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Authorship and Origin:Numbers is the fourth of the five Old Testament books ascribed to Moses. See Exodus for information on the dates and origins of this book. The English title for this book is due to the fact that chapters 1 through 26 contain details of a great census of the people. But the Hebrew title for the book is "In the Wilderness" and is drawn from the 38 years the people of Israel spent in the wilderness. This is from the time they left Mount Sinai to their arrival at Canaan.
Overview and Significant sectionsThe book follows a roughly chronological order, but should not be considered in strict time sequence. Other materials have been inserted that pertain to sections of the story. The book tells of how the Mosaic law impacted the people's lives, and changed the way that God dealt with the people. In studying Numbers, we can learn from Israel's response to the law and how in cases of disobedience God used discipline. From Numbers we can learn the importance of obeying God.
- The census and organizing the people 1:1-4:49
- Worship - purification, vows, Passover, the guiding cloud 5:1-9:23
- The journey from Sinai 10:1-12:16
- Israel's disobedience 13:1-14:45
- 40 years of wandering 15:1-19:22
- Warfare with the locals, Aaron dies 20:1-21:35
- Balaam, a local magician, and a talking donkey 22:1-25:18
- A New Generation of Israelites with a better attitude 26:1-31:54
- Victory at last - arrival. 32:1-36:13
For more detailed study:
Read Chapter 1. (the entire book is available starting here.)
The Concise Matthew Henry Commentary on this book.
bible.org introduction of this book.
the World Wide Study Bible has Dictionary, Commentary, Scripture and sermons available on this book.