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Numbers 26:1-51 (The Second Census, Part I)

Aug 4, 2019   //   by Charlie Garrett   //   Numbers, Numbers Sermons (written), Old Testament, Old Testament (written), Sermons, Torah, Torah (written), Writings  //  No Comments

Numbers 26:1-51
The Second Census, Part I

Today we have a sermon that is comprised almost solely of names and numbers. Very little else will be presented, and almost all of the time, you will simply be hearing the meaning of the names of the people, or – in some cases – the best guess of the meaning.

Some names are so rare and obscure that a best guess is all that can be given. Don’t fret over the names, trying to remember them. You won’t. But when evaluating the word, one verse at a time, this is the logical and proper way of handling sections like this.

There may be a time when you say, “I need to know what that guy’s name means.” Don’t worry, someone has spent his entire Monday figuring it out for you. Even if you never come back to this passage again, you won’t have lost anything. Sunday morning is to be filled with the word. That much is certain.

As I will repeat towards the beginning of the verses, the main thing to pay heed to is the fact that this listing differs from the first census because it is based on tribe and then named-family unit.

On the other hand, the first census, was based on the tribe, the chosen leader of each tribe, and then the tribe’s total number – as it says – “by their families, by their fathers’ house, according to the number of names.”

But, in that listing, no families were named. Here, they are. Why are the named families important? Well, we’ll see as we go along. There is a harmony which is presented that will take us until the end of the sermon to see.

Text Verse: “When the Most High divided their inheritance to the nations,
When He separated the sons of Adam,
He set the boundaries of the peoples
According to the number of the children of Israel.” Deuteronomy 32:8

The Lord plans everything very, very meticulously. This is true with Israel, this is true with the nations, and this is true with the times and the seasons, the epochs and the eras. Everything fits because God is a God of order, structure, harmony, and wisdom.

When we take a genealogical listing of people such as are found in today’s listing, and we consider that God is the Source of this group, and it is recorded for a reason, we should say, I’m sure we have important information to be gleaned from it. Such is the case here. Even if it is just one thing that is revealed, it will be something that speaks out that God is in control.

We will see this today, because this record is another marvelous part of His superior word. And so let’s turn to that precious word once again and… May God speak to us through His word today and may His glorious name ever be praised.

According to Their Families

And it came to pass, after the plague, that the Lord spoke to Moses and Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest, saying:

Here we begin a completely new path in the history of Israel. In Numbers 20:23, we saw this –

“And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in Mount Hor by the border of the land of Edom, saying:”

That was the last time that the Lord addressed Aaron. Shortly after that, Moses, Aaron, and Eleazar ascended Mount Hor and Aaron was gathered to his fathers. Since then, Moses has been spoken to several times, but now, for the first time, the Lord includes Eleazar in his words, calling him, “the son of Aaron the priest.”

This is noted to be “after the plague.” The plague was mentioned in verses 8 and 9 of the previous chapter where it was seen that twenty-four thousand had perished. Now, because of this large change in the size of Israel, and because this is an entirely new generation, a census will again be made of the people.

The plague is seen to have come after the deaths of the previous generation who were told they would die for disobedience. Therefore, it means that those who died were of those who should have entered into Canaan and been granted an inheritance with the people. But through their own fault, this was denied them.

The lesson had been learned, and now a counting of those who remained is set to take place. It should be remembered that the previous chapter ended with Moses being instructed to harass the Midianites. The census is taken before doing this, not after.

This is evident from the words of Chapter 31 where statements are made concerning the number of the fighting men who survived the battle. Those words clearly indicate that the battle against Midian occurred after the census which will now be taken…

“Take a census of all the congregation of the children of Israel from twenty years old and above, by their fathers’ houses, all who are able to go to war in Israel.”

The words are similar to what was stated to Moses over thirty-eight years earlier. Numbers 1:2, 3 said –

“Take a census of all the congregation of the children of Israel, by their families, by their fathers’ houses, according to the number of names, every male individually, from twenty years old and above—all who are able to go to war in Israel. You and Aaron shall number them by their armies.”

