The Book of Leviticus The Book of Deuteronomy


The fourth book of our Bible, and the fourth book of our study is The Fourth Book of Moses called Numbers.

Numbers. Its English name is derived from the title it bears in the Vulgate Latin, Numeri, which is a literal translation of the Greek word Arithmoi, its title in the Septuagint; and from both, our Saxon ancestors called it numeration, "because in this the children of Israel were numbered." This title, however, does not properly apply to more than the three first chapters, and the twenty-sixth. This book, like the preceding, takes its name among the Hebrews from a distinguishing word in the commencement. It is frequently called Vaidabber, "and he spoke," from its initial word; but in most Hebrew Bibles its running title is Bemidbar, "in the wilderness," which is the fifth word in the first verse.

The book that bears this name is so called from the double numbering or census of the people (chs. 1-4; 26). It contains notices of events in the wilderness, more especially in the second year after the exodus, and at the close of the wandering, interspersed with legislation. (1) 1:1-10:10: preparation for departure from Sinai. (2) 10:11-14:45: march from Sinai to borders of Canaan; the sending of the spies and their report; the refusal to enter Canaan, and God’s punishment for disobedience. (3) 15:1-19:22: various laws and historical notices. (4) 20:1-36:13: the history of the last year in the wilderness from the second arrival of the Israelites in Kadesh till they reach "the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho." The book is remarkable for the number of fragments of ancient poetry preserved in it (6:24-26; 10:35-36; 21:14-15, 17-18, 27-30).

Numbers 1:1-46. How Many People Did Moses Lead through the Wilderness?

The first census of Israel after the Exodus numbered 603,550 men over twenty years of age who could go to war (see v. 3). This included none of the Levites (see v. 47) who numbered 22,000 (see Numbers 3:39). It also excluded all females, old men, boys under twenty years of age, and men unable to bear arms. This record has causes some scholars to estimate the total number of the children of Israel to be over two million souls (see Keil and Delitzsch, Commentary 1:3:4-5). Other scholars believe that there have been textual errors in the transmission of numbers down through the centuries and that the total number of Israelites would be closer to half a million. Whatever is correct, the task Moses faced was incredibly huge. To lead even five hundred thousand people into a harsh and barren wilderness and attempt to keep their hunger and thirst satisfied, their needs for shelter and protection from the elements met, as well as bring them to a state of spiritual maturity and obedience -- no wonder Moses cried out, "I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me" (Numbers 11:14).

Numbers 1:3. Who in each tribe were numbered in the census?

Numbers 1:46-47. How many were numbered?

Numbers 1:47-54

Those of the Levitical Priesthood were assigned particularly to care for the house of the Lord: to officiate in it on behalf of the children of Israel and to disassemble and reassemble it in times of movement. They were its protectors, so their tents encircled the sanctuary.

Numbers 1:52. Where were the children of Israel to pitch their tents? (See Numbers 2:2)

Numbers 2. Why Was There a Specific Order of March and Camping? God’s house is a house of order (see D&C 132:8). In symbolic representation thereof, so was the camp of Israel. Order was maintained in both their encampments and marches.

The tribes were deployed in four groups of three tribes. On the east side of the camp and at the front of the moving column were Issachar and Zebulun with Judah at the head. On the south side in second position were Simeon and Gad under the leadership of Reuben. In the middle were the Levites. On the west and fourth in the line of march were Manasseh and Benjamin led by Ephraim. On the north and in the rear were Asher and Naphtali with Dan at the head.

The places of honor, at the head of the hosts and immediately following the tabernacle, were held by Judah and Ephraim, respectively. Judah camped directly east of the tabernacle entrance.

Numbers 2:3-9. Which tribes were to camp on the east side of the "tabernacle of the congregation"? (Numbers 2:2)

Numbers 2:10-16. Which tribes were to camp on the south side?

Numbers 2:17. Where were the tribe of Levi and the tabernacle to be located?

Numbers 2:18-24. Which tribes were to camp on the west side?

