Revelation - 2000

The fourth book of Moses: Numbers



The Lord commanded Moses to make census of the whole Israeli community of all men in all on the first day of the second month of the second year after the Israelites came out of Egypt. Moses had to number all the men in Israel twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army. We may propose the direct counting of Israeli people could have impact upon spiritual conditions of the people. To avoid it the numbering procedure was carried out in the following way: the census was made on the basis of money paid by each man for the temple. As the tribe of Joseph on wish of Israel was represented by tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, the total number of tribes was thirteen and the Lord took the tribe of Levi giving them to Aaron for service in Tent of Meeting. The tribe of Levi was called for the service to God as the firstborn of Israelites who were saved by the Lord in Egypt committed the sin making the golden calf. The Levi tribe had to service at the Tent of Meeting, to bear the Tabernacle as the people were moving from place to place, to assemble, dismantle and guard the Tabernacle. As the people of Israel had to fight against heathens the Lord commanded to divide the people into divisions, families and tribes and Moses set up the order for disposition when the people was moving from place to place.

The LORD also said to Moses, "I have taken the Levites from among the Israelites in place of the first male offspring of every Israelite woman. The Levites are mine, for all the firstborn are mine. When I struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, I set apart for myself every firstborn in Israel, whether man or animal. They are to be mine. I am the LORD."
(Num., 3,11-13)

The Lord commanded Moses to number all the men and boys aged one month and older in the tribe of Levi. The Levites counted twenty two thousands.

The LORD said to Moses, "Count all the firstborn Israelite males who are a month old or more and make a list of their names. Take the Levites for me in place of all the firstborn of the Israelites, and the livestock of the Levites in place of all the firstborn of the livestock of the Israelites. I am the LORD."
(Num., 3, 40-41)

As Moses fulfilled the commands of the Lord and numbered all the firstborn of Israel a month old and more, he wrote down 22273 names.

So Moses collected the redemption money from those who exceeded the number redeemed by the Levites. From the firstborn of the Israelites he collected silver weighing 1,365 shekels, according to the sanctuary shekel. Moses gave the redemption money to Aaron and his sons, as he was commanded by the word of the LORD.
(Num., 3, 49-51)

We noted already that discussing the possibilities for redemption of man and people and as we discussed the procedure of offering we are to conclude that there are various categories of men, people and mankind in their relation to God. When the firstborn of Egypt were killed and the firstborn of Israel were saved those peoples were regarded as single communities (people as a personality), but those were not the communities of individuals. The Lord took all the firstborn of one people (as one firstborn son) for the perished firstborn son of other people. We may assume that the punishment of one people (the killing of firstborn of Egyptians) and glorifying the other (the firstborn of Israel belonged to the Lord) should not have modified the spiritual positions of both peoples. As the firstborn of Israel were exchanged for Levites (inside one people) the exchange should be equal: one man for another man. It should be noted that this time the cost of one human life was mentioned: it was equal to the redemption money paid for a child consecrated to the Lord – it was five silver shekels.

The LORD said to Moses: "Take the Levites from among the other Israelites and make them ceremonially clean. To purify them, do this: Sprinkle the water of cleansing on them; then have them shave their whole bodies and wash their clothes, and so purify themselves.
(Num., 8, 5-7)

Sprinkling water which contained the ahs of brown cow cleaned man of external impurities. Consecration of Levites was made before the whole people and the whole Israeli people participated in the consecration procedure as Levites replaced the firstborn of the whole Israeli people.

Bring the Levites to the front of the Tent of Meeting and assemble the whole Israelite community. You are to bring the Levites before the LORD, and the Israelites are to lay their hands on them.
(Num., 8, 9-10)

The people of Israel put hands on the heads of the Levites like on offerings to the Lord transferring all the sins of Israeli people to the Levites. It's the great privilege to bear the sins of one's own people and to purify the people, at least for some time. Then the Levites put their hands on the heads of bulls, one bull was the sin offering and the other bull was the burnt offering to the Lord. The Levites were purified by these offerings. As they did it they were consecrated to the Lord:

Have the Levites stand in front of Aaron and his sons and then present them as a wave offering to the LORD. In this way you are to set the Levites apart from the other Israelites, and the Levites will be mine.
(Num., 8, 13-14)

All the families of the Levites were distributed for their service at the Tent of Meeting and all of them had detailed commands for the days of service, for dismantling and assembly of the Tent of Meeting, for the order they had to follow as the people was moving from place to place. The Levites had to take place around the Tent of Meeting, they guarded it and serviced according to prescriptions.

The Sacred Tent

Kohathites had to be especially clean and they had to be very cautious – they were assigned to transfer sacred items from the Most Holy Place and Holy Place.

The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "See that the Kohathite tribal clans are not cut off from the Levites. So that they may live and not die when they come near the most holy things, do this for them: Aaron and his sons are to go into the sanctuary and assign to each man his work and what he is to carry. But the Kohathites must not go in to look at the holy things, even for a moment, or they will die."
(Num., 4, 17-20)

Curtains of the Tent (the Most Holy Place) are made of thin linen and blue, purple and red yarn with embroidered images of cherubim. One more tent covers the holy tent. The Tabernacle is the temple not only for the earthly world, but for celestial world, it's proved by the curtains over it. The second tent is covered by curtains made of goat hairs. The outer tent is covered by ram skins dyed red and then by skins of sea cows. The curtain over the entrance to the Most Holy Place is made of thin linen and blue, purple and red yarn with embroidered images of cherubim. The Entrance to the Holy Place is covered by the same material, but the curtain is covered by embroidery of ornaments.

When the camp is to move, Aaron and his sons are to go in and take down the shielding curtain and cover the ark of the Testimony with it. Then they are to cover this with hides of sea cows, spread a cloth of solid blue over that and put the poles in place.
(Num., 4, 5-6)

The curtain with cherubim, which is used to close the Ark of the Testimony, separates the place of God Presence – Eden and the place of God's presence from the rest of celestial world. Eden is hidden there, which used to be somewhere on earth. The thin skins are dividing various levels of Holy Place, the blue material covers the Ark on top and represents the celestial world, the spiritual kingdom.

