Numbers 26:1

 

 

The Bible says in Numbers 26:1-4, “And it came to pass after the plague, that the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest, saying,[2] Take the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, from twenty years old and upward, throughout their father's house, all that are able to go to war in Israel.[3] And Moses and Eleazar the priest spake with them in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho, saying,[4] Take the sum of the people, from twenty years old and upward; as the LORD commanded Moses and the children of Israel, which went forth out of the land of Egypt.” This chapter is another one of the chapters in the book of Numbers for which the book gets its name. In this chapter is a long list of names from each of the twelve tribes of Israel. The reason that they were being listed is given in these four verses: in preparation for war. The key verse is verse two that says, “all that are able to go to war.” Every nation needs to be prepared for war. This was true in the Old Testament times and it is also true in the times in which we live in the era of the New Testament. Jesus said in Matthew chapter twenty-four that there shall be “wars and rumors of wars” in the age in which we live. Jesus also told us why there will be wars. He said in Matthew 24:7, “For nation shall rise against nation…” In other words, there will be aggressor nations who will start wars. That happened under Hitler with Nazi Germany. Freedom-loving nations must be prepared to take on the aggressors and defend themselves. 

 

The Bible says in Numbers 26:5-11, “Reuben, the eldest son of Israel: the children of Reuben; Hanoch, of whom cometh the family of the Hanochites: of Pallu, the family of the Palluites:[6] Of Hezron, the family of the Hezronites: of Carmi, the family of the Carmites.[7] These are the families of the Reubenites: and they that were numbered of them were forty and three thousand and seven hundred and thirty.[8] And the sons of Pallu; Eliab.[9] And the sons of Eliab; Nemuel, and Dathan, and Abiram. This is that Dathan and Abiram, which were famous in the congregation, who strove against Moses and against Aaron in the company of Korah, when they strove against the LORD:[10] And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up together with Korah, when that company died, what time the fire devoured two hundred and fifty men: and they became a sign.[11] Notwithstanding the children of Korah died not.” In these verses the important verse is verse eleven: “Notwithstanding the children of Korah died not.” The children were not punished for the sins of the parents. In other words each person is responsible for their own actions and their own development as a human being. That is one of the problems of reparations for slavery. Some of the ancestors of white people had slaves and some did not. Since almost no white person today agrees with slavery, they should not be held responsible for the errors of past generations. The same is true from the opposite perspective also. Just because your parents know Jesus as Savior and are going to go to heaven, does not mean that you will. You will be held responsible for your own sins and therefore, you must come to know Jesus as your own personal Savior.

 

The Bible says in Numbers 26:12-22, “The sons of Simeon after their families: of Nemuel, the family of the Nemuelites: of Jamin, the family of the Jaminites: of Jachin, the family of the Jachinites:[13] Of Zerah, the family of the Zarhites: of Shaul, the family of the Shaulites.[14] These are the families of the Simeonites, twenty and two thousand and two hundred.[15] The children of Gad after their families: of Zephon, the family of the Zephonites: of Haggi, the family of the Haggites: of Shuni, the family of the Shunites:[16] Of Ozni, the family of the Oznites: of Eri, the family of the Erites:[17] Of Arod, the family of the Arodites: of Areli, the family of the Arelites.[18] These are the families of the children of Gad according to those that were numbered of them, forty thousand and five hundred.[19] The sons of Judah were Er and Onan: and Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan.[20] And the sons of Judah after their families were; of Shelah, the family of the Shelanites: of Pharez, the family of the Pharzites: of Zerah, the family of the Zarhites.[21] And the sons of Pharez were; of Hezron, the family of the Hezronites: of Hamul, the family of the Hamulites.[22] These are the families of Judah according to those that were numbered of them, threescore and sixteen thousand and five hundred.” Three tribes of Israel are mentioned in these verses: Simeon, Gad, and Judah. Nothing out of the ordinary for any of the three is mentioned except for verse nineteen that mentions about the sons of Judah, “Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan.” Their story can be found in Genesis chapter thirty-eight. Both of them were so wicked that the Bible says that God killed them and took them off the earth before their time. That can happen to anyone even to Christians. It says in First John 5:16, “…There is a sin unto death…”

 

Another thing to notice about Er and Onan is that their evil lives affected very negatively Tamar who was married to Er and then to Onan after Er died. Tamar had twins as a result of incest with her father-in-law. What a disastrous life for Tamar. But look what God did with that situation. One of Tamar’s sons was named Phares, and Phares is mentioned in Matthew chapter one as being in the lineage of Christ. Tamar is also mentioned in Matthew chapter one no doubt to honor her and to make up for the terrible things that happened to her in her life. Notice that abortion was not approved by God after incest, and God made a good life out of one of the twins who were born: a descendent to King David and a descendent to the Messiah Jesus Christ. Killing the baby would not take away the pain that caused the pregnancy: it would only add more pain. That baby is just as innocent as any other baby. Life can be tough, and hard, and cruel. The goal is to overcome evil with good.  

