Numbers is the travel log of the Israelites journey through the desert on their way to the land promised to Abram. It takes 40 years on foot for Israel to reach the land.
The book is broken into different locations…
This is the mountain that the Israelites arrived to after leaving Egypt. This is where Moses built a tent, got the ten commandments and Israel formed a covenant with God. Israel has been at this mountain for one full year.
The people are given instructions in how to organise themselves in the camp.
⁃ God’s presence in the tent, in the center
⁃ The tribe of Levi and the priests around the tent
⁃ The rest of the tribe surrounding both of the above
The Israelites are told that when God’s presence moves on, they are to pack up and travel with it.
⁃ After three days on the road, the people are complaining abour their hunger and thirst
⁃ Even Moses’ brother and sister start badmouthing him in front of everyone
⁃ Twelve spies are sent to scout out Paran
⁃ Two spies come back and they’re really optimistic but the other ten are freaked out
⁃ The ten freaked out spies start a mutiny and they appoint a new leader who will take the people back to Egypt
⁃ God honors their choice and says that this generation of people will wander for 40 years and die in the wilderness and only their kids will get to enter the promised land
⁃ Moses has a moment of rebellion and is disqualified from entering the promised land
⁃ Another rebellion among the people results in a snake attack
⁃ God keeps providing the people food, water and manna but the people keep complaining wishing they had died in slavery in Egypt
⁃ The King of Moab is freaked out by the huge group of people traveling through his land
⁃ The King of Moab hires a pagan sorcerer named Balaam to pronounce curses on them
⁃ Balaam attempts to curse Israel three different times but each time finds he can only bless them
⁃ The last blessing prophesies that out of Israel will arise a victorious king and this king will somehow be connected to God’s promise to Abram
⁃ Israel is ready to go into the promised land
⁃ The old generation is getting left behind including Moses
⁃ Before the people leave, Moses gives them his last word of warning and wisdom