Numbers 26 Commentary


Numbers: Journey to God's Rest-Land by Irving Jensen- used by permission

Source: Ryrie Study Bible
THE BOOK OF NUMBERS
"Wilderness Wandering"
WALKING
Numbers 1-12
WANDERING
Numbers 13-25
WAITING
Numbers 26-36
Counting &
Camping
Nu 1-4
Cleansing &
Congregation
Nu 5-8
Carping &
Complaining
Nu 9-12
12 Spies &
Death in Desert
Nu 13-16
Aaron & Levites in
Wilderness
Nu 17-18
Serpent of Brass & Story of Balaam
Nu 21-25
Second Census 7 Laws of Israel
Nu 26-30
Last Days of Moses as Leader
Nu 31-33
Sections, Sanctuaries &
Settlements
Nu 34-36
Law
& Order
Rebellion
& Disorder
New Laws
for the New Order
Old
Generation
Tragic
Transition
New
Generation
Preparation for the Journey:
Moving Out
Participation in the Journey:
Moving On
Prize at end of the Journey:
Moving In
At Sinai
Mt Sinai
To Moab
Mt Hor
At Moab
Mt Nebo
En Route to Kadesh
(Mt Sinai)
En Route to Nowhere
(Wilderness)
En Route to Canaan
(Plains of Moab)
A Few Weeks to
2 Months
38 years,
3 months, 10 days
A Few
Months
Christ in Numbers = Our "Lifted-up One"
(Nu 21:9, cp Jn 3:14-15)
Author: Moses

Numbers 26:1  Then it came about after the plague, that the LORD spoke to Moses and to Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest, saying,

Note Jensen's broad outline of Numbers in chart above. Note also the time involved in each division - weeks, years then months. 

  • Numbers 1-12 - WALKING - weeks
  • Numbers 12-25- WANDERING - years
  • Numbers 26-36 - WAITING - months

The breakdown of Numbers 26 for outlining purposes can be done according to the tribes of Israel. Notice that the format and structure is similar to the first census in Numbers 1:1-4:49.

Merrill - Numbers 26 turns the page on the first generation; the plague of chapter 25 had eliminated them. From here on, occupation of the Promised Land again becomes the focus in Numbers. (CBC-Nu)

Believer's Study Bible -  As the preparation for conquest for the Exodus generation (Nu 1:1-10:10) began with a census (Nu 1:1-4:49), so this section on the preparation of the second generation (Nu 26:1-33:49) begins with a second census, taken by Moses and Eleazar at the end of the wilderness wanderings. The total 601,730 at this census (v. 51) is slightly less than the 603,550 at the first (cf. 1:17-46, note). The fact that the population did not increase over the 40 years is due to the fact that all those who refused to enter the land (Nu 14:3, 29, 32) had died. The significance of the number being about the same may be that the second generation had the same opportunity and the same blessing the first generation had had. The question was whether they would have the same lack of faith (Nu 26:64, 65).

Irving Jensen (EvBC-Nu) notes that "The next five chapters record the last-minute preparations made on the eve of E day. A new census was taken in anticipation of assigning land to the families of the tribes, a new leader was identified in Joshua, and the law of God concerning offerings was brought into focus in a finalized form." Jensen titles this next section "PREPARATION (Numbers 26:1–30:16) and outlines it as follows...

A. New Census Taken—Organization (Nu 26:1–27:11)

1. The Census (Nu 26:1–51, 63–65)
2. Principles of Land Assignments (Nu 26:52–62)
3. Rights of Heiresses (Nu 27:1–11)

B. New Leader Identified—Leadership (Nu 27:12–23)

C. Law of God Finalized—Spiritual Life (Nu 28:1–30:16)

1. Law of Offerings (Nu 28:1–29:40)
2. Laws of Vows (Nu 30:1–16)

Wiersbe adds that "The transition between chapters 25 and 26 reminds us of the transition from chapter 14 to chapter 15, for in both of them the Lord moved from judgment to mercy, from punishment to promise. At Kadesh-Barnea and at Baal Peor, Israel had sinned greatly and God chastened them, but in His grace He forgave their disobedience and gave them a new start. Ezra the scribe expressed this truth in his prayer of confession when he said, “You our God have punished us less than our iniquities deserve” (Ezra 9:13NKJV); David felt the same way when he wrote, “He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities” (Ps. 103:10NIV). As Israel lingered in the plains of Moab, Moses fulfilled four important responsibilities to prepare Israel for what lay ahead." (Be Counted) 

  1. Numbering the soldiers (Num. 26:1–51)
  2.  Preparing for the inheritance (Num. 26:52–27:11; 36)
  3. Dedicating a new leader (Num. 27:12–23)
  4. Focusing on worship (Num. 28:1–29:40)

AFTER THE
PLAGUE

Then it came about after the plague - "Those who died by the plague were 24,000." (Nu 25:9)  Why does this verse say that 24,000 died when 1 Corinthians 10:8 offers a different number? See Norman Geisler's explanation.

Ronald Allen - The first phrase, “After the plague,” is key for understanding this text. The plague of chapter 25 was not just another plague; it was the final judgment of God on the first generation and the opportunity to unleash the blessing of God on the second generation who have now reached their majority. (EBC)

That the LORD spoke to Moses and to Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest, saying - Notice that we have a shift for previously while Yahweh most often addressed Moses alone He did speak to both Moses and Aaron in 5 passages (Ex 7:8, Nu 2:1, 4:1, 4:17, 14:26, 16:20, 19:1, 20:23) Now that Aaron is dead, He speaks to Moses and Aaron. 

Bush - It came to pass after the plague, etc. After the slaughter of the 24,000 who fell by the sword of the judges as stated ch. 25:9, as this is the undoubted sense of the word “plague” in this connection. We may properly recognize a moral as well as a historical significancy in the command to number the people afresh. It was a token of the Lord’s special regard for those who survived and had cleaved to him in the midst of a wide-spread defection. Deut. 4:3, 4, “Your eyes have seen what the Lord did because of Baal-peor: for all the men that followed Baal-peor, the Lord thy God hath destroyed them from among you. But ye that did cleave unto the Lord your God are alive every one of you this day.”... The whole generation existing thirty-eight years before, with the exception only of Caleb and Joshua, had been wasted away, and as the promised land was now about to be distributed to their descendants, which would be facilitated by a new census, one is accordingly ordered. The matter was intrusted to the charge of Eleazar, who was now, since the death of Aaron, high priest. As Aaron had performed this office in conjunction with Moses on a former occasion, ch. 1:3, so Eleazar is called to do it now. He also united with Joshua afterwards, Josh 14:1, in dividing the land among the people.

Calvin - “This was the reason why the people was numbered immediately after the plague, in order that it might be more conspicuous that God had marvellously provided lest any diminution should appear after the recent loss of so many men.”

Numbers 26:2  "Take a census of all the congregation of the sons of Israel from twenty years old and upward, by their fathers' households, whoever is able to go out to war in Israel."

BGT  Numbers 26:2 λαβὲ τὴν ἀρχὴν πάσης συναγωγῆς υἱῶν Ισραηλ ἀπὸ εἰκοσαετοῦς καὶ ἐπάνω κατ᾽ οἴκους πατριῶν αὐτῶν πᾶς ὁ ἐκπορευόμενος παρατάξασθαι ἐν Ισραηλ

NET  Numbers 26:2 "Take a census of the whole community of Israelites, from twenty years old and upward, by their clans, everyone who can serve in the army of Israel."

NLT  Numbers 26:2 "From the whole community of Israel, record the names of all the warriors by their families. List all the men twenty years old or older who are able to go to war."

ESV  Numbers 26:2 "Take a census of all the congregation of the people of Israel, from twenty years old and upward, by their fathers' houses, all in Israel who are able to go to war."

NIV  Numbers 26:2 "Take a census of the whole Israelite community by families--all those twenty years old or more who are able to serve in the army of Israel."


The Numbering of the Israelites
(19th-century engraving by Henri Félix Emmanuel Philippoteaux)

TAKE A SECOND
"HEAD COUNT"

In America there was a saying "You're in the Army Now!"  That saying is apropos to all Israeli men over the age of 20, for they were automatically in the army. God was not asking for volunteers. The age of conscription in the United States is 18. As Wenham says "it was envisaged that some men may have good reason not to enlist (Deut. 20:5–9). But here no exceptions for age, marriage or timidity are allowed. So fundamental is the campaign for Canaan that every able bodied man must join in. This census list then conveys the urgency and imminence of the battle for the land."

The idiom dictionary has the following for You're in the Army Now! - Shape up—things are done differently here. One of the stock comedy bits in World War II movies was the rude awakening that recruits received during basic training. Any buck private who tried to oversleep or do anything else that wasn't according to military procedure would be chewed out by his drill sergeant, with an unceremonious, “Hey, you ain't no civilian no more, mister—you're in the army now!” The phrase followed the soldiers home, and well into the '50s anyone who was corrected by an ex-GI was liable to be told, “Do it right, mister—you're in the army now!”

Take a census of all the congregation of the sons of Israel from twenty years old and upward (cf 2 Chr 25:5), by their fathers' households - Notice that this charge to take a census comes after the plague that took 24,000, implying that in that group were all of the first generation. Now the census will be of the second generation. Take a census is more literally "lift up the heads" which is like our phrase "count noses" or "take a head count." Note that there is a difference between the first census and the second census, because: the first gives us only the total number of men 20 years of age and older in each tribe whereas this  census mentions the clans that made up the 12 tribes.

Recall that God had just commanded a "holy war" against the Midianites in  Nu 25:17-18 and now we number the warriors (note there would no one over age 60 because they would have all died in the wilderness)...

“Be hostile to the Midianites and strike them; 18for they have been hostile to you with their tricks, with which they have deceived you in the affair of Peor and in the affair of Cozbi, the daughter of the leader of Midian, their sister who was slain on the day of the plague because of Peor.”