Numbers 2:25-31. Which tribes were to camp on the north side?

Numbers 3

The Levites were not counted with the other tribes of Israel because of their divine stewardship to act in the stead of the firstborn son (see vv. 12-13). Joseph, however, had already been assigned a double portion, and both Ephraim and Manasseh became full and independent tribes (see Genesis 48:22). A distinction was also made between the sons of Aaron and other Levites (see vv. 2, 8-10; Reading 17-15). Descendants of Aaron were designated as priests, and they were the ones given the stewardship to preside in the ordinances of the tabernacle. The other Levites assisted in maintaining the tabernacle and its services, but they could not actually perform the ordinances of sacrifice, burning incense, and so on. Although all the Levites camped around the tabernacle, Aaron and his sons, along with Moses, were placed in the favored position directly in front of the tabernacle entrance (see v. 38).

Numbers 3:1-3. Who was to minister in the priest's office?

Numbers 3:6-7. Who was to serve in the tabernacle?

Numbers 3:12. Who were the Lord's, replacing the firstborn of all the families of Israel?

Numbers 3:51. Why Were the Extra Levites Redeemed with Money?

The total number of Levites in religious service closely approximated the number of firstborn among the children of Israel. The excess 273 firstborn who were not redeemed man for man by a Levite substitute were redeemed by a five-shekel offering each. President John Taylor explained why this procedure was required:

"The first-born of the Egyptians, for whom no lamb as a token of the propitiation was offered, were destroyed. It was through the propitiation and atonement alone that the Israelites were saved, and, under the circumstances they must have perished with the Egyptians, who were doomed, had it not been for the contemplated atonement and propitiation of Christ, of which this was a figure.

"Hence the Lord claimed those that He saved as righteously belonging to Him, and claiming them as His He demanded their services ... He accepted the tribe of Levi in lieu of the first-born of Israel; and as there were more of the first-born than there were of the Levites, the balance had to be redeemed with money, which was given to Aaron, as the great High Priest and representative of the Aaronic Priesthood, he being also a Levite. [See Numbers 3:50-51.]" (Mediation and Atonement, p. 108.)

Numbers 4. What Is the Significance of the Sons of Kohath?

Chapter 4 of Numbers explains the duties and responsibilities of the branches of Levites with respect to the tabernacle. Moses and Aaron were sons of Amram, a grandson of Levi through Kohath (see Numbers 3:19; Exodus 6:18, 20). Aaron and his sons were set apart to the priesthood and were given the other sons of Levi to assist them in the movement and functions of the tabernacle (see Numbers 3:5-13). Kohath seems to have been the second son of Levi (see Numbers 3:17), but was probably mentioned first because of his grandsons Moses and Aaron and also because his male descendants were the bearers of the sacred furniture of the tabernacle (see Dummelow, Commentary on the Holy Bible, p. 104).

The sons of Levi began their ministry in the tabernacle, at the age of thirty, the same age as the Savior was when He began His earthly ministry (see Numbers 4:3, 23, 30; Luke 3:22-23).

Numbers 4:5-15. When the camps of Israel moved, what were Aaron and his sons to do?

Numbers 4:1-4, 22-28, 29-33, 35. What were certain Levite families to do?

Numbers 5:1-4. Separation of the Unclean from the Camp

Those with leprosy or running sores were not allowed to march or camp with the rest of Israel (see v. 2). To be put out of the camp implied only a separation from the main body, not a total rejection or abandonment. A noted Bible scholar suggested why this isolation was required.

"The expulsion mentioned here was founded, 1) On a pure physical reason, viz., the diseases were contagious, and therefore there was a necessity of putting those afflicted by them apart, that the infection might not be communicated. 2) There was also a spiritual reason; the camp was the habitation of God, and nothing impure should be permitted to remain where he dwelt." (Clarke, Bible Commentary, 1:631.)

Numbers 5:6-7. What was a man or a woman who had sinned to do to obtain forgiveness?

