Numbers 26:4 MEANING

Numbers 26:4
(4, 5) Take the sum of the people . . . --The verses may be rendered thus: From twenty years old and upward, as the Lord commanded Moses. And the children of Israel which went forth out of the land of Egypt were these: Reuben, the eldest son of Israel, &c. The expression "as the Lord commanded Moses" is one of very frequent occurrence in this book. The command was given to Moses, not to the children of Israel generally. The form of enumeration is concise. The omissions may be supplied thus:--Reuben--he was the eldest son of Israel. The sons of Reuben were--Hanoch--of him, the family of the Hanochites, &c. (Comp. Genesis 46:9; Exodus 6:14; 1 Chronicles 5:3.)

Verse 4. - Take the sum of the people. These words are not in the text, but axe borrowed from verse 2. Nothing is set down in the original but the brief instruction given to the census-takers - "from twenty years old and upward, as on the former occasion." And the children of Israel which went forth out of the land of Egypt. This is the punctuation of the Targums and most of the versions. The Septuagint, however, detaches these words from the previous sentence and makes them a general heading for the catalogue which follows. It may be objected to this that the people now numbered did not come out of Egypt, a full half having been born in the wilderness, but see on Numbers 23:22; 24:8.

26:1-51 Moses did not number the people but when God commanded him. We have here the families registered, as well as the tribes. The total was nearly the same as when numbered at mount Sinai. Notice is here taken of the children of Korah; they died not, as the children of Dathan and Abiram; they seem not to have joined even their own father in rebellion. If we partake not of the sins of sinners, we shall not partake of their plagues.Take the sum of the people, from twenty years old and upward,.... At the same age at which the sum was taken before, Numbers 1:3 so that there could not be one that was more than sixty years of age, of all those that went into the land of Canaan, except Joshua and Caleb, and besides some few in the tribe of Levi, which did not come into either of these musters:

and the Lord commanded Moses, and the children of Israel, which went forth out of the land of Egypt; as Moses had a command to number the people before, so he had now. The sin of David was, that he numbered the people when he had no command for it; Moses, when he brought the people out of Egypt, had them committed to him by number; and now being about to die, he delivers them up as it were by number again, as Jarchi observes.

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