and a Sceptre of Israel striking all Moab and breaking all the sons of tumult; Edom-Seir, his enemies, will be conquered, Israel victorious; one from Jacob has dominion, and will destroy the city’s remnant. Then looking toward Amalek he continued his parable and prophecy: Amalek the first and head of the nations or Gentiles shall finally come to destruction. So too his 3rd parable: the Kenite with their strong and secure homelands nested in the rock; Kain indeed will be devastated and captured by Asshur or Assyria. Again, he continued with his 4th and final parable: who will survive the acts of God? And the ships of Kittim’s coast will afflict and invade and destroy Asshur. Balaam returned home and Balak departed.
But Israel settled in Shittim; and the people played the harlot there with the daughters of Moab, who had invited them to share and partake in their sacrifices to their gods or idols, and to worship their idol gods. Israel was joined or united with Baal-peor as a harlot; and the Lord’s anger ignited against Israel. He told Moses to take the chiefs of the people and to hang them up before the sun to turn away the Lord’s fierce anger from Israel. Moses told the judges to slay anyone who had joined and participated at Baal-peor. One of the princes had taken along a Midianite woman in sight of Moses and the congregation of Israel while they wept at the door of the tent of meeting. Phinehas ben-Eleazar ben-Aaron saw, and arose with a spear, and went after the Israelite into the pavilion or tent and speared them both together; and the plague ended, after 24,000 died. The Lord told Moses that Phinehas has mitigated His wrath on Israel by his zeal for the Lord’s burning jealousy; he will have His covenant of peace, and to his seed, for an everlasting priesthood, for his zeal atoned for Israel. The slain Israelite was Zimri ben-Salu a prince of the Simeonites; the Midianite woman was Cozbi bath-Zur who was a chief or sheikh of Midian. The Lord told Moses to vex and smite the Midianites as they seduced and deceived Israel concerning Peor, and of Cozbi a daughter and sister of a Midianite prince.
After the plague of Peor the Lord told Moses that Eleazar the priest must number all Israel, a census of those 20 and older able to go to war in Israel of those delivered from Egypt. This they did in the plains (areboth, the Arebah) of Moab by the Jordan River near Jericho: of Reubenites, 4 families or clans numbered 43,730 (of these were Pallu’s son Eliab and his 3 sons Nemuel, Dathan and Abiram; these last two were the same rebels of Korah’s company, all of which died by the earth swallowing them and the fire devoured the 250 as a sign; but Korah’s sons died not); and of Simeonites, 5 tribal-families numbered 22,200; of Gadites, 7 clans totaled 40,500; of Judah (Judahites, Judaens, Jews), (Judah’s sons Er and Onan died in Canaan), 3 clans and clans of Perez’ sons, numbered in all 76,500; of Issachar, 4 clans totaled 64,300; of Zebulun, 3 tribal-families, the sum was 60,500; of Joseph’s Manasseh, 1 clan and 1 family of Machir’s son, and of Gilead 6 families, and of Zelophehad’s 5 daughters, all these totaled 52,700; of Joseph’s Ephraim, 3 clans, plus of Eran I family, in all numbered 32,500; of Benjamin, 5 clans, and of Bela’s sons 2 families, in all totaled 45,600; of Dan’s son, 1 clan of 64,400; of Asher, 3 clans, plus of Beriah 2 families, and Asher’s daughter Serah, these all numbered 53,400; of Naphtali, 4 clans numbered 45,400. All Israel numbered in total sum 601,730; and the Lord told Moses that the land must be divided for inheritance by the number of their names; the more numerous get more land, and the smaller tribes get less land. But the land must be divided by lot to inherit. The Levites in 3 clans and 5 tribal-families; (now of Kohath was Amram, and his wife Jochebed was of Levi who was born in Egypt, and of these were Aaron and Moses, and their sister Miriam); and Aaron had 4 sons, two of them died in offering strange fire before the Lord; all these Levites numbered 23,000 of males 1 month and older. These were excluded in the census of Israel for they were not to be given a tribal inheritance in Israel. This census numbered by Moses and Eleazar was taken in the plains of Moab by Jordan at Jericho. Not a single man was in this census that was in the census made by Moses and Aaron in the desert of Sinai (38 years earlier), according to what the Lord had sworn concerning their dying in the wilderness, except for Caleb and Joshua.