Numbers 5:8. What was the sinner to do if there was no one to recompense?

Numbers 5:11-31. What was the "law of jealousies"? (Numbers 5:29)

Numbers 6:1-21. What Was a Nazarite?

A Nazarite was a man or woman who took a voluntary vow to separate his life for the service of the Lord, or to live consecrated unto Him (see Keil and Delitzsch, Commentary, 1:3:34). Being a Nazarite had nothing to do with coming from the town of Nazareth.

A Nazarite took three vows: he would abstain absolutely from wine or strong drink, including any products of the vine in any form (see Numbers 6:3-4); he would not let a razor touch his head, but would let his hair grow naturally as a crown to God (see Numbers 6:5); and he would not allow himself to draw near a dead person, even a member of his own family (see Numbers 6:6). His life and all his efforts were completely and expressly dedicated to the Lord. This consecrated life bore some resemblance to that of the high priest (see Leviticus 21:10-12). Those who seem to have taken such vows, or had parents who made the vows for them, include Samson (see Judges 13:5), Samuel (see 1 Samuel 1:11, 28), and John the Baptist (see Luke 1:15). In some cases, these Nazarite vows were for life, but more often they were for a specific period of time, after which the person returned to a normal life. (Two instances in the New Testament that seem related to this vow taking are recorded in Acts 18:18-19 and 21:23–26.)

Numbers 6:1-21. What was the law of the Nazarite?

Numbers 6:22-27. How were Aaron and his sons to bless Israel?

Numbers 7 The word prince in the Hebrew means "a leader or ruler of the tribe."

Numbers 7:2-3. Who made offerings at the dedication of the tabernacle?

Numbers 7:5. What were the offerings to be used for?

Numbers 7:89. Who spoke to Moses when he was in the tabernacle?

Numbers 8:1-4. What Is the Meaning of "Over against the Candlestick"?

In the Hebrew over against means that when the lamp was lighted, its light illuminated whatever was on the opposite side of the room ("over against the candlestick") [v. 2]). In this case, the table of shewbread was opposite the lamp.

Numbers 8:6-7. How were the Levites set apart?

Numbers 8:16-18. Whom did the Levites replace in their dedicated service to the lord?

Numbers 8:19. What Is the Distinction between the Aaronic and the Levitical Priesthood?

"The Aaronic Priesthood is divided into the Aaronic and the Levitical, yet it is but one priesthood. This is merely a matter of designating certain duties within the priesthood. The sons of Aaron, who presided in the Aaronic order, were spoken of as holding the Aaronic Priesthood; and the sons of Levi, who were not sons of Aaron, were spoken of as the Levites. They held the Aaronic Priesthood but served under, or in a lesser capacity, than the sons of Aaron." (Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 3:86.)

Numbers 8:11, 22-26. What were the Levites set apart to do?

Numbers 9:2-5. What was Israel commanded to do again?

Numbers 9:13. What would happen to a person who was clean and able to keep the passover but did not?

Numbers 9:15. What rested upon the tabernacle by day and by night?

Numbers 9:17-22. What did Israel do when the could rested upon the tabernacle?

Numbers 10:2-10. What were the silver trumpets used for?

Numbers 10:11-12. What did Israel do when the cloud was taken from the tabernacle

Numbers 10:29. Whom did Moses want to be a guide?

Numbers 11:1. Why did fire burn those in "the uttermost parts of the camp"? (Numbers 11:1)

Numbers 11:4-6. Why did the children of Israel weep and complain?

Numbers 11:11-15. What did Moses say to the Lord when he heard the people weep?

Numbers 11:16-17. How did the Lord help Moses bear the burden of the people?

Numbers 11:18-20. Why did the Lord provide flesh for the people?

Numbers 11:24-25. What happened when the Spirit rested on the seventy elders?

Numbers 11:31-33. How did the Lord provide flesh for the people?

