Michael D. Coogan

in The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha, Augmented Third Edition, New Revised Standard Version

Published in print February 2007 | ISBN: 9780195288803
Published online April 2009 |

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The end of the book of Exodus dealt with the plan and construction of the wilderness sanctuary, and Leviticus in large part dealt with the ceremonies that take place in the sanctuary and the priesthood. Numbers opens (chs 1–10 ) with stories and laws pertaining more broadly to the people and their relationship to the sanctuary, still in the period soon after the Exodus and the revelation on Sinai. Ch 1 tells of a census taken of the twelve tribes. It omits the tribe of Levi and subdivides the tribe of Joseph into Ephraim and Manasseh, Joseph's sons (see Gen 48 ), to maintain the twelve‐tribe structure (cf. 17.2–3 ). Two censuses of the Levites appear separately in chs 3 and 4. Ch 26 describes a further census of both the twelve tribes and the Levites. The two countings of the Israelites (chs 1 and 26 ) appear roughly at the beginning and end of the forty‐year wilderness period.

Chapter.  11665 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies ; Biblical Studies

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