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FACTS FROM THE BOOK OF NUMBERS

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

  • Numbers is one of the better-preserved books of the Pentateuch. Fragments of the Ketef Hinnom scrolls containing verses from Numbers have been dated as far back as the late seventh or early sixth century BC. These verses are the earliest known artefacts to be found on the Hebrew bible text.

  • The Book of Numbers is also called The “Book of Journeyings”, The “Book of Murmurings” or as The “Fourth Book of Moses.”

  • 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 Bemidbar which means 'in the desert or in the wilderness.' This is because Moses and the Israelites wandered in the Egyptian desert for 40 years, fleeing from the pharaoh after more than 400 years of slavery.

  • Numbers covers a period of 39 years. The Israelites were numbered as about 2.5 million people. Can you imagine 2.5 million people travelling together for almost 40 years?

  • Miriam, Moses’ sister, was temporarily stricken with leprosy for speaking out against Moses – She was struck with leprosy for 7 days.

  • Moses was prohibited from entering the Promised Land – Moses once took credit for a miracle God provided for the Israelites. He claimed credit for making water gush out of a rock.

  • A man named Korah led a rebellion against Moses and Aaron, and was in turn swallowed up by the earth = Korah led 250 men against Moses and Aaron, and God sent a massive earthquake against them

  • If a person touched a dead body, he was considered to be unclean for a whole week.

  • Before the tribe of Levi was scattered throughout the rest of the tribes, there were three clans comprising the tribe – These tribes were Gershon, Koohath and Merari.

  • In this book, the Israelites tested God’s patience, and He in turn tested their endurance and faithfulness. Though the people failed many times, God showed His own faithfulness by His constant presence leading the way: through a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.

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