Numbers 12. Who were Aaron and Miriam? (See Numbers 26:59)

Numbers 12:1-2. Why did Aaron and Miriam speak against Moses?

Numbers 12:3. What trait did Moses have more of than any other man?

Numbers 12:4-8. What did the Lord say to Moses, Miriam, and Aaron?

Numbers 12:10-15. How did the Lord punish Miriam?

Numbers 13:2. What did the Lord instruct Moses to do?

Numbers 13:17-20. What did Moses instruct the spies to do?

Numbers 13:27-29. What did the spies report to Moses?

Numbers 13:28-31. Why were the spies afraid to go up against the people?

Numbers 13:30. What did Caleb say to the people?

Numbers 13:33. Why did the spies fear the sons of Anak?

Numbers 14:2-3. What did the Israelites say to Moses and Aaron?

Numbers 14:6-9. What did Joshua and Caleb say to the people?

Numbers 14:10. How did the congregation accept their message?

Numbers 14:13-20. What did Moses say to the Lord to prevent the people from being destroyed?

Numbers 14:22-24. Who would not be allowed to enter into the promised land?

Numbers 14:33-34. How long were the children of Israel to wander in the wilderness? Why? (See also Numbers 14:33b)

Numbers 14:36-37. What happened to the spies who brought an evil report of the land?

Numbers 14:40-45. What happened to those who went to war without the Lord?

Numbers 15:30-31. What was to be done with those who willfully sinned?

Numbers 15:32-36. What was done to the man found gathering sticks on the Sabbath day?

Numbers 15:32-36. Is Picking Up Sticks on the Sabbath Worthy of Death?

To stone a man for violation of the Sabbath seems a harsh punishment. But in its historical context, two things are significant. Moses had just given the law for willful rebellion against God. Did this man know the law of the Sabbath? Moses had clearly taught earlier that one who violated the Sabbath was to be put to death (see Exodus 31:14-15; 35:2). Obviously, here is an example of one who "despised the word of the Lord" (Numbers 15:31).

But think for a moment of what had just happened to Israel. They, as a nation, had despised the word of the Lord, first, by refusing to go up against the Canaanites when the Lord had told them to, and second, by going up against them after the Lord had told them not to. Thus Israel had been denied entry into the promised land. Now, an individual despised the word of the Lord and refused to enter the rest required on the Sabbath. Just as Israel was to suffer death in the wilderness for their rebellion, so a rebellious individual must be punished with the same punishment. Otherwise, God would be inconsistent.

Numbers 15:37-41. What Were the Fringes on the Garment?

A symbol is one thing that represents another. One use of symbols is to remind us of our important commitments. For example, the bread and water of the sacrament are symbols that remind us of Jesus' sacrifice for us and of our covenants with Him. Israel practiced the law of sacrifice for a similar reason.

Similarly, the Lord commanded wandering Israel to fringe the borders of their garments so that when they looked upon the fringes they would be reminded of the commandments of the Lord (see v. 39).

Clothing is used to cover, protect, and beautify. To put fringes on an article of clothing symbolized that an individual is clothed, or covered, with the commandments of God.

The ribbon of blue also symbolically suggested concepts of deep importance. Blue signifies the heavens and so symbolizes the spiritual realm or godliness (see Fallows, Bible Encyclopedia, s.v. "colors," 1:440).

"The zizith [tassel] on the sky-blue thread was to serve as a memorial sign to the Israelites, to remind them of the commandments of God, that they might have them constantly before their eyes and follow them, and not direct their heart and eyes to the things of this world, which turn away from the word of God, and lead astray to idolatry." (Keil and Delitzsch, Commentary, 1:3:104.)

Numbers 16:9-11. What did the company of rebels desire?

Numbers 16:27-33. What happened to Korah, Dathan, and Abiram?

Numbers 16:35. What happened to the two hundred fifty men who followed them?

Numbers 16:41-50. What did the Lord do when the congregation murmured against Moses and Aaron because of their loss?

Numbers 17:1-5. Why were the twelve rods placed in the tabernacle?

