Readings for this week
Monday: Numbers 1
Tuesday: Numbers 2
Wednesday: Numbers 3
Thursday: Numbers 4
Friday: Numbers 5
Saturday: Numbers 6
Sunday: Numbers 7
Introduction to Numbers 1-7
The book of Numbers gets its name from the content of its first four chapters. The first four chapters are a record of Moses conducting a census of the people…which led to a long list of numbers. The Hebrew name for the book of Numbers is “Bamidbar,” which means “in the wilderness.”
Moses gives some new rules to the people and tells them that anyone who sins shall make restitution but also add a fifth. He also says that if a man suspects his wife of unfaithfulness he shall take her to the priest, rather than taking the law into his own hands and killing her.
Numbers 6 discusses rules regarding the Nazirites. The Nazirites were a group of people who were set apart from others and were devoted to special service for God. They followed special rules... like "Don’t cut your hair," "Don’t eat grapes or drink wine," and "Don’t touch dead things." Some famous Nazirites in the Bible include Samuel and Samson.
The oldest manuscript of the Scriptures that exists today is a small section of Numbers 6. This section is the priestly blessing that Moses commanded Aaron to give to the people.
“The LORD bless you
and keep you;
the LORD make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the LORD turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”
The leader of each tribe brought a grain offering, a burnt offering, a sin offering and peace offerings. And the text says that Moses spoke with the LORD on their behalf.