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Bible Commentaries

F.B. Meyer's 'Through the Bible' Commentary
Numbers

Chapter 1 Chapter 3 Chapter 6 Chapter 7
Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11
Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapter 15
Chapter 16 Chapter 17 Chapter 18 Chapter 19
Chapter 20 Chapter 21 Chapter 22 Chapter 23
Chapter 24 Chapter 25 Chapter 26 Chapter 27
Chapter 31 Chapter 32 Chapter 33 Chapter 34
Chapter 35

Book Overview - Numbers

by Frederick Brotherton Meyer

OUTLINE OF NUMBERS

The Experiences in the Wilderness

I. The Camp at Sinai, Numbers 1:1-10:10

1. The First Numbering and Location of the Tribes, Numbers 1:1-54; Numbers 2:1-34

2. Location and Duties of the Levites, Numbers 3:1-51; Numbers 4:1-49

3. Laws Regarding Lepers, Marital Jealousy and the Nazarites, Numbers 5:1-31; Numbers 6:1-27

4. Offerings of the Princes, Numbers 7:1-89

5. The Golden Lamps and the Consecration of the Levites, Numbers 8:1-26

6. The Passover and the Cloudy Pillar, Numbers 9:1-23; Numbers 10:1-10

II. From Sinai to the Jordan, Numbers 10:11-22:1

1. The Departure, the Seventy Elders and “the Graves of Lust,” Numbers 10:11-36; Numbers 11:1-35

2. The Jealousy of Miriam and Aaron, Numbers 12:1-16

3. The Spies Sent from Kadesh; Their Reports and God’s Sentence, Numbers 13:1-33; Numbers 14:1-45

4. Korah’s Rebellion; Aaron’s Rod, Numbers 16:1-50; Numbers 17:1-13

5. Duties of Priests and Levites; the Water of Purification, Numbers 18:1-32; Numbers 19:1-22

6. Again at Kadesh; Moses’ Sin; Edom’s Opposition; Aaron’s Death, Numbers 20:1-29

7. The Canaanites; the Fiery Serpent; the Amorites Conquered, Numbers 21:1-35; Numbers 22:1-41

III. In the Plains of Moab, Numbers 22:2-36

1. Balak and Balaam, Numbers 22-24

2. Baal-peor and the Zeal of Phinehas, Numbers 25:1-18

3. The Second Numbering; Joshua Chosen, Numbers 26:1-65; Numbers 27:1-23

4. The Offerings for the Different Holy Days and the Laws of Vows, Numbers 28:1-31; Numbers 29:1-40; Numbers 30:1-16

5. The Conquest of Midian, Numbers 31:1-54

6. Division of the Land; Aaron’s Death; Levitical Cities; Cities of Refuge, Numbers 32:1-42; Numbers 33:1-56; Numbers 34:1-29; Numbers 35:1-34

7. Additional Laws of Inheritance, Numbers 36:1-13

INTRODUCTION

In the Hebrew this book is called “In the desert.” The ordinary name by which we know it is derived from the two “numberings” of Israel, the former- Numbers 1:1-54; Numbers 2:1-34; Numbers 3:1-51; Numbers 4:1-49 -in the second year of their journey; the latter, Numbers 26:1-65 -on the borders of Canaan, thirty-eight years afterward.

The early part- Numbers 1:1-54; Numbers 2:1-34; Numbers 3:1-51; Numbers 4:1-49; Numbers 5:1-31; Numbers 6:1-27; Numbers 7:1-89; Numbers 8:1-26; Numbers 9:1-23; Numbers 10:1-36 -appears as a supplement to Leviticus, being occupied with the appointment of the three great families of Levites to their respective departments in the sacred offices. The narrative of the march through the Wilderness is then given as far as Numbers 21:20, after which the story of the conquest of the country east of the Jordan is narrated. The long years during which the generation that refused to respond to the faith of Joshua and Caleb were dying off in the Wilderness, lie between Numbers 19:1-22; Numbers 20:1-29, ending with the re-assembling of the congregation at Kadesh for another forward movement. The form of the book is that of a journal in which all the passing occurrences of interest and importance were recorded.

