Sunday, August 16, 2009

Numbers 10-19

  • Chapter 10 - TWO SILVER TRUMPETS
    (verses 1-10)

    • The two silver trumpets were to be made of hammered or beaten work.

    • If both trumpets were blown, this was the signal for all the congregation
      of Israel to gather before Moses at the door of the tabernacle.

    • If only one trumpet was blown, this was to summon the leaders
      of each tribe.

    • When about to travel, an alarm was blown, the
      first alarm signaling the movement of the camps on the east side (Judah),
      the second alarm calling for the movement of those on the south
      side. Nothing is said as to the north and west sides. Perhaps
      it is to be understood that the alarm was blown the third and fourth
      time for these.

    • At the coming of the Lord, His word will be a clarion call to
      summon all believers away from earth to His own glorious presence.

    • The sons of Aaron were those designated to blow the trumpets,
      therefore it was priestly work.

    • If, on entering their land, it was necessary to engage in warfare,
      then the trumpets were to sound an alarm.

    • Also, at the set times of Israel's appointed feasts, and at the
      beginning of each month, the trumpets were to be sounded in drawing
      attention to their burnt offerings and peace offerings.

    (verses 11-36)

    • What follows is the history of the wilderness journey of

    • About one year and five weeks after the Passover in Egypt the
      cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle in mid-spring, so that Israel began
      their journey following the cloud. As they followed God's leading, so should we!

    • They left the wilderness of Sinai only to enter the wilderness
      of Paran.

    • The tribes set out on the journey in the order God had prescribed:

      • Judah first.

      • When these had moved
        the tabernacle was taken down, and the sons of Gershon and the sons
        of Merari set out, carrying the tabernacle.

      • The tribe of
        Reuben was next

      • Then

      • Then Gad.

      • Following
        Gad were the Kohathites carrying the furniture of the tabernacle,
        so that on their arrival the tabernacle would have been prepared
        for them. Thus the Kohathites would be in the middle of the procession,
        with the holy things having a central place.

      • Ephraim next began their journey, then Manasseh, then Benjamin. Dan followed, then Asher
        and finally Naphthali.

    • Verse 29 speaks of Moses asking Hobab, son of Reuel to come with
      Israel. Hobab was the brother of Moses' wife Zipporah. No doubt
      it was simply because of this relationship that Moses requested
      him to come. Before the law was given, Jethro (known as Reuel also)
      had come to Moses and advised him to delegate authority to others
      in Israel, then had returned to his own land (Exodus 18:17-27). But he told Moses he would not
      go with Israel, but would return to his own land.

    • Moses nevertheless urged him, because Hobab knew something of
      the country they would pass through, and he could be "eyes"
      for Israel. Besides, Moses promised him, they would treat him well,
      as the Lord treated Israel. However, nothing is said as to whether Hobab
      accepted this. Still, Hobab is not mentioned again in all the wilderness
      history. His children are mentioned in Judges 4:11, but not as part
      of Israel.

    • Leaving Mount Horeb, the first leg of Israel's journey took three

    • We are told that
      the ark went before them, and that the cloud was above them.

    • Because the ark was the symbol of the Lord's presence, Moses prayed
      when it set out, "Arise, O LORD, and let your enemies be scattered! Let them flee before you!". Then when the ark rested, Moses prayed, "Return,
      O LORD, to the countless thousands of Israel

  • Chapter 11 - THE PEOPLE COMPLAIN

    • The people began complaining about their hardships and the fire of the Lord
      destroyed the outskirts of the camp.

    • When Moses prayed, the fire stopped. Then the area was called Taberah (the place of burning).

    • Then the "foreign rabble" despised the manna and wanted to turn back to Egypt.

    • Moses was sick of them and felt the burden was greater than
      he could bear.

    • Then God told him appoint
      seventy men (same number that went up the mountain and the number in the Sanhedrin) to be elders of the people on whom
      He put some of Moses' spirit and they prophesied.

    • In answer to their complaint of no meat, God gave them quails (three feet deep on the ground).

    • But God caused a plague to break out among them.

    • The place was called Kibroth-hattaavah (the graves of craving).

    • Then God moved them to Hazeroth where they stay for some time.

  • Chapter 12

    • Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses saying they were upset about Moses marrying a Cushite women, but were actually upset that their little brother was the leader.

    • God said "I speak to him face to face, directly". Is this the incarnate Christ?

    • The
      Lord struck Miriam with a skin disease (translated "leprosy") but at the intercession
      of Moses it was removed from her, though she was shut out of the camp
      seven days.

    Chapter 13-14

    • God instructs Moses to send out 12 men to spy out the land of Canaan.

    • Caleb represented Judah and Joshua represented Ephraim.

    • Joshua's original name was Hoshea (which means "salvation") but Moses renamed him Joshua (which means "The LORD is salvation").

    • Detailed the searching of the land by the spies, and
      the consequences of their lack of faith. The route would have been a round trip of about 500 miles.

    • Forgetting God, and judging from
      their own standpoint, the spies (except Caleb and Joshua) gave an evil
      report of the land - mentioning that there were giants in the land and the cities were walled and heavily fortified.

    • The whole congregation exclaimed, "We wish we had died in Egypt or even here in this wilderness".

    • They suggest appointing a new leader and going back to Egypt.

    • Caleb and Joshua tore their clothes and proclaimed that the people in the land had no protection because the Lord was with His people.

    • God proposed wiping out the complainers and making a new nation from Moses. Moses responded by saying basically "what would the Egyptians think?".

    • God decreed that all of twenty years old and upwards would die in
      the wilderness, except Caleb and Joshua, and that their little ones should
      be brought into the land.

    • The ten false spies died.

    • In further rebellion they said they would go
      up into the land, but they were smitten by the Amalekites and Canaanites.
      This is the beginning of their wandering 40 years in the wilderness - the same as the number of days the spies explored the land.

  • Chapter 15-19

    • God had not deviated from His purpose and give some of
      the laws of the offerings when they come into the promised land.

    • The punishment for breaking the Sabbath law - stoning to death.

    • Institution of the blue tassels.

    • Then is recorded the rebellion of Korah, Dathan,
      and Abiram, that which is spoken of in Jude 1:1 as the gainsaying of Core.
      It was the assumption of the priesthood by the Levites and rebellion against
      the anointing of God. Remember, not all Levites were priests - only Aaron and his descendants!

    • The brass incense burners of the rebellious Levites (250 in all) were beaten into plates as a covering for the altar.

    • 14,700 people die from the plague for rebelling against God.

    • By the budding of Aaron's rod, God bore witness as to whom He had chosen
      for the priesthood, and He gave instructions as to the responsibility
      and the portions of the priests and Levites.

    • Instructions are again given about the offerings and tithes.

    • Then is given
      the law of the Red Heifer, a provision for defilement in the wilderness.


Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from the New Living Translation of the Bible.

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