That census was intended to have an accurate counting of the men who would enter Canaan and be ready for battle just a few short days afterwards. But such was not to be the case. Instead of a counting of how many would fight the Lord’s battles, there was a counting for all to know how many would perish in the wilderness.

Now, those who are battle-ready will again be counted. However, this census is also made to catalog who is in what family and where people belong accordingly, and then from those numbers it will be determined how the land of Israel will be portioned out. This will become evident before the census is complete.

So Moses and Eleazar the priest spoke with them 

What is left unsaid, but what should be understood, is that Moses and Eleazar are to speak to the leaders of the people, just as during the first census. This is obvious from how the next verse is worded.

(con’t) in the plains of Moab by the Jordan, across from Jericho, saying:

b’arbot moav al yarden y’rekho – “in the plains of Moab by Jordon of Jericho.” It is the same location as that recorded in Numbers 22:1. Israel is still encamped where they were when Balak called Balaam to come and curse the people, which is directly opposite Jericho in the land of Canaan.

Take a census of the people from twenty years old and above, just as the Lord commanded Moses and the children of Israel who came out of the land of Egypt.”

The words, “Take a census of the people” are inserted by the translators, but they are rightly included. Further, the idea of having come out of Egypt is stated to show that the same group of people standing before Moses now, and who are about to be counted, are the same people who came out of Egypt, or who descended from those who came out of Egypt.

The Lord did not unredeem Israel. Rather, they remained under His control despite their extended period of punishment. What was started will find its completion, even though there is a sizable delay in it having come about.

Reuben was the firstborn of Israel. The children of Reuben were: of Hanoch, the family of the Hanochites; of Pallu, the family of the Palluites;

The listing of the tribes follows that of Numbers 1, with the exception of Manasseh being placed before Ephraim in this census. The names begin with the firstborn, Reuben, which means, “See, a Son.” He came through Jacob’s wife Leah. His sons are listed with Khanokh, or “Dedicated,” first. Next is listed Pallu, meaning “Separated,” “Distinguished,” or even “Wonderful.”

of Hezron, the family of the Hezronites; of Carmi, the family of the Carmites.

Khetsron means “Enclosure,” or “Surrounded by a Wall.” Karmi means “Vinedresser,” or “My Vineyard.”

These are the families of the Reubenites:

Here we have the main feature of this particular census, the tally according to family. The stress on the unity of the family, along with the unity of the tribe, is given because the land is to be divided not merely by tribe, but by family within the tribe. The evidence of this will be seen especially when we arrive at the families of Manasseh and see what occurs there.

(con’t) those who were numbered of them were forty-three thousand seven hundred and thirty.

The total in Numbers 1 was 46,500. That means Reuben has decreased by 2770. Some of this decrease is probably attributable to the families of Dathan and Abiram being destroyed in Korah’s rebellion in Numbers 16, as will be noted in a minute.

And the son of Pallu was Eliab.

U-bene pallu eliav – “and the sons of Pallu were Eliab.” It is plural, but there is one son. The plural is given for the singular to indicate the family. Eliab means “My God is Father.”

The sons of Eliab were Nemuel, Dathan, and Abiram.

Nemuel may be the same as Yemuel. Yemuel means “Day of God.” Dathan probably means “Their Law.” Abiram means “Exalted Father,” or “My Father is Exalted.”

9 (con’t) These are the Dathan and Abiram, representatives of the congregation, who contended against Moses and Aaron in the company of Korah, when they contended against the Lord;

The infamy of Dathan and Abiram are remembered, but they are remembered as “representatives of the congregation.” The word is qari, and it is the last time it is used in Scripture. It signifies “called,” or “famous.” They weren’t just average Joe’s, but rather they were leaders who stood against Moses and Aaron. Because Moses and Aaron were called of the Lord, these men are said to have contended against the Lord. Because of this…

10 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up together with Korah when that company died, when the fire devoured two hundred and fifty men; and they became a sign.

The fate of these men is recounted in order to remind the people of what occurred, and that these men were from Reuben. They had no right to the priesthood or leadership, and yet they presumed to take hold of what was not theirs.

