Book of Numbers in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE

LITERATURE I. Title and Contents. 1. Title: Styled in the Hebrew Bible bemidhbar, "in the wilderness," from the 5th word in Nu 1:1, probably because of recording the fortunes of Israel in the Sinaitic desert. The 4th book of the Pentateuch (or of the Hexateuch, according to criticism) was designated Arithmoi in the Septuagint, and Numeri in the Vulgate, and from this last received its name "Numbers" in the King James Version, in all 3 evidently because of its reporting the 2 censuses which were taken, the one at Sinai at the beginning and the other on the plains of Moab at the close of the wanderings. 2. Contents: Of the contents the following arrangement will be sufficiently detailed: (1) Before leaving Sinai, Nu 1:1 through 10:10 (a period of 19 days, from the 1st to the 20th of the 2nd month after the exodus), describing: (a) The numbering and ordering of the people, Numbers 1 through 4. (b) The cleansing and blessing of the congregation, Numbers 5; 6. (c) The princes' offerings and the dedication of the altar, Numbers 7; 8. (d) The observance of a second Passover, Nu 9:1-14. (e) The cloud and the trumpets for the march, Nu 9:15 through 10:10. (2) From Sinai to Kadesh, Nu 10:11 through 14:45 (a period of 10 days, from the 20th to the 30th of the 2nd month), narrating: (a) The departure from Sinai, Nu 10:11-35. (b) The events at Taberah and Kibroth-hattaavah, Numbers 11. (c) The rebellion of Miriam and Aaron, Numbers 12. (d) The mission of the spies, Numbers 13; 14. (3) The wanderings in the desert, Numbers 15 through 19 (a period of 37 years, from the end of the 2nd to the beginning of the 40th year), recording: (a) Sundry laws and the punishment of a Sabbath breaker, Numbers 15. (b) The rebellion of Korah, Numbers 16. (c) The budding of Aaron's rod, Numbers 17. (d) The duties and revenues of the priests and Levites, Numbers 18. (e) The water of separation for the unclean, Numbers 19. (4) From Kadesh to Moab, Numbers 20; 21 (a period of 10 months, from the beginning of the 40th year), reciting: (a) The story of Balaam, Nu 22:2 through 24:25. (b) The zeal of Phinehas, Numbers 25. (c) The second census, Nu 26:1-51...

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