Numbers Notes from King James Bible - Old Testament

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King James Bible - Old Testament Numbers

In the second year of their exile, the Israelites were counted by tribes and each man over twenty was made eligible for war. Among the twelve tribes there were 603,550. The sons of Levi were not counted because God claimed them in exchange for the first-born of every family. The Levites were split into different groups to do the various works of God. The Levites were also to be judges to the people because they were endowed with the ability to cleanse. The princes of Israel brought a great assortment of gifts to the tabernacle and Aaron the priest cleansed all the Levites. They kept the passover. God told them to make two silver trumpets to sound the orders for the Israelites.

They raised the Ark of the Covenant and began to journey again. Complaints displeased God and He began to burn those who complained until Moses made them stop. There was only bread from heaven and no meat but God promised that they would eat meat. Some of the men began to slaughter the flocks. The next day the land was covered in quail. God told Moses to send men ahead to search. One man went from every tribe. They returned in forty days and reported that the land was inhabited by strong peoples. Some of the men reported that there were giants and others spoke out for Moses to return to Egypt. Joshua tried to calm them but some of the men called for a stoning. God became enraged and warned that they would wander for forty years if they did not follow Joshua. There was a plague and some people died. The next day they had to fight many adversaries. God demanded that they sacrifice again when they returned to their new land.

A man named Korah raised some men against Moses and hired a Levite to sacrifice for them. Moses prayed against the sacrifice and God appeared. He told the people that He would kill everyone but Aaron and Moses. The earth opened up and swallowed Korah, his men and their families. 14,000 people died in the subsequent plague.

God chose the Levites as His favorites and commanded that no one else was to enter the tabernacle. The Israelites entered the desert and there was no water. Moses brought water from a rock again and asked for a passage through a nearby kingdom but was refused. Aaron died on top of a mountain and was mourned for 30 days. A king took some of the Israelites captive and others spoke out against God who sent a plague of serpents after them. They continued to travel and when they were halted they fought. The Israelites overcame many cities. They camped in the land of Moab. The leading men of Moab grappled with how to deal with these nomads. God sent angels to the leaders to prevent war. God convinced one of the rulers that the Israelites would overcome anyone who attacked them.

While in the plain of Moab, some of the Israelites slept with prostitutes. God had all of these men killed. Because there were more women than men, God told Moses to make it legal for women to inherit property if their male relatives died. God reviewed the types of sacrifices with Moses. Moses spoke to the heads of the families about sworn vows. A woman's vow was to be secured by her husband who had the right to make her vows void.

The Israelites fought the Midianites and took many of them captive. They also gathered many animals and gave one tenth of everything to God. The tribe of Reuben wanted to stay in the plain because they had many cattle. God warned them that if they did not fight they would perish but if they fought they would be well rewarded. God led them to Canaan where they were to drive out the inhabitants. The land was to be divided among the tribes by Aaron's son and Joshua. On the borders they made cities of refuge and within they marked out cities for the Levites. God went over more rules for the people on inheritance and murder. All of this happened south of Jordan near Jericho.

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