Constable - Moses again counted the men 20 years of age and older in all the tribes except Levi as in the census taken just before Israel departed from Sinai (chs. 1–4). The primary purpose of this census was military, namely, to organize the nation for its battles with the Canaanites as well as with the Midianites. However a second important purpose was to discover the size of each tribe so Moses could allocate territory in the Promised Land proportionately (vv. 53–54). This list also had historical value for later generations enabling them to trace their genealogies. Notice that this is a list of families or clans, not individuals. The preservation of the nation is a monument to God’s faithfulness to His promises concerning Israel.

Whoever is able to go out to war in Israel (Heb “everyone who goes out in the army in Israel”) - Nlt "List all the men twenty years old or older who are able to go to war." This is similar to mustering the army and indeed Israel would soon invade and take Jericho and then the other territories. Another reason for the census would be the division of the land "Among these (Nu 26:51 - These are those who were numbered of the sons of Israel, 601,730) the land shall be divided for an inheritance according to the number of names.." (Nu 26:52-53)

Wiersbe - Genesis pictures God’s people as pilgrims and strangers, looking for their inheritance. Exodus and Leviticus depict Israel as a holy nation of priests, worshiping the Lord. The book of Numbers emphasizes God’s people as warriors, overcoming the enemy and claiming the promised inheritance.

There were several purposes for a census in the ancient world

  1. For taxation as in Lk 2:1-5 (cf Josephus, Antiquities 18. i. 1)
  2. Funds for the Sanctuary of God (Ex 30:13-16)
  3. For workers for the Sanctuary (Nu 3:14-39)
  4. Most commonly to determine the number of men eligible to fight in a war - It was a regular feature of warfare in Bible times to count the troops before and after a battle (e.g. 1 Sa 11:8; Nu. 31:49).

Related Resource:

Numbers 26:3  So Moses and Eleazar the priest spoke with them in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho, saying,

  • Nu 26:63 22:1 31:12 33:48 35:1 De 4:46-49 34:1,6,8 
  • Numbers 26 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Plains of Moab opposite Jericho

IN POSITION TO 
ENTER THE PROMISED LAND

So - Note their immediate obedience. Moses is back to his "old self" after the tragic fiasco of Numbers 20:11-13+

Moses and Eleazar the priest spoke with them - Spoke with the sons of Israel

In the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho, saying - They are on the verge of entering the promised land. This census is in the plains whereas the first census was in the wilderness of Sinai (Nu 1:1+). 

Numbers 26:4  "Take a census of the people from twenty years old and upward, as the LORD has commanded Moses." Now the sons of Israel who came out of the land of Egypt were:

RULES FOR CENSUS:
IDENTIFYING THE ARMY

Take a census of the people from twenty years old and upward, as the LORD has commanded Moses - This census was a sign that the nation’s wanderings were soon to end. Nu 1:2-3 is phrased slightly different " “Take a census of all the congregation of the sons of Israel, by their families, by their fathers’ households, according to the number of names, every male, head by head from twenty years old and upward, whoever is able to go out to war in Israel, you and Aaron shall number them by their armies." While the first census was primarily for military organization, this second census is not only for military organization but for land distribution to the 12 tribes (see Nu 26:53-56+). 

 Time to ready Israel for victory! (going into & taking The Land)
-- Brian Bell

Now the sons of Israel who came out of the land of Egypt were - Notice that God still regards the second generation as "Exodus People." The first group of "Exodus People" failed but God's purpose did not fail and so he names them accordingly. The are out of Exodus and into the promised land as should have occurred 38 years earlier. God's plans are NEVER thwarted by human sin! And so we begin the census tribe by tribe, almost like an accountant's balance sheet, looking at gains and losses tribe by tribe and summing it up to the final total (Nu 26:51)

Guzik - 38 years before Israel was organized enough; they just did not have enough faith to take the Promised Land. Organization is good, and the work of God can suffer from a lack of it; but the best organization can never replace bold trust in God. (AMEN!)

Note that this second generation as a general rule was loyal to the LORD and served Him effectively - They conquered the Promised Land. No subsequent generation ever accomplished more under such difficult circumstances! (Shepherd's Notes)

Judges 2:7+ The people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who survived Joshua, who had seen all the great work of the LORD which He had done for Israel.

Note the people in this list who are given special attention:

  1. Dathan & Abiriam - who rebelled against the Lord. (Nu 26:9-11)
  2. Er and Onan (Nu 26:19)
  3. Nadab & Abihu - who defiled the Lord. (Nu 26:61)
  4. Joshua & Caleb - who believed the Lord. (Nu 26:65)

Numbers 26:5  Reuben, Israel's firstborn, the sons of Reuben: of Hanoch, the family of the Hanochites; of Pallu, the family of the Palluites;

  • Israel's firstborn Ge 29:32 49:2,3 1Ch 5:1, thy children, Ge 46:8,9 Ex 6:14 1Ch 5:3 
  • Numbers 26 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

Exodus 6:14 These are the heads of their fathers’ households. The sons of Reuben, Israel’s firstborn: Hanoch and Pallu, Hezron and Carmi; these are the families of Reuben.

THE TRIBE
OF REUBEN

Reuben, Israel's firstborn, the sons of Reuben: of Hanoch, the family of the Hanochites; of Pallu, the family of the Palluites - These four clans of Reuben are identical to those in Gen 46:9; Exod 6:14; and 1 Chr 5:3.

Reuben means :"behold my firstborn," but he became as "uncontrollable as water." Why? Ge 35:22 says "It came about while Israel was dwelling in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine, and Israel heard of it.  Now there were twelve sons of Jacob." And then in Ge 49:3-4 we read "Reuben, you are my firstborn; My might and the beginning of my strength, Preeminent in dignity and preeminent in power.  Uncontrolled (pahaz = to be reckless, to be arrogant. It means to be undisciplined, wild, insolent) as water, you shall not have preeminence, Because you went up to your father’s bed; Then you defiled it–he went up to my couch.  Ryrie adds "Reuben, the firstborn, forfeited his place of preeminence because of his fornica-tion with Bilhah (Ge 35:22). Jacob predicted instability and ineffectiveness.  No prophet, judge, or hero came from this tribe (Jdg. 5:15-16; 1 Chr. 5:1)." 

Allen recommends that " Numbers 26 should be compared with Genesis 46:8–27. Genesis 46 is a full mustering of the fathers’ houses as Israel went down to Egypt. Numbers 26 is a full mustering of the fathers’ houses as they were about to reenter Canaan. From the seventy persons of Genesis 46:27 to the quarter million (or two and one-half million!) of Numbers 26:51 is an enormous increase, despite the conditions in Egypt for four hundred years, coupled to the experience in the desert for another forty years. (EBC)

HCSB Study Bible -  Both oral and written genealogies were maintained during this historical period to connect the past with the present, to trace particular lines of development, and to justify claims to inheritance or leadership. Recounting one's genealogy was commonplace at the dedication of a newborn child or in the crowning of a king.

Summary of Census

Related Resources:

Numbers 26:6  of Hezron, the family of the Hezronites; of Carmi, the family of the Carmites.

of Hezron, the family of the Hezronites; of Carmi, the family of the Carmites.

Numbers 26:7  These are the families of the Reubenites, and those who were numbered of them were 43,730.

These are the families of the Reubenites, and those who were numbered of them were 43,730 - The Reubenites had decreased from 46,500 to 43,730. (See Tabular Comparison of all Tribes.) 

Numbered  (06485)(pequddah/pāqadh/paqad) conveys the root idea of something that is attended to or set in order -- fighting men under an officer (2 Chr. 17:14), priests in an order (1 Chr. 23:11; 24:19); arrangement of Tabernacle (Nu 4:16[2x]). The verb pāqadh possesses the basic meaning  "to muster," The Septuagint translates most of the uses of paqad in Nu 26 with episkepsis which means numbering, census, the enumeration of he members of a  community. (In other contexts has meaning of inspection or visitation - 2 Macc 5:18 or oversight, charge - 1 Chr 24:3)

Paqad is the key word in Numbers 26 occuring in 17v - Num. 26:7; Num. 26:18; Num. 26:22; Num. 26:25; Num. 26:27; Num. 26:34; Num. 26:37; Num. 26:41; Num. 26:43; Num. 26:47; Num. 26:50; Num. 26:51; Num. 26:54; Num. 26:57; Num. 26:62; Num. 26:63; Num. 26:64;

Numbers 26:8  The son of Pallu: Eliab.

The son of Pallu: Eliab.

Numbers 26:9  The sons of Eliab: Nemuel and Dathan and Abiram. These are the Dathan and Abiram who were called by the congregation, who contended against Moses and against Aaron in the company of Korah, when they contended against the LORD,

REBELS IN
REUBEN'S LINE

The sons of Eliab: Nemuel and Dathan and Abiram - See Nu 16:1-7 

These are the Dathan and Abiram who were called by the congregation, who contended (nasahagainst Moses and against Aaron in the company of Korah, when they contended (nasahagainst the LORD - So two of the 3 sons of Eliab participated in the rebellion and were buried alive.

Contended is nasah which was used in Ex 2:13+ describing Moses when "He went out the next day (AFTER KILLING AN EGYPTIAN), and behold, two Hebrews were fighting (nasah) with each other; and he said to the offender, “Why are you striking your companion?”

Allen adds that "the verb translated “rebelled” (nasah) against Moses and Aaron is rare, signifying a strong contest of wills. But ultimately they found they were struggling, not just with man, but with God. He used heaven (fire) and earth (the sink hole) to destroy them. Take on God and one finds he has a no-holds-barred fight. After all, “The LORD is a warrior” (Exod 15:3)." Some names of infidels and rascals are to be forgotten. They are to be treated as though they never had lived. But others have behaved so shamefully that their names are to be preserved as bywords for future generations, a warning to others not to be like them. These names are like the salten image of the unfortunate wife of Lot, a symbolic barrier to misbehavior. Names are of interest in the biblical narrative. These men were named for God but became his enemies. As Elimelech in the Book of Ruth, a godly name does not necessarily mean a godly life. Nor is a godly name a device effective to ward off his judgment. A godly name on an ungodly person is in fact a double offense, more deserving ever of God’s judgment.(EBC)

Numbers 26:10  and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up along with Korah, when that company died, when the fire devoured 250 men, so that they became a warning.

