Numbers 26:35-65  Are You Being Counted? Part 2

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Numbers 26:35-65  Are You Being Counted? Part 2

[Study Aired November 6, 2023]


This study concludes the second census ordered by the Lord with the view to use it to apportion the inheritance of the various tribes. We must remember that later when the Israelites had settled in the land of Canaan, David decided to count the people. However, the Lord was not pleased with this census by David and therefore judged the people of Israel. Let’s therefore review this census by David to understand the difference between the two censuses and why the Lord was not pleased with the census ordered by David.  

Again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go, number Israel and Judah.” 

2Sa 24:2  So the king said to Joab, the commander of the army, who was with him, “Go through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, and number the people, that I may know the number of the people.” 

When we compare scripture with scripture by looking at the same account in 1 Chronicles 21:1-4, we see that the Lord used David to count the people as an occasion the Lord was seeking to bring about His judgment on Israel.

1Ch 21:1  Then Satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel.
1Ch 21:2  So David said to Joab and the commanders of the army, “Go, number Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, and bring me a report, that I may know their number.”
1Ch 21:3  But Joab said, “May the LORD add to his people a hundred times as many as they are! Are they not, my lord the king, all of them my lord’s servants? Why then should my lord require this? Why should it be a cause of guilt for Israel?”
1Ch 21:4  But the king’s word prevailed against Joab. So Joab departed and went throughout all Israel and came back to Jerusalem. 

Jdg 14:1  Samson went down to Timnah, and at Timnah he saw one of the daughters of the Philistines. 
Jdg 14:2  Then he came up and told his father and mother, “I saw one of the daughters of the Philistines at Timnah. Now get her for me as my wife.” 
Jdg 14:3  But his father and mother said to him, “Is there not a woman among the daughters of your relatives, or among all our people, that you must go to take a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?” But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me, for she is right in my eyes.” 
Jdg 14:4  His father and mother did not know that it was from the LORD, for he was seeking an opportunity against the Philistines. At that time the Philistines ruled over Israel.

One key take-away from David’s census is that the Lord uses the Devil as part of His available resources to accomplish His purpose. The Devil is like the left hand of the Lord in dealing with mankind as shown in the following experience of Job:

Job 1:9  Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? 
Job 1:10  Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. 
Job 1:11  But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.

Today’s study focuses on the counting of the remaining tribes. It is worth noting that unlike the first census where the Levites were not counted, this census also included the Levites. However, they were separated from the other tribes since their counting was not related to inheritance. In addition, the Levites who were counted were from a month old and upward which is different from the way the other tribes were counted. The study today will highlight the significance of not counting the Levites as part of the other tribes and the reason why in the case of the Levites, they were counted from a month old upwards. Finally, the chapter ends by emphasizing that those counted were not part of the Israelites who left Egypt as almost all of them died in the wilderness with the exception of Joshua and Caleb.

1Co 10:5  But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 
1Co 10:6  Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. 
1Co 10:7  Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 
1Co 10:8  Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 
1Co 10:9  Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. 
1Co 10:10  Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. 
1Co 10:11  Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

The Counting of the Remaining Tribe

Num 26:35  These are the sons of Ephraim after their families: of Shuthelah, the family of the Shuthalhites: of Becher, the family of the Bachrites: of Tahan, the family of the Tahanites.
Num 26:36  And these are the sons of Shuthelah: of Eran, the family of the Eranites.
Num 26:37  These are the families of the sons of Ephraim according to those that were numbered of them, thirty and two thousand and five hundred. These are the sons of Joseph after their families.

Ephraim means ‘doubly fruitful.’ In Christ, we become like a fruitful vine which bears fruits in its season. This is because our mother (the church of the firstborn) abounds with plenty of water which is made available through what every joint supplies.

Eze 17:8  It was planted in a good soil by great waters, that it might bring forth branches, and that it might bear fruit, that it might be a goodly vine.

Eze 19:10  Thy mother is like a vine in thy blood, planted by the waters: she was fruitful and full of branches by reason of many waters.