Here, it says they became a nes, or a sign. It is the same word used to describe the standard upon which was placed the bronze serpent. They were to be remembered as a conspicuous sign, or banner, to the people of Israel to never again attempt to usurp the Lord’s decisions concerning His leadership and mediatorial choices.

11 Nevertheless the children of Korah did not die.

There are many views on the inclusion of these words. It says in Numbers 16 –

“Now it came to pass, as he finished speaking all these words, that the ground split apart under them, 32 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the men with Korah, with all their goods.” Numbers 16:31, 32

What is probable is that the sons of Korah were old enough to have moved out and started their own families. Therefore, they were not a part of those who were destroyed with Korah. It is a statement, then, that the children of the fathers will not be destroyed with their fathers if they do not share in their sins.

12 The sons of Simeon according to their families were: of Nemuel, the family of the Nemuelites; of Jamin, the family of the Jaminites; of Jachin, the family of the Jachinites;

Simeon means, “He Who Hears.” He is the second son of Jacob and also born through Leah. Nemuel, again, may be the same as Yemuel, or “Day of God.” Yamin means, “Right Hand.” Yakin means something like, “He Will Establish.”

13 of Zerah, the family of the Zarhites; of Shaul, the family of the Shaulites.

Zerakh means, “Dawning.” Shaul means, “Asked For.”

14 These are the families of the Simeonites: twenty-two thousand two hundred.

The total number for Simeon in Numbers 1 is 59,300. Here, it is 22,200. Thus, his numbers dropped by 37,100. It is the largest decrease of any tribe. This is probably because many of the tribe were killed in the matter of Peor. It appears that it is their tribe which was most associated with that, and thus they were destroyed by sword and plague because of it.

15 The sons of Gad according to their families were: of Zephon, the family of the Zephonites; of Haggi, the family of the Haggites; of Shuni, the family of the Shunites;

Gad means, “Good Fortune.” He is the seventh son of Israel, and the first born to Leah’s maid Zilpah. He is recorded now because he was encamped with Reuben and Simeon. Tsephon means something like “Gaze,” as in watching. Khagi means, “Festal.” Shuni means something like, “Resting,” or “Quiet.”

16 of Ozni, the family of the Oznites; of Eri, the family of the Erites;

Ozni means, “My Hearing,” or “My Ear.” Eri means, “Watching,” or maybe, “Watcher of the Lord.”

17 of Arod, the family of the Arodites; of Areli, the family of the Arelites.

Arod is a rare and difficult name. It may mean, “Fugitive.” Areli probably means “Heroic,” or “Valiant.”

18 These are the families of the sons of Gad according to those who were numbered of them: forty thousand five hundred.

The total number for Gad in Numbers 1 is 45,650. Here it is 40,500. Thus, his numbers dropped by 5,150. As Gad was positioned on the same side of the sanctuary as Reuben and Simeon, it is possible that his numbers were reduced by the same events as for those of the other two tribes.

19 The sons of Judah were Er and Onan; and Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan.

Judah is the fourth son of Jacob, and the fourth born to Leah. The first two sons of Judah, and what little is recorded about them, is found in Genesis 38. They died before the Lord because of the sins they committed. Judah means, “Praise.” Er means, “Watchful.” Onan means, “Strong,” or “Vigorous.”

20 And the sons of Judah according to their families were: of Shelah, the family of the Shelanites; of Perez, the family of the Parzites; of Zerah, the family of the Zarhites.

Shelah means, “Sent Out,” or “Branch.” Perets means, “Break Through.” Zerakh means, “Dawning.”

21 And the sons of Perez were: of Hezron, the family of the Hezronites; of Hamul, the family of the Hamulites.

Khetsron means, “Enclosure,” or “Surrounded by a Wall.” Khamul means, “Spared.”

22 These are the families of Judah according to those who were numbered of them: seventy-six thousand five hundred.

The total number for Judah in Numbers 1 is 74,600. Here it is 76,500. Thus, his numbers increased by 1,900.

