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Numbers

The Bible

Bible Usage:

Dictionaries:

  • Included in Eastons: No
  • Included in Hitchcocks: No
  • Included in Naves: No
  • Included in Smiths: Yes
  • Included in Websters: Yes
  • Included in Strongs: Yes
  • Included in Thayers: No
  • Included in BDB: Yes

Strongs Concordance:

Smith's Bible Dictionary
Numbers

the fourth book of the law or Pentateuch. It takes its name in the LXX. and Vulgate (whence our "Numbers") from the double numbering or census of the people, the first of which is given in chs. 1-4, and the second in ch. 28. Contents .

The book may be said to contain generally the history of the Isr'lites from the time of their leaving Sinai, in the second year after the exodus till their arrival at the borders of the Promised land in the fortieth year of their journeyings It consists of the following principal divisions: 1, The Preparations for the departure from Sinai. (Numbers 1:1; Numbers 10:10)

  1. The journey from Sinai to the borders of Canaan. ch. (Numbers 10:11; Numbers 14:45)
  2. A brief notice of laws and events which transpired during the thirty-seven years wandering in the wilderness. ch. (Numbers 15:1; Numbers 19:22)
  3. The history of the last year, from the second arrival of the Isr'lites in Kadesh till they reached "the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho." ch, (Numbers 20:1; Numbers 36:13) Integrity .

    This, like the other books of the Pentateuch, is supposed by many critics to consist of a compilation from two or three or more earlier documents; but the grounds on which this distinction of documents rests are in every respect most unsatisfactory, and it may, in common with the preceding books and Deuteronomy, be regarded as the work of Moses. The book of Numbers is rich in fragments of ancient poetry, some of them of great beauty and all throwing an interesting light on the character of the times in which they were composed. Such, for instance, is the blessing of the high priest. ch. (Numbers 6:24-26) Such too are chants which were the signal for the ark to move when the people journeyed, and for it to rest when they were about to encamp. In ch. 21 we have a passage cited from a book called the "Book of the Wars of Jehovah." This was probably a collection of ballads and songs composed on different occasions by the watch-fires of the camp, and for the most part, though not perhaps exclusively, in commemoration of the victories of the Isr'lites over their enemies.


Webster's 1828 Dictionary
Numbers

NUM'BERS, noun The title of the fourth book of the Pentateuch.


Easton's Bible Dictionary
Numbers, Book of

The fourth of the books of the Pentateuch, called in the Hebrew be-midbar, i.e., "in the wilderness." In the LXX. version it is called "Numbers," and this name is now the usual title of the book. It is so called because it contains a record of the numbering of the people in the wilderness of Sinai (1-4), and of their numbering afterwards on the plain of Moab (26).

This book is of special historical interest as furnishing us with details as to the route of the Israelites in the wilderness and their principal encampments. It may be divided into three parts-

1. The numbering of the people at Sinai, and preparations for their resuming their march (1-10:10). The sixth chapter gives an account of the vow of a Nazarite.

2. An account of the journey from Sinai to Moab, the sending out of the spies and the report they brought back, and the murmurings (eight times) of the people at the hardships by the way (10:11-21:20).

3. The transactions in the plain of Moab before crossing the Jordan (21:21-ch. 36).

The period comprehended in the history extends from the second month of the second year after the Exodus to the beginning of the eleventh month of the fortieth year, in all about thirty-eight years and ten months; a dreary period of wanderings, during which that disobedient generation all died in the wilderness. They were fewer in number at the end of their wanderings than when they left the land of Egypt. We see in this history, on the one hand, the unceasing care of the Almighty over his chosen people during their wanderings; and, on the other hand, the murmurings and rebellions by which they offended their heavenly Protector, drew down repeated marks of his displeasure, and provoked him to say that they should "not enter into his rest" because of their unbelief (Hebrews 3:19).

This, like the other books of the Pentateuch, bears evidence of having been written by Moses.

The expression "the book of the wars of the Lord," occurring in 21:14, has given rise to much discussion. But, after all, "what this book was is uncertain, whether some writing of Israel not now extant, or some writing of the Amorites which contained songs and triumphs of their king Sihon's victories, out of which Moses may cite this testimony, as Paul sometimes does out of heathen poets (Acts 17:28; Titus 1:12)."