1. From Sinai to Kadesh (1-12)
a. The People and the Armies Numbered (1-2)
b. The Levites (3-4)
c. The Spirit of Jealousy (5)
d. The Law of the Nazarite (6)
e. Offerings (7)
f. The Cleansing of the Levites (8)
g. The Second Passover/Traveling (9)
h. Departure from Sinai (10)
i. The First Complaint (11)
j. Aaron and Miriam Rebel (12)
2. From Kadesh to Kadesh (13-20)
a. Rebellion Against Taking the Land (13-14)
b. Unintentional Sin/Breaking the Sabbath (15)
c. Korah, Dathan, and Abiram rebel (16)
d. Aaron's Budding Rod (17)
e. Support for the Levites (18)
f. Tithes/Laws of Purification (19)
g. Moses and Aaron Rebel/Aaron's Death (20)
3. From Kadesh to the Jordan (21-36)
a. Fiery Serpents/Sihon and Og (21)
b. Balaam and Balak (22-25)
c. The Second Census (26)
d. Miscellaneous Matters (27-30)
e. The Midianites Conquered (31)
f. East-Side Story (32)
g. Wanderings Reviewed (33)
h. Cities Of Refuge/Female Inheritance (34-36)
The book of Numbers was written by Moses some time before 1400
B.C. From the outline above, it should be apparent that a variety of
matters are discussed. The reader can discern from Numbers a
definition of ingratitude; a generation of Israelites who should have
been eternally grateful for their salvation grumbles, complains, and
rebels against their Redeemer. Of all people, Aaron and Miriam
complain against their brother, and even he sins so as to miss
entering into the Promised Land. In other words, Numbers reveals the
rebellious nature of God's people. It also deals with additional
matters not covered previously.
22:18 "...'Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and
gold, I could not go beyond the word of the Lord my God, to
do less or more.'"
32:6 "...'Shall your brethren go to war while you sit here?'"
32:23 "' and be sure your sin will find you out.'"
THE NUMBERINGS OF THE TWELVE TRIBES
REUBEN 46,500 43,730
SIMEON 59,300 22,200
GAD 45,650 40,500
JUDAH 74,600 76,500
ISSACHAR 54,400 74,300
ZEBULUN 57,400 65,000
EPHRAIM 40,500 32,500
MANASSEH 32,200 52,700
BENJAMIN 35,400 45,600
DAN 62,700 64,400
ASHER 41,500 53,400
NAPHTALI 53,400 45,400
TOTAL 603,550 601,730
1. Israel complained in general; it reflected upon God's leadership
2. Israel grumbled about the manna; they wanted meat (11:4-35).
3. Miriam and Aaron challenged Moses' leadership (12:1-16).
4. Israel protested the conquering of the land (13:26-14:39).
5. Some rebelled by trying to conquer the land (14:40-45).
6. Korah, Dathan, and Abiram accuse Moses and Aaron of wanting "to
run the show" (16:1-40).
7. The people murmured about God killing the leaders of the rebellion
8. Israel demands water; Moses sins in getting it for them (20:1-13).
9. Israel speaks against Moses for lack of food and drink (21:4-9).
10. The people commit whoredom (25:1-18).
OTHER SIGNIFICANT FACTS AND OCCURRENCES
1. The word wilderness occurs 45 times throughout this book. In a
way, they were in a spiritual wilderness of their own choosing,
since the light of God was present. Consider what the author of
Hebrews says about them (3:7-4:2). It is obvious that their faith
was lacking when, despite all that God has already accomplished
miraculously for them, they refused to heed Joshua and Caleb's
statement of complete confidence in God (14:6-9).
2. They also serve as a bad example for us to avoid (1 Cor. 10:1-12).
3. They provide a perfect pattern to avoid when studying Philippians
4. The brass serpent is a type of Jesus (John 3:14-17). The serpent
became an object of worship (2 Kings 18:4), just as the cross is
for some today.
5. Jesus is our refuge (35; Heb. 6:18).
*Send comments or questions concerning this survey to Gary Summers.[Old Testament Survey Index]