Book of Numbers of the Torah

The Book of Numbers

The fourth among the first five books of the Hebrew Bible or the “Pentateuch”, the Book of Numbers accounts the series of struggle that the Israelites encountered before they finally attained success in getting their own land. The book belongs to the genre of antiquarian history which despite its narration of events in a structured timeline is often questioned for its authenticity of records. It is thought that this book of Numbers was composed between the 1450-1410 B.C. There are doubts centering round the authorship of the book of Numbers, however, many believe that the Book of Numbers was written by Moses. The book constitutes almost 36 chapters and bears resemblance to the modern day travelogue. It is the biblical story of the travails of the Israelites and how powered by the Divine Providence they finally overcome the pitfalls to finally reach their “Promised Land”.

On a whole, the Book of Numbers being a part of the Pentateuch or the five book of Moses, primarily aims to teach the Bible readers about the will of God and the placement of man in the bigger web of his plans. The book of Numbers also deals with concepts of Sin and Disobedience and shows through the sufferings of men that sin is punishable and escaping its vicious circle is almost impossible. At the same time it shows that reward and divine blessings can be received through penitence. It also shows that God makes his disciples go through a series of struggle but finally helps in overcoming all obstacles to exalt in victory, by which he reinforces man’s faith in him.

This book of Numbers is comprised of almost 36 chapters. The main characters include, Moses, Miriam, Joshua, Caleb, Eleazor, Korah and Balaam. The story begins with God ordering Moses to gather a count of the able Israelites who can be used as military men. The backdrop is Mount Sinai. After almost four decades have passed, and the Israelites have traveled through the arid stretches of deserts, there is again a second census which gives the number of Israelites. However, the Levites are not considered in the census, since they are designated as the Priests who would be dedicated for the service at the Tabernacle. The quest for the Promised Land continues and the Israelites resume their journey. However, as there are murmurs of disbelief and revolt the tribe faces the wrath of god in the form of a ghastly fire. There are further stories of internal distrust when, Aaron and Miriam face punishment.

In fact, even Moses is not exempted from God’s disdain for not obeying his orders. As a result Moses and the Israelites under are unable to make entry into Canaan. Later in the Book of Numbers the Israelites understand the importance of abiding by God’s law and they are able to search and make entry into the “land of honey and milk”.

The Book of Numbers primarily deals with themes such as obedience, the divine covenants, the utmost allegiance or relinquishment in the presence of Yahweh, the god of Israel. But the most important among all these are the census of the Israelites that is conducted to attain the total number of the tribe and that is the source of the nomenclature of the book.   Receive Bible Quotes from the Book of Numbers by email or text message.