Numbers 1:1

 

 

 

The Bible says in Numbers 1:1-17, “And the LORD spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tabernacle of the congregation, on the first day of the second month, in the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt, saying,[2] Take ye the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, after their families, by the house of their fathers, with the number of their names, every male by their polls;[3] From twenty years old and upward, all that are able to go forth to war in Israel: thou and Aaron shall number them by their armies.[4] And with you there shall be a man of every tribe; every one head of the house of his fathers.[5] And these are the names of the men that shall stand with you: of the tribe of Reuben; Elizur the son of Shedeur.[6] Of Simeon; Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai.[7] Of Judah; Nahshon the son of Amminadab.[8] Of Issachar; Nethaneel the son of Zuar.[9] Of Zebulun; Eliab the son of Helon.[10] Of the children of Joseph: of Ephraim; Elishama the son of Ammihud: of Manasseh; Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur.[11] Of Benjamin; Abidan the son of Gideoni.[12] Of Dan; Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai.[13] Of Asher; Pagiel the son of Ocran.[14] Of Gad; Eliasaph the son of Deuel.[15] Of Naphtali; Ahira the son of Enan.[16] These were the renowned of the congregation, princes of the tribes of their fathers, heads of thousands in Israel.[17] And Moses and Aaron took these men which are expressed by their names:” This is interesting. The children of Israel have come out of Egypt. They are now a nation. Very early we see that God tells them to form an army, and they use the draft to make sure they have enough soldiers. The world has some bad people in it, and some of these people become leaders of other nations. Every country needs an army to protect themselves against aggressors. Jesus said in Matthew 24:6-7 that one characteristic of the age in which we live is: “And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.[7] For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…” There are a few interesting things to notice about his first draft into the army of Israel. In verse three it says that the men had to be at least twenty years old. Women were not drafted. In an age of hand-to-hand combat, that only makes sense. They also had physical requirements. They had to be able-bodied men. In verse four we see that the draft was fair and applied equally to all: “And with you there shall be a man of every tribe; every one head of the house of his fathers.” There was no such thing as the rich and powerful getting a deferment from the draft, like we saw in America during the Vietnam War.

 

The Bible says in Numbers 1:18-46, “And they assembled all the congregation together on the first day of the second month, and they declared their pedigrees after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, by their polls.[19] As the LORD commanded Moses, so he numbered them in the wilderness of Sinai.[20] And the children of Reuben, Israel's eldest son, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, by their polls, every male from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;[21] Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Reuben, were forty and six thousand and five hundred.[22] Of the children of Simeon, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, those that were numbered of them, according to the number of the names, by their polls, every male from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;[23] Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Simeon, were fifty and nine thousand and three hundred.[24] Of the children of Gad, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;[25] Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Gad, were forty and five thousand six hundred and fifty.[26] Of the children of Judah, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;[27] Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Judah, were threescore and fourteen thousand and six hundred.[28] Of the children of Issachar, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;[29] Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Issachar, were fifty and four thousand and four hundred.[30] Of the children of Zebulun, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;[31] Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Zebulun, were fifty and seven thousand and four hundred.[32] Of the children of Joseph, namely, of the children of Ephraim, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;[33] Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Ephraim, were forty thousand and five hundred.[34] Of the children of Manasseh, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;[35] Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Manasseh, were thirty and two thousand and two hundred.[36] Of the children of Benjamin, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;[37] Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Benjamin, were thirty and five thousand and four hundred.[38] Of the children of Dan, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;[39] Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Dan, were threescore and two thousand and seven hundred.[40] Of the children of Asher, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;[41] Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Asher, were forty and one thousand and five hundred.[42] Of the children of Naphtali, throughout their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;[43] Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Naphtali, were fifty and three thousand and four hundred.[44] These are those that were numbered, which Moses and Aaron numbered, and the princes of Israel, being twelve men: each one was for the house of his fathers.[45] So were all those that were numbered of the children of Israel, by the house of their fathers, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war in Israel;[46] Even all they that were numbered were six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty.” Notice in verse forty-six the total number of men who were ready for war: 603,550. If you estimate the number of women and children too, and the men who were not part of the army, then we know that number of Israelites who came out of Egypt were at least two million. God kept them and increased their numbers greatly while they were in Egypt for four hundred years. Amazing: God is faithful to His people.

 

The Bible says in Numbers 1:47-54, “But the Levites after the tribe of their fathers were not numbered among them.[48] For the LORD had spoken unto Moses, saying,[49] Only thou shalt not number the tribe of Levi, neither take the sum of them among the children of Israel:[50] But thou shalt appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of testimony, and over all the vessels thereof, and over all things that belong to it: they shall bear the tabernacle, and all the vessels thereof; and they shall minister unto it, and shall encamp round about the tabernacle.[51] And when the tabernacle setteth forward, the Levites shall take it down: and when the tabernacle is to be pitched, the Levites shall set it up: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.[52] And the children of Israel shall pitch their tents, every man by his own camp, and every man by his own standard, throughout their hosts.[53] But the Levites shall pitch round about the tabernacle of testimony, that there be no wrath upon the congregation of the children of Israel: and the Levites shall keep the charge of the tabernacle of testimony.[54] And the children of Israel did according to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so did they.” The Levites had a draft deferment. That is the same as preachers not being drafted. God’s message is that the spiritual things are very important, and the things that God has set up to teach His Word must be left in place even in time of war. There is a spiritual warfare going on too, and the spiritual warfare never stops.

 

One of the duties that the Levites had was to take care of and guard the tabernacle. The tabernacle was a tent that was used for their religious ceremonies: the ceremonies that the law required. The tabernacle itself symbolized the presence of God. Notice that it says in verse fifty-one, “And when the tabernacle setteth forward, the Levites shall take it down: and when the tabernacle is to be pitched, the Levites shall set it up: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.” If an unbeliever came near to the tabernacle, which symbolizes coming near to God, that person was put to death. There was a lot of death that took place in regards to the law. Death for breaking the law and death for approaching too close to God. Sin cannot come into the presence of the holy God. Holiness means separation from sin. That is why nothing unholy or unclean can come into heaven. And that is why we need to be saved from our sins, cleansed, and purified by the blood of Christ through the redemption that only He can give. That is also why all Christians are called “saints” in the New Testament. The word “saint” means “holy one.” Once we come to know Jesus as our Savior, our position before God is that He regards as a being holy. We have the holiness and purity of Christ credited to our account. God says we are holy, and therefore, we are holy, and therefore, we will be allowed into heaven.

 

 

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Copyright; 2018 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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