23 The sons of Issachar according to their families were: of Tola, the family of the Tolaites; of Puah, the family of the Punites;

Yisakar means, “He is wages.” He is the ninth son of Jacob, and the fifth born to Leah. Tola means, “Worm.” Puah is difficult to determine. Maybe it means, “Mouth,” or “Utterance.”

24 of Jashub, the family of the Jashubites; of Shimron, the family of the Shimronites.

Yashuv means, “He Returns.” Shimron means, “Vigilant Guardian.”

25 These are the families of Issachar according to those who were numbered of them: sixty-four thousand three hundred.

The total number for Issachar in Numbers 1 is 54,400. Here it is 64,300. Thus, his numbers increased by 9,900.

26 The sons of Zebulun according to their families were: of Sered, the family of the Sardites; of Elon, the family of the Elonites; of Jahleel, the family of the Jahleelites.

Zebulun means, “Glorious Dwelling Place.” He is the tenth son of Jacob, and the sixth born to Leah. Sered is from a root meaning “to tremble.” Elon means, “Oak.” Yahleel means, “Hope of God.”

27 These are the families of the Zebulunites according to those who were numbered of them: sixty thousand five hundred.

The total number for Zebulun in Numbers 1 is 57,400. Here it is 60,500. Thus, his numbers increased by 3,100.

28 The sons of Joseph according to their families, by Manasseh and Ephraim, were:

Yoseph means, “He will add.” He is the eleventh son of Jacob, and the first born to Rachel. Manasseh means, “Forgetting.” Ephraim means, “Twice Fruitful.”

29 The sons of Manasseh: of Machir, the family of the Machirites; and Machir begot Gilead; of Gilead, the family of the Gileadites.

Manasseh, son of Joseph, was adopted by Jacob to receive an inheritance among his other sons. He is the firstborn of Joseph. His son Makir means, “Salesman.” 1 Chronicles 7:14 says that Manasseh bore Makir by a concubine from Aram. This may explain why he then named his own son Gilead.

Gilead means, “Perpetual Fountain,” or “Heap of Booty.” It is the border area between Syria and Canaan, and he may have called him this to honor the union between the two people groups he came from. This also explains why this is said in Numbers 32 –

“And the children of Machir the son of Manasseh went to Gilead and took it, and dispossessed the Amorites who were in it. 40 So Moses gave Gilead to Machir the son of Manasseh, and he dwelt in it.” Numbers 32:29, 40

The same place from which Machir’s son was named – because of the union between his father and mother, Manasseh and Manasseh’s Aramitiss concubine – became their possession.

30 These are the sons of Gilead: of Jeezer, the family of the Jeezerites; of Helek, the family of the Helekites;

Iezer means, “Helpless.” Khelek means, “Portion.”

31 of Asriel, the family of the Asrielites; of Shechem, the family of the Shechemites;

Asriel means, “Vow of God.” Shekhem means, “Shoulder.”

32 of Shemida, the family of the Shemidaites; of Hepher, the family of the Hepherites.

Shemida means, “Name of Knowing.” Hepher means, “Pit.”

33 Now Zelophehad the son of Hepher had no sons, but daughters; and the names of the daughters of Zelophehad were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah.

Here now are introduced five women who will be mentioned four times together in Numbers and Joshua. They are the daughters of Tselophekhad, or “Shadow of Fear.” Makhlah means, “Infirmity.” It is akin to the name of one of the sons of Elimelech and Naomi in the book of Ruth – Makhlon. Noah signifies, “Shaky Girl,” or “Wandering.” Khoglah means, “Turning in joy.” It is akin to the word khag which is a festival. Milcah means, “Queen.” Tirzah means, “Well-pleasing” or “Delight.”

Noting now that Zelophehad only had daughters, and then naming those daughters, is intended to pave the way for a legal decision concerning land division which will be mentioned in the next chapter.

34 These are the families of Manasseh; and those who were numbered of them were fifty-two thousand seven hundred.

The total number for Manasseh in Numbers 1 is 32,200. Here it is 52,700. Thus, his numbers increased by 20,500. This is the largest increase of all of the tribes.

