Thoughts and Reflection
In the book of Numbers today we see that there are roughly two million people traveling with Moses. The time of this census is approximately a year since the people have been delivered from slavery in Egypt. The book of Deuteronomy takes place 40 years later. Moses reminds the Israelites of the Law because their parents weren’t faithful to it. God gives us the Law as mercy, knowing that people’s hearts are fickle and unfaithful. God wants us to recognize that we have failed and need to repent and return to him.
Another interesting fact is the Tabernacle is placed at the center of the camp and the Levites live closest to it. This signifies that God’s heart is at the center of his people. The Tabernacle also has a candle that burns and today in our churches we have a candle that burns at all times near the Tabernacle as well.
We can easily become discouraged and hide from God when we fail. Let’s think about when we did this and rejoice that God always wants us to come back to him even after our failures.
About This Project
For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!
1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, in the desert of Sinai, in the Tent of Meeting, on the first day of the second month, in the second year after the exodus from Egypt, and said:
2 ‘Take a census of the whole community of Israelites by clans and families, taking a count of the names of all the males, head by head.
3 You and Aaron will register all those in Israel, twenty years of age and over, fit to bear arms, company by company;
4 you will have one man from each tribe, the head of his family, to help you.
5 ‘These are the names of those who must help you: For Reuben, Elizur son of Shedeur.
6 For Simeon, Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai.
7 For Judah, Nahshon son of Amminadab.
8 For Issachar, Nethanel son of Zuar.
9 For Zebulun, Eliab son of Helon.
10 Of the sons of Joseph: for Ephraim, Elishama son of Ammihud; for Manasseh, Gamaliel son of Pedahzur.
11 For Benjamin, Abidan son of Gideoni.
12 For Dan, Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai.
13 For Asher, Pagiel son of Ochran.
14 For Gad, Eliasaph son of Reuel.
15 For Naphtali, Ahira son of Enan.’
16 These were men of repute in the community; they were the leaders of their ancestral tribes, the heads of Israel’s thousands.
17 Moses and Aaron took these men who had been named
18 and on the first day of the second month they mustered the whole community. The Israelites established their pedigrees by clans and families, and one by one the names of all men of twenty years and over were recorded.
19 As Yahweh had ordered, Moses registered them in the desert of Sinai.
20 Once the pedigrees of the descendants of Reuben, Israel’s first-born, had been established by clans and families, the names of all the males of twenty years and over, fit to bear arms, were recorded one by one.
21 The total of these for the tribe of Reuben was forty-six thousand five hundred.
22 Once the pedigrees of Simeon’s descendants had been established by clans and families, the names of all the males of twenty years and over, fit to bear arms, were recorded one by one.
23 The total of these for the tribe of Simeon was fifty-nine thousand three hundred.
24 Once the pedigrees of Gad’s descendants had been established by clans and families, the names of all the males of twenty years and over, fit to bear arms, were recorded one by one.
25 The total of these for the tribe of Gad was forty-five thousand six hundred and fifty.
26 Once the pedigrees of Judah’s descendants had been established by clans and families, the names of all the males of twenty years and over, fit to bear arms, were recorded one by one.
27 The total of these for the tribe of Judah was seventy-four thousand six hundred.
28 Once the pedigrees of Issachar’s descendants had been established by clans and families, the names of all the males of twenty years and over, fit to bear arms, were recorded one by one.
29 The total of these for the tribe of Issachar was fifty-four thousand four hundred.
30 Once the pedigrees of Zebulun’s descendants had been established by clans and families, the names of all the males of twenty years and over, fit to bear arms, were recorded one by one.
31 The total of these for the tribe of Zebulun was fifty-seven thousand four hundred.
32 As regards the descendants of Joseph: once the pedigrees of Ephraim’s descendants had been established by clans and families, the names of all the males of twenty years and over, fit to bear arms, were recorded one by one.
33 The total of these for the tribe of Ephraim was forty thousand five hundred.
34 Once the pedigrees of Manasseh’s descendants had been established by clans and families, the names of all the males of twenty years and over, fit to bear arms, were recorded one by one.
