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Questions tagged [numbers]

Fourth book of the Hebrew Bible, and the fourth of five books of the Jewish Torah, covering most of the 40 years that Israel spent in the desert.

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What is a "covenant of salt"?

In Numbers 18:19, God says the holy contributions made by the people of Israel belong to Aaron and his descendants forever, as a "covenant of salt". I've never seen this term before. What does it ...
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Understanding Numbers 11:25

As I am studying, I have encountered different renderings of the last phrase in this verse, which describes the prophesying of the seventy elders of Israel after the Spirit was placed on them. An ...
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Was Balaam a true follower of Yahweh?

The idea that Balaam may have been a true follower (or even prophet) of Yahweh seems troubling on a number of fronts: How could there be a pre-Mosaic Yahweh-worshipper living near the Euphrates (Num ...
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18 votes
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Why is the Bible so repetitive?

Some pieces of the Bible are repeated (several times even) without changes. Let's look at the book of Leviticus, especially chapters 13-16, which concerns laws about leprosy, mold, and bodily ...
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6 answers
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How many people were involved in the Exodus?

According to Numbers 1:20-46 (NJPS): They totaled as follows: The descendants of Reuben, Israel’s first-born, the registration of the clans of their ancestral house, as listed by name, head by ...
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Why did the tabernacle use the colors blue, purple and scarlet?

I see a lot of blue in the tabernacle, and when moving it. For example: Then they are to cover the curtain with a durable leather, spread a cloth of solid blue over that and put the poles in place.&...
Mike's user avatar
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16 votes
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In Numbers 12 why did Moses get away with intermarriage?

In the Hebrew bible we read that Moses did marry a Cushite: Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. (Numbers 12:1, NIV) Later ...
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16 votes
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What exactly did Moses do wrong at Meribah?

We read that God commanded Moses to speak to the rock at Meribah so that water could flow out of it. Instead, Moses struck the rock with his staff: Then Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly ...
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Did all the Israelite women and the male Levites 20+ years old die in the wilderness or not?

The Judgment of Wilderness Death NOTE: All English translations are NKJV When "all the congregation" refused to enter Canaan, with "all the children of Israel ... the whole congregation" complaining ...
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14 votes
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Why did Moses order female virgins to be kept alive but all others killed in Numbers 31:17-18?

Why did Moses order female virgins to be kept alive but non-virgin females and all males to be killed in Numbers 31:17-18? Is it equal to genocide, gendercide, and/or sexual slavery? Please explain ...
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Why did God "change His mind" with Balaam?

There are so many interesting questions regarding the account of Balaam in Numbers 22-24. But for now, let me focus on the one that is most puzzling to me: Why did the Lord seem to "waffle" in His ...
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In Joshua 20:1-6 why must the man-slayer wait until the death of the high priest?

Joshua 20:1-6 (noting verse 6 in particular): 1 Then the Lord spoke to Joshua, saying, 2 "Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'Designate the cities of refuge, of which I spoke to you through Moses,...
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Why does Moses change Hosea's name to Joshua?

Name changes throughout the Bible are pretty significant. Numbers 13:16 says that "Moses changed the name of Hosea son of Nun to Joshua." What is the significance of this name change? What are ...
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What is the meaning of the "inverted nuns" (׆ ... ׆) around Numbers 10:35-36?

Numbers 10:35-36 (ESV) And whenever the ark set out, Moses said, “Arise, O Lord, and let your enemies be scattered, and let those who hate you flee before you.” And when it rested, he said, “Return,...
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How strong was Midian's army?

When Israel took vengeance on Midian they sent 12,000 troops (Numbers 31:4) and prevailed: אֶלֶף, לַמַּטֶּה, אֶלֶף, לַמַּטֶּה--לְכֹל מַטּוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל, תִּשְׁלְחוּ לַצָּבָא. Of every tribe a ...
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11 votes
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Why did God choose healing instead of taking away the serpents in Numbers 21:6?

We are told that after children of Israel had sinned God sent serpents to bit them to death NUMBERS 21:6 NASB Then the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people and they bit the people, so that many ...
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11 votes
9 answers
70k views

Did Paul take the Nazarite vow in Cenchreae? If so, why this vow?

