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Book 4 of 39 in The Old Testament


The fourth book of Moses. This deals with the wilderness wanderings of the children of Israel. The name of the book, is taken from the two numberings of the nation: one at Mount Sinai ( Ch.1) and the second after the wanderings, after the present generation had perished.(Ch.26). The Hebrew Bible has as its title ” In the Wilderness.”

The book can be divided into three sections: The journey to Kadesh; failure in the wilderness and preparing for the promised land.

Chapter Outline

Section Subsection Chapters Notes
Sinai to Kadesh
The first numbering 1- 4 The numberings were to set the camp in an orderly way.
More legislation 5- 10 This was the twentieth day since the first numbering. Ch. 1:1and 10:11
Failure in the wilderness
Murmurings before Kadesh 11-12 Here the Israelites complain about the way, the food and the leaders.
Unbelief at Kadesh 13-14 see also Dt.1:19-46and Heb. 3 -4
The offerings restated. 15
Murmerings against the appointed priests 16- 17
The High priest and sons 18
The red heifer 19
Murmurings for water 20 note: Miriam’s death and Moses’ and Aaron’s disobedience and the latter’s death.
Murmurings about the way 21:4-9 The serpent of brass
Victory in the wilderness Over Arad , Sihon and Og 21
Baalim and Barak 22-25 see Ch.31:13-20;IIPet.2:15; Rev.2:14
The second numbering 26
The law of inheritance 27 Joshua appointed successor
Various laws 28-30
Victory over the Midianites 31
Preparations to enter Cannan 32-36

The Numberings

These were the totals of those men 20 yrs. upward, who were eligible for war.

The Numberings
Tribe The First Ch.1 The Second Ch.26
Reuben 46,500 43,730
Simeon 59,300 22,200
Gad 45,650 40,500
Judah 74,600 76,500
Issachar 54,400 64,300
Zebulun 57,400 60,500
Joseph/Ephraim 40,500 52,700
Manasseh 32,200 32,500
Benjamin 35,400 45,600
Dan 62,700 64,400
Asher 41,500 53,400
Naphtali 53,400 45,400
TOTALS 603,550 601,730