"Over the table of the Presence they are to spread a blue cloth and put on it the plates, dishes and bowls, and the jars for drink offerings; the bread that is continually there is to remain on it. Over these they are to spread a scarlet cloth, cover that with hides of sea cows and put its poles in place."
(Num, 4, 7-8)

The next level of holy is represented by the items of the Holy Place. The blue material was used as the outer closing for the Ark, but it's internal covering for the items of the Holy Place, separating the holy items from the outer world. The table with bread offering is the next holy item in this order. All the other items positioned on the table including the bread offering belong to the next level of holy and they are put on blue material and they are covered by scarlet cover and thin skins. But bread offering and all the other items had to be placed on the table for the time of movement.

They are to take a blue cloth and cover the lampstand that is for light, together with its lamps, its wick trimmers and trays, and all its jars for the oil used to supply it. Then they are to wrap it and all its accessories in a covering of hides of sea cows and put it on a carrying frame.
(Num., 4, 9-10)

The lampstand should burn all the time the Tent of Meeting is transferred. Though the table with the bread offering was regarded as more holy item, all the items for the lampstand including oil were holy (they were covered by blue cloth with the lampstand) unlike the items positioned on the table.

Over the gold altar they are to spread a blue cloth and cover that with hides of sea cows and put its poles in place.
(Num., 4, 11)

The gold altar and all the items on it were also covered by blue cloth and transferred with all the other items of the Tent of Meeting.

They are to take all the articles used for ministering in the sanctuary, wrap them in a blue cloth, cover that with hides of sea cows and put them on a carrying frame.
(Num., 4, 12)

So, blue and red are the most characteristic colors of the Holy Place.

They are to remove the ashes from the bronze altar and spread a purple cloth over it. Then they are to place on it all the utensils used for ministering at the altar, including the firepans, meat forks, shovels and sprinkling bowls. Over it they are to spread a covering of hides of sea cows and put its poles in place.
(Num., 4, 13-14)

Purple is the dominant color for the courtyard, the purple cloth is covering the altar for burnt offering. The order of articles in the Tent of Meeting reflects the holy levels. Applying the commands given by the Lord about the order for each holy article of the Tent of Meeting prepared for transfer we may arrive to the following conclusions:
1. The Lord divided the Spiritual World for man into the following: the Ark and the cover represent the Place of God's Presence, which is separated by the curtain with cherubim; the Skies – it's the place of the Spirit, which is limited on both sides by the blue cloth and includes the table for bread offering, lampstand with all the articles, gold altar with all articles and other holy items apart from those placed on the table; the place of Presence, the bread offering and items on the table for the bread offering are separated by blue and red cloth; the place for offering is the altar for offering, which is separated from other articles by purple cloth; the place for items used for offerings is separated by purple cloth and thin skin.
2. Provided the thin skin, which is covering the articles of the Tabernacle, is used to divide the holy articles one from another according to the prescribed order and level of holy destination, we may point out the holy levels in the Tabernacle. Ark of the Testimony with the cover, table for bread offering, lampstand, gold altar of incense and holy tent – in total seven levels. These seven levels of holy represent the spiritual stairway – the way to God. The covering of thin skins shows that to mover along these steps man had to be more clean, prepared for spiritual service in correspondence with the next holy level and closer position to the Lord.
3. Purple color is the symbol of animal blood, the animals proposed as offer and the animal nature of man. The altar of burnt offering is the place for purification of man from animal qualities for spiritual improvement of man. Red (scarlet) color denotes man liberated from the power of animal nature, the man who comprehended the errors he made, and repented, the man who selected the way of spiritual service to God.
While the man services to God on his behalf in the courtyard of the Tent of Meeting, the other one who's got access to the Holy Place should be on much higher level of purity (holy level) and he should service on behalf of the people.
As the man understands the way to God and begins to be guided by the spirit and his deeds will be united with his soul before the Lord, the man will get access to the Most Holy Place. His service before God will be carried on behalf of the whole mankind without any discrimination for nationality, religion or race. Blue will be his color, the color for spirit rising up to the skies. The curtains of the Tent of Meeting are showing the same structure: purple threads of animal worlds are woven with the red thread of human spirit and vegetable world and with the blue thread of Celestial Spirit.

The Nazirite

The LORD said to Moses, "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'If a man or woman wants to make a special vow, a vow of separation to the LORD as a Nazirite, he must abstain from wine and other fermented drink and must not drink vinegar made from wine or from other fermented drink. He must not drink grape juice or eat grapes or raisins. As long as he is a Nazirite, he must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine, not even the seeds or skins.
(Num., 6, 1-4)

The Nazarites were the first spiritual offering to the Lord. People made the vow as a sign of gratitude to the Lord and the Lord showed the excellent examples of spiritual self-education. A man making a vow of separation to the Lord as a Nazarite had to follow the special ritual purity characteristic for priests, giving all his time for service to the Lord. The man was obliged not to drink wine or any other alcoholic drinks, not to take any products made of grapes, not to cut his hair till the end of the vow. In case the vow was broken (e.g. the man was close to a person who died suddenly) the man had to cut his hair and make sin offering on the eighth day and then he had to repeat the vow from the beginning. As the time ended the man had to come to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting and to bring a burnt offering for sin, a fellowship offering, bread offering and drink offering. The Nazirite cuts off his hear at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and put the hair below the fellowship offering. The priest had to place in his hands a boiled shoulder of the ram, and a cake and a wafer from the basket, both made without yeast. The priest had to wave before the Lord and the vow was completed – the Nazirite could drink wine. The Nazirite vow purified people spiritually, it allowed people to run spiritual self-control and be prepared for ritual purity before the Lord.

The Priestly Blessing

The LORD said to Moses, "Tell Aaron and his sons, 'This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: " ' "The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace." '
"So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them."
(Num., 6, 22-27)

It was already mentioned that Holy Scripture is the Way of the Return to God for man, people and mankind. That's the task and destination of the Holy Scripture – to show the way. The way of sinner moving towards God is winding and if he deviates from the chosen way "The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace" and the help of the Lord will return him to the righteous way. If the way of the man is straight, "the Lord will bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you". If you are not alone on your way, if you have got strong soul and accepted the Truth and try to avert people from unrighteous way and try to bring them to the Lord "the Lord bless you and protect you", and you'll be able to go along the way to the end!

The Lord gave Moses command about feast of Passover stating the time: on evening of the fourteenth day of the first month. Those people who can't celebrate Passover on that day (was away from home or was not cleansed), should celebrate it on the evening of the fourteenth day of the second month.
From the day the Tent of the Testimony was established it was covered by the cloud of the Lord. It was fire burning at night. As the cloud rose above the Tabernacle the people dismantled the Tent of the Testimony and moved after the cloud. As the cloud stopped people stopped movement and set up the camp.