  • earth opened: Nu 16:2,31-35,38 27:3 Ex 16:35 Ps 106:17,18 
  • they became a warning: Nu 16:38 1Sa 2:34 Jer 29:22 Eze 14:8 1Co 10:6-10 2Pe 2:6 Jude 1:7 
  • Numbers 26 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passage:

Jude 1:11+ - Woe to them! (Jude 1:4+ = "certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation,") For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.

REMINDER OF JUDGMENT 
OF REBELLION OF KORAH

and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up along with Korah, when that company died, when the fire devoured 250 men,

So that - Purpose clause. The purpose of the deaths is now given

They became a warning - The Hebrew for warning is the word nec/nes, a standard, ensign, signal, sign. This was a warning sign to succeeding generations regarding the penalty for rebelling against God's chosen leadership! This standard (nec/nes) is the same word used in Nu 21:8-9+ of the Bronze Serpent on a standard. So there the word nec/nes was indicative of a sign of life or better a provision of life for a look (foreshadowing a "look" to Jesus in Jn 3:14-15+, cf Isaiah 45:22KJV - see role Isaiah's verse played in Spurgeon's conversion) and here Moses says Korah's rebellion was a warning against rebellion or you would die! 

Nec/nes is used in 21v - Ex 17:15 = Jehovah Nissi: The LORD Our Banner; Num. 21:8; Num. 21:9; Num. 26:10; Ps. 60:4; Isa. 5:26; Isa. 11:10; Isa. 11:12; Isa. 13:2; Isa. 18:3; Isa. 30:17; Isa. 31:9; Isa. 33:23; Isa. 49:22; Isa. 62:10; Jer. 4:6; Jer. 4:21; Jer. 50:2; Jer. 51:12; Jer. 51:27; Ezek. 27:7

Numbers 21:8+  Then the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard (Nec/nes); and it shall come about, that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, he will live.”  And Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on the standard (Nec/nes); and it came about, that if a serpent bit any man, when he looked to the bronze serpent, he lived. 

Bush - And they became a sign. Heb. “They became for an ensign, or banner.” That is, they were made an example of; they were made a monument of the Lord’s righteous displeasure against those who would wrong his ministers, and a warning to all posterity not to walk in their steps. The fittest commentary on the words is the language of Paul, 1 Cor. 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.” What is here said of the persons of the rebels is in ch. 16:38, 40, said of their censors, that they were to be “a sign unto the children of Israel,” and “a memorial that no stranger, which is not of the seed of Aaron, come near to offer incense before the Lord; that he be not as Korah and his company, etc.”

Related Resources:

Numbers 26:11  The sons of Korah, however, did not die.

The sons of Korah, however, did not die - This is amazing that they did follow in the sins of their father! The Korahites are mentioned below in Nu 26:58 and in the time of the monarchy they became temple singers and guards (1 Chr 9:19). The also authored some beautiful "songs" (psalms) - Ps. 42:1; Ps. 44:1; Ps. 45:1; Ps. 46:1; Ps. 47:1; Ps. 48:1; Ps. 49:1; Ps. 84:1; Ps. 85:1; Ps. 87:1; Ps. 88:1. Their words in Ps 46 are especially striking in view of the fact that the earth swallowed up their father...

For the choir director. A Psalm of the sons of Korah, set to Alamoth. A Song.
God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.  
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change ( They had witnessed the earth "change"!!!)
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea  (Ps 46:1-2- Spurgeon's comments)

Bush - His immediate sons were Assir, Elkanah, and Abiasaph, Ex. 6:24. These with their posterity lived and served officially in Israel, as their genealogy is reckoned, 1 Chron. 6:22, 28, and frequent honorable mention is made of the sons of Korah, both in the Psalms and elsewhere. It is reasonably to be supposed that they were not with Korah, when he met his fate, being engaged in ministering at the Tabernacle, or that they did not consent to their father’s rebellion, or having at first enlisted in it, were afterwards induced to repent and abandon the enterprise upon the warning appeal given by Moses, ch. 16:5. 

Spurgeon on Psalm 42  A Maskil of the sons of Korah  - That choice band of singers, the sons of Korah, are bidden to make this delightful Psalm one of their peculiars. They had been spared when their father and all his company, and all the children of his associates were swallowed up alive in their sin. Numbers 26:11. They were the spared ones of sovereign grace. Preserved, we know not why, by the distinguishing favor of God, it may be surmised that after their remarkable election to mercy, they became so filled with gratitude that they addicted themselves to sacred music in order that their spared lives might be consecrated to the glory of God. At any rate, we who have been rescued as they were from going down into the pit, out of the mere good pleasure of Jehovah, can heartily join in this Psalm, and indeed in all the songs which show forth the praises of our God and the pantings of our hearts after him.

Numbers 26:12 The sons of Simeon according to their families: of Nemuel, the family of the Nemuelites; of Jamin, the family of the Jaminites; of Jachin, the family of the Jachinites;

  • Nu 16:5 Ex 6:24 1Ch 6:22-28 Ps 42:1 44:1 45:1 46:1 47:1 *titles Ps 48:1 49:1 50:1 
  • Numbers 26 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

TRIBE OF SIMEON

The sons of Simeon according to their families: of Nemuel, the family of the Nemuelites; of Jamin, the family of the Jaminites; of Jachin, the family of the Jachinites - NIV = The descendants of Simeon by their clans were: through Nemuel, the Nemuelite clan; through Jamin, the Jaminite clan; through Jakin, the Jakinite clan." 

FSB - "One clan of Simeon found in Gen 46:10 and Exod 6:15 is missing here and in 1 Chr 4:24. That clan may have died out by the time this passage was written. In later Israelite history, the tribe of Simeon lost many soldiers and was assimilated into the tribe of Judah (Judg 1:3; Josh 19:1),"

Related Resources:

Numbers 26:13  of Zerah, the family of the Zerahites; of Shaul, the family of the Shaulites.

  • Nemuel: Ge 46:10 Ex 6:15, Jemuel
  • Jachin: 1Ki 7:21 1Ch 4:24, Jarib
  • Numbers 26 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

of Zerah (Zohar in Ex 6:15 Ge 46:10)  the family of the Zerahites; of Shaul, the family of the Shaulites - NIV = "through Zerah, the Zerahite clan; through Shaul, the Shaulite clan." 

Numbers 26:14  These are the families of the Simeonites, 22,200.

SIMEON SUFFERED 
GREATEST LOSS

These are the families of the Simeonites, 22,200 - Decreased from 59,300 (third largest) to 22,200! Recall that in Nu 25:14+ a man from the tribe of Simeon was involved in the flagrant sin of immorality with the Midianite woman Cozbi. It is conceivable that of the 24,000 who died in the plague in Nu 25:9+, an appreciable percentage were Simeonites.

Bush - These are the families of the Simeonites. That is, the families which remained, for it appears from Gen. 46:10, Ex. 6:15, that there was another family, that of Ohad; but this had doubtless become extinct in the wilderness, and is therefore omitted here.

Merrill

This was the smallest population of all, a fact readily explained by Simeon's involvement in the Baal of Peor idolatry (25:14-15). (BKC)

Now the name of the slain man of Israel who was slain with the Midianite woman, was Zimri the son of Salu, a leader of a father’s household among the Simeonites. 15 The name of the Midianite woman who was slain was Cozbi the daughter of Zur, who was head of the people of a father’s household in Midian.  (Nu 25:14-15+

Ryrie - The flagrant sin (Nu 25:6) of Zimri (a Simeonite) may indicate that many Simeonites were also involved and may account for the great decrease in the population of that tribe. 

Related Resources:

Numbers 26:15  The sons of Gad according to their families: of Zephon, the family of the Zephonites; of Haggi, the family of the Haggites; of Shuni, the family of the Shunites;

TRIBE
OF GAD

The sons of Gad according to their families: of Zephon, the family of the Zephonites; of Haggi, the family of the Haggites; of Shuni, the family of the Shunites - Gad had 7 clans (families) in vv15-17.

Related Resources:

Numbers 26:16  of Ozni, the family of the Oznites; of Eri, the family of the Erites;

 of Ozni, the family of the Oznites; of Eri, the family of the Erites;

Numbers 26:17  of Arod, the family of the Arodites; of Areli, the family of the Arelites.

of Arod, the family of the Arodites; of Areli, the family of the Arelites

Numbers 26:18  These are the families of the sons of Gad according to those who were numbered of them, 40,500.

TOTAL
OF GADITES 

These are the families of the sons of Gad according to those who were numbered of them, 40,500 - The seven clans of Gad decreases from 45, 650 to 40, 500. 

Allen - In Sum: The tribe of Gad numbered 40,500 in the second census, a decrease of 5,150 from the 45,650 of the first census (a decrease of about 11 percent). There are seven clans. The tribe of Gad is in the third rank in both lists. The further history of the tribe of Gad is found in 1 Chronicles 5:11–17. (EBC)

Numbers 26:19  The sons of Judah were Er and Onan, but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan.

  • Er and Onan: Ge 38:1-10 46:12 1Ch 2:3-8 
  • Numbers 26 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

THE TRIBE OF
JUDAH

The sons of Judah were Er and Onan, but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan - These were evil sons and were recorded even though they were dead. They would receive no inheritance.

 Genesis 38:1-10 - And it came about at that time, that Judah departed from his brothers and visited a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah. 2 Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua; and he took her and went in to her. 3So she conceived and bore a son and he named him Er. 4 Then she conceived again and bore a son and named him Onan. 5 She bore still another son and named him Shelah; and it was at Chezib that she bore him.  6 Now Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. 7 But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was evil in the sight of the LORD, so the LORD took his life. 8 Then Judah said to Onan, “Go in to your brother’s wife, and perform your duty as a brother-in-law to her, and raise up offspring for your brother.” 9 Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so when he went in to his brother’s wife, he wasted his seed on the ground in order not to give offspring to his brother. 10 But what he did was displeasing in the sight of the LORD; so He took his life also.

