About NUMBERS: the Book of Service

The book of Numbers is the fourth book of the Pentateuch, continuing the redemptive history of Israel where Exodus leaves off. As Genesis is the book of origins, Exodus the book of redemption, and Leviticus the book of worship and fellowship, Numbers is the book of the service and walk of God’s redeemed people.


The LXX title Arithmoi (numbers) was rendered Liber Numeri in the Vulgate, which appears in English as the book of Numbers or simply Numbers. The book is so designated because it makes a double reference to taking a census of the Jewish people (Numbers 1-3 and Numbers 26). As was usual, the Jews named the book from its opening word wayyedabber (“and He [Jehovah] said”), or more often from the fifth word bemidbar (“in the wilderness”).


Numbers continues the journey commenced in the book of Exodus, beginning with the events of the second month of the second year (Numbers 10:11) and ending with the eleventh month of the fortieth year (Deuteronomy 1:3). The thirty-eight years of wandering deal with the failure of the redeemed people in the face of every divine provision for their welfare and success. The book is typically significant in warning against the dangers of unbelief. The people disobeyed at Kadesh-barnea (Numbers 14) and suffered repeated defeat and eventual death in the desert (Numbers 20:1-33:49).

(Information Source: The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary)

Notes and Audio Lessons

Click on the links below to access notes and audio lessons about the book of Numbers.


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