35 The total of these for the tribe of Manasseh was thirty-two thousand two hundred.
36 Once the pedigrees of Benjamin’s descendants had been established by clans and families, the names of all the males of twenty years and over, fit to bear arms, were recorded one by one.
37 The total of these for the tribe of Benjamin was thirty-five thousand four hundred.
38 Once the pedigrees of Dan’s descendants had been established by clans and families, the names of all the males of twenty years and over, fit to bear arms, were recorded one by one.
39 The total of these for the tribe of Dan was sixty-two thousand seven hundred.
40 Once the pedigrees of Asher’s descendants had been established by clans and families, the names of all the males of twenty years and over, fit to bear arms, were recorded one by one.
41 The total of these for the tribe of Asher was forty-one thousand five hundred.
42 Once the pedigrees of Naphtali’s descendants had been established by clans and families, the names of all the males of twenty years and over, fit to bear arms, were recorded one by one.
43 The total of these for the tribe of Naphtali was fifty-three thousand four hundred.
44 Such were the men registered by Moses, Aaron and the leaders of Israel, of whom there were twelve, each representing his family.
45 All the Israelites of twenty years and over, fit to bear arms, were counted by families.
46 Altogether, the total came to six hundred and three thousand five hundred and fifty.
47 But the Levites and their tribes were not included in the count.
48 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said:
49 ‘Do not, however, take a census of the Levites, or register them with the other Israelites,
50 but enrol the Levites to take charge of the Dwelling where the Testimony is and of all its furnishings and belongings. They must carry the Dwelling and all its furnishings; they must look after the Dwelling and pitch their camp round it.
51 Whenever the Dwelling is moved, the Levites will dismantle it; whenever the Dwelling stops for the night, the Levites will erect it. Any unauthorised person coming near it will be put to death.
52 The Israelites will pitch their tents, each in their own encampment and by their own standard, company by company,
53 but the Levites will pitch their tents round the Dwelling where the Testimony is. In this way Retribution will be kept from falling on the whole community of Israelites, and the Levites will keep charge of the Dwelling of the Testimony.’
54 The Israelites did exactly as Yahweh had ordered Moses. They did as he said.
1 These are the words which Moses addressed to all Israel beyond the Jordan, in the desert, in the Arabah facing Suph, between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth and Dizahab.
2 It is eleven days’ journey from Horeb by way of Mount Seir to Kadesh-Barnea.
3 It was in the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, that Moses told the Israelites everything that Yahweh had ordered him to tell them.
4 He had defeated Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon, and Og king of Bashan, who lived at Ashtaroth and Edrei.
5 There, in Moab beyond the Jordan, Moses resolved to expound this Law. He said:
6 ‘Yahweh our God said to us at Horeb, “You have stayed long enough at this mountain.
7 Move on, continue your journey, go to the highlands of the Amorites, to all those who live in the Arabah, in the highlands, in the lowlands, in the Negeb and in the coastland; go into Canaan and to Lebanon as far as the great River Euphrates.
8 Look, that is the country I have given you; go and take possession of the country that Yahweh promised on oath to give to your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and to their descendants after them.”
9 ‘At the same time, I told you, “I cannot be responsible for you by myself.
10 Yahweh your God has increased your numbers, until you are now as numerous as the stars of heaven.
11 And Yahweh your God is going to increase you a thousand times more, and bless you as he has promised you.
12 So how can I cope by myself with the bitter burden that you are, and with your bickering?
13 From each of your tribes pick wise, shrewd and experienced men for me to make your leaders.”
14 You replied, “Your plan is good.”
15 So I took your tribal leaders, wise, experienced men, and appointed them to lead you, as captains of thousands, hundreds, fifties, tens, and as scribes for your tribes.
16 At that same time I told your judges, “You must give your brothers a fair hearing and see justice done between one person and his brother or the foreigner living with him.
17 You must be impartial in judgement and give an equal hearing to small and great alike. Do not be afraid of any human person, for the verdict is God’s. Should a case be too difficult, bring it for me to hear.
18 And on that occasion I gave you instructions about everything you were to do.”
19 ‘So, as Yahweh our God had ordered, we left Horeb and made our way through that vast and terrible desert, which you saw on the way to the Amorite highlands, and arrived at Kadesh-Barnea.