Now the 5 daughters of Zelophehad ben-Hepher ben-Gilead ben-Machir ben-Manasseh ben-Joseph were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah stood before Moses and Eleazar and the elders at the door of the Tent; and they argued that their father had died in the desert for his own sin but did not participate in the rebellion of Korah, without a male heir, his name must not be removed from his family inheritance, but his daughters should be allowed to inherit his portion. Moses inquired of the Lord Who replied that the daughters of Zelophehad were right and must inherit their father’s possession. Further, when a man dies without a male heir then the tribal-inheritance must go to the female, and if no children must pass on to his brothers, or his father’s brothers, or to the nearest of kin; this is a perpetual statute and ordinance in Israel.
Then the Lord told Moses to go up into this mountain of Abarim, to see at a distance the promised land of Israel, then he must die as Aaron had died, because they rebelled at the Lord’s word in the desert of Zin in Israel’s strife and of their not sanctifying Him at waters of Meribah of Kadesh in Zin’s desert. And Moses requested that the Lord as God of the spirits of all flesh, to appoint a successor as a shepherd to lead Israel in going and coming. The Lord told him to call Joshua, in who is the Spirit, and lay hands on him before the priest Eleazar and the assembly, and to charge him, and to give him of his own honor that Israel might obey and follow him. And he shall stand before Eleazar who will inquire for him the Divine Judgment of Urim before the Lord, and at Joshua’s word shall all Israel go out or come in; and it was done.
Then the Lord by Moses commanded the Israelites that His oblations and food offerings by fire as a sweet smell, must be offered appropriately and timely as originally given at Sinai. Whether fire offerings as continual burnt-offerings, or drink offerings or meal-offerings, or such; with animals or grains, on Sabbaths or holy days and seasons, or ordinary days or special occasions, must all be performed in strict and exact order of the Mosiac code of the Lord at Sinai. So too with all sacrifices and offerings as the sin-offering with all that pertains to it, that is offered for atonement or propitiation or satisfaction or reconciliation, all must conform to the original mandates and regulations, in manner and substance, in fasts or feasts, for individuals or the nation. The Mosaic legislation and Divine ordinances must not be altered or ignored for all generations in all or the least of its detail, including all amendments or additions divinely given. Whether in set feasts as the Passover, or in vows, free-will offerings, burnt-offerings, meal-offerings, drink-offerings, peace-offerings, and all such offerings, they are to be performed to the Lord as commanded. Men’s vows to the Lord or soul sworn binding bond oaths must be kept as vowed; and so too unmarried women’s vows, unless her father negates it; and so too a married woman’s, unless her husband negates it; all must be by divine regulations. A widow’s vow must be kept. These legal statutes governing relations and conditions of people are to be observed exactly.
The Lord by Moses ordered Israel to avenge and execute the Lord’s vengeance on the Midianites; and then Moses will die. Each tribe must send to war 1,000 men, in all numbering 12,000. Eleazar the priest and the vessels of the Sanctuary, with alarm trumpet in hand, with them. They warred with Midian and slaughtered them, slaying all the adult males, and the five kings of Midian, and also Balaam ben-Beor they killed by sword. Israel captured the women and children of Midian, and their cattle and flocks, and all their goods they took as prey or spoil. They burnt up all their cities and encampments, and led captive all that belonged to the Midianites, and brought the captives and spoil to Moses and Eleazar at the camp in the plains of Moab by Jordan at Jericho. Moses was enraged at all the captains of war that they had spared the Midianite women, declaring that these women followed the counsel of Balaam to prostitute themselves in trespass against the Lord concerning Peor and the plague that followed. So Moses ordered them to kill every male child and all the non-virgin women; thus sparing only the female children and the Midianite virgins. Those who executed the orders and had killed the Midianite captives must remain outside the camp for 7 days to be purged from blood and death, on the 3rd and 7th day; also every garment or fabric, skins, wooden things, must all be purged by water and sacrifices. Eleazar the priest instructed the soldiers the Lord’s statute by Moses concerning the metal objects of gold, silver, brass, iron, tin, and lead to be purged and cleansed by fire and water, and all other substance and objects must be water purged, such as clothes by washing. After the 7 days of exclusion from the camp they were cleansed and returned.