The total number of Ephraimites counted was 32,500. This implies that it is with grace through faith (significance of the number 5) that we go through the process of spiritual maturity as we are judged (significance of the number 3) to become the Lord’s witnesses (significance of the number 2). 

Num 26:38  The sons of Benjamin after their families: of Bela, the family of the Belaites: of Ashbel, the family of the Ashbelites: of Ahiram, the family of the Ahiramites: 
Num 26:39  Of Shupham, the family of the Shuphamites: of Hupham, the family of the Huphamites. 
Num 26:40  And the sons of Bela were Ard and Naaman: of Ard, the family of the Ardites: and of Naaman, the family of the Naamites. 
Num 26:41  These are the sons of Benjamin after their families: and they that were numbered of them were forty and five thousand and six hundred.

Benjamin means ‘son of the right hand.’ We, His elect, are indeed the sons of the Lord’s right hand as it is His right hand that saves us. 

Psa 20:6  Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand.

Psa 63:8  My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me. 

Psa 16:11  Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Psa 139:10  Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. 

The total number of the families of Benjamin was 45,600. This suggests that the whole of the elect are selected from among men and are saved by grace through faith.

Rev 7:9  After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 
Eph 2:9  Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Num 26:42  These are the sons of Dan after their families: of Shuham, the family of the Shuhamites. These are the families of Dan after their families. 
Num 26:43  All the families of the Shuhamites, according to those that were numbered of them, were threescore and four thousand and four hundred.

Dan means ‘a judge.’ As we know from the word of the Lord, we, His elect, shall judge the world.

1Co 6:2  Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
1Co 6:3  Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

Rev 20:4  And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

Apart from being judges, we, His elect, are like vipers that bite the horse’s heels so that its rider tumbles backwards. The horse here represents our old man, or the flesh, with the rider being the devil who pulls us in all directions until Christ comes to us. 

Gen 49:16  Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel. 
Gen 49:17  Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.

The sum of the families of Dan who were counted was 64,400. This suggests that it is the whole of the elect who are selected from among men. 

Num 26:44  Of the children of Asher after their families: of Jimna, the family of the Jimnites: of Jesui, the family of the Jesuites: of Beriah, the family of the Beriites.
Num 26:45  Of the sons of Beriah: of Heber, the family of the Heberites: of Malchiel, the family of the Malchielites. 
Num 26:46  And the name of the daughter of Asher was Sarah. 
Num 26:47  These are the families of the sons of Asher according to those that were numbered of them; who were fifty and three thousand and four hundred.

Asher means ‘happy.’ We are indeed a group of people who are filled with happiness because of what the Lord is doing on our behalf. 

Psa 144:15  Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD.

Psa 146:5  Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God:

Pro 3:13  Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.

What distinguishes us from our brothers and sisters in Babylon and the people of the world is that the spiritual food (the word of the Lord) we eat is rich, and what every joint supplies is a delicacy fit for a king.

Gen 49:20  “Asher’s food shall be rich, and he shall yield royal delicacies. (ESV)

The total number of people counted for the tribe of Asher was 53,400. Again, this is to stress on the point that grace through faith and the process of becoming spiritually mature through judgment are necessary requirements for the whole of the elect of every generation.

Num 26:48  Of the sons of Naphtali after their families: of Jahzeel, the family of the Jahzeelites: of Guni, the family of the Gunites: 
Num 26:49  Of Jezer, the family of the Jezerites: of Shillem, the family of the Shillemites.
Num 26:50  These are the families of Naphtali according to their families: and they that were numbered of them were forty and five thousand and four hundred.

Naphtali means ‘my wrestling.’ If we are called and chosen by the Lord, then we shall surely be victorious as we wrestle with our old man or the flesh in this life.

Php 1:6  Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: 

Eph 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 

We, His elect, are like a hind set free from the power of sin. The Lord has given us His goodly words which we freely give to those who desire to know His truth. 

Gen 49:21  Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words. 

The number of the people of Naphtali counted was 45,400. Here we are reminded that it is grace through faith that the whole of the elect, selected from among men, shall become the sons of God. 

