Numbers … some thoughts

A collection of jottings from recent time spent reading Numbers in the mornings (July 2007).

Numbers 11
11v11 – Moses actually argues with the LORD (I know that this is known as something which he does, but it still comes as a shock to see it in print).
11v21 – 600,000 people. A huge number now, as well as then (frequently I find that the numbers in the OT are not that big, so I have to imagine myself back in OT times and think how big they would be for them. Not so here).
11v29 – would that all the LORD’s people were prophets.

12v3 – Moses was the meekest man. What is meek?
12v6 – special relationship with Moses.

14v10 – the people are ready to stone those who are faithful to God.
14vv11-12 – 11And the LORD said to Moses, “How long will this people despise me? And how long will they not believe in me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among them? 12I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they.”

Numbers 15
(within the context of offerings for intentional and unintentional sin:
30But the person who does anything with a high hand, whether he is native or a sojourner, reviles the LORD, and that person shall be cut off from among his people. 31Because he has despised the word of the LORD and has broken his commandment, that person shall be utterly cut off; his iniquity shall be on him.”
Am intrigued by the ‘high hand’. Must find commentary on Numbers at some point.

Numbers 16 – I’ve not noticed before the way that the phrases are repeated here as the rebels mock Moses(Korah’s rebellion).
e.g.
16v9 Moses says 9is it too small a thing for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself, to do service in the tabernacle of the LORD and to stand before the congregation to minister to them, “
16v13 the rebels say “13Is it a small thing that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, that you must also make yourself a prince over us? “

16vv31-32 – the earth opens its mouth to swallow up Korah and his people for their rebellion.
16v41 – the next day the congregation of the people of Israel grumble against Moses and Aaron.
It seems so stark, against the context of Moses having been shown (by the swallowing up) to have been sent to do the LORD’s works.

vv44-46 – the plague starts as soon as the LORD has said that He will consume these people. Moses runs and offers atonement, and stands between the dead and the living. Not entirely sure why the ‘standing between the dead and the living’ strikes me, but it does.

Numbers 20
v28 – Aaron’s death – mused gently about whether Aaron dies because he’s taken his clothes off on the mountaintop, or whether his clothes are removed because he dies. A question for coffee I suspect.

Moses … the meekest man (12v3), probably in his eighties (need to find a source for this – Exodus??, leads a troublesome people through the wilderness, is told that he won’t be entering into the Promised Land, but still leads them on, obediently, through confrontation with Edom, Arad and the Amorites.

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