In Acts 18:18 the English Standard Version states: At Cenchreae he had cut his hair, for he was under a vow. The cross-references for this point to Numbers 6:2, 18 which describe the Nazarite vow. ...
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Numbers 23:19 Says God doesn't repent, Exodus 32:14 Says He repented?

Numbers 23:19 (KJV) God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? ...
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Whose idea was it to send the spies to scout the land of Israel?

In Numbers 13 we are told that God commanded Moshe to sends the twelve spies to scout out the land: 1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 2 'Send thou men, that they may spy out the land of ...
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9 votes
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Why was prohibition against consuming grapes and raisins included in the Nazirite vow?

Wine and fermented drink contain alcohol, and one easily gets drunk when consuming them. Grapes and raisins, on the other hand, don't make you drunk, do they? So, why the prohibition? Does it have to ...
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In Numbers 22:28 did Balaam's donkey actually talk?

We know there is nothing impossible for God to do. But it seems there is something figurative about Numbers 22:28 when it says the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey. Then the Lord opened the ...
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In Numbers 15:37-39 do the "tzitzith", (ציצית) fringes, extend from "the four corners", or "the hem" of their garments?

In Numbers 15:37-39 the Israelites are commanded make tzitzith (fringes, strings, tassles) on their garments The Lord said to Moses, 38 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘Throughout the ...
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How did they keep warm on the Sabbath day?

Exodus 35:3 Do not light a fire in any of your dwellings on the Sabbath day. How did they keep warm on the Sabbath day?
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How can we reconcile Numbers 25:9 & 1 Corinthians 10:8?

Numbers 25:9 (NKJV) 9 And those who died in the plague were twenty-four thousand. 1 Corinthians 10:8 (NKJV) 8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-...
collen ndhlovu's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
2k views

In Numbers 19 - What is Third day and Seventh day referring to?

In this verse: 11“Whoever touches a human corpse will be unclean for seven days. 12They must purify themselves with the water on the third day and on the seventh day; then they will be clean. ...
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Did Moses need a human guide in the wilderness?

In the wilderness, the Israelites were guided by a cloud, spelt out with great emphasis in Numbers 9: 17And whenever the cloud lifted from over the tent, after that the people of Israel set out, ...
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What does it mean to be a Nazirite?

In Numbers 6, God gives the rules for being a Nazirite. This person is set apart for service to God. There are rules they must follow and actions they must take or refrain from. They must not eat or ...
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7 votes
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Moses' manufacture of the "bronze serpent" - what bronze?

In Numbers 21:9 it says: So Moses made a bronze snake and put it on a pole, so that if a snake had bitten someone, when he looked at the bronze snake he lived. [NET] Where would Moses probably get ...
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7 votes
6 answers
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On what day was the Passover lamb slaughtered?

Luke 22:7 (KJV) shows that passover was a single day: Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed. While Numbers lists the passover as a weeklong event: Numbers 28:16-...
collen ndhlovu's user avatar
7 votes
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329 views

What Is the Difference Between 'Man' And 'Son of Man' in Num 23:19?

Numbers 23:19 God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind.... Is this merely repetition saying "God ain't a human being" twice in a row for emphasis,...
Keenan Diggs's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
26k views

Why is Caleb said to be from the tribe of Judah in Numbers 13:6?

Numbers 13:6 (NKJV) 6 from the tribe of Judah, Caleb the son of Jephunneh; But in Numbers Caleb is said to be Kenizzite. Numbers 32:12 (NKJV) 12 except Caleb the son of Jephunneh, the ...
collen ndhlovu's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
88 views

Couldn't the Jews eat their livestock in addition to eating the manna in the Exodus period?

The Jews were tired of eating the manna day by day (Numbers 11:6-9) which the Lord had given them (Exodus 16:31-35). Yet God instituted the offering of sacrifices at the tabernacle (Leviticus 1-7). If ...
Steve's user avatar
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7 votes
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Meek versus humble

In Numbers 12:3 and Psalm 10:17 the same Hebrew word is used, but they are often translated differently. Why did the translators choose two different words? What is the difference between meek and ...
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7 votes
6 answers
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Did Moses call himself the "most humble man on the planet"?

