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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Numbers 26



Verses 1-65

Numbers 26. Particulars of a Second Census taken 38 Years after the First.

Numbers 26:1-51. The Numbers of the Twelve Secular Tribes.—The census was again confined to men over twenty. The total is Numbers 18:20 less than on the earlier occasion; there are increases in seven tribes, and decreases in five. Some of the names which purport to be those of persons are identical with the names of localities, e.g. Gilead, Jezer (i.e. Abiezer, Judges 8:2), Tirzah (1 Kings 15:21). Many of the appellations appear in a variant form in Genesis 46:8-24, 1 Chronicles 4, 7, 8.

Numbers 26:3 f. Read, "And Moses and Eleazar the priest numbered them . . . at Jericho from twenty . . . commanded Moses. And the children of Israel . . . of Egypt were (Numbers 26:5) Reuben," etc.

Numbers 26:10. together with Korah: the story of Korah is here fused with that of Dathan and Abiram, as in various parts of Numbers 26:16. Korah and his company in the original version of the story were probably consumed by fire.—a sign: this refers to Numbers 16:36-40.—the sons of Korah, etc.: this observation is intended to account for the later existence of a guild of Korahites (mentioned in the titles of Psalms 42, 44, etc.).

Numbers 26:34. and they that were numbered of them were: read, "according to those that were numbered of them" (and similarly in Numbers 26:41); cf. Numbers 26:37.

Numbers 26:52-56. The Method to be Followed in Dividing Canaan.—The position of the different tribal possessions is to be determined by lot, but the extent of them is to be proportionate to the population of the several tribes. For the casting of lots cf. 1 Chronicles 24:5, and see on Numbers 33:54.

Numbers 26:57-62. The Numbers of the Levites.—The census (as before, Numbers 3:39) comprised all males above one month. The figures show an increase of 1000 over those of the earlier occasion.

Numbers 26:58. For the descent of the families here mentioned see Exodus 6:16 ff.


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Numbers 26:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". 1919.

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