Num 26:51  These were the numbered of the children of Israel, six hundred thousand and a thousand seven hundred and thirty. 

The total number of the men of Israel counted was 601,730. This number represents the process the Lord is taking us through to become His sons and what the goal of being enrolled in His army is; that is, the Lord wants us all to have the same mind as His. That is the significance of the number 1 which means unity. This one mind is the result of the process of spiritual maturity through judgment of those the Lord has called and chosen from among men. The Lord himself will bring to completion what He has started within us. 

1Co 1:10  Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 

Deu 7:6  For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. 
Deu 7:7  The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:
Deu 7:8  But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

The Promised Land Shall be Shared According to the Size of Families

Num 26:52  And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 
Num 26:53  Unto these the land shall be divided for an inheritance according to the number of names.
Num 26:54  To many thou shalt give the more inheritance, and to few thou shalt give the less inheritance: to every one shall his inheritance be given according to those that were numbered of him.

As indicated at the beginning of chapter 26, which deals with this second census, we are given to know in these verses that the motive for this census is to serve as a guide for the sharing of the promised land of Canaan as an inheritance. The promised land shall be shared proportionately such that those with larger families shall receive more land and those with fewer families shall receive less. As we know, the promised land refers to our bodies which we must possess as a prerequisite to be given an inheritance. As we can see in Revelation chapters 2 and 3, it is only those who overcome their flesh or possess their bodies that are given to receive an inheritance. 

Rev 2:7  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

Rev 2:17  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

The sharing of the land according to the sizes of the families of Israel is therefore to let us know that the Lord has given us various capabilities to serve Him acceptably as we possess our bodies. Ultimately, our inheritance or reward is dependent on being able to possess our bodies, which is also dependent on the capabilities the Lord has given us in this life. The parable of the talents gives us insight into how the Lord has given us various capabilities or talents to carry out His work of possessing our bodies. 

Mat 25:14  For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
Mat 25:15  And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
Mat 25:16  Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 
Mat 25:17  And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
Mat 25:18  But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money. 
Mat 25:19  After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. 
Mat 25:20  And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. 
Mat 25:21  His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 
Mat 25:22  He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. 
Mat 25:23  His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 
Mat 25:24  Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: 
Mat 25:25  And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. 
Mat 25:26  His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: 
Mat 25:27  Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. 
Mat 25:28  Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. 
Mat 25:29  For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. 
Mat 25:30  And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  

Rom 12:3  For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. 
Rom 12:4  For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: 
Rom 12:5  So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. 
Rom 12:6  Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; 
Rom 12:7  Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; 
Rom 12:8  Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

The Lord ordering Moses and Eleazer to count the people and to share the land according to the size of the families is also to let us know that the Lord requires the elders of the church to know the capabilities of their brothers and sisters such that they can be assisted to maximize their potential in their service to the Lord. The elders are therefore not to put impediments in the way of our brothers and sisters in serving the Lord. For example, if Moses and Eleazer gave small land to the tribe of Judah which was the largest tribe, it would have been difficult for them to function well in the promised land. That would amount to putting impediments in the way of the people of God.

1Jn 2:10  He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.

This sharing of the land as inheritance is a foretaste of the joy that is set before us. It also shows us how the Lord apportions His gifts according to the capacity He has given to His children. In the fullness of time, our reward shall  not be dependent on capabilities since all elect shall receive the same reward as clearly shown to us in Revelation chapter 2 and 3. Examples are as follows:

Rev 2:7  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’ 

Rev 2:11  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.’ 

Rev 2:26  The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, 
Rev 2:27  and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father.
Rev 2:28  And I will give him the morning star.

Num 26:55  Notwithstanding the land shall be divided by lot: according to the names of the tribes of their fathers they shall inherit. 
Num 26:56  According to the lot shall the possession thereof be divided between many and few.

The land being divided by lot signifies that receiving our inheritance in the fullness of time is all the work of the Lord since the outcome of a lot is what the Lord has ordained. This implies that everything is working according to the counsel of the Lord’s will. 

Pro 16:33  The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD. 

