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About this Bible Study........The King James Version of the Bible is written in a beautiful form of the English language. It can be hard for modern English readers to understand.  In this study, you will find notes and summaries in brown just above the the verses from the Bible. We recommend that you read the notes and summaries first, and then read the verses in their KJV form. 

The book of Numbers

This book was written in 1444-1405 BC. The name comes from the census when Moses counted the people.  It tells about the Israelites' wandering in the wilderness for 39 years.  It starts when the Israelites are at Mt. Sinai.  It tells about their travels through the wilderness. It ends in the plains of Moab just before the Israelites enter Canaan. 

The book of Numbers tells about 2 generations of Israelites. The 1st generation did not obey God and could not enter Canaan. The 2nd generation obeyed God, and they were allowed to go into Canaan. 

Please visit this page to see where the book of Numbers fits into the whole Bible. 


Numbers 10-12
The Israelites move to a new camp
The Israelites complain about their food
God punishes Miriam for complaining

Numbers 10

God tells Moses to make 2 silver trumpets

God told Moses to make 2 silver trumpets. The trumpets will be used to call the other Israelites at special times. Moses should blow the trumpets when it is time for the Israelites to have a meeting and when it is time to move to a new camp.
[1] And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
[2] Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps.

When they blow both trumpets, everyone should come for a meeting.  If they blow only 1 trumpet, just the leaders should come for a meeting.
[3] And when they shall blow with them, all the assembly shall assemble themselves to thee at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
[4] And if they blow but with one trumpet, then the princes, which are heads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather themselves unto thee.

When it is time to move the camp,  they will blow the trumpets. When they blow the trumpets the first time,  all of the Israelites who are camping on the east side of the tabernacle will start to move. 
[5] When ye blow an alarm, then the camps that lie on the east parts shall go forward.

When they blow the trumpets again, the Israelites who are camping on the south side of the tabernacle will start to move.
[6] When ye blow an alarm the second time, then the camps that lie on the south side shall take their journey: they shall blow an alarm for their journeys.

They will use a different sound on the trumpet when it is time for all Israelites to come for a meeting. 
[7] But when the congregation is to be gathered together, ye shall blow, but ye shall not sound an alarm.

Aaron and his sons, the priests, will blow the trumpets.  This will be a rule from now on. 
[8] And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow with the trumpets; and they shall be to you for an ordinance for ever throughout your generations.

When they go to war, they should blow the trumpets. God will hear the trumpets, and He will save them.
[9] And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the LORD your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies.

There are other times when they should blow the trumpets:

On days when they are celebrating something happy
Days when they are celebrating the holy days like Passover
The days when there is a new moon.  A new moon means the beginning of a new month in the Jewish calendar.
When they make burnt offerings and peace offerings, so that they will remember that God is Lord.
[10] Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the LORD your God.

 The Israelites leave their camp at Sinai and move to a new camp in the Paran desert.

It was the 2nd year after the Israelites left Egypt. On the 20th day of the 2nd month, the cloud went up. That meant it was time to move.   
[11] And it came to pass on the twentieth day of the second month, in the second year, that the cloud was taken up from off the tabernacle of the testimony.
[12] And the children of Israel took their journeys out of the wilderness of Sinai; and the cloud rested in the wilderness of Paran.

God had told Moses how the Israelites should move.  This was the first time that they moved the way God said. 

[13] And they first took their journey according to the commandment of the LORD by the hand of Moses.

The camp of Judah would go first.  Judah's camp had 3 tribes:  Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun.  
Judah--the leader was Nahshon. His father was Amminadab.
Issachar--the leader was Nethaneel. His father was Zuar.
Zebulun--the leader was Eliab.  His father was Helon.
[14] In the first place went the standard of the camp of the children of Judah according to their armies: and over his host was Nahshon the son of Amminadab.
[15] And over the host of the tribe of the children of Issachar was Nethaneel the son of Zuar.
[16] And over the host of the tribe of the children of Zebulun was Eliab the son of Helon.

They took down the tabernacle.  The Gershonites carried the soft parts of the tabernacle. The family of Merari carried the wood and metal parts of the tabernacle. 
[17] And the tabernacle was taken down; and the sons of Gershon and the sons of Merari set forward, bearing the tabernacle.