The Lord by Moses demanded a census of the sum and number of the prey or captives of both man and beast, to be taken by Moses, Eleazar, and the tribal princes. The prey or captives to be divided into two parts, one part of the soldiers, and the other part of the assembly; and a tribute levy to the Lord to be made. One soul of every 500 persons or humans, of oxen, of donkeys, and of flocks, and the number from this half must go to Eleazar as the Lord’s heave-offering; and the other half one out of every 50 and the sum to be given to the Levites caring for the Lord’s Tabernacle; and it was so done. The count of all the livestock prey, not counting the soldier’s booty, totaled 675,000 sheep, and 72,000 oxen, and 61,000 donkeys, and 32,000 virgin women; and the half belonging to the soldiers’ portion and booty numbered 337,500 in all. The Lord’s tribute of sheep was 675; and of the 36,000 oxen His tribute was 72; of the 30,500 donkeys His tribute was 61; and of the 16,000 persons His tribute was 32. Moses gave the tribute of the Lord’s heave-offering to Eleazar the priest as Moses was commanded. And the half belonging to the assembly, totals based on one out of every 50 of the assembly’s half; the tribute sum went to the Levites serving the Tabernacle. Then the officers over the army, the captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds came and told Moses they have numbered all the soldiers to the last man and have brought the Lord’s oblation from every soldier’s booty of all the objects of gold jewels, of ankle-chains, and bracelets, signet-rings, ear-rings, and armlets or arm-bands, to make atonement for their souls before the Lord. Moses and Eleazar took the gold and jewels; and the gold of the heave-offering offered by the captains came to 16,750 shekels, from what the soldiers had personally taken for themselves as their booty. They took the soldiers’ gold and brought it into the Tent of Meeting as a memorial before the Lord.
Now the Reubenites and Gadites had extensive cattle and saw the lands of Jazer and Gilead were good cattle pastures, they came to Moses and Eleazar and the princes or elders, and requested that from Ataroth to Beon, 9 lands, all the country the Lord smote for Israel, being good cattle land, to be given to them as a possession on the east side of the Jordan River. Moses first response was to question their motives that they wished to escape war and to desert their brethren while they settle in trans-Jordan. He rebuked them for discouraging the Israelites from crossing over into Canaan; and he reminded them what their fathers did 38 years earlier at Kadsehbarnea, when they returned from Eshcol and influenced Israel to refuse to invade Canaan. The Lord then enraged at Israel swore that not a single man of that generation from 20 and older should see and enter the land promised to Abraham and Isaac and Jacob; excluding Caleb the Kenezite and Joshua, for they completely followed Him. In His burning anger He made Israel wander as nomads and Bedouins in the desert for 40 years (38 years extra) till all that evil and rebellious generation died off. So Moses accused the two tribes of like conduct as sinful men fueling the Lord’s fierce anger towards Israel, so that He will desert and destroy the people in the wilderness. The two tribes replied that they would make folds and enclosures for their livestock and build fenced cities for their families to protect them from the local inhabitants; but they as warriors would accompany Israel into Canaan till the conquest. They will return to Trans-Jordan only after the conquest of Canaan and Israel securely occupies the country as their inheritance. Moses then yielded or acquiesced to their desires, restating the conditions and terms of this new agreement in which they may remain guiltless to the Lord and to Israel. He warned them to be faithful to this contract or their sin will find them out. So he granted their request and permitted them to do as they said; and he instructed Eleazar and Joshua to grant to them the Transjordan or the land of Gilead as their possession after Israel’s conquest of Canaan. So all Israel agreed to the covenant and the Reubenites, Gadites, and half tribe of Manasseh were given the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites, Og king of Bashan, its land and coasts and all their cities. The Gadites built 9 fenced cities and folds for their sheep. The Reubenites 6 cities, some names being changed, But Machir ben-Manasseh and his sons conquered Gilead and dispossessed the Amorites; so Moses granted to them to settle in Gilead as their inheritance. Manasseh’s son Jair captured the small towns of Gilead and called it Havoth-Jair. So too Nobah captured Kenath and its villages and named it Nobah.
