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Numbers 20

1 - The children of Israel, even the whole congregation, came into the wilderness of Zin in the first month. The people stayed in Kadesh. Miriam died there, and was buried there.

2 - There was no water for the congregation; and they assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron.

3 - The people quarreled with Moses, and spoke, saying, "We wish that we had died when our brothers died before The LORD!

4 - Why have you brought The LORD's assembly into this wilderness, that we should die there, we and our animals?

5 - Why have you made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in to this evil place? It is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink."

6 - Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the door of the Tent of Meeting, and fell on their faces. The LORD's glory appeared to them.

7 - The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

8 - "Take the rod, and assemble the congregation, you, and Aaron your brother, and speak to the rock before their eyes, that it pour out its water. You shall bring water to them out of the rock; so you shall give the congregation and their livestock drink."

9 - Moses took the rod from before The LORD, as he commanded him.

10 - Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, "Hear now, you rebels! Shall we bring water out of this rock for you?"

11 - Moses lifted up his hand, and struck the rock with his rod twice, and water came out abundantly. The congregation and their livestock drank.

12 - The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Because you didn't believe in me, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them."

13 - These are the waters of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with The LORD, and he was sanctified in them.

14 - Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom, saying:"Thus says your brother Israel: You know all the travail that has happened to us;

15 - how our fathers went down into Egypt, and we lived in Egypt a long time. The Egyptians mistreated us and our fathers.

16 - When we cried to The LORD, he heard our voice, sent an angel, and brought us out of Egypt. Behold, we are in Kadesh, a city in the edge of your border.

17 - "Please let us pass through your land. We will not pass through field or through vineyard, neither will we drink from the water of the wells. We will go along the king's highway. We will not turn aside to the right hand nor to the left, until we have passed your border."

18 - Edom said to him, "You shall not pass through me, lest I come out with the sword against you."

19 - The children of Israel said to him, "We will go up by the highway; and if we drink your water, I and my livestock, then I will give its price. Only let me, without doing anything else, pass through on my feet."

20 - He said, "You shall not pass through." Edom came out against him with many people, and with a strong hand.

21 - Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through his border, so Israel turned away from him.

22 - They traveled from Kadesh: and the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, came to Mount Hor.

23 - The LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron in Mount Hor, by the border of the land of Edom, saying,

24 - "Aaron shall be gathered to his people; for he shall not enter into the land which I have given to the children of Israel, because you rebelled against my word at the waters of Meribah.

25 - Take Aaron and Eleazar his son, and bring them up to Mount Hor;

26 - and strip Aaron of his garments, and put them on Eleazar his son. Aaron shall be taken, and shall die there."

27 - Moses did as the LORD commanded. They went up into Mount Hor in the sight of all the congregation.

28 - Moses stripped Aaron of his garments, and put them on Eleazar his son. Aaron died there on the top of the mountain, and Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain.

29 - When all the congregation saw that Aaron was dead, they wept for Aaron thirty days, even all the house of Israel.


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Numbers Images and Notes

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 night.

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

Photo of the Sinai Wilderness
Photo of the Sinai Wilderness

Summary of The Book of Numbers

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 the "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 Route of the Exodus
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).

ARCHAEOLOGY

Ancient Bronze Snake

Bronze Snake from Lachish

Bronze Snake from Lachish, Late Bronze Age

Quick Reference Maps - Numbers

The Exodus of the Hebrews

Mount Horeb

The Red Sea

Canaan Before Joshua

Kadesh barnea

Moab and Ammon

 

Numbers Resources

The Wilderness Wanderings

More About the Book of Numbers
Numbers in the Picture Study Bible
Timeline of the Ancient World
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