Reading 46/341, Numbers 25-27

[A] Today the last of the plagues occurs. A new census is taken and, of those who were older than 20 at the time the people refused to enter the Promised Land, only Moses, Caleb, and Joshua have survived the 40 years in the wilderness. It now is time to enter the Promised Land, but first Moses must die; this will take the next 14 days of readings. We are now 2/3 of the way through the Law.
[B] The plague occurs because the Israelites are taken in by the hospitality of the Moabites to worship their gods. What Balak was unable to do by asking Balaam to curse Israel, he accomplishes by inviting them to curse themselves.

...Numbers...

Israel dwelt in Shittim, and the people began to play the prostitute with the daughters of Moab, for they called the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate, and bowed down to their gods. Israel yoked himself to Baal-Peor, and the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel. The Lord said to Moses, “Take all the chiefs of the people, and hang them in the sun before the Lord, that the fierce anger of the Lord may turn away from Israel.” Moses said to the judges of Israel, “Each of you, kill your men who have joined themselves to Baal-Peor.” Behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought to his family a Midianite woman, in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, while they were weeping at the entrance to the tent of meeting. When Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from the midst of the congregation, and took a spear in his hand, and he went after the man of Israel into his tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel and the woman through her belly. So the disease was stayed from the children of Israel. Those who died by this disease were twenty-four thousand. The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, in that he was jealous with my jealousy among them, so that I did not consume the children of Israel in my jealousy. Therefore say, ‘Behold, I give to him my covenant of peace, and it shall be to him, and to his seed after him, the covenant of an everlasting priesthood, because he was jealous for his God, and made atonement for the children of Israel.’” Now the name of the man of Israel that was slain, who was slain with the Midianite woman, was Zimri, the son of Salu, a prince of a house of the fathers among the Simeonites. The name of the Midianite woman who was slain was Cozbi, the daughter of Zur; he was head of the people of a house of the fathers in Midian. The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Vex the Midianites, and strike them, for they vex you with their wiles, with which they have deceived you in the matter of Peor, and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of the prince of Midian, their sister, who was slain on the day of the disease in the matter of Peor.”

It happened after the disease, that the Lord spoke to Moses and to Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest, saying, “Take the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, from twenty years old and upward, by their fathers' houses, all who are able to go forth to war in Israel.” Moses and Eleazar the priest spoke with them in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho, saying, “Take a census of the people, from twenty years old and upward, as the Lord commanded Moses and the children of Israel, that came forth out of the land of Egypt.”

Reuben, the firstborn of Israel, the sons of Reuben: of Hanoch, the family of the Hanochites; of Pallu, the family of the Palluites; of Hezron, the family of the Hezronites; of Carmi, the family of the Carmites. These are the families of the Reubenites, and those who were numbered of them were forty-three thousand seven hundred thirty. The sons of Pallu, Eliab. The sons of Eliab, Nemuel, and Dathan, and Abiram. These are that Dathan and Abiram, who were called of the congregation, who strove against Moses and against Aaron in the company of Korah, when they strove against the Lord, and the earth opened its mouth, and swallowed them up together with Korah, when that company died, at which time the fire devoured two hundred fifty men, and they became a sign. Nevertheless, the sons of Korah did not die.

The sons of Simeon after their families: of Nemuel, the family of the Nemuelites; of Jamin, the family of the Jaminites; of Jachin, the family of the Jachinites; of Zerah, the family of the Zerahites; of Shaul, the family of the Shaulites. These are the families of the Simeonites, twenty-two thousand two hundred.

The sons of Gad after their families: of Zephon, the family of the Zephonites; of Haggi, the family of the Haggites; of Shuni, the family of the Shunites; of Ozni, the family of the Oznites; of Eri, the family of the Erites; of Arod, the family of the Arodites; of Areli, the family of the Arelites. These are the families of the sons of Gad according to those who were numbered of them, forty thousand and five hundred.

The sons of Judah, Er and Onan, and Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan. The sons of Judah after their families were: of Shelah, the family of the Shelanites; of Perez, the family of the Perezites; of Zerah, the family of the Zerahites. The sons of Perez were, of Hezron, the family of the Hezronites; of Hamul, the family of the Hamulites. These are the families of Judah according to those who were numbered of them, seventy-six thousand five hundred.

The sons of Issachar after their families: of Tola, the family of the Tolaites; of Puvah, the family of the Punites; of Jashub, the family of the Jashubites; of Shimron, the family of the Shimronites. These are the families of Issachar according to those who were numbered of them, sixty-four thousand three hundred.

The sons of Zebulun after their families: of Sered, the family of the Seredites; of Elon, the family of the Elonites; of Jahleel, the family of the Jahleelites. These are the families of the Zebulunites according to those who were numbered of them, sixty thousand five hundred.

