Numbers 27:1-11 Heredity

A father honored his children by passing on an inheritance to them. Now daughters counted too.

Moses is preparing to share God’s plan for inheritance in the Promised Land. Five brave women step forward to lay claim to a portion for their family.

Israel has always been a patriarchal society. God set it up this way from the beginning. Birthrights were passed down from father to sons. This was probably not a new custom but it was reinforced through the blessing of Abraham to Isaac, from Isaac to Jacob and Esau, and from Jacob to all his sons. But what of the daughters? What did they receive?

To this point the daughters received a dowry upon her marriage. This was paid to her by her father and served as her inheritance. This dowry could come in any form the father saw fit but most lands went to the sons. The groom’s father also paid the bride’s father the “bride price” for his daughter. A portion of this price was customarily passed down to the daughter as part of her dowry too. Read more »

Numbers 26:1-65 Recount

pie chart of percentage by tribe in Israel's 2 censuses

I couldn’t resist when I saw another graphic showing the breakdown form census #1. Had to try it with Levi included too. (Can you tell I like numbers?)

God calls for a new census. The old generation is now gone and it is time to number the new one. This is the people who will inherit the promise.

I read ahead a little bit earlier and when I came to this chapter’s heading I stopped. I wanted to save this so I could hit it new. If I HAD read on I would have noticed that the events with Moab happened at the very end of the 40 years in the wilderness. The last of the previous generation, with the exception of Moses, Caleb, and Joshua died in this plague.

I had to pause here because something just occurred to me. God told Moses that everyone 20 years and older would die in the wilderness. Aaron’s son Eleazar didn’t die yet. Does this mean that he was not 20 at the time he was called by God into the priesthood? The Read more »

Numbers 25:10-18 Peace & Revenge

Turning against Midian for their part in this sin.

God promises Eleazar a covenant of peace for his actions. At the same time He instructs Moses to take revenge on Midian for their part in the sin of worshiping other gods.

We last left Israel with Eleazar plunging a spear through a haughty Israelite and his Midianite bride. They flaunted their sin while the people were still at the gates of the Tabernacle repenting for that same sin. Death was ravaging Israel for this sin when Zimri, from the tribe of Simeon, and Cozbi, from the Midianites breezed through on their way to enjoy themselves in Zimri’s tent. Eleazar put an immediate stop to their actions. Read more »

Numbers 24:1-9 Turning Away

Eleazar carried out God’s judgement and ended the plague brought on by Israel’s sin.

Israel hasn’t even made it out of the wilderness and already they are going after other gods. This is NOT going to be tolerated!

Israel is enjoying sitting still and living in the land they have disposed the people from. They are still receiving the provisions of God for their daily needs. They were still gathering and eating the mana during this time. They still had their camp set up in the order God commanded. They still made daily sacrifices and offerings.

We are not told that Israel planted crops or occupied the houses left behind. We are told they dwelt in the cities and towns though. I’m assuming that they didn’t because we are told that they lived in tents during the whole 40 years but I could be wrong.

What we do know is that Israel started looking to their neighbors for something different. Why is it we always want what we don’t have, even when we have something just as good or better? The men of Israel started looking at the women of Moab as more desirable. This wasn’t just one man slipping across the border but HOARDS of men doing it. We are told that 24,000 died as a result of this wandering eye. Read more »

Numbers 24:1-25 Final Word

It didn’t change from the first answer either!

This is the third time Balak has asked Balaam to curse Israel. This time gains him no better answer but it shows a change in Balaam.

Previously, when Balaam would begin to search for God’s answer he would have Balak build seven altars, sacrifice a goat and bull on each, then Balaam would go off on his own to seek the words to share. This time Balaam doesn’t seek God’s answer. He already knows it. HE knows that God isn’t going to change His mind. He was told so the last time he went. So here is no need for Balaam to seek out signs.

Balaam receives God’s words without searching this time. I believe it was because he finally put ALL his faith in the answers he had already received. God’s Spirit comes on Balaam and gives God’s words directly from the Father. Read more »