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Numbers 1, the first census

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Barry and Helen Setterfield, Jan 12, 2003.

  1. Barry and Helen Setterfield

    Dec 28, 2002
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    A census seems boring. However, if we look at some of the other material in chapter 1, there are some very interesting things to note:

    1. The emphasis all the way through this book is that The Lord spoke to Moses. Moses operated throughout this time as a mediator between God and man and thus is considered a 'type' of Christ, or a foreshadowing of Christ in one of His offices.

    2. Here we see the beginning of the use of the new dating system -- on the first day of the second month of the second year after the Israelites came out of Egypt. There is an interesting similarity between our BC/AD dating system and the Israelites' dating system: both begin with that which will lead them out of bondage -- for them, the Exodus and for us, the Nativity of Christ.

    3. The census was for military purposes. 20 years old was the age at which military service began, and thus only the men 20 and over were to be counted. It is interesting that this is also the age which was the dividing point over which no one but Joshua and Caleb would be allowed to enter the Promised Land due to their rebellion in the desert. If there is an age of accountability given in the Bible this, then, might be it -- 20 years old: the age at which the Lord held the Israelites accountable for their rebellious acts and the age at which the men were to begin military service.

    4. Moses and Aaron are to be helped by a representative from each tribe and head of family. This way all would accept the count as fair.

    5. The Levites were not to be counted in the census. Any 'military service' they were responsible for would be counted as the care and protection of the Tabernacle. Their presence around the Tabernacle would also be a hedge against other Israelites or aliens entering the area and incurring the wrath of God.

    6. The last verse in this chapter has a poignant note in retrospect, considering the massive rebellion that would occur later:
    The Israelites did all this just as the Lord commanded Moses.
  2. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer Active Member
    Site Supporter

    Oct 10, 2001
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    Bible in a year forum:

    March - Reading 1