At the LORD's command they encamped, and at the LORD's command they set out. They obeyed the LORD's order, in accordance with his command through Moses.
(Num., 9, 23)

The Lord commanded Moses to make two silver trumpets to call the community together, to encamp and to start the motion. The trumpets were used to summon people for meetings, for new Moon Festivals, when Israelites made burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Only sons of Aaron, the priests, could use the trumpets.

When you go into battle in your own land against an enemy who is oppressing you, sound a blast on the trumpets. Then you will be remembered by the LORD your God and rescued from your enemies.
(Num., 10, 9)

If you are faithful to the Lord and protects your people and your land, which was given to you by the Lord, you may always ask the Lord for help and you'll be given this help. But you must remember: the Lord can help only those who are moving to Him! If you are fighting on enemy's land and the Lord has brought you there, the Lord will help you, but if you came there without the Lord's command, all your attempts will be in vain.

Israeli people moving away from the mount of the Lord

On the twentieth day of the second month of the second year after the exit of Israelites from Egypt the cloud rose over the Tabernacle and the Israeli people set out away from the mount of the Lord.
The people got the commandments and laws, celebrated the Passover and in a month the Passover was celebrated by those who couldn't celebrate the Passover in due time. As it was done the Israeli people set out. In tribal order commanded by the Lord the Israelites left Sinai desert and went to the desert of Paran. A little time passed and the people started to complain as they didn't have meat, fish and vegetables. The wrath of the Lord burned into a fire in the camp. Only the preaching of Moses helped to persuade the Lord to extinguish the fire.

…The LORD became exceedingly angry, and Moses was troubled. He asked the LORD, "Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me?
(Num., 11, 10-11)

For many years Moses carried the heavy burden of responsibility before God for Israeli people and before the people for all the events that happened since the exit from Egypt. Moses was old and though he was as strong bodily as when he had started the way and his spirit was as high as it had used to be, the spiritual loneliness, the position of intermediary between the Lord and the people turned to be very hard for Moses.

The LORD said to Moses: "Bring me seventy of Israel's elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the Tent of Meeting, that they may stand there with you. I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit that is on you and put the Spirit on them. They will help you carry the burden of the people so that you will not have to carry it alone.
(Num., 11, 16-17)

The Lord decided to partially relieve the spiritual loneliness of Moses and distribute the responsibility for the people among the elders. The Lord decided to raise spiritual power of elders and to make them close to Moses to make them understand and share the concerns of Moses for the people of Israel.
The Lord responded to the desire of people to eat meat and promised to give them meat for a whole month so that at the end the people would hate meat. When Moses wondered how the Lord could get enough meat for 600000 people
The LORD answered Moses, "Is the LORD's arm too short? You will now see whether or not what I say will come true for you."
So Moses went out and told the people what the LORD had said. He brought together seventy of their elders and had them stand around the Tent. Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke with him, and he took of the Spirit that was on him and put the Spirit on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but they did not do so again. However, two men, whose names were Eldad and Medad, had remained in the camp. They were listed among the elders, but did not go out to the Tent. Yet the Spirit also rested on them, and they prophesied in the camp. A young man ran and told Moses, "Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp." Joshua son of Nun, who had been Moses' aide since youth, spoke up and said, "Moses, my lord, stop them!"
But Moses replied, "Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the LORD's people were prophets and that the LORD would put his Spirit on them!"
(Num., 11, 23-29)

Only Moses and the priests were allowed to enter the Tent of Meeting. The elders had to stand around the Tent of Meeting and as the Lord gave them the part of the Spirit from Moses they began to prophesy. But why did the Lord give them a part of Moses spirit, but didn't give them a part of His spirit? First, the Spirit of Moses was the part of the Lord's Spirit given to Moses. This part of the Spirit corresponded to the level of Moses' spiritual condition and it grew up as he came up along the spiritual stairway. This Spirit included the condition of Moses, his feelings and concerns. The Lord wanted to put elders close to Moses and the Lord gave them a part (they were unable to accept more) of Moses' spirit. The Lord gave the Spirit to elders and drastically changed their spiritual position, it was elevated to upper level. They suddenly saw and comprehended something they could never understand and it resulted in their excitement. As a man going through the woods not knowing the way is excited as he suddenly reaches the top of a hill and looks around in amazement. But God's Spirit is like a seed, it can grow only on suitable ground and people of with low spiritual constitution will soon loose it – the same happened to the Israeli elders. But the memory of that spiritual uprise would stay for ever, sometimes it can change the whole life of a person. The elders lost the spirit but still they remained the closest supporters of Moses. As it's shown in the Holy Script the prophetical abilities can be inherited by people from the day they were born or they can be acquired from God on the wish of God – servicing to God can also be different. The lives of Moses and Balaam show the great difference of ways they chose to service God.
According to Talmud six representatives from each Israeli tribe were chosen. They cast lots and selected seventy elders. Two of them got empty lots, those were Eldad and Medad. But the Spirit sent by the Lord could find the man wherever he was. When Joshua sun of Nun found out the prophetic capabilities of those two men was afraid for authority of Moses, he was concerned there could be a split in the people. But Moses wanted the whole Israeli people to rise to the spiritual level so that they would be able to understand the goals of the Lord, so that the people would follow the Lord without any complaints.
Next day the Lord sent strong wind and the wind brought quail. The quail covered land around the camp. But as people collected the quail and started to eat they were hit by plague. That was the way the Lord punished those who complained not having meat. We may recollect as the Israeli left Egypt and the complained in desert of Sin as they didn't have meat and the Lord brought them quail and they were not hurt by any plague. But that time as the Israeli people had made the covenant with the Lord and promised to fulfill all the commands of the Lord the complains were violating the Covenant with the Lord and the Lord punished them.
Some time passed and Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses for Moses took for wife a Cushite woman. The self-conceit of those people was that high that they regarded themselves equal to Moses and the Lord heard it.
Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.
(Num., 12, 3)

The spiritual condition of Moses was that high that he understood the wish of the Lord and his life was the life of service to God and to his people. The whole life of Moses was predetermined by the Lord. The complains against Moses were regarded as challenge to the Lord.