These are the Journeys of Israel’s Hosts or Armies after the Exodus out of Egypt led by Moses and Aaron; and he wrote or recorded the directions of Israel’s journey and goings. They departed from Rameses in the 1st month on the 15th day, on the morning after the Passover in greatness in sight of all the Egyptians, who buried all the firstborn which the Lord had killed and had executed judgments on their gods or idols. Israel left Rameses and camped in Succoth, then to Etham at the desert’s border, then to Pihahiroth by Baalzephon and camped at Migdol; then they crossed the sea into the desert, and went 3 days journey (some 30 miles) into the desert of Etham and camped at Marah; thence to Elim with its 12 founts and 70 palms and camped; thence camp by Yam Suph; thence camped in the desert of Sin; thence encamped in Dophkah, thence to Alush, then Rephidim a place without water, thence to the desert of Sinai; and thence to Kibrothhattavah, then to Hazeroth Rithmah , thence to Rimmonparez, then to Libnah; and thence to Rissah, then to Kehelathah, then to mount Shapher; thence to Haradah, then to Makheloth, then to Tahath, then to Tarah; and thence to Mithcah, then to Hashmonah, then to Moseroth; thence to Benejaakan, then to Horhagidgad, then to Jotbathah, then to Ebronah; thence to Eziongaber, then to the desert or wilderness of Zin or Kadesh. (About 30 locations of encampment.) And thence left to mount Hor at Edom’s border; and Aaron by the Lord’s command went up and died in mount Hor at 123 years of age in the 40th year, in the 1st of the 5th month, after the Exodus.
The Canaanite, king of Arad, who dwelt in the South or Negev of the land of Canaan, heard of Israelites’ coming. They journeyed from Hor to Zalmonah and encamped; thence to Punon, then to Oboth and camped in Lye-abarim (Lyim) in Moab’s border; thence to Dibon-gad, then to Almon-diblathaim; thence to the mountains of Abarim facing Nebo; thence to the Arabah or Plains of Moab by Jordan at Jericho and encamped near the Jordan River from Beth-jeshimoth to Abel-shittim in the Arabah of Moab. These journeys and encampments, in all some 40 locations or sites, over 40 years, brought Israel at the door and crossing into Canaan. The Lord by Moses in the Arabah of Moab at Jericho by Jordan commanded Israel to pass over across the Jordan and drive out all the Canaanites in the land, and to destroy their figurines and statutes and monuments, and their molten images and high places, their idols and idolatries. They must conquer Canaan and possess and occupy the land and country as He promised. They must inherit the land by lot and by number, to the more or to the less, by tribes and families as permanent inheritance. If they do not completely drive out all the remnants of Canaan then those who reside in the country will be eye splinters, side thorns, and will vex them; and the Lord will treat Israel as He dealt with the Canaanites.
The Lord by Moses commanded Israel to inherit the land of Canaan by designated borders and divisions or 4 quarters. South Quarter or Southern Border from the desert of Zin along the borders of Moab, and its Border from the Salt Sea (Yam Melach) eastward, turning southward at the ascent of Akrabbim, passing along to Zin; going southward of Kadesh-barnea, to Hazar-addar, to Azmon; turning at Azmon to the brook of Egypt, thence to the Sea. The Western Border is the Great Sea (Mediterranean Sea). The Northern Border is from the Great Sea and marking or designating mount Hor, to the entrance of Hamath, to Zedad, to Ziphron, and to Hazar-enan. The Eastern Border is marked or designated from Hazar-enan to Shepham, down to Riblah east of Ain, down to the side of the Sea Chinnereth (Galilee) eastward; down to Jordan, going to the Salt Sea. This is the geographical description of the designated borders inherited by lot by the 9 1/2 tribes of Israel on the west of Jordan in Canaan or Palestine. For the 2 1/2 tribes inherited the country in Transjordan on the east of Jordan toward the sun-rising. The Lord by Moses designated the men by Eleazar and Joshua to divide and partition the land by lot for the tribal inheritance; one tribal-prince from each tribe by name; 12 in all.
