Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
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Numbers 3

1 - Now this is the history of the generations of Aaron and Moses in the day that the LORD spoke with Moses in Mount Sinai.

2 - These are the names of the sons of Aaron: Nadab the firstborn, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.

3 - These are the names of the sons of Aaron, the priests who were anointed, whom he consecrated to minister in the priest's office.

4 - Nadab and Abihu died before The LORD, when they offered strange fire before The LORD, in the wilderness of Sinai, and they had no children. Eleazar and Ithamar ministered in the priest's office in the presence of Aaron their father.

5 - The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

6 - "Bring the tribe of Levi near, and set them before Aaron the priest, that they may minister to him.

7 - They shall keep his requirements, and the requirements of the whole congregation before the Tent of Meeting, to do the service of the tabernacle.

8 - They shall keep all the furnishings of the Tent of Meeting, and the obligations of the children of Israel, to do the service of the tabernacle.

9 - You shall give the Levites to Aaron and to his sons. They are wholly given to him on the behalf of the children of Israel.

10 - You shall appoint Aaron and his sons, and they shall keep their priesthood. The stranger who comes near shall be put to death."

11 - The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

12 - "Behold , I have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of all the firstborn who open the womb among the children of Israel; and the Levites shall be mine:

13 - for all the firstborn are mine. On the day that I struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I made holy to me all the firstborn in Israel, both man and animal. They shall be mine. I am The LORD."

14 - The LORD spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, saying,

15 - "Count the children of Levi by their fathers' houses, by their families. You shall count every male from a month old and upward."

16 - Moses counted them according to The LORD's word, as he was commanded.

17 - These were the sons of Levi by their names: Gershon, and Kohath, and Merari.

18 - These are the names of the sons of Gershon by their families: Libni and Shimei.

19 - The sons of Kohath by their families: Amram, and Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel.

20 - The sons of Merari by their families: Mahli and Mushi.These are the families of the Levites according to their fathers' houses.

21 - Of Gershon was the family of the Libnites, and the family of the Shimeites: these are the families of the Gershonites.

22 - Those who were counted of them, according to the number of all the males, from a month old and upward, even those who were counted of them were seven thousand five hundred.

23 - The families of the Gershonites shall encamp behind the tabernacle westward.

24 - The prince of the fathers' house of the Gershonites shall be Eliasaph the son of Lael.

25 - The duty of the sons of Gershon in the Tent of Meeting shall be the tabernacle, and the tent, its covering, and the screen for the door of the Tent of Meeting,

26 - and the hangings of the court, and the screen for the door of the court, which is by the tabernacle, and around the altar, and its cords for all of its service.

27 - Of Kohath was the family of the Amramites, and the family of the Izharites, and the family of the Hebronites, and the family of the Uzzielites: these are the families of the Kohathites.

28 - According to the number of all the males, from a month old and upward, there were eight thousand six hundred, keeping the requirements of the sanctuary.

29 - The families of the sons of Kohath shall encamp on the south side of the tabernacle.

30 - The prince of the fathers' house of the families of the Kohathites shall be Elizaphan the son of Uzziel.

31 - Their duty shall be the ark, the table, the lamp stand, the altars, the vessels of the sanctuary with which they minister, and the screen, and all its service.

32 - Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest shall be prince of the princes of the Levites, with the oversight of those who keep the requirements of the sanctuary.

33 - Of Merari was the family of the Mahlites, and the family of the Mushites. These are the families of Merari.

34 - Those who were counted of them, according to the number of all the males, from a month old and upward, were six thousand two hundred.3:34+ 22,000, rounded to 2 significant digits. (The sum of the Gershonites, Kohathites, and Merarites given above is 22,300.)

35 - The prince of the fathers' house of the families of Merari was Zuriel the son of Abihail. They shall encamp on the north side of the tabernacle.

36 - The appointed duty of the sons of Merari shall be the tabernacle's boards, its bars, its pillars, its sockets, all its instruments, all its service,

37 - the pillars of the court around it, their sockets, their pins, and their cords.

38 - Those who encamp before the tabernacle eastward, in front of the Tent of Meeting toward the sunrise, shall be Moses, and Aaron and his sons, keeping the requirements of the sanctuary for the duty of the children of Israel. The stranger who comes near shall be put to death.

39 - All who were counted of the Levites, whom Moses and Aaron counted at the commandment of The LORD, by their families, all the males from a month old and upward, were twenty-two thousand.

40 - The LORD said to Moses, "Count all the firstborn males of the children of Israel from a month old and upward, and take the number of their names.

41 - You shall take the Levites for me (I am The LORD) instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel; and the livestock of the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the livestock of the children of Israel."

42 - Moses counted, as the LORD commanded him, all the firstborn among the children of Israel.

43 - All the firstborn males according to the number of names, from a month old and upward, of those who were counted of them, were twenty-two thousand two hundred seventy-three.

44 - The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

45 - "Take the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel, and the livestock of the Levites instead of their livestock; and the Levites shall be mine. I am The LORD.

46 - For the redemption of the two hundred seventy-three of the firstborn of the children of Israel, who exceed the number of the Levites,

47 - you shall take five shekels apiece for each one; after the shekel of the sanctuary you shall take them (the shekel is twenty gerahs):

48 - and you shall give the money, with which their remainder is redeemed, to Aaron and to his sons."

49 - Moses took the redemption money from those who exceeded the number of those who were redeemed by the Levites;

50 - from the firstborn of the children of Israel he took the money, one thousand three hundred sixty-five shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary:

51 - and Moses gave the redemption money to Aaron and to his sons, according to The LORD's word, as the LORD commanded Moses.


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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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