35 These are the sons of Ephraim according to their families: of Shuthelah, the family of the Shuthalhites; of Becher, the family of the Bachrites; of Tahan, the family of the Tahanites.

Ephraim, son of Joseph, was adopted by Jacob to receive an inheritance among his other sons. He is the second son of Joseph. Shuthelakh means something like, “Breach of Ruins.” Beker means, “Born First.” Takhan means, “Encampment.”

36 And these are the sons of Shuthelah: of Eran, the family of the Eranites.

v’elleh bene shutalakh – “And these are the sons of Shuthelah.” As in verse 8, the plural stands for the singular. Eran means, “Watchful.”

37 These are the families of the sons of Ephraim according to those who were numbered of them: thirty-two thousand five hundred.

The total number for Ephraim in Numbers 1 is 40,500. Here it is 32,500. Thus, his numbers decreased by 8000. Jacob had prophesied that Ephraim would become greater than his older brother Manasseh, and so it appears here that the prophecy had failed. But such is not the case.

In the song of Moses in Deuteronomy 33, Moses will again prophesy of the greatness of Ephraim over Manasseh. In the end, this will be the case. This great change in numbers in favor of Manasseh will be temporary.

37 (con’t) These are the sons of Joseph according to their families.

This is stated in this way to show Jacob’s double blessing upon his beloved Joseph, calling the names of Joseph’s sons as his own.

38 The sons of Benjamin according to their families were: of Bela, the family of the Belaites; of Ashbel, the family of the Ashbelites; of Ahiram, the family of the Ahiramites;

Benjamin means, “Son of the Right Hand.” He is the twelfth son of Jacob, and the second born to Rachel. Bela means, “Gulp” and thus “Destruction.” Ashbel means, “Flowing.” Akhiram means, “Brother of Height.”

39 of Shupham, the family of the Shuphamites; of Hupham, the family of the Huphamites.

Sh’phupham means, “Serpent.” Khupham means, “Protected.”

40 And the sons of Bela were Ard and Naaman: of Ard, the family of the Ardites; of Naaman, the family of the Naamites.

Ard means, “Fugitive.” Naaman means, “Pleasant.”

41 These are the sons of Benjamin according to their families; and those who were numbered of them were forty-five thousand six hundred.

The total number for Benjamin in Numbers 1 is 35,400. Here it is 45,600. Thus, his numbers increased by 10,200. There is a rather large difference between the names here and those of the family of Benjamin in Genesis 46. Two explanations are that the grandsons were counted as sons, which is acceptable in such genealogies, and that some of the sons may have died early and/or childless.

42 These are the sons of Dan according to their families: of Shuham, the family of the Shuhamites. These are the families of Dan according to their families.

Dan means, “Judge.” He is the fifth son of Jacob and the first from his concubine Bilhah. Shukham means, “Humbly.” Again, as has been seen twice, the verse says “sons” in the plural which simply stands for the singular. Dan had one son.

43 All the families of the Shuhamites, according to those who were numbered of them, were sixty-four thousand four hundred.

Here, the counting of Dan is under his single son Shuham. Despite being one son, he became a giant-sized family. The total number for Dan in Numbers 1 is 62,700. Here Shuham is listed at 64,400. Thus, his numbers increased by 1,700.

44 The sons of Asher according to their families were: of Jimna, the family of the Jimnites; of Jesui, the family of the Jesuites; of Beriah, the family of the Beriites.

Asher means, “Happy.” He is the eighth son of Jacob and the second born to his concubine Zilpah. Yimna means, “Right Side,” and thus, “Prosperity.” Yishvi means, “Equal.” Beriah means, “In Trouble.”

45 Of the sons of Beriah: of Heber, the family of the Heberites; of Malchiel, the family of the Malchielites.

Khever means, “Community.” Malkhiel means, “My King is God.”