Related Resource:

Numbers 26:20 The sons of Judah according to their families were: of Shelah, the family of the Shelanites; of Perez, the family of the Perezites; of Zerah, the family of the Zerahites.

  • Shelah: Ge 38:5,11,14,26-30 1Ch 4:21 
  • Perez: Ge 38:27-29 46:12 Ru 4:18-22 1Ch 2:3-8 Ne 11:4,6,24, Perez, Mt 1:3 Lu 3:33, Phares
  • Zerah: Ge 38:30 46:12, 1Chr 2:4 Ne 11:24 
  • Numbers 26 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

Ruth 4:18-22+ Now these are the generations of Perez: to Perez was born Hezron, 19a nd to Hezron was born Ram, and to Ram, Amminadab, 20and to Amminadab was born Nahshon, and to Nahshon, Salmon, 21 and to Salmon was born Boaz, and to Boaz, Obed, 22 and to Obed was born Jesse, and to Jesse, David.

TRIBE OF 
JUDAH

The sons of Judah according to their families were: of Shelah, the family of the Shelanites; of Perez, the family of the Perezites; of Zerah, the family of the Zerahites - From the line of Perez would come David and from his line Jesus (Ru 4:18-22, Mt 1:1-3)

Merrill points out that "

The descendants of Judah listed here were actually from his one surviving son Shelah and his two illegitimate sons Perez and Zerah (cf. Gen. 38:5, 11, 26-30)." (BKC)

FSB - The line of Perez is highlighted because his second generation sons, Hezron and Hamul, were in the blessing of Jacob (compare Gen 46:12). The kings of Israel would come through this line (Ruth 4:18–21; 1 Chr 2:4–17), culminating with Jesus of Nazareth (Luke 3:23–33; Matt 1:3–16).

Numbers 26:21  The sons of Perez were: of Hezron, the family of the Hezronites; of Hamul, the family of the Hamulites.

The sons of Perez were: of Hezron, the family of the Hezronites; of Hamul, the family of the Hamulites

Numbers 26:22  These are the families of Judah according to those who were numbered of them, 76,500.

  • Nu 1:26,27 2:3,4 Ge 49:8 1Ch 5:2 Ps 115:14 Heb 7:14 
  • Numbers 26 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

TOTAL OF 
JUDAHITES

These are the families of Judah according to those who were numbered of them, 76,500 - Judahites increased from 74,600 to 76,500.

Merrill

The three major clans of Judah and the two subclans of Perez numbered 76,500 (BKC)

Allen - In Sum: The tribe of Judah numbered 76,500 in the second census, an increase of 1,900 from the 74,600 of the first census (a gain of less than 3 percent). There are five clans (two are subclans). The tribe of Judah is in the fourth rank in both lists. The further history of the tribe of Judah is found in 1 Chronicles 2:3–4:23; this includes an extensive listing, not only of sons, but of mothers and daughters, an unusual feature in these lists. Since it is from the tribe of Judah that the kings were traced, the unusual listing is made significant. For obvious reasons Christian readers are aware of the special care of the Spirit of God in these lists. (EBC)

Numbers 26:23  The sons of Issachar according to their families: of Tola, the family of the Tolaites; of Puvah, the family of the Punites;

  • the sons: Nu 2:5 Ge 30:17,18 46:13 1Ch 7:1 
  • Numbers 26 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

TRIBE OF
ISSACHAR

The sons of Issachar according to their families: of Tola, the family of the Tolaites; of Puvah, the family of the Punites

Related Resources:

Numbers 26:24  of Jashub, the family of the Jashubites; of Shimron, the family of the Shimronites.

of Jashub, the family of the Jashubites; of Shimron, the family of the Shimronites.

Numbers 26:25  These are the families of Issachar according to those who were numbered of them, 64,300.

TOTAL OF
ISSACHARITES

These are the families of Issachar according to those who were numbered of them, 64,300 Issacharites increased from 54,400 to 64,300.

Allen - In Sum: The tribe of Issachar numbered 64,300 in the second census, an increase of 9,900 from the 54,400 of the first census (a gain of about 18 percent). There are four clans. The tribe of Issachar is in the fifth rank in both lists. The further history of the tribe of Issachar is found in 1 Chronicles 7:1–5. (EBC)

Numbers 26:26  The sons of Zebulun according to their families: of Sered, the family of the Seredites; of Elon, the family of the Elonites; of Jahleel, the family of the Jahleelites.

TRIBE OF ZEBULUN
THREE CLANS

The sons of Zebulun according to their families (CLANS): of Sered, the family of the Seredites; of Elon, the family of the Elonites; of Jahleel, the family of the Jahleelites - ESV = "The sons of Zebulun, according to their clans: of Sered, the clan of the Seredites; of Elon, the clan of the Elonites; of Jahleel, the clan of the Jahleelites." 

Related Resources:

Numbers 26:27  These are the families of the Zebulunites according to those who were numbered of them, 60,500.

TOTAL OF
ZEBULUNITES

These are the families of the Zebulunites according to those who were numbered of them, 60,500 - The three clans of Zebulun increased from 57,400 to 60,500.

Allen - In Sum: The tribe of Zebulun numbered 60,500 in the second census, an increase of 3,100 from the 57,400 of the first census (a gain of over 5 percent). There are three clans. The tribe of Zebulun is in the sixth rank in both census lists. Unlike the other tribes, the further history of the tribe of Zebulun is not recorded in 1 Chronicles 2–8; only the name of the tribe is given in 2:1. This is a strange omission (but see on Dan, vv.42–43). (EBC)

Numbers 26:28  The sons of Joseph according to their families: Manasseh and Ephraim.

TWO TRIBES FROM
JOSEPH

The sons of Joseph according to their families: Manasseh and Ephraim - Manasseh and Ephraim are listed by birth order, not the order in which they were blessed (see Gen 48:13–20)

Numbers 26:29  The sons of Manasseh: of Machir, the family of the Machirites; and Machir became the father of Gilead: of Gilead, the family of the Gileadites.

  • Machir: Nu 32:39,40 36:1 Ge 48:14 De 3:15 Jos 17:1 Jdg 5:14 1Ch 7:14-19 
  • Numbers 26 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

TRIBE OF MANASSEH
A TRIBE OF JOSEPH

The sons of Manasseh: of Machir, the family of the Machirites; and Machir became the father of Gilead: of Gilead, the family of the Gileadites.

Related Resources:

 

Numbers 26:30  These are the sons of Gilead: of Iezer, the family of the Iezerites; of Helek, the family of the Helekites;

  • Jeezer: called Abiezer, Jos 17:2 Jdg 6:11,24,34 8:2 
  • Numbers 26 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

These are the sons of Gilead: of Iezer, the family of the Iezerites; of Helek, the family of the Helekites;

Numbers 26:31  and of Asriel, the family of the Asrielites; and of Shechem, the family of the Shechemites;

and of Asriel, the family of the Asrielites; and of Shechem, the family of the Shechemites

Numbers 26:32  and of Shemida, the family of the Shemidaites; and of Hepher, the family of the Hepherites.

and of Shemida, the family of the Shemidaites; and of Hepher, the family of the Hepherites

Numbers 26:33  Now Zelophehad the son of Hepher had no sons, but only daughters; and the names of the daughters of Zelophehad were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah.

Now Zelophehad the son of Hepher had no sons, but only daughters; and the names of the daughters of Zelophehad were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah - These before significant in Nu 27:1–11+ (see also Nu 36:10-12+).

Numbers 26:34  These are the families of Manasseh; and those who were numbered of them were 52,700.

TOTAL OF
MANASSEHITES

These are the families of Manasseh; and those who were numbered of them were 52,700 - increased from 32,200 to 52,700.

Merrill

The two major clans and six minor clans of Manasseh, a Joseph tribe, amounted to 52,700 men. (BKC)

Allen - The most significant gain among all the tribes in the desert period is that of Manasseh (52,700, up from 32,200). No reason is known for this dramatic increase. In Sum: The tribe of Manasseh numbered 52,700 in the second census, an increase of 20,500 from the 32,200 of the first census (a stunning gain of 64 percent). There are two clans, that of Makir and that of his son Gilead; then there are six subclans of the Gileadites. The tribe of Manasseh is in the eighth rank in the first list and the seventh rank in the second, changing places with its brother tribe Ephraim—perhaps because of its phenomenal increase in numbers. The further history of the tribe of Manasseh is found in 1 Chronicles 7:14–19. (EBC)

Numbers 26:35 These are the sons of Ephraim according to their families: of Shuthelah, the family of the Shuthelahites; of Becher, the family of the Becherites; of Tahan, the family of the Tahanites.

TRIBE OF EPHRAIM
THE OTHER JOSEPH TRIBE

These are the sons of Ephraim (Joseph’s second son. Ge 41:52.) according to their families: of Shuthelah, the family of the Shuthelahites; of Becher, the family of the Becherites; of Tahan, the family of the Tahanites

Related Resources:

Numbers 26:36  These are the sons of Shuthelah: of Eran, the family of the Eranites.

These are the sons of Shuthelah: of Eran, the family of the Eranites

Numbers 26:37  These are the families of the sons of Ephraim according to those who were numbered of them, 32,500. These are the sons of Joseph according to their families.

TOTAL OF
EPHRAIMITES

These are the families of the sons of Ephraim according to those who were numbered of them, 32,500. These are the sons of Joseph according to their families - Decreased from 40,500 to 32,500. 

Merrill

The three principal clans and one subsidiary clan of Ephraim, the other Joseph tribe, totaled 32,500 (Nu 26:35-37). (BKC)

Allen - In Sum: The tribe of Ephraim numbered 32,500 in the second census, a drop of 8,000 from the 40,500 of the first census (a decrease of about 20 percent). There are three clans and one subclan. The tribe of Ephraim is in the seventh rank in the first list and the eighth rank in the second, changing places with its brother tribe, Manasseh. Further history of the tribe of Ephraim is found in 1 Chronicles 7:20–29. (EBC)

Numbers 26:38  The sons of Benjamin according to their families: of Bela, the family of the Belaites; of Ashbel, the family of the Ashbelites; of Ahiram, the family of the Ahiramites;

  • sons of Benjamin: 1Ch 7:6-12 
  • Ahiram: Ge 46:2, Ehi, 1Ch 8:1, Aharah
  • Numbers 26 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

TRIBE OF 
BENJAMIN

The sons of Benjamin according to their families: of Bela, the family of the Belaites; of Ashbel, the family of the Ashbelites; of Ahiram, the family of the Ahiramites

Related Resources:

Numbers 26:39  of Shephupham, the family of the Shuphamites; of Hupham, the family of the Huphamites.

of Shephupham, the family of the Shuphamites; of Hupham, the family of the Huphamites.