At once the LORD said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, "Come out to the Tent of Meeting, all three of you." So the three of them came out. Then the LORD came down in a pillar of cloud; he stood at the entrance to the Tent and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When both of them stepped forward, he said, "Listen to my words: "When a prophet of the LORD is among you,
I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams. But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?"
(Num., 12, 4-8)

The Lord said that He gave prophets to Israeli people, the Lord said that He revealed Himself in visions and dreams, but the spiritual position of Moses was at higher level towards the Lord: the Lord spoke to him "face to face clearly" showing all the events. The holy nature and high spiritual position of Moses allowed him to see the image of the Lord. It shows the differentiation of service levels to the Lord on ascending line: the son of God, servant of God, who comprehends the wish of the Lord.
The Lord punished Miriam with leprosy, her skin was white like snow. Aaron was not punished this time as the punishment of the high priest could lead to split among Israelites, but the errors made by Aaron were not forgotten – he could never reach the land the Lord promised to the people of Israel. Aaron and Miriam understood their sin and Aaron pleaded Moses to help Miriam and asked Moses to plead to the Lord. The Lord forgave Miriam on request of Moses. Seven days Miriam was away from the camp and as the leprosy left her she should return back.

The LORD said to Moses, "Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders."
(Num., 13, 2-3)

It's said in Deuteronomy that people applied to Moses to send people to explore the land and Moses liked the idea. The command to Moses to send people on behalf of Moses shows that the Israelites had low faith in the Lord. The command to send the leaders of Israeli tribes, the men who were honored by people proved the greatness of that mission and the mission was very important for the people. The people of Israel stood before God after the exit from Egypt. The level of spiritual unity was very low yet and the requests of the people were high. Each command was like a testing for the people. Twelve people, one leader from each Israeli tribe went out to explore the land, they explored the land in forty days. Those forty days were the days to test their faith and to estimate spiritual position of the Israeli people in the persons of the leaders. The conclusion was disappointing: the faith of the leaders in God, who created so many miracles, could not withstand the test. Ten out of twelve leaders said the land was rich bearing good fruit, but the people of Israel would not be able to get that land as the peoples living there were powerful and the cities were fortified. And then they started to spread gossips saying that Israelites would not be able to live there as the climate of the land was not fit for Israeli people. Those discussions proved their complete unfaithfulness to powers of the Lord and His help. Only Caleb from the tribe of Judah and Hoshea from Ephraim tribe, whom Moses gave the name Joshua before the exploration, calmed down the people and said they had to go to that land as they had strong belief in the powers and help of the Lord. When the Lord announced the name of not yet born child – as it was the case with Isaac – shows the special destination of the man. The same happened as the name was changed – the new destination was selected for the man, like it was with Abraham and Israel. It happened with Joshua, son of Nun, who fulfilled his assignment: he led the people of the Lord to the land promised to the forefathers of the Israeli people.
The lack of faith of the leaders in powers and help of the Lord quickly spread in the camp and people began to grumble against Moses and Aaron the same night:

All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, "If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this desert! Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn't it be better for us to go back to Egypt?" And they said to each other, "We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt."
(Num., 14, 2-4)

As Joshua, son of Nun, and Caleb, son of Jephunneh, tried to persuade people the Israelites wanted to stone them. The Lord heard it and told Moses that He would send plague and would create a new people for Moses, more in number and stronger,
Moses said to the LORD, "Then the Egyptians will hear about it! By your power you brought these people up from among them. And they will tell the inhabitants of this land about it. They have already heard that you, O LORD, are with these people and that you, O LORD , have been seen face to face, that your cloud stays over them, and that you go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. If you put these people to death all at one time, the nations who have heard this report about you will say, 'The LORD was not able to bring these people into the land he promised them on oath; so he slaughtered them in the desert.'
(Num., 14, 13-16)

and Moses began to call the names of the Lord, that had been disclosed to him on the Sinai mountain, and he pleaded for his people:
"Now may the Lord's strength be displayed, just as you have declared: 'The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.' In accordance with your great love, forgive the sin of these people, just as you have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt until now."
(Num., 14, 17-19)

The preaching of Moses to the Lord was not a simple reiteration of names the Lord disclosed to Moses – it was the revelation of Moses' soul, the man who spoke to God "face to face", and still Moses was related to his people.

The LORD replied, "I have forgiven them, as you asked. Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the LORD fills the whole earth, not one of the men who saw my glory and the miraculous signs I performed in Egypt and in the desert but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times – not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their forefathers. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it. But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it. Since the Amalekites and Canaanites are living in the valleys, turn back tomorrow and set out toward the desert along the route to the Red Sea."
(Num., 14, 20-25)

The Lord listened to Moses who pleaded for the people of Israel, but the Lord forgave only their children – he would give the land to the children of the parents, who refused from that land. We may recall the time when Abraham asked the Lord not to destroy Sodom and the Lord promised him: "If I can find ten righteous men in the city I will not destroy Sodom". This time the ten people were disobeying the Lord. Ten was the limit set by the Lord. This oath defined the fate of Moses and Aaron: they also wouldn't see the promised land. The Lord didn't give the land of Amalekites and Canaanites and commanded the Israelites to return to the desert.

So tell them, 'As surely as I live, declares the LORD, I will do to you the very things I heard you say: In this desert your bodies will fall-every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me. Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.
(Num., 14, 28-30)

Your children will be shepherds here for forty years, suffering for your unfaithfulness, until the last of your bodies lies in the desert. For forty years-one year for each of the forty days you explored the land-you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you.'
(Num., 14, 33-34)

For the first time the anger of the Lord for the sins of parents turned upon the children, but this punishment was used as education for the new people – it was impossible to grow up people from slaves brought away from Egypt. The Lord promised that Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun would be the only adults to see the promised land. The ten people who had been sent to explore the land and who made people grumble were the first to die. The attempt of the people to change the situation and to fight against Amalekites and Canaanites – though Moses warned them not to do it – brought defeat of Israelites and they suffered greatly. The Lord declared the punishment for the people, but at the same time the Lord confirmed the promise to give new land to people of Israel:

The LORD said to Moses, "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'After you enter the land I am giving you as a home and you present to the LORD offerings…
(Num., 15, 1-3)