Tradition holds that Moses wrote the first five books of the bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy). Though some believe it was a series of authors. If we stick to tradition, is ...
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What did priests do before the age of thirty?

The implication of Numbers 4 is that priests began serving in the temple when they were thirty years old. But what did they do before then? Were they expected to train to be priests? If so, were ...
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3 answers
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What was the significance of the daily decrease of the number of bulls offered during Tabernacles in Numbers 29:12-32?

During the feast of Tabernacles there seems to be a gradual decrease of the number of bulls offered from the first day to the last.What is of note is that only the bulls offered decrees in number ...
collen ndhlovu's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
2k views

Whose rod is used to wrongly strike the rock in Numbers 20?

Num 20:8-9  "Take the rod; and you and your brother Aaron assemble the congregation and speak to the rock before their eyes, that it may yield its water. You shall thus bring forth water for them out ...
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7 votes
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Are the verses in Num. 17:12-13 misplaced?

The Israelites said to Moses, “We will die! We are lost, we are all lost! 13 Anyone who even comes near the tabernacle of the Lord will die. Are we all going to die?” The text doesn't give us a ...
bach's user avatar
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In Numbers 16:46 how is atonement made for the people by Aaron burning incense?

In the tabernacle, the incense is offered as prayers before God. In Numbers 16:46,47 we see Moses telling Aaron to take his censer and run through the assembly to make atonement for them. I ...
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Did Moses have a second wife?

In Numbers 12: Miriam and Aaron complained about Moses marrying a Cushite woman Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married (for he had married a ...
user avatar
6 votes
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How to understand John 4 in light of Exodus 17 and Numbers 20?

When Christ met the woman of Samaria he promised her that she will never thirst if she partook of the waters that he will give her. John 4:10-14 NIV 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God ...
collen ndhlovu's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
1k views

Baal~Peor worship at Shittim

Numbers 25:1-9 (KJV) And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people ...
Ted DeRose's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
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Did Moses disband the initial group of leaders which he had appointed in Exodus 18?

After listening to the counsel of his father-in-law Moses selects men who will help him to arbitrate in matters of the Israelis. Exodus 18:17-26 NASB 17 Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The ...
collen ndhlovu's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
709 views

Were Bela and Balaam originally the same person?

Genesis 36.31-32 (NRSV) These are the kings who reigned in the land of Edom, before any king reigned over the Israelites. Bela son of Beor reigned in Edom, the name of his city being Dinhabah. ...
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6 votes
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Which fell first the manna or the quail in Exodus 16 & Numbers 11?

(KJV) Exodus 16:13-15 13 And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the host. 14 And when the dew that lay was gone ...
collen ndhlovu's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
3k views

Why does Nehemiah require that the firstborn of the Israelites be redeemed in Nehemiah 10:36?

Nehemiah 10:36 NASB 36 and bring to the house of our God the firstborn of our sons and of our cattle, and the firstborn of our herds and our flocks as it is written in the law, for the priests who ...
collen ndhlovu's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
129 views

Different pattern of intercession before God in Numbers 16:44-47

Moses intercedes for the Israelites on numerous occasions (e.g. Exodus 32:11, Numbers 14:13, Numbers 16:22). On these occasions, the pattern seems to be: God says he'll destroy the people, Moses ...
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Does the narrator of Numbers assert that the Anakim come from the Nephilim?

The Nephilim are named only in two verses in the Bible, in Genesis 6:4 and Numbers 13:33. Numbers 13:33 says that the Anakim come from the Nephilim, but different translations render this in a variety ...
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6 votes
6 answers
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After Israel repeatedly sinned, why is it said, "He has not observed iniquity in Jacob" (Num 23:21)?

Num 23:21 says, “He has not observed iniquity in Jacob, Nor has He seen wickedness in Israel. The Lord his God is with him," How can this be said about Israel, after all the times they rebelled ...
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Does the sentence imposed by God, during wilderness wanderings, fit the crime?? The crime: wood gathering on the Sabbath-Numbers 15:32-36

God's no nonsense judgement against working on the Sabbath of being "Stoned to death" seems awfully harsh on the post Exodus, most likely long suffering, wilderness wanderer, who was merely ...
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