46 And the name of the daughter of Asher was Serah.

Serakh means, “Abundance.” The rarity of mentioning the name of a daughter is not to be missed. She is recorded here, setting her apart as a noted exception to the standard names in such a record. The only record I could find on her is from the sage Maimonides who said that she was the daughter of Asher’s wife by another man, who had no sons, and therefore his inheritance went to her. That may be just a Jewish fable attempting to explain her inclusion, so please don’t make a permanent stamp in your brain with it.

47 These are the families of the sons of Asher according to those who were numbered of them: fifty-three thousand four hundred.

The total number for Asher in Numbers 1 is 41,500. Here it is 53,400. Thus, his numbers increased by 11,900.

48 The sons of Naphtali according to their families were: of Jahzeel, the family of the Jahzeelites; of Guni, the family of the Gunites;

Naphtali means, “My Wrestling.” He is the sixth son born to Jacob, and the second born to his concubine Bilhah. Yakhtseel means, “God Divides.” Guni means, “My Defense.”

49 of Jezer, the family of the Jezerites; of Shillem, the family of the Shillemites.

Yetser means, “Form,” or “Purpose.” Shillem means, “Recompense.”

50 These are the families of Naphtali according to their families; and those who were numbered of them were forty-five thousand four hundred.

The total number for Naphtali in Numbers 1 is 53,400. Here it is 45,400. Thus, his numbers decreased by 8,000.

*51 These are those who were numbered of the children of Israel: six hundred and one thousand seven hundred and thirty.

The corresponding number in Numbers 1 was 603,550. Thus, in the years since leaving Sinai, there was a decrease in the people of 1,820. In other words, the total number of people, though reduced, had remained virtually unchanged during the years of wilderness wanderings.

Of the twelve tribes listed here, five decreased in size – Reuben, Simeon, Gad, Ephraim, and Naphtali. The other seven all saw increases. Of these twelve tribes, there are fifty-seven family divisions recorded.

The largest numerical increase was that of Manasseh, increasing by 20,500. The largest decrease was Simeon, dropping by 37,100 – more than one half of what it was at the start. They are both the largest percentage change as well, both of them surprisingly changing by exactly 63%.

Interestingly, if you take the fifty-seven named families, and then add in the names of the twelve patriarchs, and then add in the name Jacob, you will arrive – once again – at a total of seventy. The proportion is the same as that was recorded when Jacob went down to Egypt in Genesis 46, and which is again recorded in Exodus 1.

Further, it is the same as the number of nations listed according to in the Table of Nations in Genesis 10. There is an order and a harmony in how the Lord conducts His affairs in the world, and that order is worked out in and through the people of the world – both obedient and disobedient.

The number seventy wasn’t arbitrarily obtained by pulling one number from here and one number from there in order to come to a result. It is exactly what is intended in this listing. As it said in verse 2 –

“Take a census of all the congregation of the children of Israel, by their families, by their fathers’ houses, according to the number of names, every male individually.”

The families are what have been detailed in this listing. The father’s houses noted in that verse are the twelve patriarchs. Manasseh and Ephraim fall under Joseph. And, Levi – though counted separately due to inheritance – is one of the twelve patriarchs. Therefore, this entire long and seemingly tedious listing has been given to show us that God is in control.

After thirty-eight years of these people wandering in punishment and dying off as they went, the harmony and structure of Israel never changed. Israel went down to Egypt as a group of seventy. This number was restated a couple hundred years later before their exodus from Egypt for the purpose of showing that the same group who went was the same group who came out – only vastly larger in number.

In their affliction in Egypt, they had grown abundantly and multiplied exceedingly. However, after their being redeemed from Egypt, they rebelled against the Lord, and their numbers were diminished overall, while their total number of adults was completely eradicated, with the exception of Joshua and Caleb.

The Lord consumed them in the wilderness, and yet He preserved them through the wilderness at the same time. And now, as that time ends and the prospect of future blessing is set before them once again, the tally shows that He has been overseeing every step of the process. Nothing is left to chance, and every detail harmoniously shouts out, “I am the Lord. I am in control.”

We can learn from Israel. They were afflicted and the Lord prospered them. They were given freedom and abundance, and they rebelled against Him. The Lord comforts those who face affliction, and His hand is against those who are contrary to Him. It is that simple, even if in the short term it seems otherwise.