Numbers 17:1-13. What Is the Significance of the Budding of Aaron's Rod?

In the rebellion against the leadership of Moses and Aaron, the Lord gave two miraculous demonstrations that showed Israel without question whom He had chosen to lead His people. First, Korah and those who joined him in the rebellion were killed by being either swallowed in the earth or consumed by fire. Second, those who still continued to sustain his evil leadership, even after Korah's death, were killed in a plague (see Numbers 16:49). The scriptures state that nearly fifteen thousand people died trying to prove that Moses and Aaron were not the ones who should lead Israel. Then the Lord offered one more miracle to further demonstrate who was chosen to hold the priesthood. Bible scholars have explained the significance of this miracle in this way:

"The miracle which God wrought here as the Creator of nature, was at the same time a significant symbol of the nature and meaning of the priesthood. The choice of the rods had also a bearing upon the object in question. A man's rod was the sign of his position as ruler in the house and congregation; with a prince the rod becomes a sceptre, the insignia of rule [see Genesis 49:10]. As a severed branch, the rod could not put forth shoots and blossom in a natural way. But God could impart new vital powers even to the dry rod. And so Aaron had naturally no preeminence above the heads of the other tribes. But the priesthood was founded not upon natural qualifications and gifts, but upon the power of the Spirit, which God communicates according to the choice of His wisdom, and which He had imparted to Aaron through his consecration with holy anointing oil. It was this which the Lord intended to show to the people, by causing Aaron's rod to put forth branches, blossom, and fruit, through a miracle of His omnipotence; whereas the rods of the others heads of the tribes remained as barren as before. In this way, therefore, it was not without deep significance that Aaron's rod not only put forth shoots, by which the divine election might be recognized, but bore even blossom and ripe fruit. This showed that Aaron was not only qualified for his calling, but administered his office in the full power of the Spirit, and bore the fruit expected of him. The almond rod was especially adapted to exhibit this, as an almond-tree flowers and bears fruit the earliest of all the trees, and has received its name [in Hebrew, which means] 'awake,' from this very fact [cf. Jeremiah 1:11]." (Keil and Delitzsch, Commentary, 1:3:114).

Numbers 17:8. What sign was given that Aaron was the Lord's chosen servant?

Numbers 17:10. Why was Aaron's rod kept?

Numbers 18. The Levitical and Aaronic Priesthoods

Here a distinction is made between the two orders of the Aaronic Priesthood. Although the terms Aaronic and Levitical are sometimes used interchangeably (see D&C 107:1, 6, 10), there were differences in duties. The lesser priesthood was given to those of "the tribe of Levi" (Numbers 18:2), to which Aaron and his sons belonged. The Levites performed the housekeeping chores of the tabernacle, such as filling and lighting the lamps, carrying the ark of the covenant, assembling and disassembling the tabernacle, and so forth. The priests, who were chosen from Aaron's sons alone, were appointed to offer sacrifice, burn incense, instruct in the law, and so forth. Presiding over all the priests, or sons of Aaron, was a firstborn son. He served as high priest or president of the priests (see Numbers 3:5-10; 18:1-7; 1 Chronicles 23:27–32).

Those selected to minister in the offices of priest and Levite were to be supported from the tithes and offerings made by the children of Israel (see Numbers 18:21, 24). The Lord said to Aaron, "All the best of the oil, and all the best of the wine, and of the wheat, the first fruits of them which they shall offer unto the Lord, them have I given thee" (v. 12). These, like everything else in Israel, were to be tithed (see v. 26).

In addition, the Levites had to have a place to live. They were not given land as the other tribes were because their inheritance was the priesthood instead (see v. 20). In order to scatter them among the tribes and provide homes for the Levites, Moses commanded that forty-eight "Levite cities" be established for those who ministered to Israel's spiritual needs (see Numbers 35:1-8). This Levitical inheritance was provided when the land of Canaan was conquered under Joshua (see Joshua 21).