The Lord gives specified commandments about offerings, which should be done in new land, where the children of Israeli people would live: each burnt offering should be done with bread and oil offering. As we compare the offerings done by people as they had left Egypt we may note that the institution of offering is changing, but the change would not mean cancellation of some particular offering types, but the Lord tried to make the offering procedure more effective for the changing spiritual position of Israel people. The offerings represented in full (in accordance with the spiritual improvement of the people) the animal and vegetable nature of man and his spiritual position, the goal of offerings was to mollify the effect of animal nature in man and to strengthen the effect of spiritual nature of man. The Lord wanted His people to remember His commands and the Lord commanded men to make tassels on the corners of their garments, with a blue cord on each tassel, so the people would look at the tassels and recall the Lord who had revealed at mount Sinai:

… and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of sapphire, clear as the sky itself.
(Ex., 24, 10)

The Lord gave the Israeli people "commandments, laws and decrees" on Sinai mountain. Those commandments, laws and decrees defined the life of the people for numerous centuries. The commandments given by the Lord made the fundament of the Covenant the Lord made with Israeli people, the commandments were made on tablets of stone, which were placed in Ark of the Testimony. Those tassels with blue cord would always be seen by the Israelites

You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the LORD, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by going after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes. Then you will remember to obey all my commands and will be consecrated to your God. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am the LORD your God.' "
(Num., 15, 39-41)

The Lord showed exactly that the animal desires and senses were the basis of all sins, strong spirit was the main means to fight the animal nature of man. Only the permanent ruling of the spirit in man could save him against sins and make him consecrated to God.


The doubts created by the people who went to explore Canaan land, the punishment of the Lord and the expected wandering in the desert made people grumble. Some renowned Israelites used the situation and decided to rise up against Moses and Aaron, the chief priest. Some Levites guided by Korah and certain Reubenites-Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth rose up against Moses and Aaron. They masked their intentions as the fight against the rule of Moses and Aaron, while in reality they wanted to grasp the power over the people and to change the goals for the people, which had left Egypt.

They came as a group to oppose Moses and Aaron and said to them, "You have gone too far! The whole community is holy, every one of them, and the LORD is with them. Why then do you set yourselves above the LORD's assembly?"
(Num., 16, 3)

Moses saw that a new riot was beginning, which could have led to death of Israeli people. Moses fell facedown and said:

"In the morning the LORD will show who belongs to him and who is holy, and he will have that person come near him. The man he chooses he will cause to come near him. You, Korah, and all your followers are to do this: Take censers and tomorrow put fire and incense in them before the LORD. The man the LORD chooses will be the one who is holy."
(Num., 16, 5-7)

Next day two hundred and fifty men claiming they wanted to service the Lord took their censers, put fire and incense in, and stood at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. Moses and Aaron stood there as well. All the people came to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.

… the glory of the LORD appeared to the entire assembly. The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Separate yourselves from this assembly so I can put an end to them at once."
(Num., 16, 20-21)

But Moses preached to the Lord saying that only one man sinned and the Lord asked Moses to bring people away from the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram.

Moses got up and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him. He warned the assembly, "Move back from the tents of these wicked men! Do not touch anything belonging to them, or you will be swept away because of all their sins."
(Num. 16, 25-26)

Moses said that the Lord had sent him for the Israeli people and the Lord would prove it. If they died by natural death it meant the Lord had not sent Moses.

As soon as he finished saying all this, the ground under them split apart and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them, with their households and all Korah's men and all their possessions. They went down alive into the grave, with everything they owned; the earth closed over them, and they perished and were gone from the community.
(Num., 16, 31-33)

The death of a man given to him as a punishment may repent some of his sins, but the dreadful death of Korah and all his men was a warning to anyone who wanted to consciously oppose the Lord.

And fire came out from the LORD and consumed the 250 men who were offering the incense.
(Num., 16, 35)
The LORD said to Moses, "Tell Eleazar son of Aaron, the priest, to take the censers out of the smoldering remains and scatter the coals some distance away, for the censers are holy – the censers of the men who sinned at the cost of their lives. Hammer the censers into sheets to overlay the altar, for they were presented before the LORD and have become holy. Let them be a sign to the Israelites."
(Num., 16, 36-38)

The fire sent by the Lord burnt down people who came to offer the incense. They violated the commandment: only sons of Aaron, the priests were allowed to offer the incense. But those people came to the Lord and though they were sinners their death was the sin offering and it made the censers holy. Eleazar made everything as it was commanded by the Lord: the censers were hammered out to overlay the altar as a sign to the Israelites. The Israelites had to understand that only priests could make offering of the incense before the Lord.
On the next day the people came to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and blamed Moses and Aaron for the death of people who sinned before the Lord. The cloud covered the Tent of Meeting and the glory of the Lord showed to people.

… and the LORD said to Moses, "Get away from this assembly so I can put an end to them at once." And they fell facedown. Then Moses said to Aaron, "Take your censer and put incense in it, along with fire from the altar, and hurry to the assembly to make atonement for them. Wrath has come out from the LORD; the plague has started."
(Num., 16, 44-46)

It was the twelfth time the people of Israel grumbled before the Lord and was punished for it, while Moses and Aaron saved the people. Offering incense was allowed only in the Tent of Meeting and only Moses could understand that the incense could be done away from the Tent of Meeting to save the people. Aaron followed the order of Moses, though in case of an error he could die – the priest was presenting the people before the Lord and the Lord before the people. The life of a priest belonged to the Lord, his death could have repented the sins of the people. Any priest knew it and had to be prepared for it – to be prepared to offer his life for the sins of the people. As Aaron stood among the dead and alive the plague stopped. When the Lord made the verdict saying the adults of Israeli people had to die in the desert death became the payment for any sin done by Israelites.
The Lord wanted to stop the claims among the people for priestly service and the Lord gave the following command to Moses:

The LORD said to Moses, "Speak to the Israelites and get twelve staffs from them, one from the leader of each of their ancestral tribes. Write the name of each man on his staff. On the staff of Levi write Aaron's name, for there must be one staff for the head of each ancestral tribe. Place them in the Tent of Meeting in front of the Testimony, where I meet with you. The staff belonging to the man I choose will sprout, and I will rid myself of this constant grumbling against you by the Israelites."
(Num., 17, 1-5)

Moses did as the Lord ordered him: he collected staffs and put them at the Ark of the Testimony in the Tent of Meeting.

The next day Moses entered the Tent of the Testimony and saw that Aaron's staff, which represented the house of Levi, had not only sprouted but had budded, blossomed and produced almonds.
(Num.,17, 8)

Moses brought the staffs and showed them to the people of Israel and each one took his staff.

