- Numbers - Chapter 1
- April 18th, 2013
Okay, we are now in the fourth book of Moses called Numbers.
This is, big surprise, a boring chapter. But boring for interesting reasons.
Basically, it's now two years after Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt. The Lord spoke to Moses and told him to take a census. So, that is what this chapter is about. The census.
Of course, the women and children don't count. They want soldiers. So you are only counted if you are 20 years or older, and are able to go to war.
At this point, Numbers starts saying this over and over for every tribe of Israel. If you recall, there are 12 tribes, each one named after one of Jacob's kids. It starts simply, listing the name of one person from each tribe, who is presumably the leader or general now.
Then it starts a whole rant, starting with the tribe of Reuben.
"The children of Reuben, Israel's oldest son, their geneologies by their families, by their father's house, according to the number of names, every male individually, from twenty years old and above, all those who were able to go to war: those who were numbered of the tribe of Reuben were forty-six thousand five hundred."
Then they did this over and over for each son. The same basic paragraph. "by their father's house, according to the number of names, every male individually, from twenty years...." yadda yadda yadda.
The numbers break down like this:
Joseph (Ephraim): 40,500
Joseph (Manasseh): 32,200
(apparently Joseph gets two houses. I like this. In my mind he is still Donny Osmond, and I like that he is doing well, even after his death.)
Each name got the same paragraph of speech, ending in the number.
Remember a couple chapters back, I mentioned that the normally staid, stolid voice of the reader got all fire and brimstoney? Well, in this bit he started speed-talking a bit. He just wanted to get this repetitive stuff over with. (I found out the reader. He is named Alexander Scourby)
Observant readers will note that one tribe has been left out. The tribe of Levi. This is no accident. The Lord specifically said that the census would not apply to the Levites. Remember the fat priests that people brought food to? That's the Levites. A whole tribe of fat priests. A family business.
Theie job is the stay near the tabernacle, carry it around, and kill any outsiders who get near it.