There are several passages in the New Testament which refer to Moses as the author of this book. See 1 Corinthians 10:1; 1 Corinthians 10:3-6; 1 Corinthians 10:8; Hebrews 3:2; Hebrews 9:14; Hebrews 12:9.

{e-Sword Note: The following material was presented at the end of Numbers in the printed edition}

REVIEW QUESTIONS ON NUMBERS


Outline

(a) What are the three main divisions of the book, according to the localities where its events occurred?

(b) What happened while the Israelites were still in camp at Sinai?

(c) What principal occurrences marked the long period between leaving Sinai and reaching camp by the Jordan?

(d) What happened while they remained encamped in the plains of Moab?


Introduction

(e) How does the book get its name?

(f) What word well describes its contents?


Numbers 1-19

Each question applies to the paragraph of corresponding number in the Comments.

1. How did this census differ from those we take now? Why was the tribe of Levi not included?

2. Who took the place of the first-born? How were the surplus ones redeemed?

3. Who were Nazarites and what did their vow include?

4. Repeat the priestly blessing.

5. How did the princes show their generosity?

6. How were the Levites set apart to represent the people?

7. What years from the prime of life did the Levites give to their service of worship?

8. Who were entitled to take part in the Passover?

9. How were the people directed by the cloud?

10. What were the uses of the silver trumpets?

11. What invitation did Moses give to Hobab?

12. Why did the flesh-lovers complain and what effect did this have upon Moses?

13. Who were appointed to aid Moses and how were they fitted to serve?

14. How was the demand for flesh satisfied? how punished?

15. How did God protect Moses against criticism from his own relatives?

16. For what purpose were the spies sent out?

17. What two reports did these spies bring back?

18. What effect did these reports have upon the people?

19. What did Moses plead in order to save the people from destruction?

20. What penalty did they have to suffer for their unbelief? and what for their presumption?

21. Why was the Sabbath-breaker cut off from among the people?

22. What was the cause of Korah’s rebellion? What made this defection serious?

23. Why was it so severely punished?

24. How was the plague which followed this rebellion arrested?

25. How was God’s choice of Aaron’s line for the priesthood shown beyond dispute?

26. What provision was made for the support of the Levites?

27. How was uncleanness to be removed?


Numbers 20-35

Each question applies to the paragraph of corresponding number in the Comments.

28. How did Moses sin in smiting the rock?

29. Why did the Edomites refuse passage to Israel? How did Aaron’s life-work end?

30. Why was the brazen serpent needed and what was accomplished through it?

31. What two great victories did the people win east of the Jordan?

32. To whom did the king of Moab resort and for what purpose?

33. How did God impress upon Balaam that he must utter only what God bade him?

34. How did the man who was sent for to curse the Israelites bless them instead?

35. How did Balak try a second time to get Israel cursed? With what result?

36. What did Balaam’s third prophecy declare about Israel’s future?

37. What did he declare about the “star out of Jacob?”

38. How did Israel again break out into sin and how was it checked?

39. Why was a second census taken before entering Canaan?

40. How was the great Lawgiver’s successor appointed?

41. What bloody work was wrought upon the Midianites, and why was it necessary?

42. How were the people taught not to make the spoils of war their personal booty?

43. Why did Reuben and Gad ask for their inheritance east of the Jordan, and why did Moses oppose it?

44. What provision was made that they should do their share in conquering Canaan?

45. What great lesson should be learned from the list of Israel’s camping-places?

46. Why were the Canaanites to be completely driven out of the Promised Land?

47. Why, as in Israel’s case, are our possibilities broader than our possessions?

48. Why were the Levites scattered throughout the other tribes? What was the purpose of the Cities of Refuge?

49. How might the unintentional manslayer escape the penalty of the murderer?

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, October 16th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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