The LORD said to Moses, "Put back Aaron's staff in front of the Testimony, to be kept as a sign to the rebellious. This will put an end to their grumbling against me, so that they will not die."
(Num., 17, 10)

Moses did as the Lord ordered and he put the staff of Aaron in front of the Testimony in the Tent of Meeting. As the Israelites saw the sprouted staff of Aaron the rebellious feelings of the people stopped and the people of Israel comprehended their fate though they didn't want to believe in it even after the deeds of the Lord.

The Israelites said to Moses, "We will die! We are lost, we are all lost! Anyone who even comes near the tabernacle of the LORD will die. Are we all going to die?"
(Num., 17, 12-13)

The Lord gave commands to Aaron about the service of Levites, about offerings and parts of offerings, which the Lord gave to Aaron and his family. The people would give the Lord a tenth part of their harvest and wine, which would go to Levites. The best part of it (the tithe from the tenth part) they would give to the Lord and it would belong to Aaron and his family.

The LORD said to Aaron, "You will have no inheritance in their land, nor will you have any share among them; I am your share and your inheritance among the Israelites.
(Num., 18, 20)

The Lord gave Moses and Aaron commands how to cleanse people who touched dead body – they had to use the ash of red heifer.
Almost forty years passed as the people of Israel wandered in the desert. The Israelites crossed Sin desert and came to Kadesh. Miriam died and was buried there. This area didn't produce sufficient water for people and flocks and people again started to grumble recalling Egypt. Moses and Aaron came to the Tent of Meeting and the glory of the Lord appeared to them.

The LORD said to Moses, "Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink."
So Moses took the staff from the LORD's presence, just as he commanded him. He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, "Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?" Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.
(Num., 20, 7-11)

People of Israel came the desert of Sin as they left Egypt. At that time people asked for meat and bread. Now they were asking for water. Despite the rebellious nature the people of Israel had changed spiritually during the forty years they spent in deserts. Previous time the Lord asked Moses to take only some elders of Israeli people (as the unfaithful people would have only interfered). The Lord told Moses that He would be on the rock and Moses would strike the rock with the staff and the water would pour out.
This time the Lord ordered Moses to bring all the people to the rock and the rock would yield water according to the word of Moses and Moses had to do it on behalf of the Lord. What changed since the first time? Did Moses change? Yes, he did. But the Israeli people also changed, the spiritual position of the people changed, the faith of the people changed. The Lord saw it, but Moses couldn't note it. The word of Moses and the faith of the people had to become the deeds on wish of the Lord in Kadesh. The Israeli people had to come to the next stage of spiritual development, to become unified with the Lord, to believe in the strength of the people. But Moses was tired, he was bored by the grumbling people and he disobeyed the command of the Lord: he stroke the rock twice without saying it was the wish of the Lord and water poured out. About thousand and three hundred years passed and Jesus Christ was sent to unveil for people the Holy and to do what Moses couldn't do.

But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them."
(Num., 20, 12)

Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom asking his permission to cross his country as Edom was inhabited by the descendants of Esau, brother of Jacob. Moses described the life of Israeli people in Egypt, he described how the Lord brought the Israelites from Egypt and he asked the permission to cross Edom by the straight road (king's road) giving the promise to pay even for water. But Edom didn't allow the Israelites to cross his country and he sent big army to fight the people of Israel. The Israelites had to leave Kadesh and went to Mount Hor.

At Mount Hor, near the border of Edom, the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Aaron will be gathered to his people. He will not enter the land I give the Israelites, because both of you rebelled against my command at the waters of Meribah. Get Aaron and his son Eleazar and take them up Mount Hor. Remove Aaron's garments and put them on his son Eleazar, for Aaron will be gathered to his people; he will die there."
(Num., 20, 23-26)
Moses did as the LORD commanded: They went up Mount Hor in the sight of the whole community. Moses removed Aaron's garments and put them on his son Eleazar. And Aaron died there on top of the mountain. Then Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain, and when the whole community learned that Aaron had died, the entire house of Israel mourned for him thirty days.
(Num., 20, 27-29)

The chief priest of Israel, Aaron, had huge spiritual gift, which was the fundament of his prophetic vision. As the Lord called him for service Aaron went to service the Lord without complaint and listen to orders of the Lord and of Moses. He was prepared to save his people and preach to the Lord for repentance.
This service required immense spiritual efforts, it led to some mistakes made by Aaron. But he was always prepared to give his life before God and he did the last command of the Lord and died as the Lord ordered him.

They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the desert? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!"
Then the LORD sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, "We sinned when we spoke against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take the snakes away from us." So Moses prayed for the people.
(Num., 21, 4-7)

Israeli people wandered numerous years in the desert and each sin and each time they grumbled the Lord punished those who was left after the exit from Egypt. The young generation, which grew up in the desert didn't know the benefits of civilization and humbly accepted the wish of the Lord. The elder generation also understood the glory of the Lord and began to accept their errors and to repent.

The LORD said to Moses, "Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live." So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived.
(Num., 21, 8-9)

It might be strange: the Lord knew that people were inclined to make and warship gods, the Lord had always banned any gods, but this time the Lord gave the order to make a bronze snake and ordered "to put in up on a pole"? The Lord created the desire for worshipping the snake – people who were bitten by a snake had to look at the bronze snake and get healed. We have to pay more attention to this item giving more details.
1. People committed a sin against the Lord and against Moses;
2. The Lord punished them: He sent venomous snakes and the stakes bit people and people died;
3. People repented for their sins;
4. The Lord gave a means to heal people.
As the people repented for their sin the Lord gave them a chance to look at bronze (dead) snake and stay alive. We may note that the live of a person was retained not by the bronze snake though by the Lord: "…anyone who is bitten can look at it and live".
The Lord said:
"So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but I shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
(Is., 55, 11)

The bronze snake was very risky for the people as it allowed people to worship a snake. The snake was destroyed at the time of Ezekiah. The story about bronze snake was mentioned in the Holy Script for the future as it was the direct message of the Lord to Christians.
The Israelites went on wandering in the desert moving from one place to another. Many years passed and they reached the land bordering with the territory of Amorites. They asked permission to cross their land, but Amorites denied the access to their land. Israelites went on fighting against Amorites and conquered them and their land. The Israelites guided by the Lord defeated Og king of Bashan and captured his lands. They put the camp on Moab facing Heshbon.