The Lord by Moses continued His commands to Israel that they must give to the Levites from their inheritance cities to reside in, along with suburbs; for their cattle and substance, and all their animals and livestock. The suburbs must be measured from the wall of the city outward to 1,000 cubits all around (some 1800 – 2000 feet, or 1/3 mile); then measured on the four sides of the city, east and south, west and north, additional 2000 cubits (some 3000 feet or 2/3 mile), making a circle enclosing or surrounding the walled city. The Levites must be given 6 cities of refuge for the manslayer, causing unintentional or accidental death, to flee for refuge and asylum. An additional 42 cities must be given, all these 48 cities must have suburbs; these are to be taken from each tribe by numerical representation, of the more or of the less. He commanded Israel to appoint in Canaan the 6 Cities of Refuge for the accidental or unintentional deaths for temporary refuge till he is tried by the court of judgment. In Transjordan must be 3 cities, and in Canaan 3 cities for those causing deaths but are not murderers, that is those who kill intentionally, willfully, and by use of a weapon or object, or by ambush and hatred; such are murderers and may not be a refugee and protected from the blood avenger. The one who kills or murders by whatever means must be judged by the assembly’s judicial courts; to save or put to death, to protect or to hand over, to restore or condemn. He must stay in the City of Refuge till the death of the High Priest who was anointed with holy oil; and if the manslayer leaves before this and encounters the blood avenger’s kin and is slain by him, the blood avenger is not guilty. But after the death of the standing anointed High Priest he may return home without harm.
These things are permanent statutes and ordinances for all generations in the land. But a true guilty murderer shall be put to death at least by 2 or 3 witnesses; no ransom money or bribe for the killer or murderer to flee or free, convict or release; for such pollutes the land, for blood pollutes the land; and no expiation can be made for the land except by the blood of the one who shed it. The land must not be defiled for the Lord resides in Israel. The tribal-heads of the Gileadites of Machir ben-Manasseh of Joseph brought before Moses and the princes and the chiefs of Israel the case of the inheritance of Zelophehad’s daughters. If they should marry outside the tribe of Manasseh then their husband’s tribe will inherit their land, and in the Jubilee resort to their husband tribes. Moses by the Lord’s command declared that the sons of Joseph are right in their concern; the daughters of Zelophehad must marry only within the tribe of Manasseh to prevent the loss of tribal inheritance into another tribe. No tribal inheritance is to be lost by marriage into another tribe. So Zelophehad’s daughters did as commanded; they married into the families of the tribe of Manasseh, retaining their father’s inheritance. These concludes the commandments and ordinances which the Lord commanded Moses in the Arabah of Moab by Jordan at Jericho.
We have now completed the summary and digest of the Book of Numbers of Israel’s 40 years in the wilderness or desert in transition from the Exodus of Egypt and slavery to Canaan, the Promised Land. Also we have surveyed the three books of Exodus and Leviticus and Numbers as preparatory and preliminary to the Book of Deuteronomy as the Second Law. We have presented by way of reflections and interpretations that the Bible as the Divine Hands with its Thumbs and Fingers illustrate and symbolize the Books of the Bible are connected in such a way that 10 key Books along with the other interconnected Books unfold the written Word of God as witness by the prophetic Spirit to the Living Word Who is revealed from beginning to end. I have attempted in my reflections to adhere tenaciously to the Text in these 4 Books of Moses as the initial foundation of God’s revelation and purpose, His design and intent, and His works and ways. We have seen and learnt from the Scriptures step by step, line upon line, by letters and words, by sentences and verses, and by chapters and books as many details as we could that will help us as we progress through the Scriptures. We have restrained ourselves from thinking that our understanding in these modern times in which we live and know, is the standard by which we read and understand the Bible. The Bible we have judged is its best interpreter as to the letter, and by the Spirit of God is alive and enlightens our minds and hearts, creating faith and obedience, giving hope and patience as we follow after God in faith and obedience.
