Daily reading

Today’s reading is: Num. 19-21


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Numbers Chapter Nineteen

  1. This chapter details the cleaning procedure for the unclean person, due to the touching of a dead body. Timely! The recent plague has generated a significant need for such cleansing, in addition to the reality that the Kadesh-Barnea failure means the entire Exodus generation will die before their children can enter the land.
  2. The special ritual, like the cleansing procedure and sacrifices for a leper, is precise and detailed, and absolutely required.
  3. The recipe here described is for the manufacture of a special water for impurity. Notice how the living waters combine with the ashes of the blood for the cleansing ritual.

Numbers Chapter Twenty

  1. This chapter begins with the death of Miriam (Num. 20:1), and ends with the death of Aaron (Num. 20:23-29).
  2. Israel is faced with a second no-water situation (Num. 20:2-13; cf. Ex. 17:1-7).
    1. Moses and Aaron appeal to the Lord for His forgiveness (Num. 20:6).
    2. Moses is instructed to speak to the rock (Num. 20:8), and not to strike the rock, as he did once before (Ex. 17:6).
    3. Moses in anger strikes the rock twice, and forfeits his entrance into the land of promise (Num. 20:9-13).
  3. Israel attempted to pass through the region of Edom, but was treated as an enemy rather than a brother (Num. 20:14-22; Deut. 2:1-7).
  4. Aaron died on Mt. Hor, and his office passed to Eleazar (Num. 20:23-28).

Numbers Chapter Twenty-One

  1. Just as the Exodus generation faced their first battle against the Amalekites (Ex. 17:8-16), The Wilderness generation faces their first battle, where they learn to trust in the Lord (Num. 21:1-3).
    1. The Canaanite, king of Arad (Num. 21:1).  Not King Arad, the Canaanite (KJV).
    2. Israel vowed to utterly destroy the Canaanites, if the Lord gives them the victory (Num. 21:2).
    3. The place was named for a positive example (Num. 21:3).
      1. חָרַם chāram #2763: to destroy utterly, prohibit, ban.
      2. חָרְמָה chormāh #2767: devotion, destruction.
  2. Israel’s detour around the land of Edom prompted additional grumbling (Num. 21:4-5).
    1. The Lord’s judgment upon Israel for their grumbling was to send fiery serpents among them (Num. 21:6).
      1. Fiery serpents = הַנְּחָשִׁים הַשְּׂרָפִים hannechashiym hasseraphiym.
        1. נָחָשׁ nāchāsh #5175: serpent, snake (Gen. 3:1ff.; Ex. 4:3; 7:15; Num. 21:6,7,9x3).
        2. שָׂרָף sārāph #8314: fiery, seraph (Num. 21:6,8; Isa. 6:2).
      2. Sin unto death, on a national basis, as a result of the serpent bites (Num. 21:6,7).
    2. The Lord’s provision of salvation (Num. 21:8,9; Jn. 3:14,15).
      1. The Lord instructed Moses to manufacture a seraph, and set it on a standard (Num. 21:8).
        1. “Make for yourself a seraph.”
        2. “Set it upon a standard.”  נֵס nēc #5251: pole, standard, ensign.
        3. Moses made a bronze serpent. נְחַשׁ נְחֹשֶׁת nechash nechōsheth. 
      2. The people who had been bitten were required to look to the cross for salvation (Num. 21:9; Jn. 3:14,15).
    3. In later years, this nechash nechōsheth was retained as an idol, named Nehushtan (2nd Kgs. 18:4).  Nehushtan = nāchāsh (serpent) + tan (dragon), much as Leviathan = Levi (priest) + tan (dragon).
  3. Israel makes its approach into Canaan from the east, rather than the south as before (Num. 21:10-20).
    1. Their journey around Edom, and through Moabite regions was marked by conflict, and recorded in the Book of the Wars of the Lord.
    2. Israel was instructed to not make war against Moab, as the Lord had chosen to bless the children of Lot (Deut. 2:8,9).
    3. Balak, King of Moab will soon join together with Midian, and attempt to curse Israel (Num. 22-24).
    4. This secular book is no longer in existence, but was known in ancient times.  Other such works mentioned in Scripture:
      1. The Book of Jashar (Josh. 10:13; 2nd Sam. 1:18).
      2. The Book of Samuel (1st Sam. 10:25).
      3. The Chronicles of King David (1st Chr. 27:24).
      4. The Acts of Solomon (1st Kgs. 11:41).
      5. Collective writings of Solomon concerning secular wisdom & knowledge (1st Kgs. 4:32,33).
      6. The Book of the Kings of Israel (1st Chr. 9:1).
      7. The Chronicles of Samuel the Seer (1st Chr. 29:29).
      8. The Chronicles of Nathan the Prophet (1st Chr. 29:29; 2nd Chr. 9:29).
      9. The Chronicles of Gad the Seer (1st Chr. 29:29).
      10. The Prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite (2nd Chr. 9:29).
      11. The Visions of Iddo the Seer (2nd Chr. 9:29).
      12. The Annals of Jehu the son of Hanani (2nd Chr. 20:34).
      13. The Records of the Hozai (Seers) (2nd Chr. 33:19).
    5. The journey ends at Pisgah, where Israel is prepared to enter into the land of Canaan, and where Moses is going to die (Num. 21:20).
  4. Israel enjoyed two more tremendous military victories over mighty Amorite kings east of the Jordan: Sihon, King of Heshbon, and Og, King of Bashan (Num. 21:21-35).
    1. Sihon.  סִיחֹון ciychown #5511: warrior.
      1. Israel passed through Moab without confrontation, but Sihon’s Amorite kingdom stood between them and the Jordan river.
      2. When Israel requested permission to pass through, Sihon gathered his army to attack (Num. 21:23).
      3. Israel reaped a total victory, from the Arnon to the Jabbok (Num. 21:24).
      4. Israel’s conquest of Sihon’s kingdom made a mockery of the proverb commemorating Sihon’s conquest of Heshbon from the Moabites (Num. 21:25-30).
      5. This war will be reviewed by Moses in his Walk-Thru (Deut. 2:30-37).
    2. Og.  עֹוג ‘owg #5747: long-necked.
      1. The record of this war in Numbers is quite short.
      2. Israel occupied the Amorite cities, and established an infrastructure in that region (Num. 21:31,32).
      3. When exploring their new northern border, Og, King of Bashan came out against them, and was destroyed (Num. 21:33-35).
      4. This war will be reviewed by Moses in his Walk-Thru, with much greater detail than is presented in Numbers (Deut. 3:1-7).
    3. The back-to-back victories over Sihon and Og inspire terror in the minds of the Canaanites, as the deliverance from Egypt did in the previous generation (Ex. 15:14-17; Deut. 2:25; Josh. 2:8-14).