20 I then said, “You have now reached the Amorite highlands, which Yahweh our God has given us.
21 Look, Yahweh your God has given you this country. March in, take possession of it as Yahweh, the God of your ancestors, has said; do not be afraid or discouraged.”
22 Then you all came to me and said, “Let us send men ahead of us to explore the country; they shall report to us which way we ought to take and what towns we shall come to.”
23 This seemed good advice to me and I selected twelve men from among you, one from each tribe.
24 These men made towards the highlands and went up into them; they reached the Valley of Eshcol and reconnoitred it.
25 They collected some of the produce of the country and brought it down to us; and they made us this report, “Yahweh our God has given us a fine country.”
26 You, however, refused to go up there and rebelled against the voice of Yahweh your God.
27 You muttered in your tents, saying, “Yahweh hates us, and that is why he has brought us out of Egypt, to put us into the Amorites’ power and so destroy us.
28 What kind of place are we making for? Our brothers have discouraged us by saying that the people are stronger and taller than we are, the cities immense, with walls reaching to the sky. And we have seen Anakim there too.”
29 ‘And I said to you, “Do not take fright, do not be afraid of them.
30 Yahweh your God goes ahead of you and will be fighting on your side, just as you saw him act in Egypt.
31 You have seen him in the desert too: Yahweh your God continued to support you, as a man supports his son, all along the road you followed until you arrived here.”
32 But for all this, you put no faith in Yahweh your God,
33 going ahead of you on the journey to find you a camping ground, by night in the fire to light your path, and in the cloud by day.
34 ‘Yahweh heard what you were saying and in his anger swore this oath,
35 “Not one of these people, this perverse generation, will see the fine country I swore to give your ancestors,
36 except Caleb son of Jephunneh. He will see it. To him and to his children I shall give the land he has set foot on, for he has been perfectly obedient to Yahweh.”
37 Yahweh was angry with me too, because of you. “You will not go in either,” he said.
38 “Your assistant, Joshua son of Nun, will be the one to enter. Encourage him, since he is to bring Israel into possession of the country.
39 And your little ones too, who, you said, would be seized as booty, these children of yours who do not yet know good from evil, they will go in; I shall give it to them and they will own it.
40 But, as regards yourselves, turn round, go back into the desert, towards the Sea of Suph.”
41 ‘In reply, you then said to me, “We have sinned against Yahweh our God. We shall go up and fight just as Yahweh our God has ordered us.” And each one of you buckled on his arms and equipped himself to march up into the highlands.
42 But Yahweh said to me, “Tell them this: Do not go up and fight. I am not with you. Do not let yourselves be defeated by your enemies.”
43 So I told you, but you would not listen, and you rebelled against the voice of Yahweh; presumptuously you marched into the highlands.
44 The Amorites, who live in that country of hills, came swarming out against you like bees, pursued you and beat you from Seir to Hormah.
45 On your return, you wept in Yahweh’s presence, but he would not listen to your cries or pay attention.
46 That was why you had to stay at Kadesh as long as you did.’
1 [For the choirmaster On the . . . of Gath Of the sons of Korah Psalm] How lovely are your dwelling-places, Yahweh Sabaoth.
2 My whole being yearns and pines for Yahweh’s courts, My heart and my body cry out for joy to the living God.
3 Even the sparrow has found a home, the swallow a nest to place its young: your altars, Yahweh Sabaoth, my King and my God.
4 How blessed are those who live in your house; they shall praise you continually.
5 Blessed those who find their strength in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
6 As they pass through the Valley of the Balsam, they make there a water-hole, and — a further blessing — early rain fills it.
7 They make their way from height to height, God shows himself to them in Zion.
8 Yahweh, God Sabaoth, hear my prayer, listen, God of Jacob.
9 God, our shield, look, and see the face of your anointed.
10 Better one day in your courts than a thousand at my own devices, to stand on the threshold of God’s house than to live in the tents of the wicked.
11 For Yahweh God is a rampart and shield, he gives grace and glory; Yahweh refuses nothing good to those whose life is blameless.
12 Yahweh Sabaoth, blessed is he who trusts in you.