The 4 Books of Moses are plainly presented as from one source; the Author must be God or it all falls apart, Scripture broken into countless pieces and hundreds of parts or documents. If this were true, God forbid this unbelief, the faith and ingenuity required to account for the thousands of details would be nothing short of divine. As we have seen and said at different times that the stories and the history, both in facts and experiences, are obviously based on oral and written traditions in regards to natural things as it is in mankind, as easily attested by thousands of witnesses of the recovered past, as resurrected witness to the veracity and relevancy of the Bible. But if we stop here we stop short of the entrance to the Good Land of Divine things revealed spiritually and inspirationally by God Who is the Witness to Himself and all His desires towards man. The God of the Bible requires absolute faith but in absolute truth and honesty, He is not capricious or manipulative with the facts or the details, and requires nothing less than to follow His example in our hearing and searching of Scripture. And further we have not tried to engage the science of those Bible experts, or accomplished scholars, who have spent their lives in understanding the Book of Books, as if we could outdo them in their own domain. No, we have consulted them here and there, comparing what we read and discover against their comments and explanations and have not blinked at the problems or differences that exists; but have freely admitted ignorance in some things unexplainable or irreconcilable or apparent or real contradictions, as if the human did not clothed the divine.
We conclude Numbers with a few observations, reserving many things to the major reflections on Deuteronomy the Second Finger in which we must unite and intertwine the Mosaic System as the Divine Word. Numbers, as in all the other Books of the Bible, or in most books of the world, is understood always in three parts, the beginning and the end and what is between these. This is seen in man in the family, a father and a mother and the child springing from both; and many such examples may be adduced. Numbers opens by taken us back to Sinai a year after the Exodus, and at the time of the completion of the Tabernacle as God’s Sanctuary in the Tent of Meeting, and with all that pertains to the Divine Service and Liturgy of the Aaronic and Levitical Priesthood in work and ministry for the Lord and for Israel. The Book ends at the door to Canaan in Trans-Jordan of Moab which was conquered and captured and possessed by Israel and granted to the 2½ tribes as their inheritance. The military preparations are introduced by the essential numbering and the enlisting of Israel’s militia; and it continues up to the time they were to commence the invasion of Canaan, of which they refused from fear and unbelief. The remainder of the time would be used to destroy unbelief and rebellion, fear and provocation; and would harden for war, training them to fight the Lord’s battle against idolatry and wickedness. And as with the Tabernacle in structure and features, so also the Encampment of Israel portrayed God dwelling with His people from the whole and then the Levitical tribe, and in the innermost in His Sanctuary of the Holiest of all. The picture and types are like those in Exodus and Leviticus but now seen in the armies of Israel. The names and places of the people and the land paint a picture of conflict and crisis. But all this and more will be discovered and emerge in growth and life.
(From Edersheim’s Bible History of the Old Testament 1876-1887, 1890, reprinted frequently to the present time, originally published in 7 volumes, by Alfred Edersheim, the author of Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah. His work covers the Pentateuch or Torah in 2 volumes; volume 1 covers Genesis in two parts, the World History and the Nations (5 Generations, Creation to Shem), and the Patriarchs’ History (5 Generation, Terah to Jacob). In volume 2 surveys the Exodus and the Wilderness Wanderings. Deuteronomy is treated only sparingly, mainly as parallels to the other books, and carrying over into Joshua; in this he is deficient to present the fuller picture and the grand design.