Numbers 26:40  The sons of Bela were Ard and Naaman: of Ard, the family of the Ardites; of Naaman, the family of the Naamites.

The sons of Bela were Ard and Naaman: of Ard, the family of the Ardites; of Naaman, the family of the Naamites.

Numbers 26:41  These are the sons of Benjamin according to their families; and those who were numbered of them were 45,600.

TOTAL OF 
BENJAMINITES

These are the sons of Benjamin according to their families; and those who were numbered of them were 45,600 - increased from 35, 400 to 45, 600. 

Merrill

The tribe of Benjamin consisted of five main clans and two minor ones, with their total of qualified males being 45,600 (vv. 38-41). (BKC)

Allen - In Sum: The tribe of Benjamin numbered 45,600 in the second census, an increase of 10,200 from the 35,400 of the first census (a gain of 29 percent). There are five clans and two subclans (but the other lists give different figures). The tribe of Benjamin is in the ninth rank in both census lists. The further history of the tribe of Benjamin is found in 1 Chronicles 7:6–12; 8:1–39. This latter extended excursus on the family of Benjamin is occasioned by interest in the line of Israel’s first king, Saul (see 1 Chronicles 8:33). (EBC)

Numbers 26:42 These are the sons of Dan according to their families: of Shuham, the family of the Shuhamites. These are the families of Dan according to their families.

TRIBE OF
DAN

These are the sons of Dan according to their families: of Shuham, the family of the Shuhamites. These are the families of Dan according to their families


Related Resources:


Gleason Archer - Is there any record of the tribe of Dan to show where they eventually settled?

At the time of the second census, as recorded in Numbers 26:42, the military population of the tribe of Dan came to the very considerable figure of 64,400 (v.43). To these was allotted a rather restricted territory between the western border of Judah and the shore of the Mediterranean, including the northern part of Philistia (Josh. 19:40–46). This particular region, however, was very fertile and enjoyed good precipitation and might well have yielded enough crops to support this populous tribe. But for some reason the Danites failed to match the Philistines in determination and military prowess; and despite the heroism of Samson, their finest warrior, they became vassals to them in a few generations after Joshua’s conquest.

Partly for this reason, the Danites became so restricted in their economic and political growth that some of the more enterprising of the younger men decided to form an expeditionary force and seek new land to settle outside the territory originally occupied by the Twelve Tribes. We cannot exactly date the time of this migration, which is detailed for us in Judges 18; but we know that only 600 men were involved in this operation.

After the Danite search committee had surveyed the entire land all the way up to southern Phoenicia (modern Lebanon), they chose the prosperous and peaceful city of Laish as the most attractive prospect for settlement. The armed troops thereupon proceeded through Kiriath-Jearim in Judah and went to the hill country of Ephraim, where they abducted a Levite who was serving as household priest to Micah, an Ephraimite. They also made off with Micah’s silver ephod, to serve as their cult image in the worship of Yahweh (though this was contrary to the second commandment), and attacked the unsuspecting Laishites in a surprise assault. Having taken possession of the city, they renamed it Dan. This Dan became the northernmost outpost of the Twelve Tribes, and as such was featured in the common phrase “from Dan to Beersheba.”

After the secession of the Ten Tribes from the dynasty of David (931 B.C.), the founding king of the northern kingdom, Jeroboam I, took care to establish an official temple there, complete with the image of a golden calf (1 Kings 12:30). But this northern colony of the tribe of Dan probably remained much smaller in in population than that of those living next to Philistia, in the territory originally allotted to them by Joshua. There was no question of a migration on the part of the whole tribe; it was a modest-sized colony that undertook the conquest of Laish up near the territory of Sidon and Tyre. (NIEBD)

Numbers 26:43  All the families of the Shuhamites, according to those who were numbered of them, were 64,400.

CLAN OF
DAN

All the families (clans) of the Shuhamites, according to those who were numbered of them, were 64,400. - Increased from 62, 700 to 64, 400. 

Merrill

Dan claimed only one clan, Shuham, and totaled 64,400 (vv. 42-43). (BKC)

Allen - In Sum: The tribe of Dan numbered 64,400 in the second census, an increase of 1,700 from the 62,700 of the first census (a gain of about 3 percent). There is only one clan. The tribe of Dan is in the tenth rank in both census lists. Alone among the tribes the name of Dan is not mentioned at all in the tribal genealogies of 1 Chronicles 1–8 (see also on vv.26–27, the situation with respect to Zebulun). (EBC)

Numbers 26:44  The sons of Asher according to their families: of Imnah, the family of the Imnites; of Ishvi, the family of the Ishvites; of Beriah, the family of the Beriites.

  • he children of Asher: Ge 46:17, Jimnah, Ishuah, Isui, 1Ch 7:30
  • Numbers 26 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

TRIBE OF
ASHER

The sons of Asher according to their families: of Imnah, the family of the Imnites; of Ishvi, the family of the Ishvites; of Beriah, the family of the Beriites

Related Resources:

Numbers 26:45  Of the sons of Beriah: of Heber, the family of the Heberites; of Malchiel, the family of the Malchielites.

Of the sons of Beriah: of Heber, the family of the Heberites; of Malchiel, the family of the Malchielites

Numbers 26:46  The name of the daughter of Asher was Serah.

AN UNUSUAL 
DESIGNATION

The name of the daughter of Asher was Serah - This is a very unusual notation, but we know nothing else about her. See Serah in Jewish Encyclopedia.  Mentioned 3x - Gen. 46:17; Num. 26:46; 1 Chr. 7:30

Related Resources:

  • International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Serah
  • Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia Serah
  • McClintock and Strong's Bible Encyclopedia Serah
  • American Tract Society Serah
  • Easton's Bible Dictionary Serah
  • Fausset Bible Dictionary Serah
  • Holman Bible Dictionary Serah
  • Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible Serah

Numbers 26:47  These are the families of the sons of Asher according to those who were numbered of them, 53,400.

  • the sons of Naphtali: Ge 46:24 1Ch 7:13 
  • Numbers 26 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

TOTAL OF 
ASHERITES

These are the families of the sons of Asher according to those who were numbered of them, 53,400 - increased from 41,500 to 53,400.

Merrill

There were three clans and two subclans in Asher with a total of 53,400 (vv. 44-47). (BKC)

Allen - In Sum: The tribe of Asher numbered 53,400 in the second census, an increase of 11,900 from the 41,500 of the first census (a gain of 29 percent). There are three clans and two subclans, and one daughter. The tribe of Asher is in the eleventh rank in both census lists. The further history of the tribe of Asher is found in 1 Chronicles 7:30–40. (EBC)

Numbers 26:48  The sons of Naphtali according to their families: of Jahzeel, the family of the Jahzeelites; of Guni, the family of the Gunites;

TRIBE OF 
NAPHTALI

The sons of Naphtali according to their families: of Jahzeel, the family of the Jahzeelites; of Guni, the family of the Gunites - "Jacob’s son Naphtali was his second son by Bilhah (Gen 30:8). The same four sons of Naphtali are named in Gen 46:24–25 and 1 Chr 7:13." (FSB)

Related Resources:

Numbers 26:49  of Jezer, the family of the Jezerites; of Shillem, the family of the Shillemites.

of Jezer, the family of the Jezerites; of Shillem, the family of the Shillemites.

Numbers 26:50  These are the families of Naphtali according to their families; and those who were numbered of them were 45,400.

These are the families of Naphtali according to their families; and those who were numbered of them were 45,400 - decreased from 53,400 to 45,400.

Allen - In Sum: The tribe of Naphtali numbered 45,400 in the second census, a decrease of 8,000 from the 53,400 of the first census (a drop of 15 percent). There are four clans. The tribe of Naphtali is in the twelfth rank in both census lists. The names of the sons of Naphtali, but no further history of the tribe, are found in 1 Chronicles 7:13. (EBC)

Numbers 26:51  These are those who were numbered of the sons of Israel, 601,730.

These are those who were numbered of the sons of Israel, 601,730 - Compared to 603,550 in first census.  During the years of wandering 1,200,000 people had died. Despite the decrease in numbers, the total number of males 20 years and older had decreased by only 1,820, so that Israel was still at full strength for their invasion of Canaan. 

Bush - So great was the divine beneficence, and such the Lord’s faithfulness to his promises, that notwithstanding all the former generation above twenty years of age had passed off the stage, yet so fast had he multiplied their posterity, that in that space of time their numbers had nearly kept good.

Ronald Allen - It is utterly remarkable that the total number has remained nearly unchanged even though the people have lived under the most trying conditions for a period of thirty-eight years. There has been the dying of all those who were over the age of twenty at the time of the rebellion at Kadesh, and there have been numerous judgments of God that have come on the people because of this and other rebellions. Then there was the harsh reality of living one’s lifetime in the Desert of Sinai. Given all these factors, the birth rate is not just equal but prodigious. God’s faithfulness to his people is grandly celebrated with this triumphant chapter of census! The point of this number is principally the praise of the Lord. (EBC) (Bold added)

NIVSB - Despite all that the people had been through during the years of wilderness experience, their total number was nearly the same as that of those who were first numbered. This remarkable fact is to be regarded as the blessing of the Lord, in fulfillment of his many promises to give numerical strength to the people descended from Abraham through Jacob (see note on Ge 12:2–3).

COMPARISON OF CENSUS 
NUMBERS 1 AND NUMBERS 26

TRIBE  FIRST NUMBERING SECOND NUMBERING CHANGE

Reuben

46,500

43,730

2,770 decr.