As Israelites set their camp at Jordan river Moab got terrified when learned about the fate of Amorites. Moabites invited the elders of Midian. Balak son of Zippor, who was king of Moab, decided to apply the services of Balaam, magus and prophet, to weaken the Israelites and then to force them away from his land. Balak sent his messengers to Balaam:
"… Now come and put a curse on these people, because they are too powerful for me. Perhaps then I will be able to defeat them and drive them out of the country. For I know that those you bless are blessed, and those you curse are cursed."
(Num., 22, 6)

Balak knew the vanity and greediness of Balaam and he sent elders of Moab and Midian to him with rich gifts. Balaam accepted the gifts and left them for the night saying he had to find out the wish of the Lord. At night time as Balaam slept the Lord tested him asking "Who are these men with you?" As Balaam told the story the Lord said he should not come with them:
But God said to Balaam, "Do not go with them. You must not put a curse on those people, because they are blessed."
(Num., 22, 12)

In the morning Balaam refused to go with the messengers telling them the wish of the Lord.
Balak would not be satisfied with this result and he sent more honorable messengers to Balaam promising him honor and awards. But Balaam told the messengers that despite the silver and gold gifts he couldn't disobey the Lord.
"I could not do anything great or small to go beyond the command of the LORD my God."
(Num., 22, 18)

He left them for the night time in hope the wish of the Lord would change. But the Lord again appeared to Balaam in his dream and allowed Balaam to go with the messengers, but to do what the Lord would tell him. In the morning Balaam sat on a donkey and went with the messengers. We may assume that the Lord saw the unlimited desire of Balak to hurt Israeli people as well as secret desire of Balaam to get the money and the Lord decided to use His power to reason Balak and to give the other one a chance to return to righteous way.
The Lord decided to deprive Balaam of his prophetic gift while Balaam wanted to disobey the Lord's wish, but the Lord gave the prophetic gift to his donkey, which saved Balaam three times and was beaten for it. The vision and mind of Balaam were so confused that Balaam was not surprised as the donkey started to talk. The Lord opened his eyes and Balaam saw an Angel with a sword, who didn't allow him to go. Balaam "bowed low and fell facedown".
"Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me."
(Num., 22, 32)

The Angel said knowing that Balaam still had a hope that the Lord would change His attitude towards Israel.

"The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If she had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared her."
(Num., 22, 33

The donkey had the prophetic vision and it knew that the Angel didn't threaten it, but there was a threat for the owner of the donkey. The Angel tried to tell Balaam that the donkey serviced its owner better than Balaam serviced to God.

Balaam said to the angel of the LORD, "I have sinned. I did not realize you were standing in the road to oppose me. Now if you are displeased, I will go back."
(Num., 22, 34)

Balaam tried to demonstrate that he didn't understand the intentions of the Angel. He confessed that he had been wrong beating the donkey. The Angel warned Balaam one more time telling him he had to say only what the Lord would tell him.
Balaam warned Balak who met him that he would tell only what the Lord would order him to say. The Lord used the Spirit to give a chance for the sinful man – the great prophet – to return to the righteous way. The Lord allowed Balaam to take part in the salvation of Israeli people. Balaam could have understood the greatness of the mission of the Israeli people and the goals set by the Lord, he could have changed his life.
Balaam ordered Balak to create seven altars and to bring burnt offering of seven bulls and seven rams. Balaam went to the top of the hill to listen to the wish of the Lord.

God met with him, and Balaam said, "I have prepared seven altars, and on each altar I have offered a bull and a ram." The LORD put a message in Balaam's mouth and said, "Go back to Balak and give him this message."
(Num., 23, 4-5)

In all cases as Balaam met the God he behaved as if he met a man: Balaam made rich offerings (from the human point of view) and he tells about the offering to God in an attempt to find favor in the eyes of the Lord. With the Lord's Spirit he returned back to Balak and princes of Moab and said that he would not be able to oppose the wish of the Lord as the Lord protected the people of Israel.

From the rocky peaks I see them, from the heights I view them.
I see a people who live apart and do not consider themselves one of the nations.
(Num., 23, 9)

The people of Israel "lived apart and did not consider themselves one of the nations" as the people of the Lord should not live according to natural historical development. This people created by the Lord from one man would have disappeared from the face of earth if not the Lord assisted the people. All the plagues and tests sent to Israelites were aimed to purify the nation, to strengthen the unity and spiritual position of the people. This nation lived apart, i.e. this nation differed from other heathen nations by spiritual stance. Being obsessed by the Spirit Balaam talked with praise about Israel people and about the future of that people:

Let me die the death of the righteous, and may my end be like theirs!"
(Num., 23, 10)
Balak said to Balaam, "What have you done to me? I brought you to curse my enemies, but you have done nothing but bless them!"
(Num., 23, 11)

He brought him to other place in hope Balaam would curse the Israelites. But at the new place as they made seven altars and made the burnt offerings the Lord told Balaam His wish and Balaam said:

God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? I have received a command to bless; he has blessed, and I cannot change it.
(Num., 23, 19-20)

The Lord through Balaam told Balak and Balaam that their secret hopes for the change of the Lord's attitude to Israel were in vain. The words of the Lord blessing the people of Israel would be unchanged.
Then Balak said to Balaam, "Neither curse them at all nor bless them at all!"
(Num., 23, 25)

Balak brought Balaam to the third hill in hope "it would please the God and Balaam would curse the people of Israel". They created altars anew and made burnt offerings. Balaam gave up to the wish of the Lord. The Spirit of God came upon him and he spoke in excitement:
"How beautiful are your tents, O Jacob, your dwelling places, O Israel! "Like valleys they spread out, like gardens beside a river, like aloes planted by the LORD, like cedars beside the waters. Water will flow from their buckets; their seed will have abundant water. "Their king will be greater than Agag; their kingdom will be exalted. "God brought them out of Egypt; they have the strength of a wild ox. They devour hostile nations and break their bones in pieces; with their arrows they pierce them. Like a lion they crouch and lie down,
like a lioness-who dares to rouse them? "May those who bless you be blessed and those who curse you be cursed!"
(Num., 24, 5-9)

Balak was angry with Balaam and he asked him to go away, but Balaam stopped him and told him the future of Moab:

"I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel. He will crush the foreheads of Moab, the skulls of all the sons of Sheth. Edom will be conquered; Seir, his enemy, will be conquered, but Israel will grow strong. A ruler will come out of Jacob and destroy the survivors of the city."
(Num., 24, 17-19)

He told the future of Amalek and Kenites and went back home.
As the people of Israel made the camp in Shittim the Israelites began to indulge in sexual immorality with Moabite women, and they made offers to their gods and began to worship alien gods.

