Numbers: In the Wilderness
1:1-46, 14:22, 20:12 (Pastor Heo)
1 The LORD spoke to Moses in the Tent of Meeting in the Desert of Sinai on the first day of the second month of the second year after the Israelites came out of Egypt. He said: 2 “Take a census of the whole Israelite community by their clans and families, listing every man by name, one by one. 3 You and Aaron are to number by their divisions all the men in Israel twenty years old or more who are able to serve in the army. 4 One man from each tribe, each the head of his family, is to help you.
5 These are the names of the men who are to assist you: from Reuben, Elizur son of Shedeur; 6 from Simeon, Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai; 7 from Judah, Nahshon son of Amminadab; 8 from Issachar, Nethanel son of Zuar; 9 from Zebulun, Eliab son of Helon; 10 from the sons of Joseph: from Ephraim, Elishama son of Ammihud; from Manasseh,Gamaliel son of Pedahzur; 11 from Benjamin, Abidan son of Gideoni; 12 from Dan, Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai; 13 from Asher, Pagiel son of Ocran; 14 from Gad, Eliasaph son of Deuel; 15 from Naphtali, Ahira son of Enan.” 16 These were the men appointed from the community, the leaders of their ancestral tribes. They were the heads of the clans of Israel.
17 Moses and Aaron took these men whose names had been given, 18 and they called the whole community together on the first day of the second month. The people indicated their ancestry by their clans and families, and the men twenty years old or more were listed by name, one by one, 19 as the LORD commanded Moses. And so he counted them in the Desert of Sinai:
20 From the descendants of Reuben the firstborn son of Israel: All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, one by one, according to the records of their clans and families. 21 The number from the tribe of Reuben was 46,500.
22 From the descendants of Simeon: All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were counted and listed by name, one by one, according to the records of their clans and families. 23 The number from the tribe of Simeon was 59,300.
24 From the descendants of Gad: All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families. 25 The number from the tribe of Gad was 45,650.
26 From the descendants of Judah: All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families. 27 The number from the tribe of Judah was 74,600.
28 From the descendants of Issachar: All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families. 29 The number from the tribe of Issachar was 54,400.
30From the descendants of Zebulun: All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families. 31 The number from the tribe of Zebulun was 57,400.
32 From the sons of Joseph: From the descendants of Ephraim: All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families. 33 The number from the tribe of Ephraim was 40,500.
34 From the descendants of Manasseh:All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families. 35 The number from the tribe of Manasseh was 32,200.
36 From the descendants of Benjamin: All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families.37 The number from the tribe of Benjamin was 35,400.
38 From the descendants of Dan: All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families. 39 The number from the tribe of Dan was 62,700.
40 From the descendants of Asher: All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families. 41 The number from the tribe of Asher was 41,500.
42 From the descendants of Naphtali: All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families. 43 The number from the tribe of Naphtali was 53,400.
44These were the men counted by Moses and Aaron and the twelve leaders of Israel, each one representing his family. 45 All the Israelites twenty years old or more who were able to serve in Israel’s army were counted according to their families. 46 The total number was 603,550.
47 The families of the tribe of Levi, however, were not counted along with the others. 48 The LORD had said to Moses: 49 “You must not count the tribe of Levi or include them in the census of the other Israelites. 50 Instead, appoint the Levites to be in charge of the tabernacle of the Testimony–over all its furnishings and everything belonging to it. They are to carry the tabernacle and all its furnishings; they are to take care of it and encamp around it. 51 Whenever the tabernacle is to move, the Levites are to take it down, and whenever the tabernacle is to be set up, the Levites shall do it. Anyone else who goes near it shall be put to death.52 The Israelites are to set up their tents by divisions, each man in his own camp under his own standard. 53 The Levites, however, are to set up their tents around the tabernacle of the Testimony so that wrath will not fall on the Israelite community. The Levites are to be responsible for the care of the tabernacle of the Testimony.” 54 The Israelites did all this just as the LORD commanded Moses.
14:22 not one of the men who saw my glory and the miraculous signs I performed in Egypt and in the desert but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times– 23 not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their forefathers. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it.
20:12 But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.”
(Actually, Numbers doesn’t contain ONLY numbers… there’s a lot of story about Moses… interesting… you should read it…)
When did the Exodus happen? 1446 BC?
- In the book of Exodus, after coming out of Egypt, they journeyed for two months through the wilderness to meet Mt. Sinai. – Then they stayed for 10 months to receive the Word of God – the 10 commandments – and to build the Tabernacle (this is the end of the book of Exodus).