The sons of Joseph after their families: Manasseh and Ephraim. The sons of Manasseh: of Machir, the family of the Machirites, and Machir became the father of Gilead; of Gilead, the family of the Gileadites. These are the sons of Gilead, of Iezer, the family of the Iezerites; of Helek, the family of the Helekites, and of Asriel, the family of the Asrielites, and of Shechem, the family of the Shechemites, and of Shemida, the family of the Shemidaites, and of Hepher, the family of the Hepherites. Zelophehad the son of Hepher had no sons, but daughters, and the names of the daughters of Zelophehad were Mahlah, and Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. These are the families of Manasseh, and those who were numbered of them were fifty-two thousand seven hundred. These are the sons of Ephraim after their families: of Shuthelah, the family of the Shuthelahites; of Becher, the family of the Becherites; of Tahan, the family of the Tahanites. These are the sons of Shuthelah, of Eran, the family of the Eranites. These are the families of the sons of Ephraim according to those who were numbered of them, thirty-two thousand five hundred. These are the sons of Joseph after their families.

The sons of Benjamin after their families: of Bela, the family of the Belaites; of Ashbel, the family of the Ashbelites; of Ahiram, the family of the Ahiramites; of Shephupham, the family of the Shuphamites; of Hupham, the family of the Huphamites. The sons of Bela were Ard and Naaman, of Ard, the family of the Ardites; of Naaman, the family of the Naamites. These are the sons of Benjamin after their families, and those who were numbered of them were forty-five thousand six hundred.

These are the sons of Dan after their families: of Shuham, the family of the Shuhamites. These are the families of Dan after their families. All the families of the Shuhamites, according to those who were numbered of them, were sixty-four thousand four hundred.

The sons of Asher after their families: of Imnah, the family of the Imnites; of Ishvi, the family of the Ishvites; of Beriah, the family of the Berites. Of the sons of Beriah, of Heber, the family of the Heberites; of Malchiel, the family of the Malchielites. The name of the daughter of Asher was Serah. These are the families of the sons of Asher according to those who were numbered of them, fifty-three thousand and four hundred.

The sons of Naphtali after their families: of Jahzeel, the family of the Jahzeelites; of Guni, the family of the Gunites; of Jezer, the family of the Jezerites; of Shillem, the family of the Shillemites. These are the families of Naphtali according to their families, and those who were numbered of them were forty-five thousand four hundred.

These are those who were numbered of the children of Israel, six hundred one thousand seven hundred thirty. The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “To these the land shall be divided for an inheritance according to the number of names. To the larger you shall give the larger inheritance, and to the smaller you shall give the smaller inheritance, to everyone according to those who were numbered of him shall his inheritance be given. Nevertheless, the land shall be divided by lot, according to the names of the tribes of their fathers they shall inherit. According to the lot shall their inheritance be divided between the larger and the smaller.”

These are those who were numbered of the Levites after their families: of Gershon, the family of the Gershonites; of Kohath, the family of the Kohathites; of Merari, the family of the Merarites. These are the families of Levi: the family of the Libnites, the family of the Hebronites, the family of the Mahlites, the family of the Mushites, the family of the Korahites. Kohath became the father of Amram. The name of Amram's wife was Jochebed, the daughter of Levi, who was born to Levi in Egypt, and she bore to Amram Aaron and Moses, and Miriam their sister. To Aaron were born Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. Nadab and Abihu died, when they offered strange fire before the Lord. Those who were numbered of them were twenty-three thousand, every male from a month old and upward, for they were not numbered among the children of Israel, because there was no inheritance given them among the children of Israel.

These are the ones numbered by Moses and Eleazar the priest, who numbered the children of Israel in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho. But among these there was not a one of them who were numbered by Moses and Aaron the priest, who numbered the children of Israel in the desert of Sinai. For the Lord had said of them, “They shall surely die in the desert.” There was not left a man of them, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.

The daughters of Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of Manasseh the son of Joseph, drew near, and these are the names of his daughters, Mahlah, Noah, and Hoglah, and Milcah, and Tirzah. They stood before Moses, and before Eleazar the priest, and before the princes and all the congregation, at the entrance to the tent of meeting, saying, “Our father died in the desert, and he was not among the company of those who gathered themselves together against the Lord in the company of Korah, but he died in his own sin, and he had no sons. Why should the name of our father be taken away from among his family, because he had no son? Give to us a possession among the brothers of our father.” Moses brought their cause before the Lord. The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “The daughters of Zelophehad speak rightly. You shall surely give them a possession of an inheritance among their father's brothers, and you shall cause the inheritance of their father to pass to them. You shall speak to the children of Israel, saying, ‘If a man die, and have no son, then you shall cause his inheritance to pass to his daughter. If he have no daughter, then you shall give his inheritance to his brothers. If he have no brothers, then you shall give his inheritance to his father's brothers. If his father have no brothers, then you shall give his inheritance to his kinsman who is next to him of his family, and he shall possess it, and it shall be to the children of Israel a statute and ordinance, as the Lord commanded Moses.’”

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

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