The Book of Numbers describes Israel’s journey from Mt. Sinai to the edge of the Promised Land.

CHAPTERS: 01, 02, 03, 04, 0506, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 3536

RESOURCES: Summary, Outline, Memorize, Worshipping Baal





The Septuagint calls this book “Arithmoi,” which means “Numbers.”

That is fitting since the book contains population figures, the totals of the priests and Levites, and other numerical data.

In Hebrew, the name of the book is “b’midbar.” That is the fifth word in the book. It means “in the desert of.”


Universal Jewish and Christian tradition attributes the Book of Numbers, along with the rest of the Pentateuch, to Moses.

But in modern days, critical scholars insist that Exodus was compiled from various sources. This seems to be the product of rationalistic skepticism.


The last verse in the Book of Numbers states:

Numbers 36:13. 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.”

This suggests the journey through the wilderness had been completed, and Israel was about to cross the Jordan River and enter the land of Canaan.

The Exodus took place in 1446 BC. Crossing the Jordan River occurred 40 years after the Exodus. So the Book of Numbers is dated 1406 BC.

The death of Moses is also dated in 1446 BC. So Moses would have written the Book of Numbers prior to his death.


The Book of Numbers describes the LORD God’s expectations, and Israel’s reactions, over the nearly 40-year period from the giving of the Law at Sinai until the eve of the conquest of the Promised Land.

The expectations of the LORD God fall into three categories:

  • How the nation is to order itself while journeying
  • How the priests and Levites were to function while journeying
  • How to prepare for their conquest of the Promised Land and their settled lives there.

As for Israel’s reactions, they both succeeded and failed at keeping those expectations.