- Leviticus – They stayed at Mt. Sinai only one month – receiving instruction from God – how to worship him, how to have a relationship with him, etc. There was no geographical movement. They only stayed.
- Numbers – Begins at Mt. Sinai – counts everybody (i.e. “Numbers”) – (on the first day of the second month of the year they came out of Egypt).
They stayed at Mt. Sinai for 20 days to prepare for the march – arranging and organizing the camp. After 20 days, they started for Canaan. Imagine, IF they had fully obeyed God as they had just learned in Leviticus, they could have entered Canaan very soon. So, they wandered the wilderness 38 years 3 months and 10 days.
Almost ALL the old generation died.
The new generation (born and bred in the wilderness) almost entered Moach? and stayed there for 5 months in preparation to enter Canaan.
So…. how many years is Numbers totally? Almost 39 years. (38 years 9 months).
- Original Hebrew Bible calls this book “ba-mid-bar” – “in the desert”.
- The oldest Greek version = “septusion” = “seventy”. “arithmoi” = “numbers”.
- So, that’s why we call it “Numbers” – we follow the Greek, not the Hebrew.
Yes, there ARE many numberings and countings (two censuses – 1: the OLD generation; 27: the NEW generation who grew up in the desert and conquered Canaan – in a census, only the men over 20 were counted (they should fight in the army)).
We can say the book =
- “a book of numbers, counting” and ALSO =
- “a book of journeys and wanderings” – and ALSO
- “complaining” (yes, the interesting part). – we read 10 times already about this. – and ALSO
They wandered far, their tents occupied many square miles – they were 2 million + people and had many animals – and God faithfully sustained them and preserved their clothes and shoes – until arriving at Moa?
At the outset of this book, it is only 14 months after the Exodus from Egypt. So, it became necessary for this nation to pass through the painful process of maturation – God must teach his people the consequences of sin and bad decisions.
This book begins with the journey of the old generation, a painful growing transition, and the success of the new generation.
There are 3 parts:
- Numbers 1-10:10 – the OLD generation’s story
- Numbers 10:11-25 – the wandering
- Numbers 26-36 – the NEW generation’s story
Part 1: 1-10:10 (the OLD generation)
Located in Mt. Sinai – 20 days –
In this part, before departure, they need time to prepare for departure – they need order and arrangement – numbering of the people and animals, etc.
This first part, God commands them to “get organized” like the illustration:
The tabernacle is ALWAYS at the center.
- Joseph – received a double portion
- Levi – dealt with the tabernacle and received no portion – only the Levites carried and put together the tabernacle – if anyone else touched it, they would be put to death.
- The Levites and Moses and Aaron camped at the gate of the tabernacle.
Part 2: 10:11-25
The wandering (in the desert) – transition (tragic) from OLD to NEW generation
- 1:1 “… on the first day of the second month of the second year …”
- 10:11 (turning point – from OLD to NEW generation) “… on the twentieth day of the second month of the second year …”
The cloud lifted and the Israelites set out from place to place until the cloud came to rest at the desert of Param. (very near Canaan – they arrived at the ALMOST final destination very quickly)
From Param – Canaan is merely a stone’s throw away – they could see it with their own eyes… but, at the CRUCIAL moment, they failed. They drew back in unbelief – in faithlessness – in rebellion against God.
Key verse “they rebelled against me” – at least 10 times! They grumbled, murmured, complained against God and against Moses.
This is the CRUCIAL moment – ALMOST at Canaan (only cross the Jordan) – and then, chapter 13 “send some men (12) to explore the land” – these men were elders, leaders, pastors – he chose them from each tribe and sent them to Canaan to explore.
He gave 6 assignments to investigate:
- land (good or bad),
- people (strong or weak),
- towns (fortified or not),
- soil (fertile or not),
- trees (trees or not),
- fruit (bring the fruit to see the kinds).
They stayed for 40 days to explore – they came back and said, “Yes, the land is good and fertile… BUT we saw the descendants of Anoch!!! (Goliath-like giant-man)”
- Joshua and Caleb said, “We can!”
- The people listened to the “bad report” (NIV) “evil report” (KJV).
- Joshua and Caleb said, “We will SWALLOW them up! Only do not rebel against God – do not fear them.”
- But, the people ignored these faithful men. They rather listened to the voice of the 10 other men – the cowards.
God was SO angry at this point and they raised their voices ALLLLLLLLLL night and COMPLAINED to the highest heavens! “HOLY COW! If only we had ALREADY died! How HORRIBLE our lives!! Why would God bring us here to die by the sword? Let’s choose a NEW leader and go BACK to Egypt! This STINKS!”
