The Israelites set out from Sinai. The people murmur against God and are punished by fire; Moses complains of their stubbornness and is ordered to choose seventy elders to assist him in the government of the people. Miriam and Aaron insult Moses at Hazeroth, which angers God; Miriam is punished with leprosy and is shut out of camp for seven days, at the end of which the Israelites proceed to the desert of Paran on the border of Canaan. Twelve spies are sent out into Canaan and come back to report to Moses.
Joshua and Caleb , two of the spies, report that the land is abundant and is "flowing with milk and honey", but the other spies say that it is inhabited by giants, and the Israelites refuse to enter the land. Yahweh decrees that the Israelites will be punished for their loss of faith by having to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. Moses is ordered by God to make plates to cover the altar.
THE BOOK OF NUMBERS
The children of Israel murmur against Moses and Aaron on account of the destruction of Korah 's men and are stricken with the plague, with 14, perishing. Aaron and his family are declared by God to be responsible for any iniquity committed in connection with the sanctuary. The Levites are again appointed to help in the keeping of the Tabernacle.
The Levites are ordered to surrender to the priests a part of the tithes taken to them. The Israelites blame Moses for the lack of water. Moses is ordered by God to speak to a rock but initially disobeys, and is punished by the announcement that he shall not enter Canaan.
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The king of Edom refuses permission to pass through his land and they go around it. Aaron dies on Mount Hor. The Israelites are bitten by Fiery flying serpents for speaking against God and Moses. A brazen serpent is made to ward off these serpents. The Israelites arrive on the plains of Moab. A new census gives the total number of males from twenty years and upward as ,, and the number of the Levites from the age of one month and upward as 23, The land shall be divided by lot.
The daughters of Zelophehad , their father having no sons, are to share in the allotment. Moses is ordered to appoint Joshua as his successor. Prescriptions for the observance of the feasts and the offerings for different occasions are enumerated. Moses orders the Israelites to massacre the people of Midian. The Reubenites and the Gadites request Moses to assign them the land east of the Jordan.
Moses grants their request after they promise to help in the conquest of the land west of the Jordan. The land east of the Jordan is divided among the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh. Moses recalls the stations at which the Israelites halted during their forty years' wanderings and instructs the Israelites to exterminate the Canaanites and destroy their idols. The boundaries of the land are spelled out; the land is to be divided under the supervision of Eleazar , Joshua, and twelve princes, one of each tribe.
The majority of modern biblical scholars believe that the Torah the books of Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers, and Deuteronomy reached its present form in the post-Exilic period i. Clines, in his influential The Themes of the Pentateuch , identified the overarching theme of the five books as the partial fulfilment of a promise made by God to the patriarchs, Abraham , Isaac and Jacob.
The promise has three elements: The theme of the divine-human relationship is expressed, or managed, through a series of covenants meaning treaties, legally binding agreements stretching from Genesis to Deuteronomy and beyond.
Meaning of Numbers in the Bible
The first is the covenant between God and Noah immediately after the Deluge in which God agrees never again to destroy the Earth with water. In this third covenant, unlike the first two, God hands down an elaborate set of laws scattered through Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers , which the Israelites are to observe; they are also to remain faithful to Yahweh, the god of Israel, meaning, among other things, that they must put their trust in his help.
The theme of descendants marks the first event in Numbers, the census of Israel's fighting men: The Israelites then set out to conquer the land, but almost immediately they refuse to enter it, and Yahweh condemns the whole generation who left Egypt to die in the wilderness. The book is called Numbers because at the start God ordered a counting of the people a census in the twelve tribes of Israel.
After counting all the men who are over twenty and fit to fight, the Israelites began to travel in well-ordered divisions, with God in the middle of the Ark of the Covenant. In Hebrew, the book is called Bmidbar, which means 'In a desert,' because it is the account of their 40 years of wandering therein. When the people found that the place God promised them was filled with strong and powerful people of other races, they became scared and rebelled against God and Moses. Therefore, God punished them by making the Israelites travel forty years before they could settle on the promised land.
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