Eph 1:11  In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,

The Levites not Counted According to the General Rule

Num 26:57  This was the list of the Levites according to their clans: of Gershon, the clan of the Gershonites; of Kohath, the clan of the Kohathites; of Merari, the clan of the Merarites.
Num 26:58  These are the clans of Levi: the clan of the Libnites, the clan of the Hebronites, the clan of the Mahlites, the clan of the Mushites, the clan of the Korahites. And Kohath was the father of Amram. 
Num 26:59  The name of Amram’s wife was Jochebed the daughter of Levi, who was born to Levi in Egypt. And she bore to Amram Aaron and Moses and Miriam their sister. 
Num 26:60  And to Aaron were born Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 
Num 26:61  But Nadab and Abihu died when they offered unauthorized fire before the LORD.
Num 26:62  And those listed were 23,000, every male from a month old and upward. For they were not listed among the people of Israel, because there was no inheritance given to them among the people of Israel.

The Levites in these verses represent Babylon. Not being counted among the people of Israel, who in this case represent the elect, means that there shall not be any inheritance for our brothers and sisters in Babylon. This implies that if we remain in Babylon, we shall not experience the joy that is set before us. In Numbers chapter 1, the Lord expressly commanded that the Levites should not be counted. However, in this second census, they were counted, although they were not among the people of Israel.  As we can see, within the Levites were Moses, Eleazor and others who belonged to the priesthood. The counting of the Levites in this second census was for the sake of the elect, His priests. That is to let us know that as priests, who shall inherit the earth even though we are initially counted as Levites.

Mat 5:5  “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

It is worth noting that the number of the Levites counted were males from a month old and upward. What this suggests is there is a significant number of the Levites who were infants (a month old and less than twenty years) who do not know how to war against the flesh. Even the older ones do not know how to go to war since they were excluded from becoming part of the army right from the onset. In other words, they were carnal and therefore cannot inherit the promised land.

1Co 3:1  And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 
1Co 3:2  I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. 
1Co 3:3  For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? 
1Co 3:4  For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? 

The total number of the Levites being 23,000 implies that it is through the process of spiritual maturity through judgment that our brothers and sisters shall also become witnesses of Christ.

Those Counted were the New Generation

Num 26:63  These were those listed by Moses and Eleazar the priest, who listed the people of Israel in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho. 
Num 26:64  But among these there was not one of those listed by Moses and Aaron the priest, who had listed the people of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai. 
Num 26:65  For the LORD had said of them, “They shall die in the wilderness.” Not one of them was left, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun. 

As indicated in the first part of Numbers chapter 26, the counting took place when the Israelites were in the plains of Moab, with the river Jordan between them and Jericho. What this implies is that as the Lord’s elect, we were still in Babylon (signified by the plains of Moab) and about to have access to the truth of the word of the Lord (symbolized by the river Jordan). Knowing the truth of the word of the Lord is all part of equipping us with the whole armor of God to start waging war with the flesh signified by Jericho. 

Eph 6:11  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 
Eph 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Eph 6:13  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Those who were counted were the new generation who were born in the wilderness. All the Israelites who left Egypt and were counted in the first census in Sinai had died except Caleb and Joshua. Spiritually, the people of Israel in the first census represent our old man who rebels against the Lord and therefore is doomed to die in this wilderness of life to give way to the new man represented here by the new generation of the Israelites who were to possess the land.

Num 14:26  And the LORD spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying,
Num 14:27  “How long shall this wicked congregation grumble against me? I have heard the grumblings of the people of Israel, which they grumble against me.
Num 14:28  Say to them, ‘As I live, declares the LORD, what you have said in my hearing I will do to you: 
Num 14:29  your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness, and of all your number, listed in the census from twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against me, 
Num 14:30  not one shall come into the land where I swore that I would make you dwell, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun.
Num 14:31  But your little ones, who you said would become a prey, I will bring in, and they shall know the land that you have rejected. 
Num 14:32  But as for you, your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness.

May the Lord continue to be merciful to us to continue in Him until the day dawns and the morning star rises in our hearts!!  Amen!!

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