Summary of the Book of Numbers
The book of numbers is largely Narrative History as far as its genre.
The purpose of the book of Numbers is to tell about how Israel prepared to enter the promise land, but sinned and was punished.
Moses takes two different population censuses, hence the name Numbers.
Chapters 1-9 – the Israelites are preparing for their journey and entry into the promise land.
Moses begins by taking a census of all the tribes, primarily to see how many men are available and in shape for military service.
Next, Moses dedicates the Levites and instructs the Nazirite vows and laws.
During this time, the Israelites celebrate the 2nd Passover one year after their exit from bondage.
Chapters 10-12 – the Israelites travel from the wilderness in Sinai to approach the promise land.
The people complain about their food, God gives them quail, and because of their greed, He also sends them a plague.
Miriam and Aaron learn a lesson about whom God places in leadership.
Chapters 13-19 – we see severe punishment for disobedience and unfaithfulness to God.
Moses sends out 12 spies to perform reconnaissance on the promise land. The 12 spies return and only two of them bring good news.
The people fear the occupants and rebel against taking the land. For this God punishes them and sends them into the wilderness for forty years to roam.
Chapters 20-36 – the new generation of Israelites again attempt to enter the land to take it as God promised. This time they easily destroy two nations that confront them as they are entering.
Balak uses his prophet Balaam to learn to seduce the Israelites to worship Baal. Because of this disobedience, about 24,000 people die, including Balaam.
Before the book of Numbers ends, Moses again conducts a census, and Joshua assumes the leadership of Israel in place of Moses who is banned from the promise land, due to his disobedience.
Summary of Leviticus
Leviticus is comprised of two basic genres Narrative History and Law.
The setting of Leviticus mainly appears to take place at Mt. Sinai.
It was written to draw the Israelites to the understanding of the infinite holiness of God, and that He desires them to act in a holy manner toward Himself.
In doing this, God gives them many instructions to carry out. It describes Moses giving procedural instructions for the Israelites, especially to the Levitical priests, about how they are to carry out offerings, ceremonies, and celebrations.
The word “Holy” is mentioned more times in Leviticus, than any other book in the Bible.
Chapter 1-7 – Sacrifice and Offerings are laid out for Priests and individuals in detail. These passages also describe how to use the alter for the sacrifices and the offerings to God.
Chapters 8-10 – Moses describes the instructions for the Levitical Priesthood, since Israel is to be “a kingdom of priests” (Ex. 19:6).
He does this from the doorway of his tent. Moses consecrates his brother Aaron and his sons who are the priests.
Chapters 11-15 – Moses teaches the importance and procedures for things that are unclean. These include food, diseases, animals, insects, dead bodies, birth, cleaning and many others.
God’s purpose of all this is to protect His people from the illnesses and diseases that come from these sources.
Chapter 16 – Moses gives instruction about the Day of Atonement. This was the day out of the year that the High Priest cleanses and prepares himself ceremonially to meet with God.
This ceremony only takes place once a year. The High Priest enters into the Holy of Holies and offers a sacrifice to God for sins on behalf of the entire nation of Israel.
Chapters 17-27 – pertain to the laws that apply generally for living a holy life. These are many laws including sexual immorality, idolatry, land laws, more priestly laws, religious festivals and celebrations, the Sabbath year and the year of Jubilee.