Numbers 18:1. What were Aaron and his sons called to do? (See also Bible Dictionary, p. 753, s.v. "Priests")

Numbers 18:2-7. What were the Levites called to do?

Numbers 18:8-21, 24, 26-32. How were the Levites to be supported?

Numbers 19:11-16. How long would a man remain unclean after touching "the dead body of any man"? (Numbers 19:11)

Numbers 19:12-13, 20. What was to be done with those who remained unclean?

Numbers 20:1. Who died at Kadesh?

Numbers 20:2–13. Why Was Moses Not Allowed into the Holy Land?

Rebellion among the children of Israel was not at all uncommon in their desert wanderings. The rebellion described in these verses, however, was especially serious because it apparently led Moses, the prophet of God, to momentarily forget what the Lord had commanded him to do. The Lord had told Moses to provide water for murmuring Israel in a special way. Pointing out a certain rock, the Lord told Moses, "Speak ye unto the rock before their [Israel's] eyes; and it shall give forth his water" (v. 8). But Moses was weary and angry with Israel. "Hear now, ye rebels," he said. "Must we fetch you water out of this rock?" (v. 10; emphasis added). Then, instead of speaking to the rock as God commanded, Moses "smote the rock twice" and water gushed forth (v. 11). The Lord then chided Moses and Aaron for their failure to sanctify Him in the eyes of the people and told both men that neither of them would be allowed to bring Israel into the promised land (see v. 12). Not only did they not follow the Lord's instructions carefully but they also suggested by the use of we that they were the ones who provided the water.

This incident, taken together with other scripture, creates a number of questions. Did Moses really sin against the Lord? Was that the reason Moses was not permitted to enter the promised land? Did Moses really assume glory to himself, or was he simply angry with the lack of faith exhibited by the children of Israel? Was this one error enough to cancel out years of great faith, obedience, and devotion?

At least two other Old Testament passages indicate that Moses did sin in striking the rock at Meribah (see Numbers 27:12-14; Deuteronomy 32:51-52). Other passages, however, help to clarify the matter. Deuteronomy 3:26 and 4:21 indicate that the Lord told Moses that the reason he could not enter the promised land was that the Lord was angry with him "for your sakes" (emphasis added). This statement could imply that there were reasons other than the error of Moses for the prohibition. Two other facts strengthen this supposition. First, both Moses and the higher priesthood were taken from Israel because of the people's unworthiness, not Moses' (see D&C 84:23-25). Second, Moses was translated when his mortal ministry was finished (see Alma 45:19). In other words, Moses was privileged to enter a land of promise far greater than the land of Canaan. He had finished his calling in mortality, and a new leader was to take Israel into the promised land. And, Moses was translated -- hardly a punishment for sinning against God.

Numbers 20:2-5. Why did the people complain?

Numbers 20:8. What did the Lord instruct Moses to do?

Numbers 20:10-12. Why were Moses and Aaron not permitted to take the people into the promised land? (See Numbers 20:12a)

Numbers 20:17. To What Does the Phrase "King's High Way" Refer?

"The 'king's way' is the public high road, which was probably made at the cost of the state, and kept up for the king and his armies to travel upon, and is synonymous with the 'sultan-road' (Derb es Sultan) or 'emperor road,' as the open, broad, old military roads are still called in the East" (Keil and Delitzsch, Commentary, 1:3:134).

The highway ran along the highlands of present-day Jordan from the Red Sea up into Syria. On the east it paralleled the Dead Sea and the River Jordan.

Numbers 20:18-21. What did the king of Edom say and do when Moses asked permission for the Israelites to pass through his land?

Numbers 20:23-29. Why did Aaron and his son Eleazar go up to Mount Hor? (See also Bible Dictinary, p. 702, s.v. "High Priest")

Numbers 21:1-3. Why did the Lord deliver up the Canaanites?

Numbers 21:4-5. Why did the people complain against God and Moses?

Numbers 21:6. How did the Lord respond?

