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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Numbers 26



Verse 1

after the plague. Compare Numbers 25:9.

the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4.

spake. See note on Numbers 1:1.

Verse 2

Take the sum. For the order of the tribes see App-45. Moses received them by number, Exodus 38:26; so now, when preparing to die, he delivers them over by number. This was the third numbering.

children = sons.

their fathers" house: i.e. the families. These shown here to be fortyseven. In Gen 46 they are fifty-two; so five are extinct (one of Simeon, one of Asher, and three of Benjamin).

Verse 4

Take the sum of the people. This correctly supplies the Ellipsis from Numbers 26:2. See Figure of speech Ellipsis, App-6.

as = according to what.

Verse 5

Reuben. Compare Genesis 46:8. Exodus 6:14. The order is the same as in Numbers 1:20, except that Ephraim and Manasseh are reversed. See App-45.

family. See note on "house", Numbers 26:2, and throughout the chapter.

Verse 6

Of Hezron = To Hezron [pertained], and so throughout. Compare verses: Numbers 26:12, Numbers 26:13, Numbers 26:15, Numbers 12:16, Numbers 12:17, Numbers 12:20, Numbers 12:21, Numbers 12:23, Numbers 12:24, Numbers 12:26, Numbers 12:28, Numbers 12:29, Numbers 12:30, Numbers 12:31-32.

Verse 7

forty and three, &c. = 43,730 In =Numbers 1:2146; Numbers 1:500, decrease of 2,770. This is an undesigned evidence of accuracy: an uninspired writer would have made an increase.

Verse 8

sons. A special reading of MS. called Sevir reads "son". See App-34.

Verse 9

which were famous, &c. Hebrew "the called of the congregation". No Ellipsis.

strove = struggled. Hebrew. nazah. Compare Exodus 2:13. Leviticus 24:10. 2 Samuel 14:6. Compare Numbers 16:2, Numbers 16:3.

Verse 10

And the earth. This tenth verse is a Parenthesis. See App-6.

sign: i.e. a warning.

Verse 11

the children of Korah died not. Compare Numbers 16:32, Numbers 16:35. They were Assir, Elkanah, and Abiasaph (Exodus 6:24). Their descendants were prominent in the Temple-worship (1 Chronicles 6:22-38). Of them came Samuel (compare 1 Chronicles 6:33, 1 Chronicles 6:4 with 1 Samuel 1:20) and Heman (compare 1 Chronicles 6:33 with 1 Chronicles 25:4, 1 Chronicles 25:6). Two groups of Psalms are associated with them (42-49 and 84-88).

Verse 23

Of. This word is not needed.

of Tola. Should be "to Tola [pertained]", as in Numbers 26:6. The word "to" or "unto" is read in some codices with Samaritan Pentateuch and Septuagint.

Verse 28

Manasseh comes before Ephraim here, because the tribe had increased. In Numbers 2:18, Numbers 2:20 Ephraim comes first, because he was the standard-bearer, and because of the blessing (Genesis 48:14).

Verse 30

Jeezer. In Joshua 17:2, Abiezer. Only this tribe, and Judah (Numbers 26:21) had great-grandsons as "heads". Compare Genesis 50:23.

Verse 33

And = Now.

daughters. Compare Numbers 27:1; Numbers 36:1-12; and Joshua 17:3, Joshua 17:4. Their names are written Mahlah, Noah, Hoglab, Milcah (some codices, with Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate, read "and Milcah"), and Tirzah.

Verse 36

And. Some codices, with Samaritan Pentateuch, The Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel and Septuagint, omit "And".

Verse 40

of Ard. Ellipsis should be supplied thus: "[to Ard] pertiained".

Verse 41

forty and five, &c. = 45,600. In =Numbers 2:2335; Numbers 2:400, increase 10,200.

Verse 43

threescore and four, &c. = 64,400. In =Numbers 2:2662; Numbers 2:700. Decrease = 1,700.

Verse 44

children = sons.

Verse 47

fifty and three, &c. = 63,400. In Numbers 2:28-41; Numbers 2:500, increase 11,900.

Verse 50

forty and five, &c. = 45,400. In Numbers 2:30-53; Numbers 2:400, decrease 8,000.

Verse 51

The total number, accomplishing the command, Numbers 26:2.

six hundred, &c. = 601,730. In =Numbers 2:32603; Numbers 2:550, total decrease 1,820. In Egypt they increased like fishes, Exodus 1:7, now they decrease.

Compare Psalms 78:17-33. Seven tribes increased (Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Manasseh, Benjamin, Dan, Asher), total 59,200, beside the 1,000 Levites. Five tribes decreased (Reuben, Simeon, Gad, Ephraim, and Naphtali), total 61,020.

LEAH, increase: in Judah 1900, Issachar 9,900, Zebulun 3,100, Levi 1,000; and decrease in Reuben 2,770, Simeon 37,100. Total decrease 23,970.
RACHEL, increase: in Manasseh 20,500, Benjamin 10,200; and decrease in Ephraim 8,000; total increase 22,700.
ZILPAH, increase: in Asher 11,900; and decrease in Gad 5,150; total increase 6,750.
BILHAH, increase: in Dan 1,700; and decrease in Naphtali 8,000; total decrease 6,300.

So, in the four camps: East camp, all increased; South camp, all decreased; West camp, Benjamin and Manasseh increased, Ephraim decreased; North camp, Dan and Asher increased, Naphtali decreased. On the whole, compare Job 12:9, Job 12:10, Job 12:14, Job 12:23.

Verse 54

many = the greater number.

few = the smaller number.

Verse 55

by = "upon": i.e. "contingently upon" (see Numbers 26:56). By Eleazar (Numbers 34:17), because, as high priest, he had the Urim and Thummim, which were the lots cast. The high priest must be present for the lot to speak, and give Jehovah"s decision (Joshua 17:4). Compare Ezra 2:61-63. Nehemiah 7:63-65. The lot "came up" (Joshua 18:11); "came forth" (Joshua 19:1); "came out" (Joshua 19:17) of the bag (containing the Urim and Thummin) which was in or behind the breastplate. See note on Exodus 28:30, and compare Proverbs 16:33; Proverbs 18:18.

Verse 56

the lot = Hebrew "the mouth of the lot", as though the "lot" spoke and was personified, by the Figure of speech Prosopopoeia (App-6).

Verse 59

Jochebed. Compare Exodus 2:1 with Exodus 6:20.

bare to Levi in Egypt. This explains apparent discrepancy between her age and that of Amram. See App-60.

Verse 65

said. Forty years before. Compare Ch. Numbers 14:28-33.

shall surely die. Hebrew "a dying they will die". Figure of speech Polyptoton (App-6). See note on Genesis 2:17; Genesis 26:28.

save Caleb, &c. Compare Numbers 14:24, Numbers 14:30, Numbers 14:38. The whole congregation therefore composed of men over twenty, and none older than sixty.


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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Numbers 26:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

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