Reading 37/341, Numbers 1-2

[A] Today we begin the book of Numbers which lives up to its name. This book is half constructed of story and half of a detailed census. The numbers, according to archaeologists, are doubtful, far too high, 2 million people altogether. Just like with the ages in the beginning of Genesis, perhaps they are accurate, perhaps they are not. We do not know enough to make a claim and it is not that important anyway.
[B] Often throughout the book of Numbers a paragraph is repeated verbatim 12 times, once for each of the 12 tribes. I once read very carefully to see if there were ever any difference. There is not.
[C] Speaking of the 12 tribes, we have seen since the end of Genesis, but it is clearer now, that there were actually 13 tribes of Israel. This is always counted as 12 tribes, sometimes by excluding the tribe of Levi, the priestly tribe, and sometimes by combining Ephraim and Manasseh into one because they were actually grandchildren of Israel, Joseph was the child, and there is no tribe of Joseph. The other descendants of Joseph are considered to be part of either the tribe of Ephraim or Manasseh

Numbers...

The Lord spoke to Moses in the desert of Sinai, in the tent of meeting, on the first day of the second month, in the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying, "Take a census of all the congregation of the children of Israel, by their families, by their fathers' houses, according to the number of the names, every male, one by one; from twenty years old and upward, all who are able to go out to war in Israel. You and Aaron shall number them by their divisions. With you there shall be a man of every tribe, each the head of his the house of his fathers'. These are the names of the men who shall stand with you: from Reuben, Elizur the son of Shedeur; from Simeon, Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai; from Judah, Nahshon the son of Amminadab; from Issachar, Nethanel the son of Zuar; from Zebulun, Eliab the son of Helon; from the children of Joseph, from Ephraim, Elishama the son of Ammihud, and from Manasseh, Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur; from Benjamin, Abidan the son of Gideoni; from Dan, Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai; from Asher, Pagiel the son of Ochran; from Gad, Eliasaph the son of Deuel; from Naphtali, Ahira the son of Enan." These are the ones called from the congregation, the princes of the tribes of their fathers; they were the heads of the clans of Israel.

Moses and Aaron took these men who are mentioned by name. They assembled all the congregation together on the first day of the second month, and they declared their ancestry by their families, by their fathers' houses, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, one by one. As the Lord commanded Moses, so he numbered them in the desert of Sinai.

The children of Reuben, Israel's firstborn, their generations, by their families, by their fathers' houses, according to the number of the names, one by one, every male from twenty years old and upward, all who were able to go out to war, these were numbered from the tribe of Reuben: forty-six thousand five hundred.

The children of Simeon, their generations, by their families, by their fathers' houses, those who were numbered of it, according to the number of the names, one by one, every male from twenty years old and upward, all who were able to go out to war; these were numbered of the tribe of Simeon: fifty-nine thousand three hundred.

Of the children of Gad, their generations, by their families, by their fathers' houses, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all who were able to go out to war; these were numbered from the tribe of Gad: forty-five thousand six hundred fifty.

Of the children of Judah, their generations, by their families, by their fathers' houses, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all who were able to go out to war; these were numbered from the tribe of Judah: sixty-four thousand six hundred.

Of the children of Issachar, their generations, by their families, by their fathers' houses, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all who were able to go out to war, these were numbered from the tribe of Issachar: fifty-four thousand four hundred.

Of the children of Zebulun, their generations, by their families, by their fathers' houses, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all who were able to go out to war, these were numbered from the tribe of Zebulun: fifty-seven thousand four hundred.

Of the children of Joseph, of the children of Ephraim, their generations, by their families, by their fathers' houses, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all who were able to go out to war, these were numbered from the tribe of Ephraim: forty thousand five hundred.

Of the children of Manasseh, their generations, by their families, by their fathers' houses, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all who were able to go out to war, these were numbered from the tribe of Manasseh: thirty-two thousand two hundred.

Of the children of Benjamin, their generations, by their families, by their fathers' houses, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all who were able to go out to war, these were numbered from the tribe of Benjamin: thirty-five thousand four hundred.

Of the children of Dan, their generations, by their families, by their fathers' houses, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all who were able to go forth to war, these were numbered from the tribe of Dan: sixty-two thousand seven hundred.

Of the children of Asher, their generations, by their families, by their fathers' houses, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all who were able to go forth to war, these were numbered from the tribe of Asher: forty-one thousand five hundred.

Of the children of Naphtali, their generations, by their families, by their fathers' houses, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all who were able to go forth to war, these were numbered from the tribe of Naphtali: fifty-three thousand four hundred.

