We are starting a new book today! Can you believe we’ve already gone through three out of the five foundational texts of Scripture? Aren’t you amazed at what all we’ve learned so far? I know I am! The Bible is so exciting because the Father shows you new things EACH time you read it, no matter how many times you’ve read it before.

Today we begin the book of Numbers and we will read Numbers 1-2

Click here to read today’s passages on BibleGateway.

Rabbit Trails

Introduction: The Hebrew name of this book is B’midbar and that means “In the wilderness”. Authorship of Numbers, just as the rest of the books the Torah or Pentateuch, is attributed to Moses. We can find reasoning for this in Numbers 33:2.

The first census: Today we will see the first census being taken of Israel. This covered every male from the age of 20 and up and was for the purpose of organizing an army. Note that there was no age limit. In times of battle any man who was of use would be given a position of some sort. All told, there were 603, 550 counted among this number. Now this is ONLY the males, age 20 and up and excludes the entire tribe of Levi. Can you imagine how large this group of Hebrews was at this point? Wow!

The reports of this census may seem dull but there is a lot of information contained in them for anyone who wanted to take a day and hop down those trails. (Pay attention to names, numbers, histories both before and after this. You’ll often find the names perfectly match a characteristic of the tribe as a whole)

You’ll also note that the Levites were explicitly excluded from this census. They had been adopted away from Israel by YHWH for His specific purpose and were considered set apart – no longer part of Israel as a whole. Much is the same for you and I today when it comes to the world, we have been adopted as YHWH’s own, grafted into His chosen people, and are no longer a part of the world at large although we are to live in it for this time. But I digress.

The Levites were responsible for everything involving the tabernacle. We’ve read in detail about their role in making sacrifices but they were also responsible for disassembling the tabernacle, transporting the tabernacle, and reassembling it. This Tabernacle is about to go mobile, folks!

Levites were in charge of everything within the tabernacle as well.

Guess what else? The Levites were also the private army designated with protecting the tabernacle at all costs. Don’t think of these priests as passive peace loving religious guys, they were fierce warriors who would kill without question should someone approach or threaten the sanctity of the tabernacle in any way.

Let’s Go Camping!

The different tribes are given very specific instructions as to how to camp around the tabernacle. These positions were arranged in terms of honor, status, and marching order- with East being the most revered. See diagram below

Note: There is often a lot of spiritual significance attached to the direction of east, with that position being symbolic of holiness. Genesis 2:8, Matthew 2:1-2, Genesis 4:16, Ezekiel 40:22,  etc. Just something to stick in your back pocket.


Paul quotes a good bit from Numbers so later on a lot of this will come back. In fact, a HUGE percentage of the gospels are simply quotes from Scriptures so you’ll find a lot more familiarity once we make it to that point. Out of the 7,967 verses in the “new” testament, 2,606 are quotes from the “old”. (I really hate the terms new and old as they have taught us to discard our very foundational Scriptures as irrelevant. These are not terms the Father, Messiah, or apostles ever used to describe His word so we must be careful not to allow them to cloud our view)

One more Interesting fact: The first ten chapters of this book take place in a time period of about twenty days. The remaining 26 chapters will cover over 40 years! 

Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21

We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!

May YHWH bless the reading of His Word and may He guide us, keep our attention on Him, and hold us in His Shalom today!!

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Christy Jordan
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