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by Joseph Parker
So called from the two numberings ( Numbers 1and Numbers 26.) or the people at the beginning and end of the wanderings. The book relates to a period of thirty-eight years and three months, from the completion of the Law-giving, "the first day of the second month of the second year" of the Exodus, to the first day of the fifth month of the fortieth year. Its contents have been thus summarised:—(1) The breaking up of the encampment at Sinai; arrangement of the army, and the service of the priestly tribe, with an inventory of their charge; the parting service and blessing. (2) The march upon Canaan and its repulse. (3) Rebellions; confirmation of Moses and Aaron in authority; condemnation of the people to death in. the wilderness. (4) Various events in the forty years" wandering. (5) Events of the last year, e.g, the deaths of Miriam and Aaron; Balaam"s mission; the corruption of the people by the Midianites, and its consequence laws of inheritance, etc.
From the death of Aaron to the opening of Deuteronomy there is a space of exactly six months. The first month of the six was passed at the foot of Mount Hor mourning for Aaron. Next ensued the journey to the brook Zered, accomplished within four weeks. Then came the two battles at Jahaz and Edrei. During the next two months the Israelites were engaged in completing and consolidating their conquest of Gil ad and Bashan.
Eve of Ascension