The Second Registration of Israel’s Troops
3. a. In Numbers 26:2, God commissions a second census.
This was almost 40 years after the first census in Numbers 1:1.
b. Census total in Numbers 1:46— 603,550
Census total in Numbers 26:51— 601,730
c. Of the men included in the first census, Caleb and Joshua were the only ones still alive after 40 years.
Levi was God’s tribe; therefore it was not numbered with the rest, but alone. It came not under the sentence, that none of them should enter Canaan excepting Caleb and Joshua. Matthew Henry Concise Bible Commentary
I wondered about the verses that say only Caleb and Joshua survived. Moses is obviously still alive. So are Eleazer and Ithamar. So, some, if not many, of the other Levites may still be alive, too.
d. The second census was taken because—
- God commissioned it.
- Soon each tribe would receive its allotment of land as a lasting inheritance. This census determined the size of the tribes not just the number of men old enough to go to war.
4. The daughters of Zelophehad—
Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. The Bible names few female descendants. Yet all five of these daughters are mentioned by name.
Apparently, “ah” at the end of a Hebrew name (see each of the names above) is shorthand for Yahweh and means “of God” or “from God.” So perhaps their mother, father, or both were spiritual people.
Because they had no brother, they boldly went to Moses at the tent of meeting to ask for a parcel of land as an inheritance on behalf of their father. They pointed out that their father died in the wilderness just like everyone else of his generation. Since they mentioned their father was not a part of Korah’s rebellion, maybe he died about the same time.
The way they asked is noteworthy. They didn’t complain or cause a rebellion.
- They believed God was willing and able to give the nation of Israel the land promised to Abraham and his descendants.
- They wanted a place in that promised inheritance for themselves in remembrance of their father’s name.
I doubt any other societies granted an inheritance to women for many years to come. I love that God and Jesus showed respect for and honored women—uncommon and out of character for the culture and the time.
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These are my answers to the study questions, not THE answers.