Next, Reuben's camp marched. Reuben's camp had 3 tribes: Reuben, Simeon, and Gad. 
Reuben--the leader was Elizur.  His father was Shedeur.
Simeon--the leader was Shelumiel.  His father was Zurishaddai.
Gad--the leader was Eliasaph.  His father was Deuel.
[18] And the standard of the camp of Reuben set forward according to their armies: and over his host was Elizur the son of Shedeur.
[19] And over the host of the tribe of the children of Simeon was Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai.
[20] And over the host of the tribe of the children of Gad was Eliasaph the son of Deuel.

The Kohathites marched next.  They carried the holy things that went in the tabernacle.  The Gershonites and the family of Merari would set up the tabernacle by the time the Kohathites arrived. 

[21] And the Kohathites set forward, bearing the sanctuary: and the other did set up the tabernacle against they came.

Ephraim's camp marched after the Kohathites.  There were 3 tribes in Ephraim's camp: Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin.  
Ephraim--the leader was Elishama.  His father was Ammihud.
Manasseh--the leader was Gamaliel.  His father was Pedahzur.
Benjamin--the leader was Abidan.  His father was Gideoni.

[22] And the standard of the camp of the children of Ephraim set forward according to their armies: and over his host was Elishama the son of Ammihud.
[23] And over the host of the tribe of the children of Manasseh was Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur.
[24] And over the host of the tribe of the children of Benjamin was Abidan the son of Gideoni.

The camp of Dan was last.  There were 3 tribes in the camp of Dan: Dan, Asher, and Naphtali.  
Dan--the leader was Ahiezer.  His father was Ammishaddai.

Asher--the leader was Pagiel.  His father was Ocran.
Naphtali--the leader was Ahira.  His father was Enan.  

[25] And the standard of the camp of the children of Dan set forward, which was the rereward of all the camps throughout their hosts: and over his host was Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai.
[26] And over the host of the tribe of the children of Asher was Pagiel the son of Ocran.
[27] And over the host of the tribe of the children of Naphtali was Ahira the son of Enan.

This was the way the Israelites marched every time they went to a new camp.
[28] Thus were the journeyings of the children of Israel according to their armies, when they set forward.

Moses' in-laws from Midian

People do not agree about the person named Hobab.  Some people feel that Hobab was Moses' brother-in-law.  Other people feel that Hobab is another name for Jethro and that he is Moses' father-in-law. Some people also think that Raguel was another name for Jethro. It is not clear exactly who Hobab was, but he was one of Moses' in-laws.  

Moses' wife's family were Midianites.  They came from the area called Midian. They were not Israelites.  Moses told Hobab that the Israelites were going to Canaan,  the place that God promised them.  God promised that Canaan would be a good place. Moses said that Hobab could come with the Israelites. Hobab could also share in the good things in Canaan. 
[29] And Moses said unto Hobab, the son of Raguel the Midianite, Moses' father in law, We are journeying unto the place of which the LORD said, I will give it you: come thou with us, and we will do thee good: for the LORD hath spoken good concerning Israel.

But Hobab said that he would not go to Canaan. He wanted to go back to his home in Midian where his family lived. 
[30] And he said unto him, I will not go; but I will depart to mine own land, and to my kindred.

Moses wanted Hobab to stay with them. Hobab knew a lot about the land and could help the Israelites. He could be their guide. 

[31] And he said, Leave us not, I pray thee; forasmuch as thou knowest how we are to encamp in the wilderness, and thou mayest be to us instead of eyes.

Moses said that if Hobab went with them, he would get the same good things that the Lord God promised to the Israelites.

[32] And it shall be, if thou go with us, yea, it shall be, that what goodness the LORD shall do unto us, the same will we do unto thee.

The Israelites stop at a new camp

The Israelites traveled for 3 days. They took the Ark of the Covenant (the box with the Ten Commandments) with them. They carried the Ark in front so that God could show them where to stop.
[33] And they departed from the mount of the LORD three days' journey: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them in the three days' journey, to search out a resting place for them.

God's cloud was with them everyday. 
[34] And the cloud of the LORD was upon them by day, when they went out of the camp.

Each day, when the ark started to go forward, Moses prayed to God. He asked God to rise up and make God's enemies run away. When the ark stopped moving, Moses prayed to God again. He asked God to come back and stay with the Israelites. 
[35] And it came to pass, when the ark set forward, that Moses said, Rise up, LORD, and let thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate thee flee before thee.
[36] And when it rested, he said, Return, O LORD, unto the many thousands of Israel.