Simeon

59,300

22,200

37,100 decr.

Gad

45,650

40,500

5,150 decr.

Judah

74,600

76,500

1,900 incr.

Issachar

54,400

64,300

9,900 incr.

Zebulun

57,400

60,500

3,100 incr.

Manasseh

32,200

52,700

20,500 incr

Ephraim

40,500

32,500

8,000 decr.

Benjamin

35,400

45,600

10,200 incr.

Dan

62,700

64,400

1,700 incr.

Asher

41,500

53,400

11,900 incr

Naphtali

53,400

45,400

8,000 decr.

TOTAL

603,550

601,730

.1,820 decr

Bush - Here it is to be observed that though there was an increase in seven tribes of not less than 74,800 men, yet so great was the decrease in the other five tribes, that the balance against the present census is 1,820, as appears above.

Warren Wiersbe - It is interesting to note that the nation did not grow during their wilderness wanderings. In fact, the second census showed 1,820 fewer men of war. The nation wasted thirty-eight years, endured unnecessary afflictions, failed to grow, and failed to honor God all the while they were on their “death march.” This is what unbelief does to Christians. It wastes time, effort, and manpower and brings no real blessing. How sad it is when churches fail to step out by faith and, as a result, start to degenerate spiritually, numerically, and materially. May God help us to trust His Word!

Related Resource:


Moody - Today in the Word - Numbers 26:51-27:23

Not one of them was left except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. - Numbers 26:65

TODAY IN THE WORD
The name of the book is Numbers. The numbers themselves are staggering. Two censuses form bookends for Israel's wandering in the wilderness. Both times the nation tallied only those eligible to serve in the army. And both times, over 600,000 men over the age of twenty were counted. The sobering fact is that every single man from the first census died before the second was conducted (with the exception of the venerable Joshua and Caleb). Forty years, and over a half million deaths. Israel's original army was decimated by their own lack of faith.

The message God sent was clear: you will enter the Promised Land by faith, or you won't enter at all.

Even the leadership changed. Moses' disobedience in the Desert of Zin disqualified him from leading the charge into Canaan. Conversely, Joshua's faithfulness made him the perfect man for the job. But even the nature of the leadership changed, for Joshua would not enjoy the same type of intimate interaction with God that Moses did. He would instead rely on the priest as a go-between for God's direction.

And the priest himself employed a unique device for divining God's will. The Urim and Thummim mentioned in Exodus 28:30 were apparently used like lots for receiving God's answer on difficult rulings. It's worth noting that God offered Israel and its leaders their closest communion with God and the clearest manifestations of His presence during a time of such great discomfort and tragedy. He gave them assurance and guidance when they needed it most.

The daughters of Zelophehad make up an interesting snapshot of God's steadfast grace. Their father died, and they were without a close male relative. This essentially stripped them of social significance in the culture of that day. But God's inheritance was still promised to them. Numbers recounts a time of enormous loss, but also occasions of great provision from God.

TODAY ALONG THE WAY -Faith is a must for everyone from every era. The consequence of disbelief is severe, and the entire world is subject to God's judgment. May our hearts be burdened by the sheer volume of people who don't trust in Christ's gift of eternal life. To ignore that need is to be selfish in our salvation. Spend time today in prayer and reflection about the spiritual need of the world, from family members to foreign lands.

Numbers 26:52  Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,


Moody - Today in the Word - Numbers 26:52-56; Deuteronomy 19:14

Do not move an ancient boundary stone or encroach on the fields of the fatherless, for their Defender is strong. - Proverbs 23:10–11 
TODAY IN THE WORD
Most little children have a highly developed understanding of fairness, particularly with regard to allotted portions of dessert! The concept that each individual is entitled to an equal share of the cake rarely needs to be explained or reviewed. Deep down, there is the awareness that life is governed by certain inalienable rules. When these rules are properly adhered to (meaning that everyone gets the same sized piece of cake) dessert time goes pretty well; real (or perceived) disregard to these rules results in discord.

Equitable distribution is also important to God, as today’s passage shows. Numbers 26 records the second census taken prior to entering the land. The first census was a military one taken in preparation for the land’s conquest. Between that census and the one recorded here, however, was a sad series of disobedient actions that eventually wiped out the original generation that had been led out of Egypt (Num. 26:63–65). 

The census recorded in today’s passage was taken in preparation of the division of the promised land. Like the first census, this one occurred prior to the actual occupation of the land. An entire disobedient, unbelieving generation had to be rooted out, but God was faithful to His promise to give the land to Abraham’s descendents. 

The allotment of the promised land was based on the needs of each tribe--larger tribes received more land, smaller ones received less land (v. 54). The actual allotment was carried out by lot. This process may have involved specially marked stones that were thrown, much like dice (Num. 33:54). The use of lots was an ancient means of entrusting the final outcome of decisions or distribution of land into God’s hands. Although the land was divided according to tribes’ needs, its ultimate distribution was under God’s control.

TODAY ALONG THE WAY
Moving boundary markers directly defied God’s wisdom in distribution. Although we probably haven’t moved any ancient stones lately, we may have defied God’s wisdom by coveting what God has given to others, such as natural talents and abilities, spiritual gifts, a loving spouse, or a good family

Numbers 26:53  "Among these the land shall be divided for an inheritance according to the number of names.

  • Ge 12:2,7 Jos 11:23 14:1 Ps 49:14 105:44 Eze 47:22 Da 7:27 Mt 5:5 Rev 5:10 21:27 
  • Numbers 26 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

"Among these the land shall be divided for an inheritance according to the number of names - That is more "names" more land. 

Bush - Unto these the land shall be divided, etc. Heb. “Apportioned.” The enrolment of the names in the census-register was a preliminary step equivalent to a profession of their being heirs of the promises, just as those are partakers of the kingdom of heaven, whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. To all such the declaration here made is a comforting assurance, since it virtually put the promised land into their present possession. The demonstrative pronoun is used emphatically to preclude the apprehension that they were longer to be put off, or that their posterity and not themselves were to be made the actual inheritors. According to the number of names. That is, according to the number of the persons registered under each family. According as these were numerous or otherwise, the portion assigned was to be large or small. Comp. Nu 33:54.

Allen points out that "The second census relates not only to military service in the conquest of the land but to inheritance rights once the land was made theirs. This is a pericope of promise that is designed to impel the people to faithfulness. The listing of names was not only the means for demonstrating God’s faithfulness for his people; it was also a basis for an equitable distribution of the land they were about to enter. Larger tribes would receive larger shares, but the decisions of place would be made by lot (v.56). Until the end, Moses was still in charge of these things, another of the sweet-hurts that marked his last days. The distribution of the land was to be based on the dual principles of fairness and lot (with the understanding that the fall of the lot is in the hands of the Lord). The land is God’s gift to his people; hence their shares in it are their inheritance from him. So the reason for the mustering of the people was twofold: to prepare them for war and to determine their tribal needs in the land." (EBC)

Related Resource:

Numbers 26:54  "To the larger group you shall increase their inheritance, and to the smaller group you shall diminish their inheritance; each shall be given their inheritance according to those who were numbered of them.

LAND AMOUNTS
PROPORTIONAL TO TRIBE SIZE

To the larger group you shall increase their inheritance - Hebrew = “to many you will multiply his inheritance.” The larger the tribe the larger the share of land. 

and to the smaller group you shall diminish their inheritance - Hebrew = “to a few you will lessen his inheritance.” The smaller the tribe the smaller the share of land. 

each shall be given their inheritance according to those who were numbered of them - NET Note says Hebrew reads “according to those that were numbered of him,” meaning, in accordance with the number of people in his clan.

Numbers 26:55  "But the land shall be divided by lot. They shall receive their inheritance according to the names of the tribes of their fathers.

  • by lot: Nu 26:56 33:54 34:13 Jos 11:23 14:2 17:14 18:6,10,11 19:1,10 Jos 19:17,24,32,40 Pr 16:33 18:18 Ac 1:26 Col 1:12 Rev 7:4-8 
  • Numbers 26 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

CASTING LOTS
FOR LOCATION

But the land shall be divided by lot. They shall receive their inheritance according to the names of the tribes of their fathers - NLT = "But you must assign the land by lot, and give land to each ancestral tribe according to the number of names on the list." 

The locations of the inheritance would be determined by lot. 

HCSB Study Bible - Divided by lot refers to a second principle governing land allocation—providential probability as expressed through a game of chance. The Lord was presumed to oversee the casting of the lots, thereby bringing His decision to pass (Pr 16:33). The casting of lots was a common means of determining the will of God. It was used to choose between the two goats on the Day of Atonement (Lv 16:8), to divide the spoils of war (Ob 11), and to settle political issues (1Sam 10:21).

Bush Notwithstanding the land shall be divided by lot. These lots would seem to have been cast only for the tribes, and not for the families, for to them the distribution was evidently to be governed by the rule laid down v. 54. Yet in case any lot was too large for the tribe, it appears that there was nothing to prevent their giving up a part of their right to others, as we learn was the case with Judah, which relinquished a portion of its territory to Simeon and Dan. It is easy to conceive that without some mode of appeal to the Supreme Arbiter the burden of responsibility in regard to the several allotments would have been very heavy, and probably led to charges of partiality or prejudice; for which reason the lot seems to have been ordained, “the whole disposing of which is of the Lord.”

Related Resource:

  • What was the practice of casting lots? | GotQuestions.org - Excerpt = "The practice of casting lots is mentioned seventy times in the Old Testament and seven times in the New Testament. In spite of the many references to casting lots in the Old Testament, nothing is known about the actual lots themselves. They could have been sticks of various lengths, flat stones like coins, or some kind of dice; but their exact nature is unknown. The closest modern practice to casting lots is likely flipping a coin. The practice of casting lots occurs most often in connection with the division of the land under Joshua (Joshua 14-21), a procedure that God instructed the Israelites on several times in the book of Numbers (Numbers 26:55; Nu 33:54; Nu 34:13; 36:2). God allowed the Israelites to cast lots in order to determine His will for a given situation (Joshua 18:6-10; 1 Chronicles 24:5,31). Various offices and functions in the temple were also determined by lot (1 Chronicles 24:5, 31; 25:8-9; 26:13-14). The sailors on Jonah’s ship (Jonah 1:7) also cast lots to determine who had brought God’s wrath upon their ship. The eleven apostles cast lots to determine who would replace Judas (Acts 1:26). Casting lots eventually became a game people played and made wagers on. This is seen in the Roman soldiers casting lots for Jesus’ garments (Matthew 27:35)."
  • Holman Bible Dictionary Lots
  • Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible Lots
  • Hastings' Dictionary of the NT Lots Lots

Numbers 26:56  "According to the selection by lot, their inheritance shall be divided between the larger and the smaller groups."