God said, “Whaaaaa? Geez, how long will these people ignore me and complain against me? Fine! I’ll give you what you want! Die in the desert? OK.”
So, they wandered 40 years (one year for every day they explored the land). God ANSWERED their prayer request – from godly anticipation to aimless wandering.
This was the FIRST sin.
There are MANY more.
In Numbers 21, they were impatient on the way and complained against God and Moses again. “There’s no food! There’s no bread! There’s no water! Why do we always eat the same manna (plain like rice)?” Can you eat the same food for 40 years? If you are a man of Jesus, HE is the BREAD OF LIFE – we should eat his bread all the time. If you are tired of his bread, you are not a man of Jesus.
God was angry again – so God sent a snake – a poisonous snake. The snake bit many people and they died. They said, “Oh no! We’ve sinned – please pray for us!” God said to Moses, “Make a bronze snake and put it on a high pole and anyone who sees it will be healed – this will remind you of your sin.” (This is a foreshadowing of Jesus).
Sin #2: (of many) Men indulged in sexual immorality with Moabite women – they allowed themselves to be seduced and worshiped the idol Baal. Because of this sin – 24,000 were killed in ONE day.
Through the period of 38 years, 3 months, 10 days, almost ALL the older generation died. Miriam died, Aaron also died. Only except Joshua and Caleb – died. ALL others died – only Joshua and Caleb were allowed to enter Canaan.
This is a very sad story, but it gives us a very important lesson (later).
Part 3: 26-36 – the NEW generation
From the second census of the new generation.
The old generation is GONE – the transition is complete – they arrived at Moab (very near Canaan). They should wait now until everything is ready – 5 months. They received new instructions and a new leader was chosen: Joshua.
This is the story of Numbers.
From this story, what lessons can we get?
This word is written, not for them, but for us – because the Word of God is “alive” all the time.
1 Corinthians 10:1-12
Warnings From Israel’s History (Remembering the story of Numbers)
1 For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. 2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert. 6 Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did.
7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan revelry.” 8 We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did–and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. 9We should not test the Lord, as some of them did–and were killed by snakes.10 And do not grumble, as some of them did–and were killed by the destroying angel. 11 These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!
In this passage – even 4 times “as some of them did/were”.
Through this story, there are MANY lessons, but here are 4 points:
#1: Like them, we are strangers in this world on a journey
Even though our bodies are in this world, we are not of this world – we are on a journey – our final citizenship is in heaven.
- But, on this journey, if we worship God, journey with him faithfully – then our journey is a meaningful, purposeful pilgrimage.
- But if we do NOT, we are aimlessly, meaninglessly wandering…
#2: We are reporters
“I’m a reporter.” – if you can speak with your mouth, you are a reporter – officially or unofficially, publicly or privately, consciously, willingly or unwillingly, our words are a REPORT.
Your words are a kind of report – before God, your words are VERY important. God HATES evil/bad/sinful reports. DO NOT SPREAD / SCATTER evil reports about God, church, vision, church leaders, his Word, sisters and brothers in Christ. DO NOT GOSSIP / SLANDER – this is the body of Christ, the house of God.
#3: Do not complain
Complaining destroys our lives, our character, personality, health. Complaining vs. thanksgiving is NOT a matter of circumstances but a matter of HABIT. He who complains, ALWAYS complains. Complain because of this? You’ll complain because of THAT. “Be thankful in ALL circumstances.”
#4 Jesus is the one we look at to receive life
John 14:15 “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert on a pole, so the Son of Man was raised up so that whoever looks at him will have life.”
Just if you look up and see Jesus and accept him as your personal Savior and Lord, you’ll enjoy abundant, eternal life.
“Fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith.”
<전주안디옥교회 AICF 허재범 목사님>
출애굽이 언제인지 아십니까? 1446B.C. 입니다.
레위기는 한달정도 기간동안 하나님을 어떻게 예배하는 지 가르쳐준 책 입니다. 민수기는 시내산에서 모든 사람의 수를 세면서 시작합니다.
광야에서의 기간은 38년 3개월 10일입니다.
히브루 바이블에서 민수기는 ‘ba-mid-bin”? 즉 ‘사막에서’라는 의미의 책으로 불렸지만 그릭(Greek)성경에서는 ‘septusion= seventry”
“Arithomoi”= numbers 였는데 그리스 성경을 따른 것입니다.