Numbers 11

The Israelites complain, and God becomes angry

Some of the Israelites were complaining. God was mad at them for complaining. God sent fire and burned the people in one part of the camp.  The Israelites cried and asked Moses to help them. Moses prayed to God, and God stopped the fire.
[1] And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp.
[2] And the people cried unto Moses; and when Moses prayed unto the LORD, the fire was quenched.

The word "taberah" means burning. Moses named this place Taberah because God sent fire there.
[3] And he called the name of the place Taberah: because the fire of the LORD burnt among them.

The Israelites complain about their food. Moses is frustrated, and God gives him some assistants.

Some of the people who traveled with the Israelites were complaining about the food. They wanted more meat to eat. Then the Israelites began to want more meat, too. They said they remembered the fish they ate in Egypt. They also remembered eating cucumbers, melon, leeks, onions, and garlic (leeks are plants that are like onions).

[4] And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?
[5] We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick:

They complained about the manna. Manna is the food that God sent from the sky every morning. To read earlier parts of the Bible about manna, please click here. The manna was like small white-yellow seeds. The people picked it up every morning.  They crushed it and made it into a powder. Then they baked cakes with it. Manna tasted like fresh olive oil. 
[6] But our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.
[7] And the manna was as coriander seed, and the colour thereof as the colour of bdellium.
[8] And the people went about, and gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it: and the taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil.

When the dew (water) fell on the ground, the manna fell on top of it.
[9] And when the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell upon it.

Moses heard the people complaining and crying in their tents. God was very mad. Moses was also upset.
[10] Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent: and the anger of the LORD was kindled greatly; Moses also was displeased.

Moses was upset and talked to God.  He was frustrated with the Israelites. He felt pressure from being responsible for the Israelites. He asked God why He was punishing him. He asked God what he had done wrong.
[11] And Moses said unto the LORD, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? and wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me?

Moses said that the Israelites were not his own children.  He asked God why he should carry them to Canaan like children.
[12] Have I conceived all this people? have I begotten them, that thou shouldest say unto me, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth the sucking child, unto the land which thou swarest unto their fathers?

Moses said that the Israelites wanted more meat to eat. But he didn't know how he could find meat for them.
[13] Whence should I have flesh to give unto all this people? for they weep unto me, saying, Give us flesh, that we may eat.

Moses said he couldn't take the pressure by himself. It was too stressful. He would prefer to be dead than to continue.
[14] I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me.
[15] And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness.

God talked to Moses. He told Moses to get 70 other men to help him.  Moses should bring the 70 men to the tabernacle. 
[16] And the LORD said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee.

God said that He will talk to Moses again in the tabernacle. God will take some of  Moses' spirit and give it to the 70 men. God will give the 70 men some of Moses' responsibilities. 
[17] And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone.

God heard the Israelites complaining about meat. He heard them saying they should have stayed in Egypt. God was angry with the Israelites.  God told Moses to tell the Israelites to make themselves clean. The next day they would have meat to eat. They would have meat to eat everyday for the whole next month. They would have so much meat to eat that they would get sick of it. 
[18] And say thou unto the people, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow, and ye shall eat flesh: for ye have wept in the ears of the LORD, saying, Who shall give us flesh to eat? for it was well with us in Egypt: therefore the LORD will give you flesh, and ye shall eat.
[19] Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days;
[20] But even a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you: because that ye have despised the LORD which is among you, and have wept before him, saying, Why came we forth out of Egypt?

Moses told God that there were at least 600,000 Israelite men. There were also more women and children. He didn't where they could get enough meat for a whole month.  He said that if they killed all of their sheep and cows, it would not be enough.  He said that if they caught all of the fish in the sea, it would not be enough.
[21] And Moses said, The people, among whom I am, are six hundred thousand footmen; and thou hast said, I will give them flesh, that they may eat a whole month.
[22] Shall the flocks and the herds be slain for them, to suffice them? or shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, to suffice them?

God talked to Moses. He said that His power was not limited. Moses would see soon what would happen.  
[23] And the LORD said unto Moses, Is the LORD's hand waxed short? thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.

Moses told the Israelites what God said.  He had a meeting with his 70 new assistant leaders. They met at the tabernacle.  God came down in a cloud and talked to Moses. God took some of the spirit of Moses and gave it to the 70 other assistant leaders. When the spirit was on the new assistant leaders, they began to prophesy.  This means that they now understood more things about God, and they started talking about Him and praising him. 
[24] And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the LORD, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tabernacle.
[25] And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.

