Dwelling at Mount Sinai & The Ketef Hinnom Amulets

So the people are wandering in the wilderness, are they going to get somewhere?

Moses by Michelangelo
c. 1513 – 1515[1]:67
Marble
235 cm (92.5 in)
San Pietro in Vincoli, Rome
God talked to Moses in the tabernacle, telling him to do a census of the men that are old enough to fight, age 20 to 60, which came to 603,550.  The names of the tribes and how many men in each was:

Reuben – 46,500

Simeon – 59,300

   Gad – 45,650

   Judah – 74,600

   Issachar – 54,400

   Zebulun – 57,400

   Ephraim (one of Joseph’s sons) – 40,500

   Manasseh (also a son of Joseph) – 32,200

   Benjamin – 35,400

   Dan – 62,700

   Asher – 41,500

The Israel Stele
The exact date when the twelve tribes of Israel began to be know as “Israel” is not unanimously agreed upon by scholars and historians.
A picture of the Merneptah, or Israel, Stele. However, it is accepted fact that the transformation took place sometime before the 13th century B.C.
This date is established with fact because of the Israel Stele. The Israel Stele is the earliest recorded reference to Israel as a collective people. It was written by the Egyptian Pharaoh Merneptah, who ruled Egypt anywhere from 1224 B.C to 1203 B.C., exact dates vary.
During his reign, Mernephtah led conquests into the land of Canaan. Most scholars believe these campaigns probably occurred in the years of 1206-1207 B.C.
On the Stele, Merneptah boasts of his great victories over the native people and regions: “Carried off is Ashkelon; seized upon is Gezer; Yanoam is made as that which does not exist; the people of Israel is laid waste, its seed is not; Syria has become a widow of Egypt.”

   Naphtali – 53,400

All of the brothers are dead and gone, but their names are still used.

There would be one person that would represent each tribe, and within each tribe others would be appointed to handle the sins of the people, in thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens, as Jethro had suggested to Moses (Ex 18:21 & 25).

Viewed as a whole, the camp of Israel thus formed a threefold square – a symbolical design, further developed in the Temple of Solomon, still more fully in that of (Eze 38:9) and finally shown in all its completeness in the city that lieth foursquare (Rev 20:9, 21:16). 

The Levites weren’t Numbered because they didn’t fight.  God chose to have them take care of the tabernacle and it was them that carried it whenever they traveled.

God also had Moses remind the people of the laws and judgments He had given them in the book of Leviticus, as well as a few others, such as:

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

Command the children of Israel, that they put out of the camp every leper, and every one that hath an issue, and whosoever is defiled by the dead: 

Both male and female shall ye put out, without the camp shall ye put them; that they defile not their camps, in the midst whereof I dwell. 

And the children of Israel did so, and put them out without the camp: as the LORD spake unto Moses, so did the children of Israel. 

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

Speak unto the children of Israel, When a man or woman shall commit any sin that men commit, to do a trespass against the LORD, and that person be guilty” (Num 5:1-6).

“And a man lie with her carnally, and it be hid from the eyes of her husband, and be kept close, and she be defiled, and there be no witness against her, neither she be taken with the manner;

And the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and he be jealous of his wife, and she be defiled: or if the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and he be jealous of his wife, and she be not defiled:

Then shall the man bring his wife unto the priest, and he shall bring her offering for her…”(Num 5:13-15 – see vs.  16-31).

“Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD:

He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried. 

All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk.  

All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in which he separateth himself unto the LORD, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow.

All the days of his separation he is holy unto the LORD” (Num 6:2-5 & 8)).

Two tiny silver scrolls in the form of amulets were discovered at a burial cave at Ketef Hinnom.

Written in ancient Hebrew script dated to the 7th century B.C. the scrolls comprise the earliest-known fragments of a biblical text and pre-date the earliest scrolls from Qumran by more than 300 years.

A form of what is known as the priestly blessing is contained in the scroll to the left:

“The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:

The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:

The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace” (Num 6:24-26).

It also contains the oldest-known form of the Divine Name.

“Let the children of Israel also keep the Passover at his appointed season. 

In the fourteenth day of this month, at even, ye shall keep it in his appointed season: according to all the rites of it, and according to all the ceremonies thereof, shall ye keep it. 

And Moses spake unto the children of Israel, that they should keep the Passover” (Num 9:2-4).

The Ketef Hinnom Amulets

In 1979 archaeologists un­earthed a burial site at Ketef Hinnom, just south of Jerusalem, on the southwestern side of Gehenna, near the Biblical boundary between the tribes of Judah and Benjamin (Josh 18:16). 

Excavated from within a burial repository were two small, rolled plaques of thin, pliable silver, each about the size of a credit card.

When unrolled, they revealed delicately etched inscriptions that included a shortened version of the priestly benedic­tion recorded in Numbers#:24-26. One sec­tion has been translated as follows:

The Lord bless and keep you;

The Lord make his face shine upon you and give you peace.

Archaeological and paleographic evi­dence dates these plaques to the late tth century B.C., thereby making them the earliest written citations of Scripture.

They may relate to rituals of worship, during which priests would have recited this priestly benediction (cf. Lev 9:22).