Numbers 21:8-9. What was symbolized by the fiery serpent that Moses made?

Numbers 21:9. What remedy did the Lord provide the people?

Numbers 21:23. What did Shihon do when Israel asked for permission to pass through his land?

Numbers 21:24-25. What did Israel do after the battle?

Numbers 21:33-35. What did Israel do to the people of Bashan?

Numbers 22:2-6. Why did Balak, king of the Moabites, request the help of Balaam?

Numbers 22:12. What did the Lord say to Balaam?

Numbers 22:13. What did Balaam tell the princes of Balak?

Numbers 22:15-17. What did Balak do then?

Numbers 22:22-27. Why did the ass disobey Balaam?

Numbers 22:28-30. What did the ass say to Balaam?

Numbers 22:31. How was Balaam able to see the angel?

Numbers 22:35. Upon what condition was Balaam to continue his journey?

Numbers 23:1-10. What was the Lord's message that Balaam delivered to Balak?

Numbers 23:11. What was Balak's reaction?

Numbers 23:18-24. What was the second message that Balaam delivered to Balak?

Numbers 24:4-9. What vision did Balaam receive on the top of Peor? (See also Numbers 23:28)

Numbers 24:10-11. What was Balak's reaction?

Numbers 24:18-24. Of whom did Balaam prophesy? (See Numbers 24:17a, b)

Numbers 25:4-5. How did the chief men of Israel turn away the anger of the Lord?

Numbers 25:6-8. What did Phinehas, grandson of Aaron, do to stay the plague?

Numbers 25:10-13. How did the Lord reward Phinehas?

Numbers 25:16-18. Why was Israel to "vex" the Midianites? (Numbers 25:17)

Numbers 26

Prior to entrance into the promised land, Moses and Eleazar, the priest, counted by their respective tribes the children of Israel aged twenty years and older. In the process, they discovered that, except for three people, not one living soul over twenty years of age who had been numbered at the beginning of the desert wanderings thirty-eight years earlier was left among the children of Israel. Only Joshua, Caleb, and Moses himself remained of the original company that came out of Egypt. All of this was as the Lord had said (see v. 65). Numbers 33:54 gives the reason the Israelites were numbered on this occasion. Numbers 26:2. What did Moses and Eleazar do on the plains of Moab near Jericho?

Numbers 26:51. How many males twenty years and older were numbered?

Numbers 26:64-65. Who remained from those numbered at Sinai? Why? (See also Numbers 14:29-30)

Numbers 27:6-11. What was the law of inheritance?

Numbers 27:12-13. Why was Moses to go up to Mount Abarim?

Numbers 27:16-17. What did Moses request of the Lord before he was taken from the people?

Numbers 27:18-21. What did the Lord instruct Moses to do? (See also Numbers 27:20a)

Numbers 27:23. How was Joshua set apart?

Numbers 28:4, 9, 11, 15-19, 26. When were the sacrifices to be offered?

Numbers 28:18, 25-26. What was prohibited on days of "holy convocation"? (Numbers 28:18, 25-26)

Numbers 29:1-6. At what other times were sacrifices to be offered?

Numbers 29:39. These sacrifices were to be performed in addition to what other offerings?

Numbers 30. The Making of Vows and the Conditions of Validity

The making of a covenant with the Lord was a very serious act in ancient Israel. This chapter in Numbers discusses the force and strength of one's vows before the Lord. Particularly, it sets forth the relationship between man and woman where a vow or covenant is concerned. Four special instances are discussed:

