Numbers 1-5 – Their stay at Mt. Sinai is coming to a conclusion after being there two years – The Mt. Sinai census – counting all the men twenty years old and older but excluding the Tribe of Levi the family of the Levitical Priesthood – Note: There are several long lists of names, occupations and eligibilities in the Bible. God keeps books, He keeps many books, His books are accurate and His books are complete they contain many names and many events. – ‘Malachi 3:16 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon His Name.’ – ‘Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.’

Desert wandering population: The first census taken at Mt. Sinai listed 603,500 men twenty and older [for a total population of about 2.1 million to 3.5 million people] then the second and final census 38 years later just prior to crossing the Jordan River and entering into the Promise Land was a slightly less 601,730 men twenty and older [excluding the tribe of Levi from each census] a total decrease of about 1% during the 38 years. As it often seems in our desert experiences that we spend much time in the desert wandering about with little or no growth and even some loss to show for it however when the Nation of Israel stepped across the Jordan River and stepped upon the land of Israel they did it as a completely new Nation only two people (Joshua and Caleb) [and the tribe of Levi] from the previous generation were permitted by God to enter into the Promise Land. It's that way in our life also as our desert experiences strip away our old self, our old stubborn rebellious ways die and we are then more able to step into the future a new person with a new purpose and a renewed vigor in life, freer to serve and freer to fellowship with God.

Did You See That? – The LORD told Moses and Aaron how the Israelites should arrange their camp: Each tribe must set up camp under its own banner and under the flags of its ancestral families – These camps will be arranged around the sacred tent, but not close to it [Numbers 2:1-2] – the Israelite tribes arranged themselves, according to the orders of God, into the shape of A CROSS! A CROSS! – the cross was foreshadowed even in Numbers Chapter 2! (Diagram)

okay i confess when i read the beginning of the book of numbers and the passage that follows i am semi reading blah blah blah blah... its numbers and tribes and families and east and west and positions and things i cannot imagine in my brain. i cannot picture where they are and what they are doing. The LORD told Moses and Aaron how the Israelites should arrange their camp: Each tribe must set up camp under its own banner and under the flags of its ancestral families. These camps will be arranged around the sacred tent, but not close to it. [numbers 2:1-2] - so imagine my delight and my *happy dance* when i saw this (this below) for the first time.... the Israelite tribes arranged themselves, according to the orders of God, into the shape of A CROSS! A CROSS! The cross was foreshadowed even in numbers 2! - i must say i get excited by that. you might think that it is random, but remember who organized the Israelite tribes into this formation... God. it was all a picture of the truth of salvation through the messiah, through Jesus Christ. Israel did everything the LORD had told Moses. They arranged their camp according to clans and families, with each tribe under its own banner. And that was the order by which they marched into battle. Numbers 2:34. [link]

Numbers 6-10 – The Nazarite vow is consecration (separation) to God – the strength is in the commitment to God – anyone who concentrates their life to God has strength- The Priestly benediction to the people (congregation) is given – ‘Numbers 6:22-27 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto Aaron [High Priest] and unto his sons [Priests], saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them, The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. And they shall put My Name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them.’

The Nazarite Vow: There were three main rules to the Nazarite vow. 1. No grape or grape products were to be consumed at any time including wine, vinegar wine, grape juice, grapes or raisins. - The Nazarite is to be visibly and noticeably set apart from the people. The influences of God (Holy Spirit) upon the Nazarite were not to be confused by people as an influence from wine, sugar or alcohol from the grape products. 2. No haircut during the vow duration. -- This was an indicator that the person was undergoing a Nazarite vow. 3. No contact or association with a dead body even going to the funeral of a family member was prohibited. Being in the presence of a dead body automatically ended the vow. - The Nazarite vow is consecration to God. God is about life therefore to accurately associate a representation of fellowship with God the Nazarite was not to associate with death.

Numbers 11-14 – The Children of God are now on the move in their destination to the Promised Land – With the journey now underway – To those that complained; God sent fire [purification] – to those who lived after the flesh; God sent quail [bit sized seemingly harmless pieces of flesh] – Moses’ sister Miriam is dealt with for a moment of racism – God sends 12 spies (witnesses) to cross the Jordan and view the Promise Land and return with a witness to all the people – ‘Numbers 10:11 And it came to pass on the twentieth day of the second month, in the second year, that the cloud [Glory of God] was taken up from off the Tabernacle of the testimony. And the children of Israel took their journeys out of the wilderness of Sinai’