There were 2 of the 70 new assistant leaders who did not come to the meeting in the tabernacle. Their names were Eldad and Medad.  But even though they were not with the other new leaders, the spirit was on them, too.  They started to prophesy out in the camp.
[26] But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp.

A boy in the camp saw Eldad and Medad.  He ran to tell Moses.  Joshua was with Moses. Joshua was a young man who helped Moses.  Joshua's father was named Nun.  Joshua told Moses that he should make Eldad and Medad stop. Moses asked Joshua if he thought that other people prophesying made him (Moses) a weaker leader. Moses said that he wished everyone could have God's spirit.
[27] And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp.
[28] And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them.
[29] And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the LORD's people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them!
[30] And Moses gat him into the camp, he and the elders of Israel.

God sends a lot of meat to the Israelites

From the National Park Service web site

God made the wind blow, and quails (birds) flew to the Israelite camp.  They fell out of the sky by the camp. There were many, many quails on the ground. They were piled up about 3 feet high and covered many miles on each side of the camp.
[31] And there went forth a wind from the LORD, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day's journey on this side, and as it were a day's journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth.

The people picked up the quail all day and night and another day.  Every person picked up at least 50 bushel baskets of quail.  Then they spread them out to dry so they could eat the meat.
[32] And the people stood up all that day, and all that night, and all the next day, and they gathered the quails: he that gathered least gathered ten homers: and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp.

God was very angry because the Israelites complained.  When the meat was in their mouths and before they chewed it, God sent a plague (sickness).  Many people got sick and died. 
[33] And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD smote the people with a very great plague.

They gave a new name to that place.  They called it Kibroth-hattaavah. This means "graves of the craving".  Craving means to want something very much. The people who had craved meat died. They were buried at that place.
[34] And he called the name of that place Kibroth-hattaavah: because there they buried the people that lusted.

The Israelites move to a new camp

The Israelites moved from Kibroth-hattaavah to Hazeroth and made a new camp there. 
[35] And the people journeyed from Kibroth-hattaavah unto Hazeroth; and abode at Hazeroth.

Numbers 12

Moses' brother and sister complain about Moses. 

Miriam was Moses' sister, and Aaron was Moses' brother.  They started complaining about Moses.  They were upset because Moses married a woman from Ethiopia.  Ethiopia is a country south of Egypt.
[1] And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.

Moses was the most humble man on earth. This means that he did not think he was better than the other Israelites. Miriam and Aaron said that God didn't speak only to Moses. They said He talked to them, too.
[2] And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it.
[3] (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)

God was angry with Miriam and Aaron. He told them to come to the tabernacle.
[4] And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out.

God came down in the cloud and was in the door of the tabernacle.  He told Miriam and Aaron to come closer.
[5] And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth.

God told them to listen to Him. He said that when He speaks to His prophets, he talks to them in visions or dreams.  But Moses is special. Moses is in charge of all of the Israelites.  God talks to Moses face-to-face. Moses has seen God. Miriam and Aaron should not complain and say bad things about Moses. 
[6] And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.
[7] My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house.
[8] With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?

God was mad at Miriam and Aaron. He left, and the cloud went up.  When the cloud left, Miriam's skin was different. It was white, and she had leprosy (a bad skin disease). 

[9] And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and he departed.
[10] And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous.

Aaron talked to Moses. He asked for Moses to help Miriam. Aaron knew that he and Miriam had behaved badly. He begged Moses not to punish them.  He begged Moses not to make Miriam's skin bad like someone who is almost dead. 
[11] And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned.
[12] Let her not be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed when he cometh out of his mother's womb.

Moses prayed to God. He asked God to help Miriam. He asked God to heal Miriam so she would not have the bad skin disease.
[13] And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee.

God talked to Moses.  If Miriam's father had punished her by spitting in her face, she would have to stay outside the camp for 7 days.  So, the same time is the punishment now. She should stay outside the camp for 7 days. Then she can come back in.   
[14] And the LORD said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again.

Miriam stayed outside the camp for 7 days.  The Israelites did not move away.  They waited for Miriam to come back.

[15] And Miriam was shut out from the camp seven days: and the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again.

The Israelites move to a new camp.

After Miriam came back to the camp, the Israelites left the camp in Hazeroth. Next, they camped in the wilderness (desert) of Paran.
[16] And afterward the people removed from Hazeroth, and pitched in the wilderness of Paran.

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