According to the selection by lot, their inheritance shall be divided between the larger and the smaller groups - "According to the lot shall the possession, etc. That is, the portion or share which shall fall by lot to each tribe, shall be distributed to the several families in such proportions as their numbers shall require. The precise mode in which the lots were drawn is not known with any certainty. (Bush)

Numbers 26:57  These are those who were numbered of the Levites according to their families: of Gershon, the family of the Gershonites; of Kohath, the family of the Kohathites; of Merari, the family of the Merarites.

  • these are: Nu 35:2,3 Ge 46:11 Ex 6:16-19 1Ch 6:1,16-30 
  • of Gershon: Nu 3:1-4:49 
  • Numbers 26 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

These are those who were numbered of the Levites according to their families: of Gershon, the family of the Gershonites; of Kohath, the family of the Kohathites; of Merari, the family of the Merarites -  The Gershonites were assigned care and maintenance of the tent coverings, screens, and other cloth materials (Nu 3:21–26; 4:24–28). The Kohathites were closest to the most holy objects for they took care of the furnishings of the tabernacle including the altars and the ark of the covenant (Nu 3:27–31; 4:34–37; 10:21). Finally, the Merarites handled the structural components of the tabernacle (frames, pillars, tent pegs, cords) (Nu 3:33–37; 4:29–33; 10:17).

Bush - These (are) they that were numbered of the Levites. The Levitical families are here numbered by themselves, because they were not to have a distinct share of the land, although they were to be provided with 48 cities and their suburbs for habitations. It is to be observed, however, that they are not enumerated with the same precision as the other tribes, some families being here wholly omitted. Comp. Ex. 6:17–19. The register was now made under the three branches of that tribe, specified ch. 3:17, 18, etc., from one of which descended Moses and Aaron, and Aaron’s sons the priests. There were four of these, but two of them, Nadab and Abihu, were cut off by the hand of heaven for their impiety, and yet the Lord so ordered it, that they were preserved and increased in their posterity so as to afford a sufficient number for the discharge of the priestly functions.

Nelson's NKJV Study Bible. - The numbering of the Levites follows that of the other tribes, just as in the first census. In this case more names and families are given, for this was the list that would be used once the people were in the land.

Numbers 26:58  These are the families of Levi: the family of the Libnites, the family of the Hebronites, the family of the Mahlites, the family of the Mushites, the family of the Korahites. Kohath became the father of Amram.

NLT  Numbers 26:58 The Libnites, the Hebronites, the Mahlites, the Mushites, and the Korahites were all subclans of the Levites.Now Kohath was the ancestor of Amram,

ESV  Numbers 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.

NIV  Numbers 26:58 These also were Levite clans: the Libnite clan, the Hebronite clan, the Mahlite clan, the Mushite clan, the Korahite clan. (Kohath was the forefather of Amram;


THIS DEPICTION FOCUSES ON TRIBE OF LEVI
Source: Thomas Constable

Another Depiction Minus Clans not Mentioned in Numbers 26 - see note below
Source: Cornerstone Bible Commentary - Numbers

Note on Cornerstone chart which "shows the clans that descended from Levi. Those in parentheses are not included in the list of Numbers 26; however, they are found in clan lists elsewhere (Gen 46:11; Exod 6:16–25; Num 3:17–39; 1 Chr 6:1–29; 23:6–23; 24:20–30). There are also some variations in the lists in Chronicles which are not represented in the chart: “Ladan and Shimei, the sons of Gershon” (1 Chr 23:7 mg); “the descendants of Kohath included Amminadab, Korah, Assir,” etc. (1 Chr 6:22–24), and “the descendants of Merari included Mahli, Libni, Shimei,” etc. (1 Chr 6:29–30). This may hint that these clans died out or were cut off in the wilderness." (CBC-Nu)

These are the families of Levi: the family of the Libnites, the family of the Hebronites, the family of the Mahlites, the family of the Mushites -  

the family of the Korahites - As shown in the diagram above, Korah was a clan from Izhar (Ex 6:21). So not all the Korahites perished as mentioned earlier in Nu 26:11. In the midst of wrath, God remembers mercy and He had mercy on this family! 

Kohath became the father of Amram - Amram is mentioned 16x in 14v - Exod. 6:18; Exod. 6:20; Num. 3:19; Num. 3:27; Num. 26:58; Num. 26:59; 1 Chr. 6:2; 1 Chr. 6:3; 1 Chr. 6:18; 1 Chr. 23:12; 1 Chr. 23:13; 1 Chr. 24:20; 1 Chr. 26:23; Ezr. 10:34

Gilbrant notes that "

The clans of Shimei and Uzziel had dropped out (SEE GENEALOGY ABOVE). The clan of Izhar had also dropped out except for the clan of Korah—that part of it that did not rebel with their leader Korah, who rebelled with the Reubenites, Dathan and Abiram.

Bush - The family of the Korathites. Or, more properly Korhites, from Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, ch. 16:1. Korah himself died in the rebellion, but his children were exempted from his fate, and are therefore here reckoned for a family in the fourth generation from Levi, which is one degree farther than the other families extend. Upon comparing Ex. 6:17, we find two sons of Gershon mentioned, viz. Libni and Shimi, yet here the former is enumerated and the latter omitted. Then also Kohath has four sons, Amram, and Izhar, and Hebron, and Uzziel, yet here Uzziel is wholly omitted, nor is Izhar named otherwise than impliedly in his sons the Korathites.

Numbers 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 their sister Miriam.

THE LINEAGE OF
MOSES, AARON, MIRIAM

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 their sister Miriam - Ex 6:20-23 says "Amram married his father’s sister Jochebed, and she bore him Aaron and Moses; and the length of Amram’s life was one hundred and thirty-seven years.  21 The sons of Izhar: Korah and Nepheg and Zichri. 22 The sons of Uzziel: Mishael and Elzaphan and Sithri. 23Aaron married Elisheba, the daughter of Amminadab, the sister of Nahshon, and she bore him Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar."

Calvin has an interesting comment - “Why Moses should expressly state the name of his mother, contrary to the usual custom of Scripture, does not clearly appear; for it is not likely that he did this as a distinction to his own family, because he at the same time shows how he himself, as well as his children, was deprived of the honor of the priesthood, in which there is no appearance of ambition. It is more probable, if the word daughter is literally taken, that he did not conceal a disgraceful circumstance, in order to extol more highly the indulgence of God; for in this case, Moses and Aaron sprang of an incestuous marriage, since Amram their father must have married his aunt, which natural modesty forbids. It will then be rather an ingenuous confession of family dishonor, than an ambitious boast.”

Numbers 26:60  To Aaron were born Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.

THE FOUR SONS OF 
AARON THE PRIEST

To Aaron were born Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar - Numbers 3:2 "These then are the names of the sons of Aaron: Nadab the firstborn, and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar." Numbers 3:8 describes their duties "They shall also keep all the furnishings of the tent of meeting, along with the duties of the sons of Israel, to do the service of the tabernacle."

Bush - Here the names of Moses’ children, Gershon and Eleazar, are again omitted, and only those of Aaron mentioned. 

Numbers 26:61  But Nadab and Abihu died when they offered strange fire before the LORD.

REMINDER OF THE DANGER
OF OFFERING STRANGE FIRE

But (term of contrast) Nadab and Abihu died when they offered strange fire before the LORD -  This is recorded in Leviticus 10 (see commentary) This event served as a warning to the Levites that they must carry out their (potentially dangerous) duties with a sense of reverential fear and careful attention to guarding the holiness of God lest they suffer a similar fate. Scripture records that Eli's sons Hophni and Phinehas clearly did not heed the warning for they were "worthless men who did not know the LORD." (1 Sa 2:12) and " the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD, for the men despised the offering of the LORD." (1 Sa 2:17, cf 1 Sa 2:22) and after the "ark of God was taken...the two sons of Eli Hophni and Phinehas died." (1 Sa 4:11).

Lev 10:1-2+ Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took their respective firepans, and after putting fire in them, placed incense on it and offered strange fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them. 2 And fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD.

NET Note - The expression אֵשׁ זָרָה (’esh zarah, “strange fire”) seems imprecise and has been interpreted numerous ways (see the helpful summary in J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC 4], 132–33). The infraction may have involved any of the following or a combination thereof: (1) using coals from some place other than the burnt offering altar (i.e., “unauthorized coals” according to J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB], 1:598; cf. Lev 16:12 and cf. “unauthorized person” [אִישׁ זָר, ’ish zar] in Num 16:40 [17:5 HT], NASB “layman”), (2) using the wrong kind of incense (cf. the Exod 30:9 regulation against “strange incense” [קְטֹרֶת זָרָה, qétoret zarah] on the incense altar and the possible connection to Exod 30:34–38), (3) performing an incense offering at an unprescribed time (B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 59), or (4) entering the Holy of Holies at an inappropriate time (Lev 16:1–2).


Question: What is the meaning of the strange fire in Leviticus 10:1?

Answer: In order to understand the phrase “strange fire,” we must review the story in Leviticus in which it appears. The first tabernacle had been erected, and Aaron was doing a lot of sacrificing per God’s instructions (Leviticus 8—9). One day, two of Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, came along and offered incense with “strange fire.” The Hebrew word translated “strange” means “unauthorized, foreign, or profane.” God not only rejected their sacrifice; He found it so offensive that He consumed the two men with fire.