A mixed multitude: The Children of God had left Egypt as a mixed multitude consisting of believers, non-believers and every combination as some believers became non-believers and some non-believers became a believer. God meets people where they are whether in belief or in non-belief and God accompanies and works with each person as we continue on this journey through life. It is up to each individual person (believer or unbeliever) to acknowledge the presence of God in their life. - A difficult leadership: Moses finds his leadership position so difficult that he asks God to kill him. It's not uncommon for those serving God to find it so difficult that death seems to be a valid option. Meanwhile the children serving themselves and the world seek to live a longer life. It's because God is challenging His people to grow and to mature and the growth and maturity can be very difficult to obtain while those serving their own self-interest have less difficulty associated with in their pursuits. Moses Renames Osea: Osea the son of Nun is called Joshua [lit. Jesus; Joshua is Hebrew - Jesus is Greek] by Moses. It becomes very interesting that later on Moses [the law giver] is unable himself to even enter into the Promise Land however Joshua [Jesus] enters into the Promise Land and brings everyone else with Him.

CNN September 24, 2009: Largest-ever Anglo-Saxon gold hoard unearthed in England – A man using a metal detector in a rural English field has uncovered the largest Anglo-Saxon gold hoard ever found — an “unprecedented” treasure that sheds new light on history, archaeologists said Thursday – Herbert found 500 items before he called in experts, who then found a further 800 articles in the soil – Officials aren’t saying exactly where the gold was found, other than to say it was in Staffordshire, in north-central England – A strip of gold bearing a Biblical inscription [Numbers 10:35] in Latin is one of the most significant and controversial finds, Staffordshire Council said – One expert believes the lettering dates from the 7th or early 8th centuries {Note: After the Bible Study the plan is to blog two more studies a Church History study and a famous Christians in History study.}

Most of the pieces appear to date from the 7th century, though experts can't agree on when the hoard first entered the ground, Staffordshire Council said. The pieces are almost all war gear, Leahy said. There are very few dress fittings and no feminine dress fittings; there are only two gold buckles, and they were probably used for harness armor, he said. Sword hilt fittings and pieces of helmets, all elaborately decorated, are among the more remarkable finds. "The quantity of gold is amazing but, more importantly, the craftsmanship is consummate," Leahy said. "This was the very best that the Anglo-Saxon metalworkers could do, and they were very good. Tiny garnets were cut to shape and set in a mass of cells to give a rich, glowing effect; it is stunning." The items belonged to the elite -- aristocracy or royalty, he said, though it's not clear who the original or final owners were, why they buried it, or when. "It looks like a collection of trophies, but it is impossible to say if the hoard was the spoils from a single battle or a long and highly successful military career," he said. More work will help determine how the hoard came to be buried in the field, Leahy said. Many of the objects are inlaid with garnets, which Leahy called "stunning" and "as good as it gets." The filigree on the items is "incredible," he said. Some are decorated in an Anglo-Saxon style consisting of strange animals intertwined with each other. That decoration appears on what is believed to be the cheek-piece of a helmet, decorated with a frieze of running, interlaced animals. A strip of gold bearing a Biblical inscription in Latin is one of the most significant and controversial finds, Staffordshire Council said. One expert believes the lettering dates from the 7th or early 8th centuries, but another is sure it dates from the 8th or 9th centuries. The inscription, misspelled in places, is probably from the Book of Numbers and reads: "Surge domine et dissipentur inimici tui et fugiant qui oderunt te a facie tua," or "Rise up, o Lord, and may thy enemies be dispersed." Regardless of the exact date, the hoard is certainly from a period of great turmoil, when kingdoms with tribal loyalties battled each other in a state of perpetual warfare, experts say. The land was also split along religious lines. Christianity was the principal religion, having gained ground at the expense of local pagan forms of worship, experts said. At least two crosses are among the items in the hoard. The largest is intact, though it has been folded, possibly to make it fit into a small space prior to burial, Staffordshire Council said. The folding may mean it was buried by pagans who had little respect for the Christian symbol, but it may have also been done by Christians who had taken it from someone else's shrine, experts said. The hoard will likely help rewrite history, experts said. [link]

Numbers 15-20 – The Children of God have made it to the border of the Promise Land however they are unable to enter in – Their unbelief has kept them from the faith needed to cross over the border to take possession of the land – They will now wander in the desert for 38 years [forty years total with the two previous years] until the generation of unbelief is gone and the New Israel [the new man] can enter into the Promise Land – Having been rejected from entering into the Promise Land then God immediately gives them hope and assures them with more instructions about their future entrance into the Promise Land knowing that when the day has come they will absolutely enter into His Promise Land — ‘Numbers 15:1-2 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be [finally] come into the land of your habitations, which I give unto you’