These are those who were numbered, whom Moses and Aaron numbered, and the princes of Israel, being twelve men; there were one for each fathers' house. So all those who were numbered of the children of Israel by their fathers' houses, from twenty years old and upward, all who were able to go out to war in Israel; all those who were numbered were six hundred three thousand five hundred fifty. But the Levites after the tribe of their fathers were not numbered among them. For the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, "Only the tribe of Levi you shall not number, nor shall you take a census of them among the children of Israel, but appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of the covenant, and over all its furnishings, and over all that belongs to it. They shall carry the tabernacle, and all its furnishings, and they shall take care of it, and shall encamp around it. When the tabernacle is to move, the Levites shall take it down, and when the tabernacle is to be set up, the Levites shall set it up. The stranger who comes near shall be put to death. The children of Israel shall pitch their tents, every man by his own camp, and every man by his own standard, according to their divisions. But the Levites shall encamp around the tabernacle of the covenant, that there may be no wrath on the congregation of the children of Israel, and the Levites shall be responsible for the tabernacle of the covenant." Thus the children of Israel did. According to all that the Lord commanded Moses, so they did.

The Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, "The children of Israel shall encamp every man by his own standard, with the banners of their fathers' houses, at a distance from the tent of meeting shall they encamp around it. Those who encamp on the east side toward the sunrise shall be of the standard of the camp of Judah, according to their divisions, and the prince of the children of Judah shall be Nahshon the son of Amminadab. His division, and those who were numbered of them, were seventy-four thousand six hundred. Those who encamp next to him shall be the tribe of Issachar, and the prince of the children of Issachar shall be Nethanel the son of Zuar. His division, and those who were numbered of it, were fifty-four thousand four hundred. The tribe of Zebulun, and the prince of the children of Zebulun shall be Eliab the son of Helon. His division, and those who were numbered of it, were fifty-seven thousand four hundred. All who were numbered of the camp of Judah were one hundred eighty-six thousand four hundred, according to their divisions. They shall set out first.

On the south side shall be the standard of the camp of Reuben according to their divisions. The prince of the children of Reuben shall be Elizur the son of Shedeur. His division, and those who were numbered of it, were forty-six thousand five hundred. Those who encamp next to him shall be the tribe of Simeon. The prince of the children of Simeon shall be Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai. His division, and those who were numbered of them, were fifty-nine thousand three hundred. The tribe of Gad, and the prince of the children of Gad shall be Eliasaph the son of Reuel. His division, and those who were numbered of them, were forty-five thousand six hundred fifty. All who were numbered of the camp of Reuben were one hundred fifty-one thousand four hundred fifty, according to their armies. They shall set out second. Then the tent of meeting shall set out, with the camp of the Levites in the midst of the camps. As they encamp, so shall they set out, every man in his place, by their standards.

On the west side shall be the standard of the camp of Ephraim according to their divisions, and the prince of the children of Ephraim shall be Elishama the son of Ammihud. His division, and those who were numbered of them, were forty thousand five hundred. Next to him shall be the tribe of Manasseh, and the prince of the children of Manasseh shall be Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur. His division, and those who were numbered of them, were thirty-two thousand two hundred. The tribe of Benjamin, and the prince of the children of Benjamin shall be Abidan the son of Gideoni. His army, and those who were numbered of them, were thirty-five thousand four hundred. All who were numbered of the camp of Ephraim were one hundred eight thousand one hundred, according to their divisions. They shall set out third.

On the north side shall be the standard of the camp of Dan according to their divisions, and the prince of the children of Dan shall be Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai. His division, and those who were numbered of them, were sixty-two thousand seven hundred. Those who encamp next to him shall be the tribe of Asher, and the prince of the children of Asher shall be Pagiel the son of Ochran. His division, and those who were numbered of them, were forty-one thousand and five hundred. The tribe of Naphtali, and the prince of the children of Naphtali shall be Ahira the son of Enan. His division, and those who were numbered of them, were fifty-three thousand four hundred. All who were numbered of the camp of Dan were one hundred fifty-seven thousand six hundred. They shall set out last by their standards. These are those who were numbered of the children of Israel by their fathers' houses. All who were numbered of the camps according to their armies were six hundred three thousand five hundred fifty.

But the Levites were not numbered among the children of Israel; as the Lord commanded Moses. Thus the children of Israel did. According to all that the Lord commanded Moses, so they encamped by their standards, and so they set out, everyone by their families, according to their fathers' houses.

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