"The first case (vers. 3-5) is that of a woman in her youth, while still unmarried, and living in her father's house. If she made a vow of performance or abstinence, and her father heard of it and remained silent, it was to stand, i.e. to remain in force. But if her father held her back when he heard of it, i.e. forbade her fulfilling it, it was not to stand or remain in force, and Jehovah would forgive her because of her father's refusal. Obedience to a father stood higher than a self-imposed religious service. -- The second case (vers. 6–8) was that of a vow of performance or abstinence, made by a woman before her marriage, and brought along with her (... 'upon herself') into her marriage. In such a case the husband had to decide as to its validity, in the same way as the father before her marriage. In the day when he heard of it he could hold back his wife, i.e. dissolve her vow; but if he did not do this at once, he could not hinder its fulfilment afterwards ... The third case (ver. 9) was that of a vow made by a widow or divorced woman. Such a vow had full force, because the woman was not dependent upon a husband. -- The fourth case (vers. 10-12) was that of a vow made by a wife in her married state. Such a vow was to remain in force if her husband remained silent when he heard of it, and did not restrain her. On the other hand, it was to have no force if her husband dissolved it at once." (Keil and Delitzsch, Commentary, 1:3:224).

Numbers 30:2. What was to be kept and not broken?

Numbers 30:3-5. Who could disallow vows of daughters?

Numbers 30:13. Who could disallow vows of wives?

Numbers 30:15. In what case might a husband bear his wife's iniquity?

Numbers 31:1-7. What did Moses send twelve thousand warriors to do?

Numbers 31:9-18. What happened to the possessions of the Midianites?

Numbers 31:19-24. What was the process of purification for soldiers and their spoils?

Numbers 49. How many warriors of Israel were lost?

Numbers 32:1-5. What did the children of Reuben and Gad want to do? Why?

Numbers 32:9-18. What did they covenant to do?

Numbers 32:33. Half of what other tribe received their inheritance east of Jordan?

Numbers 33:1. What does Numbers 33 review?

Numbers 33:50-56. Why was Israel commanded to "drive out all the inhabitants of the land"? (V. 52)

Numbers 34:1-15. What did Moses specify in Numbers 34?

Numbers 34:16-29. What were the chosen princes of the tribes to do?

Numbers 35:1-5. What were the children of Israel to give to the Levites?

Numbers 35:6, 11, 15. What were the cities of refuge for? (See also Numbers 35:11a)

Numbers 35:9-27. Why Were "Cities of Refuge" Necessary, and Who Was the Appointed "Revenger of Blood"?

Six of the forty-eight Levitical cities were appointed to be "cities of refuge," places where those who had taken human life could find protection until they had been tried and either convicted of murder or released (v. 11). These cities were to be located on both sides of the Jordan (see v. 14). Note the distinction that Moses made between murdering and slaying a human being (see vv. 15-25). Differentiation was made among what is called today premeditated murder, murder of passion, manslaughter, and self-defense.

"Cities of refuge among the Hebrews were necessary, because the old patriarchal law still remained in force, viz., that the nearest akin had a right to avenge the death of his relation by slaying the murderer; for the original law enacted that whosoever shed man's blood, by man should his blood be shed, Genesis 9:6, and none was judged so proper to execute this law as the man who was nearest akin to the deceased. As many rash executions of this law might take place, from the very nature of the thing, it was deemed necessary to qualify its claims, and prevent injustice; and the cities of refuge were judged proper for this purpose. Nor do we ever read that they were ever found inefficient, or that they were ever abused." (Clarke, Bible Commentary, 1:730.)

Numbers 35:20-25. What would happen to a man who threw a stone in hatred and killed another? threw a stone meaning no harm, and killed another?

Numbers 35:33-34. Why was death the penalty for murder? (See also v. 33b)

Numbers 36. The Daughters of Zelophehad and Their Inheritance

Here Moses dealt with a practical problem that would face Israel when they began to conquer the land. Once the tribal divisions were determined, individual families within each tribe were given a land inheritance. If a portion of land was given to a single woman and she married into another tribe, which was probably quite common, then the woman's land would become the joint property of her husband. Thus, another tribe would get a portion of the land assigned by the Lord and Moses to the original tribe. Moses and the elders foresaw the potential problems and ruled that land inheritances could not move from tribe to tribe.

Numbers 36:3-9. Why were the daughters of Israel to marry within their own tribes?

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