Be sure that if you are sitting here with a difficult time weighing you down, He is there with you in it. And be sure that if you are hiding some sin from Him, you aren’t hiding anything from Him. He is fully aware of it.

Draw close to Him and He will draw near to you. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Turn your heart to the Lord, and be refreshed in the cleansing power of Christ. But whatever you ultimately choose to do, today’s passage shows that your decision will not change the fact that He is completely in control of the situation. He is the God of order, despite our lives of disorder.

Closing Verse: “Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, 31 even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.” Romans 11:28-32

Next Week: Numbers 26:52-65 It’s the end of a long chapter, it is true… (The Second Census, Part II) (51st Numbers Sermon)

The Lord has you exactly where He wants you. He has a good plan and purpose for you. It may seem at times as if you are lost in a desert, wandering aimlessly. But the Lord is there, carefully leading you to the Land of Promise. So follow Him and trust Him and He will do marvelous things for you and through you.

The Second Census

And it came to pass, after the plague
Without any further delaying
That the Lord spoke to Moses and Eleazar
The son of Aaron the priest, saying: 

“Take a census of all the congregation of the children of Israel
From twenty years old and above, as to you I now tell
By their fathers’ houses
All who are able to go to war in Israel

So Moses and Eleazar the priest
As the account was next relaying
Spoke with them in the plains of Moab
By the Jordan, across from Jericho, saying: 

“Take a census of the people
From twenty years old and above, no one shall be clipped
Just as the Lord commanded Moses and the children of Israel
Who came out of the land of Egypt

Reuben was the firstborn of Israel
The children of Reuben were:
Of Hanoch, the family of the Hanochites
Of Pallu, the family of the Palluites; for sure

Of Hezron, the family of the Hezronites
Of Carmi, the family of the Carmites; so all the names agree
These are the families of the Reubenites
Those who were numbered of them were
———-forty-three thousand seven hundred and thirty 

And the son of Pallu was Eliab, the poor guy
The sons of Eliab were Nemuel, Dathan, and Abiram
———-that is why

These are the Dathan and Abiram
———-representatives of the congregation
Who contended against Moses and Aaron, acting untoward
In the company of Korah
When they contended against the Lord 

And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up together
With Korah when that company died
When the fire devoured two hundred and fifty men
And they became a sign, against anyone else who might have tried 

Nevertheless the children of Korah did not die
The Lord is gracious and merciful; that is why

The sons of Simeon according to their families were:
Of Nemuel, the family of the Nemuelites
———-of Jamin, the family of the Jaminites, so we see
Of Jachin, the family of the Jachinites; Of Zerah
———-the family of the Zarhites
Of Shaul, the family of the Shaulites, each according to family 

These are the families of the Simeonites:
———-all Simeonite born and bred
Twenty-two thousand two hundred

The sons of Gad according to their families were:
A large group of families for sure

Of Zephon, the family of the Zephonites; of Haggi
———-the family of the Haggites
Of Shuni, the family of the Shunites; of Ozni
———-the family of the Oznites; and there are more to go
Of Eri, the family of the Erites; of Arod
———-the family of the Arodites
Of Areli, the family of the Arelites, that is all the families
———-now we know 

These are the families of the sons of Gad
———-all Gadites born and bred
According to those who were numbered of them:
———-forty thousand five hundred

The sons of Judah were Er and Onan
And Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan

And the sons of Judah according to their families were:
Plenty of these guys for sure

Of Shelah, the family of the Shelanites; of Perez
———-the family of the Parzites;
Of Zerah, the family of the Zarhites; this is lots of “ites”
And the sons of Perez were:
Of Hezron, the family of the Hezronites; of Hamul
———-the family of the Hamulites 

These are the families of Judah; all Judah born and bred
According to those who were numbered of them:
———-seventy-six thousand five hundred

The sons of Issachar according to their families were:
Of Tola, the family of the Tolaites; of Puah, the family of
———-the Punites; and there are more, born and bred
Of Jashub, the family of the Jashubites; of Shimron, the family of
———-the Shimronites
These are the families of Issachar according to those who were
———-numbered of them: sixty-four thousand three hundred