From his Preface in Volume 1: “One of the most marked and hopeful sign of our time is the increasing attention given on all sides to the study of Holy Scripture. Those who believe and love the Bible, and have experienced its truth and power, can only rejoice at such an issue. They know that “the Word of God liveth and abideth forever,” that “not one tittle” of it “shall fail;” and that it is “able to make wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
Accordingly they have no reason to dread the results either of scientific investigation, or of searching inquiry into “those things which are most surely believed among us.” For, the more the Bible is studied, the deeper will be our conviction that “the foundation of God standeth sure.” It is to help, so far as we can, the reader of Holy Scripture — not to supersede his own reading of it — that the series, of which this is the first volume, has been undertaken. In writing it I have primarily had in view those who teach and those who learn, whether in the school or in the family. But my scope has also been wider. I have wished to furnish what may be useful for reading in the family, — what indeed may, in some measure, serve the place of a popular exposition of the sacred history. More than this, I hope it may likewise prove a book to put in the hands of young men, — not only to show them what the Bible really teaches, but to defend them against the insidious attacks arising from misrepresentation and misunderstanding of the sacred text. With this threefold object in view, I have endeavored to write in a form so popular and easily intelligible as to be of use to the Sunday-school teacher, the advanced scholar, and the Bible-class; progressing gradually, in the course of this and the next volume, from the more simple to the more detailed. At the same time, I have taken up the Scripture narrative successively, chapter by chapter, always marking the portions of the Bible explained, that so, in family or in private reading, the sacred text may be compared with the explanations furnished. Finally, without mentioning objections on the part of opponents, I have endeavored to meet those that have been raised, and that not by controversy, but rather by a more full and correct study of the sacred text itself in the Hebrew original. In so doing, I have freely availed myself not only of the results of the best criticism, German and English, but also of the aid of such kindred studies as those of Biblical geography and antiquities, the Egyptian and the Assyrian monuments, etc.
But when all has been done, the feeling grows only stronger that there is another and a higher understanding of the Bible, without which all else is vain. Not merely to know the meaning of the narratives of Scripture, but to realize their spiritual application; to feel their eternal import; to experience them in ourselves, so to speak — this is the only profitable study of Scripture, to which all else can only serve as outward preparation. Where the result is “doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness,” the Teacher must be He, by whose “inspiration all Scripture is given.” “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.” But the end of all is Christ — not only “the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth,” but also He in whom “all the promises of God are Yea and Amen.” A. E.”)
(From his Preface in Volume 2: “The period covered by the central books of the Pentateuch is, in many respects, the most important in Old Testament history, not only so far as regards Israel, but the Church at all times. Opening with centuries of silence and seeking Divine forgetfulness during the bondage of Egypt, the pride and power of Pharaoh are suddenly broken by a series of miracles, culminating in the deliverance of Israel and the destruction of Egypt’s host. In that Paschal night and under the blood-sprinkling, Israel as a nation is born of God, and the redeemed people are then led forth to be consecrated at the Mount by ordinances, laws, and judgments. Finally, we are shown the manner in which Jehovah deals with His people, both in judgment and in mercy, till at the last He safely brings them to the promised inheritance. In all this we see not only the history of the ancient people of God, but also a grand type of the redemption and the sanctification of the Church. There is yet another aspect of it, since this narrative exhibits the foundation of the Church in the Covenant of God, and also the principles of Jehovah’s government for all time. For, however great the difference in the development, the essence and character of the covenant of grace are ever the same. The Old and New Testaments are essentially one — not two covenants but one, gradually unfolding into full perfectness, “Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone” of the foundation which is alike that of the apostles and prophets. (Ephesians 2:20)
There is yet a further consideration besides the intrinsic importance of this history. It has, especially of late, been so boldly misrepresented, and so frequently misunderstood, or else it is so often cursorily read — neither to understanding nor yet to profit — that it seemed desirable to submit it anew to special investigation, following the sacred narrative consecutively from Chapter to Chapter, and almost from Section to Section. In so doing, I have endeavored to make careful study of the original text, with the help of the best critical appliances. So far as I am conscious, I have not passed by any real difficulty, nor yet left unheeded any question that had a reasonable claim to be answered. If this implied a more detailed treatment, I hope it may also, with God’s blessing, render the volume more permanently useful. Further, it has been my aim, by the aid of kindred studies, to shed additional light upon the narrative, so as to render it vivid and pictorial, enabling readers to realize for themselves the circumstances under which an event took place.” A.E.)