After Nadab and Abihu were killed, Moses explained to Aaron why God had done such a harsh thing: “This is what the LORD spoke of when he said: ‘Among those who approach me I will show myself holy; in the sight of all the people I will be honored’” (Leviticus 10:3). The exact nature of the profane fire isn’t known, but, since it was the fire that was unauthorized, it could be that Nadab and Abihu were burning the incense with fire of their own making rather than taking fire from the altar, as specified in Leviticus 16:12. Or it could have been that the two men came into the tabernacle drunk and therefore could not remember what was a violation and what was not (Leviticus 10:8–9). Whatever it was the men did to render the offering profane, it was a sign of their disregard for the utter holiness of God and the need to honor and obey Him in solemn and holy fear. Their carelessness and irreverence were their downfall.

In judging Nadab and Abihu for their strange fire, God was making a point to all the other priests who would serve in His tabernacle—and later, in His temple—and to us, as well. Since this was the first time sacrifices were being offered on the altar and Israel was getting to know the living God better, when Aaron’s sons were disobedient and profane, God displayed His displeasure in no uncertain terms. God was not going to allow the disobedience of Aaron’s sons to set a precedent for future disregard of His Law. A similar story occurs in Acts 5:1–11, during the time of the early church. A husband and wife lie to Peter about some land given to the church, and they are judged with physical death because of their lie. As Peter puts it, “You have not lied just to human beings but to God” (Acts 5:4).

God knows our hearts. He knows what we truly believe and our attitude toward Him. We cannot offer to Him proud “sacrifices” that are unworthy of Him. He seeks those who come to Him in humility, ready to sacrifice their pride and lay before Him humble and contrite hearts grieving for sin (Psalm 51:17). Certainly, there is grace and forgiveness and plenty of “second chances” for those who belong to Him. But God wants us to know that He is serious when it comes to His honor and glory. If there is willful disobedience in the life of a believer, then God disciplines us out of His great love for us (Hebrews 12:7–11). If such disobedience continues, God will take harsher measures until we understand how we are disappointing Him. If we continue in our disobedience even after that, then God has every right to remove us from this earth (see 1 Corinthians 11:29–30). GotQuestions.org

Numbers 26:62  Those who were numbered of them were 23,000, every male from a month old and upward, for they were not numbered among the sons of Israel since no inheritance was given to them among the sons of Israel.

  • those  Nu 1:49 Nu 3:39 Nu 4:27,48 Nu 18:20-24 35:2-8 De 10:9 14:27-29 18:1,2 Jos 13:14,33 14:3 
  • they were not: Nu 1:49 
  • because: Nu 18:20-24 35:2-8 De 10:9 14:27-29 18:1,2 Jos 13:14,33 14:3 
  • Numbers 26 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

LEVITES NUMBERED 
SEPARATELY

Those who were numbered of them were 23,000, every male from a month old and upward, for they were not numbered among the sons of Israel since no inheritance was given to them among the sons of Israel -  Compare to the initial census in Nu 3:39+ - "All the numbered men of the Levites, whom Moses and Aaron numbered at the command of the LORD by their families, every male from a month old and upward, were 22,000."  The Levites were not numbered with the others because  they were not to go to war and were not to receive an inheritance of land. Nu 18:21 (cf Nu 18:24, 26) describes the inheritance of the Levites = "To the sons of Levi, behold, I have given all the tithe in Israel for an inheritance, in return for their service which they perform, the service of the tent of meeting." 

Numbers 26:63  These are those who were numbered by Moses and Eleazar the priest, who numbered the sons of Israel in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho.


Plains of Moab opposite Jericho

These are those who were numbered by Moses and Eleazar the priest, who numbered the sons of Israel in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho - This serves like a "divine bookend" that describes all those who will be allowed to enter the promised land. All those originally counted, except Joshua, Caleb and Moses, had died (Nu 26:63–65)

Numbers 26:64  But among these there was not a man of those who were numbered by Moses and Aaron the priest, who numbered the sons of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai.

NOT A MAN LEFT
OF ORIGINAL CENSUS

But among these there was not a man of those who were numbered by Moses and Aaron the priest, who numbered the sons of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai -   Reiteration that the first generation was not included in this census because they all died in the wilderness. This serves to emphasize the vital truth we must all acknowledge, that the wages of sin is death (Ro 6:23+). 

Bush - This is stated in order to show how punctual the Most High had been in executing the threatening so emphatically pronounced against the murmurers of a former generation, ch. 14:23, 28, 29. Of the vast total of upwards of 600,000 then enumerated, Caleb and Joshua alone had their names registered in the present census. This, however, is to be understood with a peculiar qualification. It is evident from Josh. 14:1, Josh 22:13, that both Eleazar and Phinehas did actually enter into the promised land. How is this consistent with the statement here made? We reply that the sentence of exclusion applied to the other tribes which were enumerated on two former occasions, and in which the Levites were not embraced. We do not read that they had any share in the transaction which brought the divine denunciation upon the mass of the people. (ED: INTERESTING!) This tribe did not, like the others, send a spy into Canaan, nor does it appear that it concurred in the general murmuring which the report of the spies occasioned. (ED: And we know Phinehas was reckoned as righteous - his actions did not not earn him righteousness, but instead demonstrated that he was righteous by faith, not works. - see Ps 106:30-31)

Related Resource:

Numbers 26:65  For the LORD had said of them, "They shall surely die in the wilderness." And not a man was left of them, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun.

  • They shall: Nu 14:23,24,28-30,35,38 Ex 12:37 De 2:14,15 32:49,50 Ps 90:3-7 Ro 11:22 1Co 10:5,6 Heb 3:17,18 Jude 1:5 
  • except: Nu 14:30,38 
  • Numbers 26 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

Nu 14:22-23+  “Surely all the men who have seen My glory and My signs which I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet have put Me to the test these ten times and have not listened to My voice, 23 shall by no means see the land which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who spurned Me see it.

Numbers 14:28-30+  “Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says the LORD, ‘just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will surely do to you; 29 your corpses will fall in this wilderness, even all your numbered men, according to your complete number from twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against Me. 30 ‘Surely you shall not come into the land in which I swore to settle you, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun.

Numbers 14:38+  But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh remained alive out of those men who went to spy out the land.

YAHWEH'S PROMISE OF 
PUNISHMENT FULFILLED

For - Term of explanation. Explains why none of the first generation were counted in this census. 

Allen - The texts lays emphasis on the expression “not one of them” (vv.64–65). This, of course, speaks of the sure righteousness of the Lord. But the survival of Caleb and Joshua reminds us of the grace of the Lord, who keeps his promise to save, even as he remembers his oath to punish.

The LORD had said of them, "They shall surely die in the wilderness." And not a man was left of them, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun - Note the repeat phrase not a man (also in Nu 26:64) which lends definite emphasis to the point. God had made a prophetic pronouncement of punishment for the people who disbelieved (they will surely die in the wilderness) and Moses records the fulfillment of that promise. Many tends to discount God's warnings that those who refuse His offer of salvation in Christ will not enter the promised land fo Heaven and the Millennium. In this sense every person born (and who dies before the age of accountability) is "numbered in the census" of Adam (Romans 5:12+) and is doomed to die in the wilderness of this world and forever and ever in the lake of fire. This is a hard saying for sure but even in giving this dire warning of doom in "duplicate", Jesus balanced the bad news with the gracious offer of the good news of the hope of eternal life when He declared...

“Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am [He] (I AM = EGO EIMI = JEHOVAH - Ex 3:14+), you will die in your sins.” (John 8:28). 

The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:10+)

“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved." 
-- Acts 16:31+


G Campbell Morgan - With this chapter we begin what is really the third and last section of this Book of Numbers. In it we have the account of the second numbering of the people, and their preparation for coming into possession of the land from which they had been excluded for forty years. In the census many of the names occurring in the first are omitted, and others have taken their place. Two men only of those who had come to the margin of the land were now to pass over into its possession. These were Caleb and Joshua, the men who constituted the minority, the men who had seen much more than enemies and walled cities, because their vision of God had been unclouded. Loyal in heart to their God and their faith they had shared the discipline of the nation, and had seen the whole generation of unbelieving men pass away. They had been preserved, an elect remnant, and a living link with the great deliverance wrought by the Exodus. Thus we see God's continuity of purpose, notwithstanding the change of persons. It is always so. I may fail to enter in because of unbelief and disobedience, but the day of entry will come. Happy are those who being of another spirit, walk with God, not only through the processes, but into the accomplishment, of His purposes. The secret of such life is always the same, that of a clear vision of God. To lose that, is to see all other things in a false light, and to be either lured by the deceitfulness of sin, or filled with unworthy fears. To see God, is to see everything in the true light, and so to be able to walk without stumbling.


F B Meyer - Numbers 26:65   There was not left a man of them.

Twice Moses numbered the people: on the first occasion Aaron was his colleague, at the beginning of the forty years; on the second occasion Eleazar, and this was at the end of the wanderings, on the threshold of Canaan. But only two had survived, Joshua and Caleb, because only they followed the Lord. God deals with a nation by dealing with individuals. He misses no one.

His love misses none. — The little sick child put her hand outside the coverlet before falling asleep, in the hope that the Good Shepherd would notice it, and not miss her, as He passed down the hospital ward. But there is no need to fear his missing us, whose eyes are like a flame of fire, bringing the light with which they see. He tasted death for every man; He seeks each missing sheep, each lost coin. “He loved me, and gave Himself for me.”
His Spirit misses none. — If thou hast faith as a grain of mustard seed, it will attract his notice. If thou yieldest thyself to his Spirit, though thy lung be weak and diseased, He will fill it. If thou desirest to be endued with the gift of Pentecost, it will fall upon thy head, though thou art as obscure as the shepherd-psalmist of old.

Death and judgment miss none. — On each of these unbelieving men the Divine sentence was executed. One or two might linger, as autumn leaves on the topmost boughs of stripped trees; but ultimately they shared the fate of their companions. Unless Christ come first, our turn will come. In Adam all die. We must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ. Each was born alone, must die alone, and alone give an account to the King. Prepare, my soul, to meet Him! 

Book