The sons of Zebulun according to their families were:
Of Sered, the family of the Sardites; of Elon, the family of the
———-Elonites; and one more family to be named, born and bred
Of Jahleel, the family of the Jahleelites
These are the families of the Zebulunites according to those who
———-were numbered of them: sixty thousand five hundred

The sons of Joseph according to their families, for sure
By Manasseh and Ephraim, were:

The sons of Manasseh: of Machir, the family of the Machirites
———-that is one
And Machir begot Gilead; of Gilead, the family of the Gileadites
———-yes, Gilead was Machir’s son

These are the sons of Gilead:
Of Jeezer, the family of the Jeezerites; of Helek, the family of
———-the Helekites, starting us out
Of Asriel, the family of the Asrielites; of Shechem, the family of
———-the Shechemites
Of Shemida, the family of the Shemidaites; of Hepher, the family
———-of the Hepherites. Lots of families, no doubt 

Now Zelophehad the son of Hepher had no sons, but daughters
And the names of the daughters of Zelophehad were Mahlah, Noah
———-Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah; five daughters born and bred
These are the families of Manasseh
And those who were numbered of them were
———-fifty-two thousand seven hundred

These are the sons of Ephraim according to their families:
Of Shuthelah, the family of the Shuthalhites; of Becher
———-the family of the Bachrites, so they were
Of Tahan, the family of the Tahanites
And these are the sons of Shuthelah: of Eran, the family
———-of the Eranites, for sure

These are the families of the sons of Ephraim
According to those who were numbered of them:
———-thirty-two thousand five hundred
These are the sons of Joseph according to their families
All the sons of Joseph, born and bred

The sons of Benjamin according to their families were:
Of Bela, the family of the Belaites; of Ashbel, the family
———-of the Ashbelites, so we see
Of Ahiram, the family of the Ahiramites; of Shupham,
———-the family of the Shuphamites
Of Hupham, the family of the Huphamites. Yes, of the
———-Huphamite’s family

And the sons of Bela were Ard and Naaman:
Of Ard, the family of the Ardites; of Naaman, the family
———-of the Naamites, born and bred
These are the sons of Benjamin according to their families
And those who were numbered of them were
———-forty-five thousand six hundred

These are the sons of Dan according to their families
Of Shuham, the family of the Shuhamites, born and bred
These are the families of Dan according to their families
All the families of the Shuhamites, according to those who were
———-numbered of them, were sixty-four thousand four hundred

The sons of Asher according to their families were:
Of Jimna, the family of the Jimnites as are named
Of Jesui, the family of the Jesuites
Of Beriah, the family of the Beriites. Beriah’s name they claimed

Of the sons of Beriah: of Heber, the family of the Heberites
Of Malchiel, the family of the Malchielites
And the name of the daughter of Asher was Serah
To that name, she claimed the rites

These are the families of the sons of Asher, all born and bred
According to those who were numbered of them:
———fifty-three thousand four hundred

The sons of Naphtali according to their families were:
Of Jahzeel, the family of the Jahzeelites; of Guni, the family
———-of the Gunites, these for sure

Of Jezer, the family of the Jezerites
Of Shillem, the family of the Shillemites, born and bred
These are the families of Naphtali according to their families
And those who were numbered of them were
———-forty-five thousand four hundred

These are those who were numbered of the children of Israel:
Six hundred and one thousand seven hundred and thirty
———-as the record does tell

Lord God, we are even now in a wilderness
And we are wanting to be led by You
Without You to direct, our lives would be a mess
And so be our guide, O God; You who are faithful and true

We long for the water in this barren land
May it flow forth from the Rock, our souls to satisfy
Give us this refreshing, spiritual hand
And may we take it, and to our lives daily it apply

And we shall be content and satisfied in You alone
We will follow You as we sing our songs of praise
Hallelujah to You; to us Your path You have shown
Hallelujah we shall sing to You for all of our days

Hallelujah and Amen…

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