많은 숫자와 셈이 있습니다. 2번의 인구조사가 있었습니다. 민수기 셈의 책은 여정과 헤멤 그리고 불평과 훈육 입니다.
수 평방미터를 차지하는 2백만명의 사람과 많은 동물들을 하나님이 신실하게 보호하셨습니다.
민수기의 시작부분은 출애굽한지 불과 14개월 밖에 되지 않는 시간입니다. 하나님은 이 사람들에게 죄와 나쁜 선택의 결과를 가르치쳐야 했습니다.
민수기는 3가지 부분으로 나뉩니다.
민1:1~10:10은 구세대의 이야기로 시내산에서 20일동안 가나안으로 출발을 준비하는 시간이었습니다.
10:11~ 25장은 광야에서의 방황으로 가나안 땅이 보이는 중요한 순간에 파람에서 실패하고 다음세대로의 비극적 전이(이동)
여기에서 중요 절은 “그들이 나를 대항하였고”라는 문장이 최소 10번나오고 그들이 하나님과 모세에게 불평한다는 내용이 나와 있습니다.
13장에서 ‘그 땅을 정탐할 12명을 보내라’는 부분에서 각 족속에서 뽑은 사람은 장군, 지금으로 하면 믿음 좋은 목사, 리더 에게 6가지 과제를 내주었습니다. 땅이 좋은지 나쁜지, 사람들이 강한지 약한지, 과일들은 어떤 열매를 맺는지, 나무는 있는지 없는지, 성읍인지 산성인지 진영인지,토지가 비옥한지. 정탐꾼들은 거기서 40일을 머물렀습니다.
12명의 정탐꾼 중에 여호수아와 갈렙만이 “악한 보고” 나쁜 보고에 반대 했습니다. 여호수아와 갈렙은 여호와를 거역하지 말라. 하나님이 함께 계시니 그들은 우리의 먹이라 고 사람들을 설득했습니다. 이스라엘 백성들은 그 둘의 말을 무시하고 다른 10사람의 말을 듣습니다. 이시점에서 하나님이 화가 나셨습니다. 사람들이 밤새 우리가 애굽이나 광야땅에서 이미 죽었으면 좋았을 것 이라고 통곡하며 불평했기 때문입니다. 하나님은 “백성들이 언제까지 나를 명시하겠느냐 내가 그들 중에 많은 이적을 행하였으나 어느 때까지 나를 믿지 않겠느냐”하십니다. 그들은 40년이나 방황해야했습니다. 가는 도중에 하나님과 모세에게 계속 불평하고 인내하지 않았습니다.
여러분 40년동안 같은 음식을 먹을 수 있나요? 당신이 하나님의 사람이라면 그럴 수 있어야 합니다. 예수님은 생명의 빵이고, 우리는 그 생명의 빵을 항상 먹어야 합니다.
남자들은 모압여인들과 음행을 하고 그 여인들이 시키는 대로 바알신을 숭배하고 그 음식을 먹었습니다. 이 것 때문에 23000명이 하루에 죽습니다. 38년 3개월 10일 동안 구 세대(출애굽 한 세대)는 다 광야에서 죽습니다.
26장 ~36장 새로운 새대(광야에서 태어난). 새 새대의 인구조사 부터 시작됩니다. 구세대들은 다 죽고 모압땅에 도착했습니다.
우리가 알 수 있는 교훈은 무엇인가요?
고전 10:1-12 어떤사람들이 주를 ~ 했듯이를 반복하고 있습니다.
1. 그들과 같이 우리는 이 세상에서 여행하는 여행객들입니다.
비록 우리가 힘들지만 하나님을 예배하고 신신하신 하나님과 같이 여행한다면 우리의 순례길은 의미있고 목적이 있을 것입니다.
2. 우리는 다 그 보고자(정탐꾼)입니다.
나는 정탐하고 돌아와서 보고하는 리포터 입니다. 당신은 당신의 입으로 보고 할 수 있습니다. 공식적으로든 비 공식적으로든, 개인적으로든, 무의식적으로든 의지적으로든 아니든 우리의 말이 우리의 보고서 입니다.
하나님은 교회와 교회리더들, 형제자매들 하나님의 말씀에 대한 나쁜 병든 보고서를 싫어하십니다.
험담을 하거나 비방하지 마십시오.
3. 불평하지 마십시오
어떤 환경에서든 감사하십시오. 불평은 우리 성격, 삶, 개인, 건강을 해칩니다. 감사는 환경의 문제가 아니라 습관의 문제입니다.
4. 예수님은 생명입니다.
예수님님을 보신다면 개인적 구주로 받아들이십시오.