Bible Study: Numbers

Purpose

The theme of Numbers is a people traveling through the wilderness; it is the wilderness book of experience. It marks the progress, or lack of progress, of the people of God.

Pictures of Christ in Numbers

His Life – Ark, Nazarite, Manna

His Death – Brazen Serpent, Red Heifer, Passover Lamb

His Resurrection – Aaron’s Rod, Rock, Star, and Scepter

Parts of Numbers

Ch 1-10 Preparation for Progress

Seven Requirements

Organization

Separation

Purification

Consecration

Dedication of Levites

Fortification

Appreciation of Divine Guidance

Ch 11-25 Problems in Progress

Seven Rebellions

ch 11 – Murmuring over manna

ch 12 – Miriam and Aaron speak against Moses

ch 13-14 – Unbelief concerning the Land

ch 16-17 – Korah, Dathan, and Abiram

ch 20 – Murmuring over water

ch 21 – Murmuring over the way

ch 25 – Baal-peor and defilement

Ch 26-36 Principles in Progress

Seven Lessons

The Second Numbering – the tragedy of unbelief

A Successor Named – the solemnity of failure

The Sacrifices and Seasons – the priority of God

The Statutes – the importance of obedience

Strife Removed – the lesson of Midian

The Story of their Journeys – the lesson of the past learned

The Salvation Provided in the Cities of Refuge – mercy and justice to mark them

The three sections are also linked together as follows:

1. A problem arises for which Moses needs special guidance from the Lord for the wilderness

ch 9 – Defilement and the Passover

ch 15 – Disobedience and the Sabbath

ch 27 – Daughters and the Inheritance

2. Marks of mercy and grace of God

ch 9 – Passover and second month provision

ch 22-23 – Balaam and Balak, and God overturning counsels of the ungodly

ch 32 – The two tribes and the allowance to remain on the east of Jordan

Poetry

ch 10:35-36; 21:17-18, 27-30; ch 23-24

Words

 

(x = times mentioned)

 

ch 1-10

 

ch 11-25

 

ch 26-36

 

Levites/Levi

 

49x

 

13x

 

11x

 

Lord spake

 

23x

 

23x

 

13x

 

Number

 

78x

 

2x

 

20x

 

Murmur

 

0

 

11x

 

0

 

War

 

13x

 

0

 

13x

 

Journey

 

6x

 

2x

 

2x

 

 

Removed

 

0

 

3x

 

18x

 

Departed

 

1x

 

5x

 

19x

 

Sin Offering

 

18x

 

4x

 

16x

 

Moses Obeying – according to the commandment of the Lord

 

21x

 

5x (3 linked with judgment: 15:36; 17:11; 20:9, 27)

 

9x

 

 

 

 

Forward

 

14x

 

0

 

3x

  1. The Lord – His Guidance, Goodness, Government, Grace, Gifts, Gentleness, Glory
  2. The Land – 90x
  3. The Laws – Defining Boundaries; Describing Responsibilities and Vows;
    Demanding Purity
  4. The Levites
  5. The Leaders – Their responsibility; The transfer of power; Their character
  6. Loss – of Inheritance; of Integrity (Aaron and Miriam); of Innocence (Baal-peor)

Recommended Commentaries

Numbers by John Stubbs

What the Bible Teaches by Ritchie

Numbers by C. A. Coates