|Numbers Images and
The Book of Numbers
Numbers 14:14 - And they will tell [it] to the inhabitants
of this land: [for] they have heard that thou LORD [art] among
this people, that thou LORD art seen face to face, and [that]
thy cloud standeth over them, and [that] thou goest before them,
by day time in a pillar of a cloud, and in a pillar of fire by
The Old Testament - A Brief Overview
Bible Survery - Numbers
Hebrew Name - Bemidhbar "in the wilderness"
Greek Name - Numbers "numberings"
Author - Moses
Date - From 1490-1451 BC Approximately
Theme - The Journey to the Promised Land
Types and Shadows - In Numbers Jesus is the Pillar of Cloud by
Day and the Pillar of Fire by Night
Summary of The Book of Numbers
Photo of the Sinai Wilderness
The book of Numbers takes
its name from the account of the census that happened two times among the congregation of Israel in
Numbers 1-4 and Numbers 26. The Greek title was used even though there is really no connection with
"numberings." The original Hebrew title which means "in the wilderness," is
much more accurate, because the book of Numbers is it's really
an accurate history of the events that happened during the
period of wandering in the wilderness and not necessarily a book about statistics.
The book of Numbers seems to follow
naturally after the book of Leviticus in the order of the books of Moses in the
Old Testament. After
the children of Israel received the laws at Mount Sinai, they
began the journey as described in the book of Exodus, and they were ready to march
directly into the land of Canaan. The book of Numbers reveals
how the children of Israel became prepared, and went to various
trials, and how they were sinful in not trusting the Lord. Their
sinful ways resulted in 37 years of wandering through the harsh wilderness.
The book of Numbers concludes with the children of Israel once again at the edge of
the land of Canaan, where they received instructions
for the conquest of Canaan and the division of the land.
Quick Reference Map
Map of the Possible Route of the
Exodus (Click to Enlarge)
The principle divisions of the book are as follows:
Outline of the Book of Numbers
1) The preparation for the departure from Sinai (1:1-10:10).
The events described here took place in nineteen days. In this
time a census was taken of all men who were over twenty and who
could serve in military efforts (1-4). The total obtained was
603,550 (1:46). This would indicate that the total population of
the group was probably near three million. The census was
followed by the cleansing and blessing of the congregation
(5-6), the offering of gifts from the various tribes (7), the
consecration of the Levites (8) and the observance of the
Passover at Sinai (9:1-14).
2 ) The journey from Sinai to Kadesh-barnea (10:11-14:45).
This section includes the account of the coming of the quail
(11), the rebellion against Moses by Miriam and Aaron (12), and
the fateful mission of the spies (13, 14).
3) The wanderings of the desert wilderness (15-19). As noted
above, this covered a period of thirty-seven years, from the end
of the second to the beginning of the fortieth year in the
wilderness. Ch. 15 includes various laws and a record of capital
punishment for Sabbath breaking. The rebellion of Korah (ch. 16)
and the budding of Aaron's rod (ch. 17) are also mentioned here.
4 ) The history of the last year, from the second arrival of
the Israelites at Kadesh till they reach "the plains of Moab by
Jordan near Jericho" (20-36: 13). Notable sections of this are
the story of Balaam (22:2-24:25), the zeal of Phinehas (ch. 25),
the second census (26:1-51) , instructions for dividing the land
(26:52-27: 11), the appointment of Joshua as Moses' successor
(27: 12-23), various laws concerning offerings and vows ( 28-30
), the war with Midian (ch. 31), the settlement of the tribes
east of the Jordan (ch. 32), a review of the locations at which
Israel had camped during their wanderings (33: 1-49), more
instructions concerning the conquest and division of Canaan
(33:50-34:29 ), the appointment of the cities of refuge (ch. 35)
and instructions concerning the marriage of land-owning
Israelite women (ch. 36).
Ancient Bronze Snake
Bronze Snake from
Lachish, Late Bronze Age
Quick Reference Maps -
Canaan Before Joshua
Moab and Ammon
The Wilderness Wanderings
More About the Book of Numbers
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