Numbers Lesson 1


KEY VERSE: NUMBERS 1:1 “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,”

THEME: God honors faith and punishes unbelief.

DATE: 1,500-1,400 B.C. (First month of second year—Numbers 9:1)

WRITER: The Holy Spirit used Moses to write Numbers, the third book of the Pentateuch. Moses was the leader of the host. He was also the Commander of the Hebrew army. He was a spokesman for God to the people. He was well equipped to write it all for the record. Eighty or more claims in the Book state, “The Lord spoke unto Moses.”

WRITTEN: To trace Israel’s history. To record why the eleven days journey took forty years. To explain why the entire generation was prevented from entering the Promised Land. To warn and challenge all who have been delivered from the world and are journeying through on the way to Heaven.

THE BOOK: No. in Bible: 4th of 66 Books in Bible. No. of Chapters: 36. No. of Verses: 1,288 No. in Order of Writing: 4th of 5 Books of Moses.

PURPOSE: To record the two important events of numbering or taking a census of the Jews coming out of Egypt. The first took place at Sinai the second year out, and the second was forty years later at the Jordan, ready to cross Jordan into Canaan.

1. PREPARATION FOR ADVANCE AT SINAI (1:1-10:11) a. There were approximately two million of them. b. They were organized into a theocracy. c. They now had a legal Constitution (Ten Commandments). 2. JOURNEYING FROM SINAI TO JORDAN a. Failure at Kadesh b. Forty years of wandering c. Hostility of enemy nations 3. CONSOLIDATION AND RENEWED PREPARATION AT JORDON a. New generation enrolled and counted b. New generation instructed in religious, military, and civic matters c. Reminder of God’s plan of leadership and control.

FACTS: Available men at first count in second year: 603,550, Available men at second count in fortieth year: 601,730 CONTRAST OF OLD GENERATION TO NEW GENERATION. OLD: Led by Moses, Crossed Red Sea, Wandering in circles, A diet of Manna, Led by cloud, Wandered in unbelief. NEW: Led by Joshua, Crossed the Jordan, Possessing the land, Diet of old corn of the land, Led by Ark, Conquered by faith

I. THE CENSUS AT SINAI (1:1-2:34) 1. Time: First day of second month of second year (1:1) 2. Place: Wilderness at Sinai—Tabernacle built there 3. Method: One prince from each tribe to supervise 4. Various Groups: Congregation, Priest, Levites 5. Purpose: For efficiency and loyalty to tribe 6. Results: Each man’s identity recorded, and possibly represents an average of at least four people per family (or two million people)

II. THE PRIESTS AND LEVITES (2:1-4:49) 1. The Priests: Sons of Aaron 2. The Levites: Sons of Levi – Assistants to Priests, Exempt from Military duty, Assignments of care for the Tabernacle

III. THE SEPARATION FROM DEFILEMENT (2:1-4:47;5-6) 1. Reason: God’s holiness demanded similar holiness for relationships. Coming wars and conflict necessitated it. 2. Exclusion of Defilement: Leprosy (5:1-3) 3. Elimination of Guilt: Morally clean (5:4-10) (Problems between Jews a must) 4. Law of Jealousy (5:11-31) 5. Nazarite Vows: (6:1- 21) Samson (Judges 13:5), Samuel (I Samuel 1:11,28)

IV. THE PRELIMINARIES TO DEPARTURE (7:1-10:10) 1. Princes brought gifts for service of dedication (7:1-89) Twelve times this is repeated. 2. The altar and tabernacle consecrated to the Lord. 3. The lighting of the candlesticks (8:1-4) 4. The dedication of the Levites (8:5-26) 5. The celebration of the Passover (9:1-14) 6. The guidance of the Lord (9:15-23) 7. The silver trumpets (10:1-10)

V. THE JOURNEY TO KADESH 1. Departing from Sinai (10:11-13) (The cloud moved out thirteen months after escape from Egypt) 2. Orderly march (according to tribes) (10:14-28) 3. The guide: Hobab (new territory) 4. Moses assures the people (10:33-36) 5. Murmuring and complaining (11-1-35) (Mixed multitudes 11:4) 6. Family discontent (Miriam and Aaron) (12:1-15)

VI. FAILURE AT KADESH (13:1-14-45) 1. Mission of the spies (13:1-25) 2. The investigation (13:21-25) 3. The minority report (13:30) 4. The majority report (13:31; 14:1-19)

VII. THE WILDERNESS WANDERINGS 1. Promise of Canaan renewed (15:1-31) 2. Offerings presented to re- emphasize. Their meaning to new generation 3. Commandments of God (15:32-41) 4. Revolt of Korah (16:1-50) 5. Budding rod (17:1-13) 6. Moses’ sin

VIII. DETOUR TOWARD CANAAN 1. Edom refuses entry (20:14-29) 2. Israel mumurs again (21:1-9) 3. Israel advances (21:10-35) 4. Balak’s scheme (22:1-7) 5. Balaam’s lack of direction 6. Blessings for Israel (23:7-10)

IX. THE NEW CENSUS 1. Reason (to count loss of forty years and check strength for battle) (26:1-65) 2. Result: (Seven tribes larger, five smaller, Judah largest 3. Problems: (Woman’s inheritance rights) (27:1-11) 4. Death of Moses (27:12-23) 5. Vows and oaths (30:1-16) 6. Vengence on Midian (31:1-54)

X. PREPARATION TO ENTER CANAAN (32:1-36:13) 1. Inheritance east of Jordan (32:1-42) 2. Inheritance west of Jordan (34:1-29) 3. Levites’ property (35:1-8) 4. Cities of refuge (35:9-34)

MISCELLANEOUS: OLD GENERATION: 1. Counted (1-4) 2. Counselled (5-10) 3. Chastised (11-12) 4. Condemned (13-20) NEW GENERATION: 1. Their journey (21,25,33) 2. Their numbering (26,27) 3. Their offering (28-30) 4. Dividing the inheritance (31-36)

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