Biblical Doctrines and Examples: Throughout much of the Bible a biblical concept is going to be explained and then the concept is going to be demonstrated in the lives of the people and the consequences of their actions will be an example to us. For Example: 'Numbers 15:16 {Explanation} One law and one manner shall be for you, and for the stranger that sojourneth with you. ... and it shall be forgiven them; for it is ignorance ... But the soul that doeth ought presumptuously [purposely], whether he be born in the land, or a stranger, the same reproacheth the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Because he hath despised the word of the LORD, and hath broken his commandment, that soul shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him. {Demonstration} And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the Sabbath day. {Consequences} And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him. And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death [an illustration of eternal death]: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses. {Results} And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribbon of blue: And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, {Example For Us} and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring [unfaithfulness]: That ye may remember, and do all My commandments, and be holy [set apart] unto your God. I Am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I Am the LORD your God. ' - In modern times a certain (LDS) cult baptizes dead people and claims that this is a biblical doctrine to follow and obey God. The Bible does have one 'Comment' [1 Corinthians 15:29] about those being baptized then being persecuted and dying because of their baptism however the Bible does not 'Explain' the concept of baptizing dead people nor does the Bible 'Demonstrate' that teaching and no Biblical 'Examples' are given in regards to those who follow the concept and those who do not follow the concept. So in the Christian Church there is no doctrine for baptizing dead people because the Bible does not explain, teach and illustrate an example for such a doctrine to exist therefore there is no such doctrine in the true Christian Church but only in the LDS cult.

Numbers 21-25 – The wilderness wandering is nearing completion much of the generation that came out of Egypt has passed away – Miriam passed away at Kadesh and Aaron also died there shortly after Moses struck the Rock at Kadesh-Meribah unlawfully the second time – Many judgments take place, it’s a time and a season of judging as Moses hears the voice of God and knows the voice of God he is able to accurately carry out and oversee the judgments of God – Judgments encompass; Individuals [the man intentionally breaking the Sabbath law (Numbers 15:32-41)] – Families [Achan (Joshua 7:10-26)] – Cities [(Numbers 24:19) {Matthew 11:21}] – Generations [(Numbers 32:13) {Matthew 12:41}] – Nations [(Genesis 15:14-21) (Numbers 33:53-56)] – Angels [(Isaiah 14:12-14) (Ezekiel 28:14-19) {Matthew 25:41} {Luke 10:18} {1 Corinthians 6:3}] and ultimately the entire Globe [the earth was judged the first time with the flood of Noah (Genesis 6:17-22), the earth will be judged the second and final time during the events of the book of Revelation (Revelation 16:1-7)] — ‘Revelation 8:13 And I (Apostle John) beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhibiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!’

Balaam the last Gentile Prophet - the Bethlehem Star Prophecy: With the Levitical/Aaronic Priesthood having just been implemented there were still individual Priests and Prophets from among the Gentiles and Balaam seems to have been of that remnant. Balak the King of Moab sent messengers to Balaam [a Midianite] to come to him that he would pay him to put a curse upon the Israelites the Children of God who were passing through his territory. - God would not allow Balaam to curse Israel because God had already blessed Israel. To the dismay of King Balak Balaam didn't curse Israel but blessed Israel the three times he was supposed to curse Israel. Then Balaam Prophesied about the glory and the success of Israel yet to come including the Bethlehem Star Prophecy. - The Bethlehem Star Prophecy [Numbers 24:17] is a Gentile Prophecy given by Balaam a Gentile and followed by the Wise Men of the East who were also Gentiles to find the birth of the Messiah Jesus. The Creation of God has been given to direct all of mankind into the knowledge and existence of God especially the Gentiles while God directs and instructs the Jews through their Prophets who wrote the Holy Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:15). The Gentile Wise Men were led by Balaam's Prophecy and by God's creation (the star) to Jerusalem (Matthew 2:1-2) then once in Jerusalem they inquired asking King Herod a Gentile 'where is the King of the Jews?' Then Jewish Bible scholars referencing the Prophet Micah 5:2 informed King Herod of the pending birth of the Messiah in Bethlehem in the territory of the tribe of Judah (in Israel at that time there were two cities named Bethlehem [lit. house of bread]) and King Herod then directed the Wise Men on to Bethlehem in Judah and as the Wise Men departed from King Herod the Bethlehem star appeared again and led them the rest of the way to Bethlehem finally appearing over the house of Joseph, Mary and Jesus. - Balaam's Aftermath: Balaam being unable to curse the Children of God was also unable to get paid from King Balak so Balaam came up with his own plan to curse the Children of God and Balaam then secretly met with King Balak and his Princes to have his secret plan against Israel implemented. The plan 'stumbling block' that Balaam instituted against Israel the Children of God was that Israel would have to curse themselves and to do this King Balak would send attractive women of his kingdom to seduce the Children of God into the Pagan ways of the Moabites and it worked as many in Israel were seduced and compromised with the Moabites creating a plague of death among the Israelites. In the New Testament (2 Peter 2:15) the Apostle Peter admonishes Christians not to fall into the same trap. Jude 1:11 continues the admonishment to Christians and Jesus Christ in (Revelation 2:14) admonishes some in His Church for following the ways of Balaam. -- 'Revelation 2:14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac (King Balak) to cast a stumblingblock [worldly influences, cultural compromise] before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.' - Balaam during his prophesying about Israel requested from God [Numbers 23:10] that he himself might be righteous like Jacob [Israel] and die the death of the righteous. However Balaam created and followed his own unrighteous 'doctrine' and in his unrighteous deeds against Israel and against the Children of God then Balaam did die the death of the wicked. - 'Numbers 31:8 ... Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword.'

