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