 

The Bible says in Numbers 26:23-37, “Of the sons of Issachar after their families: of Tola, the family of the Tolaites: of Pua, the family of the Punites:[24] Of Jashub, the family of the Jashubites: of Shimron, the family of the Shimronites.[25] These are the families of Issachar according to those that were numbered of them, threescore and four thousand and three hundred.[26] Of the sons of Zebulun after their families: of Sered, the family of the Sardites: of Elon, the family of the Elonites: of Jahleel, the family of the Jahleelites.[27] These are the families of the Zebulunites according to those that were numbered of them, threescore thousand and five hundred.
[28] The sons of Joseph after their families were Manasseh and Ephraim.[29] Of the sons of Manasseh: of Machir, the family of the Machirites: and Machir begat Gilead: of Gilead come the family of the Gileadites.[30] These are the sons of Gilead: of Jeezer, the family of the Jeezerites: of Helek, the family of the Helekites:[31] And of Asriel, the family of the Asrielites: and of Shechem, the family of the Shechemites:[32] And of Shemida, the family of the Shemidaites: and of Hepher, the family of the Hepherites.[33] And Zelophehad the son of Hepher had no sons, but daughters: and the names of the daughters of Zelophehad were Mahlah, and Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah.[34] These are the families of Manasseh, and those that were numbered of them, fifty and two thousand and seven hundred.[35] These are the sons of Ephraim after their families: of Shuthelah, the family of the Shuthalhites: of Becher, the family of the Bachrites: of Tahan, the family of the Tahanites.[36] And these are the sons of Shuthelah: of Eran, the family of the Eranites.[37] These are the families of the sons of Ephraim according to those that were numbered of them, thirty and two thousand and five hundred. These are the sons of Joseph after their families
.” Manasseh and Ephraim were the two sons of Joseph. Jacob, knowing God’s will, spoke to Joseph about Ephraim and Manasseh in Genesis 48;20-22, “And he blessed them that day, saying, In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh.[21] And Israel said unto Joseph, Behold, I die: but God shall be with you, and bring you again unto the land of your fathers.[22] Moreover I have given to thee one portion above thy brethren, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow.” The land of Israel was divided up into twelve parcels of land, but Levi was not given one of those parcels because the sons of Levi were given the responsibility and opportunity to take care of the temple and all the sacrifices and rituals of Judaism. God’s plan always fits together so well. What about the twelfth parcel of land? Instead of giving one parcel to Joseph, God gave to parcels of land: one for Joseph’s son Ephraim and one for Joseph’s son Manasseh. And thus, Joseph received “one portion above” his brethren. The prophecy was fulfilled, and Joseph was recompensed for what he suffered at the hands of his brothers.

 

The Bible says in Numbers 26:38-46, “The sons of Benjamin after their families: of Bela, the family of the Belaites: of Ashbel, the family of the Ashbelites: of Ahiram, the family of the Ahiramites:[39] Of Shupham, the family of the Shuphamites: of Hupham, the family of the Huphamites.[40] And the sons of Bela were Ard and Naaman: of Ard, the family of the Ardites: and of Naaman, the family of the Naamites.[41] These are the sons of Benjamin after their families: and they that were numbered of them were forty and five thousand and six hundred.[42] These are the sons of Dan after their families: of Shuham, the family of the Shuhamites. These are the families of Dan after their families.[43] All the families of the Shuhamites, according to those that were numbered of them, were threescore and four thousand and four hundred.[44] Of the children of Asher after their families: of Jimna, the family of the Jimnites: of Jesui, the family of the Jesuites: of Beriah, the family of the Beriites.[45] Of the sons of Beriah: of Heber, the family of the Heberites: of Malchiel, the family of the Malchielites.[46] And the name of the daughter of Asher was Sarah.” Notice that the last of these verses says, “And the name of the daughter of Asher was Sarah.” The Bible elevates women over and over again. This is a list of men’s names. Why include a woman? Women need to be included because they are equal to men. Notice what it says about Christians in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus

 

The Bible says in Numbers 26:47-56, “These are the families of the sons of Asher according to those that were numbered of them; who were fifty and three thousand and four hundred.[48] Of the sons of Naphtali after their families: of Jahzeel, the family of the Jahzeelites: of Guni, the family of the Gunites:[49] Of Jezer, the family of the Jezerites: of Shillem, the family of the Shillemites.[50] These are the families of Naphtali according to their families: and they that were numbered of them were forty and five thousand and four hundred.[51] These were the numbered of the children of Israel, six hundred thousand and a thousand seven hundred and thirty.[52] And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,[53] Unto these the land shall be divided for an inheritance according to the number of names.[54] To many thou shalt give the more inheritance, and to few thou shalt give the less inheritance: to every one shall his inheritance be given according to those that were numbered of him.[55] Notwithstanding the land shall be divided by lot: according to the names of the tribes of their fathers they shall inherit.[56] According to the lot shall the possession thereof be divided between many and few.” After listing the descendants of eleven sons of Jacob, and how the country of Israel would be divided into twelve parcels of land, notice that God gives an important principle for how the land would be divided: fairly, as it is summarized in verse fifty-six, “According to the lot shall the possession thereof be divided between many and few.” In other words a small number of people would not be given a large piece of land, and a large number of people would not be given a small piece of land. That would not be fair. Benjamin was given a smaller piece of land because they were fewer in number. Ephraim and Manasseh were each given a larger piece of land because their descendants were larger in number. This was a little bit similar to the Homestead Act of 1862 in the United States where families were given 160 acres of land each. When there is land that needs to be settled and developed, out of necessity that land is divided up and parceled out. That happened in the beginning of the nation of Israel, and that happened in the early days of the United States of America. Hopefully, the United States will not end up with the same destiny as Israel: conquered and destroyed by an invading army because they forgot how much God blessed them, and they turned away from God.                      

 

 

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Copyright; 2019 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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