The order of the tribes

Numbers 1:1-3. The first census of Israel

Numbers 1:4-19. Those to assist Moses

Numbers 1:20-46. The census results

Numbers 1:47-54. The Levites were omitted

Numbers 2:1-2. Organizing the camp

Numbers 2:3-9. To the east of the Tent of Meeting

Numbers 2:10-17. To the south of the Tent of Meeting

Numbers 2:18-24. To the west of the Tent of Meeting

Numbers 2:25-34. To the north of the Tent of Meeting

Instructions to the Levites

Numbers 3:1-4. The sons of Aaron

Numbers 3:5-13. The Levites serve under Aaron

Numbers 3:14-39. The census of the Levites

Numbers 3:40-51. Redeeming the firstborn sons

Numbers 4:1-20. Duties of the sons of Kohath

Numbers 4:21-28. Duties of the sons of Gershon

Numbers 4:29-33. Duties of the sons of Merari

Numbers 4:34-49. Summary of the census

Cleansing and consecration

Numbers 5:1-4. Expel “unclean” people

Numbers 5:5-10. Make restitution for sin

Numbers 5:11-31. A jealous husband

Numbers 6:1-21. The Nazirite Vow

Numbers 6:22-27. The Aaronic Blessing

Tabernacle service

Numbers 7:1-83. Offerings from each of the tribes

Numbers 7:84-88. Summary

Numbers 7:89. The Voice

Numbers 8:1-4. Preparing the seven Lamps

Numbers 8:5-22. Dedication of the Levites

Numbers 8:23-26. The age range for Levitical ministry

Passover instructions

Numbers 9:1-14. The Passover in Sinai

The accompaniment of the LORD

Numbers 9:15-23. The Pillar of Cloud and the Pillar of Fire


The departure from Sinai

Numbers 10:1-10. The two Shofars

Numbers 10:11-28. They depart from Sinai

Numbers 10:29-32. Hobab will guide them

Numbers 10:33-36. They depart into the desert

The rebellion of the people

Numbers 11:1-15. Complaining in the desert

Numbers 11:16-23. The Seventy Elders

Numbers 11:24-29. The Spirit is sent

Numbers 11:30-35. They eat quail

The rebellion of Miriam and Aaron

Numbers 12:1-9. Aaron and Mirian complain about Moses

Numbers 12:10-16. Only Miriam is punished

Spying out the Promised Land

Numbers 13:1-24. Twelve spies explore the Promised Land

Numbers 13:25-33. The spies return

Numbers 14:1-9. The people revolt

Numbers 14:10-12. The LORD sentences them

Numbers 14:13-25. Moses intercedes

Numbers 14:26-45. The sins of the fathers


The rehearsal of the covenant statutes

Numbers 15:1-21. Future offerings

Numbers 15:22-31. Sin offerings

Numbers 15:32-36. They execute a man for gathering sticks

Numbers 15:37-41. Tassels on clothing

The rebellion of Korah

Numbers 16:1-50. Korah’s rebellion

The vindication of Aaron

Numbers 17:1-13. Aaron’s staff

The roles and privileges of the priests and Levites

Numbers 18:1-7. Aaron and the Levites

Numbers 18:8-24. Sacrificial offerings are income

Numbers 18:25-32. Levites must pay tithes

The laws of purification

Numbers  19:1-10. The red heifer

Numbers  19:11-22. Touching a dead body

The journey in the Desert of Zin

Numbers 20:1. Miriam dies

Numbers 20:2-13. The waters of Meribah

Numbers 20:14-21. Edom refuses passage

Numbers 20:22-29. Aaron dies

The journey to Moab

Numbers 21:1-3. Victory over Atharim

Numbers 21:4-9. The bronze snake

Numbers 21:10-20. Their journey around Moab

Numbers 21:21-32. Victory over Sihon

Numbers 21:33-35. Victory over Og


The plight of Moab

Numbers 22:1-14. Balak asks Balaam to curse the Israelites

Numbers 22:15-20. Balak asks Balaam again

Numbers 22:21-36. A donkey speaks to Balaam

The oracles of Balaam

Numbers 23:1-12. Balaam blesses Israel

Numbers 23:13-26. Balaam blesses Israel again

Numbers 23:27-30. Balaam blesses Israel a third time

Numbers 24:1-14. Balaam blesses Israel a third time, continued

Numbers 24:15-25. Balaam blesses Israel a fourth time

The idolatry of Israel

Numbers 25:1-5. They worship Baal

Numbers 25:6-15. Phinehas kills people for God

Numbers 25:16-18. The Midianites strike back


The provisions for inheritance

Numbers 26:1-50. Moses takes a census

Numbers 26:51. Results of the census

Numbers 26:52-56. Allotment of the land

Numbers 26:57-65. The Tribe of Levi

Numbers 27:1-4. The Daughters of Zelophehad

Numbers 27:5-11. Laws benefitting women

Succession to Moses

Numbers 27:12-23. Joshua is chosen as leader

Laws concerning offerings

Numbers 28:1-8. Daily offerings

Numbers 28:9-10. Sabbath offerings

Numbers 28:11-15. Monthly offerings

Numbers 28:16-25. Passover offerings

Numbers 28:26-31. First Fruits offerings

Numbers 29:1-6. Festival of Trumpets offerings

Numbers 29:7-11. Day of Atonement offerings

Numbers 29:12-40. Festival of Booths offerings

Laws concerning vows

Numbers 30:1-16. A vow made by a woman

God’s judgment on the Midianites

Numbers 31:1-12. War against Midian

Numbers 31:13-18. Treatment of the captives

Numbers 31:19-24. Purification after combat

Numbers 31:25-47. Dividing the plunder

Numbers 31:48-54. Gifts of the officers

The inheritance of the Eastern tribes

Numbers 32:1-42. Gad, Reuben, and Manasseh

Their journey from Egypt

Numbers 33:1-49. Looking back: remembering their journey

Final instructions about conquest and inheritance

Numbers 33:50-56. Looking ahead: conquering the Promised Land

Numbers 34:1-15. The borders of the Promised Land

Numbers 34:16-29. Officials to supervise the allotments

Numbers 35:1-8. Cities for the Levites

Numbers 35:9-15. Cities of Refuge

Numbers 35:16-29. Using evidence

Numbers 35:30. Two or three witnesses

Numbers 35:31-34. No ransom

Numbers 36:1-12. Marriage of female heirs

Numbers 36:13. Conclusion of the Book of Numbers




Numbers 7:89. When Moses went into the Tent of Meeting to speak with the LORD, he heard his voice speaking to him from above the mercy seat that was on the ark of the Testimony, from between the two cherubim; and he spoke to him.

Numbers 12:3. Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all the men who were on the surface of the earth.

Numbers 12:6. He said, “Now hear my words. If there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, will make myself known to him in a vision. I will speak with him in a dream.

Numbers 23:19. 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?” (KJV translation)

Great verses to memorize from the entire Bible



CHAPTERS: 01, 02, 03, 04, 0506, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 3536

RESOURCES: Summary, Outline, Memorize, Worshipping Baal


Author: todd

At Explore the Faith, I share insights into the Bible and theological writings. If you like what I write, become my partner by donating. Help me reach the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.