Monday, February 23, 2009

Numbers 26-27

Day 54

TAADAAAAAAAAAAAA!  I finally made it to the computer this morning!  Mercy!  All is well.  Just me being slow I guess and enjoying playing with the kids and enjoying a shower! So, here I am!

Chapter 26  A 2nd census.  In short it goes like this:  We have a divine command to Moses and to Eleazar, the son of Aaron.  (Remember...Aaron's dead and gone.)  Verses 1-4 are the setting for the census; vv. 5-56 are the numbering of the tribes; vv. 57-62 are the numbering of the Levites;(remember...they are separate because they belong to God and will receive no land inheritance); vv. 63-65, is the conclusion.  So...why a second census?  Well, there has been a reduction in numbers in the tribe of Reuben and there is the reference to Dathan and Abiram, the two Reubenites who joined the Levite Korah in challenging Moses' authority.  Had they not rebelled, they and their families might have been spared.  And therefore, that tribe would have grown stronger and larger.  What this census REALLY does is show an overall DECREASE in the numbers of the tribes.   They are down to 601,730 from 603,550.  Doesn't seem like much overall, but some tribes increased and grew by the 10's of thousands, while some like Simeon experienced a significant loss because of the plague.   We are reminded of their disobedience and rebellion through the numbers.  The 2nd census serves as clear reminder of the consequences of their sinful rebellion.  

AND!! OH!!!  Did you notice it?! Did you notice that the DAUGHTERS were in this census!???  THAT is soooo rare!  Females RARELY appear in  Scriptural genealogies!  But these women were named!  So that begs the next question:  WHY?   They were Zelophehad's daughters and (he had no sons) so they get to inherit the land!  Very unusual!  That was also part of the reason for the take an account of the tribes AND to get ready to allot the land for their inheritance.  Also....interesting to note that the census is about the 2nd generation.  Remember, the first has all died off.  So this is about the generation that WILL follow the Lord into the promised land.  

Chapter 27     There are three events woven together in this chapter beginning with the legal claim by the daughters of Zelophehad (vv. 1-11).  This is about their right to inherit land in the absence of male offspring!  Then....after they so boldly speak out,the story turns to the topic of death (vv. 12-14).  Moses is told by God that he is about to die because of his rebellion in the wilderness of Zin.  The divine announcement brings about the transition of Joshua succeeding Moses (v. 15-23).  

Lessons learned: I'd say from the daughters we learn to speak up for ourselves.  I've never had that problem but it's still a lesson to learn from their holy boldness to get what IS rightly theirs.  Wasn't LEGALLY theirs until they step forward and changed the system.  And of course...the lesson that God will do what He says He will....He's promised land and they will get it!  God will fulfill God's promises!  He will!  

Tomorrow:  Chapters 28-30

1 comment:

  1. This is much more interesting when you explain what we've read. And, who knew, the daughters of Zelophehad could speak up...and did. Wow! Aren't we glad. ysm