And the LORD's anger burned against them.
The LORD said to Moses, "Take all the leaders of these people, kill them and expose them in broad daylight before the LORD, so that the LORD's fierce anger may turn away from Israel." So Moses said to Israel's judges, "Each of you must put to death those of your men who have joined in worshiping the Baal of Peor."
(Num., 25, 3-5)

Once an Israelite man brought to his family a Midianite woman. When Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the priest, saw this, he took a spear in his hand and followed the Israelite into the tent. He drove the spear through both of them – through the Israelite and into the woman's body. Then the plague against the Israelites was stopped and the Lord told Moses:

The LORD said to Moses, "Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the priest, has turned my anger away from the Israelites; for he was as zealous as I am for my honor among them, so that in my zeal I did not put an end to them. Therefore tell him I am making my covenant of peace with him. He and his descendants will have a covenant of a lasting priesthood, because he was zealous for the honor of his God and made atonement for the Israelites."
(Num., 25, 10-13)

In total 24,000 Israelites died of plague before Phinehas put an end to the plague.
After the plague the Lord ordered to take a census of the whole Israelite community – all those twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army of Israel. The total number of men according to census was 601730. The Lord commanded to divide the land as an inheritance based on the number of names. The Levites were censed separately as they didn't have land among Israeli tribes.

These are the ones counted by Moses and Eleazar the priest when they counted the Israelites on the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho. Not one of them was among those counted by Moses and Aaron the priest when they counted the Israelites in the Desert of Sinai. For the LORD had told those Israelites they would surely die in the desert, and not one of them was left except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.
(Num., 26, 63-65)

The commandment of the Lord was fulfilled and all the people aged from twenty years and over who had left Egypt died except Caleb and Joshua as they were not confused by the sins before the Lord. The new generation which grew up in desert didn't know slavery and heathenism obeyed the Lord.

Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go up this mountain in the Abarim range and see the land I have given the Israelites. After you have seen it, you too will be gathered to your people, as your brother Aaron was, for when the community rebelled at the waters in the Desert of Zin, both of you disobeyed my command to honor me as holy before their eyes."
(Num., 27, 12-14)

It's said in the Book of Deuteronomy that Moses preached to the Lord to allow him to go to new land, but the Lord refused and the Lord confirmed the above decision.

Moses said to the LORD , "May the LORD , the God of the spirits of all mankind, appoint a man over this community to go out and come in before them, one who will lead them out and bring them in, so the LORD's people will not be like sheep without a shepherd."
(Num., 27, 15-17)

Moses humbly accepted the wish of the Lord and he had only one request – to put a leader and a father for the people of Israel, to create a good successor to Moses, who would not only lead the people, but would be a good shepherd for the sheep of Israel. The glory of the real righteous man was unveiled in true desire to spiritually educate the people and to make the people come closer to God. The last desire of Moses – to continue that education of people after his death.

So the LORD said to Moses, "Take Joshua son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay your hand on him. Have him stand before Eleazar the priest and the entire assembly and commission him in their presence. Give him some of your authority so the whole Israelite community will obey him. He is to stand before Eleazar the priest, who will obtain decisions for him by inquiring of the Urim before the LORD. At his command he and the entire community of the Israelites will go out, and at his command they will come in."
(Num., 27, 18-21)

We may recollect that Hoshea son of Num was the assistance of Moses, he demonstrated his belief and eagerness to service to the Lord and when the people were going to explore the Land of Canaan Moses on wish of God changed his name and gave him name of Joshua. Joshua had to lead Israeli people to the promised land and he would do it with pride. The words of the Lords saying Joshua had the Spirit proved that he had the Spirit from the time of his birth and he strengthened his spirit servicing to Moses and to the Lord. The Lord ordered Moses to make Joshua his successor before the whole Israeli community, Moses had to put his hands on him. Putting the hands meant transfer of spiritual and other qualities, the same procedure was used for blessing. But unlike Moses Joshua, son of Nun, could not apply directly to God. He could do it only with the assistance of Eleazar the priest, who received orders by inquiring of the Urim.

Moses did as the LORD commanded him. He took Joshua and had him stand before Eleazar the priest and the whole assembly. Then he laid his hands on him and commissioned him, as the LORD instructed through Moses.
(Num., 27, 22-23)

The Lord gave Moses orders about regular offerings, Sabbath offerings and Monthly offerings, the Lord gave Moses commands about sacramental meetings and vows for the people of Israel as the Israeli community was to reach the promised land. The older generation, which was brought from Egypt and was inclined to worship heathen gods the spiritual positions of Israeli people improved. According to the changes in spiritual mood of Israelites the Lord gave new instructions about offerings. The Lord gave commands about spiritual offerings – vows and pledges to be given by women and their dependence upon their fathers or husbands.

The LORD said to Moses, "Take vengeance on the Midianites for the Israelites. After that, you will be gathered to your people."
(Num., 31, 1-2)

A thousand men from each Israeli tribe went for war. The army was led by Phinehas son of Eleazar, who took with him articles from the sanctuary and the trumpets for signaling. All Midian men were killed in that war, including five kings, their wives, children and property was captured. As the army with the capture came to the Israeli community Moses went out. Moses was angry with the army officers, he ordered to kill all the boys and every woman who had slept with a man, but save every girl who has never slept with a man. And then he ordered them to clear with water and stay seven days away from the camp. The captured goods were distributed on wish of the Lord among all those fighting and the rest of Israeli community. As they numbered those fighting against Midians they found out that not a soldier had died. The officers and the soldiers took all gold and brought it "to make atonement for themselves before the LORD". The Reubenites and Gadites saw that the land was good to keep flocks applied to Moses and asked him to give them the land promising they would fight with all the other tribes for their lands. Moses gave his approval and ordered Eleazar the priest and Joshua, son of Nun to give the land to the Reubenites and Gadites.
The Lord gave commands about borders of Canaan land, which the Lord gave to Israel – the borders in the South, West, North and East. The Lord gave the names of people through Moses who would assign the land among Israeli tribes: Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun and one leader from each tribe to help assign the land. And the Lord made a command saying the towns should be assigned for Levites with fields and cities of refuge.

These are the commands and regulations the LORD gave through Moses to the Israelites on the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho.
(Num., 36, 13)





The First Gospel  
  • The fourth book of Moses: Numbers