God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

February 23 - Numbers 1-2: God Commissions a Census, Organizes the War Party

Today’s Reading: Numbers 1-2

The Message

English Standard Version

Today we begin Numbers. The first 10 chapters deal with the Law of Moses then have narratives mixed in with laws for the remaining chapters. It leads us to Moses' final speech to the people of Israel in Deuteronomy. Let's begin!

Today's reading is very technical and repetitious; however, it prepares for what comes ahead. Feel free to scan through today if you are behind or get bogged down in the details.

Thought to Guide Your Reading

God is preparing the people for war.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

God commissioned a census of all men over 20 years old who were able to go to war. There were 603,550 over the ten tribes and the two half-blood tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh.
The Levites were not counted as warriors. They were to be the keepers of the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant.
Each troop was ordered to camp in a certain way around the tabernacle and march in a certain order.
The Israelites did just what God asked.

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

God is showing the people how small they are compared to the other nations.

God later will punish a king for taking a census of the warriors in Israel. However, God commissioned this census for Israel. The reason is simple—He wants the people to realize that He will win their battles for them. The Israelites are not the strongest country. But this is moot, because God will defeat their enemies. When God is on your side, there is no need to take an opinion poll. His side will win in the end.

Repetition is used as a pneumonic devise to help with memorization.

The Law of Moses, although written down, was not passed on to the people through copies of a written document. It was passed on through oral teachers speaking to their family and friends. According to tradition, to attend the Jewish equivalent of a seminary, a student would have to quote the entire Pentateuch from memory. Pneumonic devices like repetition of the sentence
The line of _______: The men were counted off head by head, every male twenty years and older who was able to fight in the army, registered by clans and families. The tribe of ______ numbered ______. (The Message)
would serve as a help to memorize the entire section.
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