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Bible Commentaries

L. M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible
Numbers

Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4
Chapter 5 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 28
Chapter 29 Chapter 30 Chapter 31 Chapter 32
Chapter 33 Chapter 34 Chapter 35 Chapter 36

Book Overview - Numbers

by L.M. Grant

Numbers is the book of Israel's wilderness wanderings. A journey that normally would take 11 days (Deuteronomy 1:2) was stretched out to nearly forty years because of Israel's faithless disobedience. Genesis is the book of life, that is, God's beginning His work with mankind in vital, living power. Exodus is the book of redemption, with God's authority established among the redeemed people. Leviticus then brings those people into the presence of God, for it is the sanctuary book which lifts us altogether above the level of the world. However, Numbers brings our feet down to earth again, where we are tested by the experiences of the wilderness. Four is the number of testing, so Numbers is the fourth book of scripture, and Israel's forty years in the desert emphasize this lesson.

During Israel's years of slavery their enemy was Egypt, typically the world. When eventually they came into the promised land, their enemies were the Canaanites, etc., who are symbolical of satanic opposition to the truth of God. But in the wilderness, the enmity came from the flesh within them, not from without. This is seen in their incessant complaining against Moses and Aaron and therefore against God. If there had been faith to fully judge the flesh earlier, they might not have taken so long to learn the needed lessons of the wilderness. But all the generation of people over 20 years who came out of Egypt died before Israel entered the land, except for Joshua and Caleb (Numbers 14:29-30). Therefore, though it was the same nation that entered Canaan, yet it was a numbering the people, in chapter 1:2-46 and chapter 26:4-65.

The New King James Version is generally used in this commentary, but occasionally the translation of J. N. Darby is used, indicated by the initials (JND), or if other translations are used, this will be indicated.

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