Numbers 26-31 – Aaron’s son Eleazar (lit. Comforter – Holy Spirit) takes Aaron’s place and is now the Levitical High Priest – The 2nd and final census is taken – Moses is told that he is also ineligible to enter the Promise Land not because of unbelief but because Moses failed to keep the entire law – Moses lays hands on Joshua (lit. Jesus) who takes over as the new leader for the nation of Israel

The five daughters of Zelophehad: 'Numbers 36:2 And they said, The LORD commanded my lord [Moses] to give the land for an inheritance by lot to the children of Israel: and my lord was commanded by the LORD to give the inheritance of Zelophehad our brother unto his daughters.' - At the taking of the 2nd census the inheritances of the land were decided by the number of males in each family. Zelophehad who had passed away was the father of five daughters with no sons and his family without sons would not inherit land in the Promise Land so the five daughters requested of Moses to inherit land as the other men would. Moses took the request to the Lord and the Lord said yes, the daughters of Israel who are without their father and without brothers are to receive the same inheritance as the sons of Israel. - Later Mary the mother of Jesus would come under this same agreement as Mary did not have any brothers [a sister of Mary is mentioned John 19:25 but no living father or any brothers are mentioned] so the inheritance of Mary's father, a descendant of King David through Nathan [Luke 3:31], her father's eligibility to sit on the throne of King David passed to Mary who then passed the eligibility of her father on to her son Jesus ['Genesis 3:15 ... her seed' (virgin birth) - the seed of the woman]. Joseph was also from the tribe [Judah] of King David however Joseph [Matthew 1:16] was from the line of King David's son King Solomon and the Solomon line was eventually cut off [Jeremiah 36:30] from the throne of David. Had Joseph been the physical father of Jesus then Jesus would be ineligible to sit on the throne of King David but Jesus having only Mary as a physical parent Jesus is eligible to restore and sit on the throne of King David.

Numbers 32-36 – Preparations are being made to end their desert wandering experience to finally cross the Jordan River and enter into the Promise Land [Note: After leaving Egypt wandering and unable to go across Moab the Israelites actually had to go up, over and around the Promise Land (of Israel) to the back side and are camped on the East side [back side] of the Promise Land and will enter [from east to west] just north of the Dead Sea where Joshua their leader will set up camp at Gilgal] – Two [Reuben, Gad] and a half [Manasseh (East)] of the 12 Tribes will decline to inherit land in the Promise Land and will establish their communities outside the Promise Land – The land in the Promise Land is partitioned and assigned to the people who will enter – 48 Levitical cities scattered throughout the land are allotted to the Priesthood – Six of the 48 Priestly possession cities are termed as a ‘City of Refuge’ where a person in danger of losing their life could flee to and be kept safe by the authority of the High Priest

The City of Refuge - The City on a Hill, Jerusalem: Jerusalem [Heaven] is the ultimate "City of Refuge" our eternal sanctuary and refuge. -- "The Lord has established Zion, and in her his afflicted people will find refuge" Isaiah 14:32 . On the cross Jesus made only seven verbal statements. His first statement on the cross was Luke 23:34 'Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.' The first statement of Jesus while on the cross was to substantiate our unintentional crime against God and therefore open the way for us, by His confirmation, into Heaven the eternal 'City of Refuge.' Had Jesus asked the Father to hold humanity accountable for His innocent death [crucifixion] then the human world, all of mankind, would be guilty before God for the death of Jesus and there would be no City of Refuge for a guilty mankind to enter into. The Apostle Paul makes a comment about our need to enter into the provided City of Refuge - Hebrews 6:18-20 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we [sinners who crucified Jesus] might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters into that within the veil [Holy of Holies]; Whither [into the Holy of Holies in Heaven] the forerunner [Jesus] is for us entered, even Jesus, made an High Priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek [Melchizedek].

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