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Numbers 1-2 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

The People of Israel Are Counted

The people of Israel had left Egypt and were living in the Sinai Desert. Then on the first day of the second month[a] of the second year, Moses was in the sacred tent when the Lord said:

2-3 I want you and Aaron to find out how many people are in each of Israel’s clans and families. And make a list of all the men twenty years and older who are able to fight in battle. 4-15 The following twelve family leaders, one from each tribe, will help you:

Elizur son of Shedeur
    from Reuben,
Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai
    from Simeon,
Nahshon son of Amminadab
    from Judah,
Nethanel son of Zuar
    from Issachar,
Eliab son of Helon
    from Zebulun,
Elishama son of Ammihud
    from Ephraim,
Gamaliel son of Pedahzur
    from Manasseh,
Abidan son of Gideoni
    from Benjamin,
Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai
    from Dan,
Pagiel son of Ochran
    from Asher,
Eliasaph son of Deuel
    from Gad,
and Ahira son of Enan
    from Naphtali.

16-17 Moses and Aaron, together with these twelve tribal leaders, 18 called together the people that same day. They were counted according to their clans and families. Then Moses and the others listed the names of the men twenty years and older, 19 just as the Lord had commanded. 20-46 The number of men from each tribe who were at least twenty years old and strong enough to fight in Israel’s army was as follows:

46,500 from Reuben,
the oldest son of Jacob,[b]

59,300 from Simeon,
45,650 from Gad,
74,600 from Judah,
54,400 from Issachar,
57,400 from Zebulun,
40,500 from Ephraim,
32,200 from Manasseh,
35,400 from Benjamin,
62,700 from Dan,
41,500 from Asher,
53,400 from Naphtali.

The total number of men registered by Moses, Aaron, and the twelve leaders was 603,550.

47 But those from the Levi tribe were not included 48 because the Lord had said to Moses:

49 When you count the Israelites, do not include those from the Levi tribe. 50-51 Instead, give them the job of caring for the sacred tent, its furnishings, and the objects used for worship. They will camp around the tent, and whenever you move, they will take it down, carry it to the new camp, and set it up again. Anyone else who tries to go near it must be put to death.

52 The rest of the Israelites will camp in their own groups and under their own banners. 53 But the Levites will camp around the sacred tent to make sure that no one goes near it and makes me furious with the Israelites.

54 The people of Israel did everything the Lord had commanded.

Instructions for Setting Up Israel’s Camp

The Lord told Moses and Aaron how the Israelites should arrange their camp:

Each tribe must set up camp under its own banner and under the flags of its ancestral families. These camps will be arranged around the sacred tent, but not close to it.

3-4 Judah and the tribes that march with it must set up camp on the east side of the sacred tent, under their own banner. The 74,600 troops of the tribe of Judah will be arranged by divisions and led by Nahshon son of Amminadab. 5-6 On one side of Judah will be the tribe of Issachar, with Nethanel son of Zuar as the leader of its 54,400 troops. 7-8 On the other side will be the tribe of Zebulun, with Eliab son of Helon as the leader of its 57,400 troops. These 186,400 troops will march into battle first.

10-11 Reuben and the tribes that march with it must set up camp on the south side of the sacred tent, under their own banner. The 46,500 troops of the tribe of Reuben will be arranged by divisions and led by Elizur son of Shedeur. 12-13 On one side of Reuben will be the tribe of Simeon, with Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai as the leader of its 59,300 troops. 14-15 On the other side will be the tribe of Gad, with Eliasaph son of Deuel as the leader of its 45,650 troops. 16 These 151,450 troops will march into battle second.

17 Marching behind Reuben will be the Levites, arranged in groups, just as they are camped. They will carry the sacred tent and their own banners.

18-19 Ephraim and the tribes that march with it must set up camp on the west side of the sacred tent, under their own banner. The 40,500 troops of the tribe of Ephraim will be arranged by divisions and led by Elishama son of Ammihud. 20-21 On one side of Ephraim will be the tribe of Manasseh, with Gamaliel son of Pedahzur as the leader of its 32,200 troops. 22-23 On the other side will be the tribe of Benjamin, with Abidan son of Gideoni as the leader of its 35,400 troops. 24 These 108,100 troops will march into battle third.

25-26 Dan and the tribes that march with it must set up camp on the north side of the sacred tent, under their own banner. The 62,700 troops of the tribe of Dan will be arranged by divisions and led by Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai. 27-28 On one side of Dan will be the tribe of Asher, with Pagiel son of Ochran as the leader of its 41,500 troops. 29-30 On the other side will be the tribe of Naphtali with Ahira son of Enan as the leader of its 53,400 troops. 31 These 157,600 troops will march into battle last.

32 So all the Israelites in the camp were counted according to their ancestral families. The troops were arranged by divisions and totaled 603,550. 33 The only Israelites not included were the Levites, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

34 Israel did everything the Lord had told Moses. They arranged their camp according to clans and families, with each tribe under its own banner. And that was the order by which they marched into battle.

Footnotes:

  1. 1.1 second month: Ziv, the second month of the Hebrew calendar, from about mid-April to mid-May.
  2. 1.20-46 Jacob: The Hebrew text has “Israel,” Jacob’s name after God renamed him.

Numbers 1-2 New International Version (NIV)

The Census

The Lord spoke to Moses in the tent of meeting in the Desert of Sinai on the first day of the second month of the second year after the Israelites came out of Egypt. He said: “Take a census of the whole Israelite community by their clans and families, listing every man by name, one by one. You and Aaron are to count according to their divisions all the men in Israel who are twenty years old or more and able to serve in the army. One man from each tribe, each of them the head of his family, is to help you. These are the names of the men who are to assist you:

from Reuben, Elizur son of Shedeur;

from Simeon, Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai;

from Judah, Nahshon son of Amminadab;

from Issachar, Nethanel son of Zuar;

from Zebulun, Eliab son of Helon;

10 from the sons of Joseph:

from Ephraim, Elishama son of Ammihud;

from Manasseh, Gamaliel son of Pedahzur;

11 from Benjamin, Abidan son of Gideoni;

12 from Dan, Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai;

13 from Asher, Pagiel son of Okran;

14 from Gad, Eliasaph son of Deuel;

15 from Naphtali, Ahira son of Enan.

16 These were the men appointed from the community, the leaders of their ancestral tribes. They were the heads of the clans of Israel.

17 Moses and Aaron took these men whose names had been specified, 18 and they called the whole community together on the first day of the second month. The people registered their ancestry by their clans and families, and the men twenty years old or more were listed by name, one by one, 19 as the Lord commanded Moses. And so he counted them in the Desert of Sinai:

20 From the descendants of Reuben the firstborn son of Israel:

All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, one by one, according to the records of their clans and families. 21 The number from the tribe of Reuben was 46,500.

22 From the descendants of Simeon:

All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were counted and listed by name, one by one, according to the records of their clans and families. 23 The number from the tribe of Simeon was 59,300.

24 From the descendants of Gad:

All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families. 25 The number from the tribe of Gad was 45,650.

26 From the descendants of Judah:

All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families. 27 The number from the tribe of Judah was 74,600.

28 From the descendants of Issachar:

All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families. 29 The number from the tribe of Issachar was 54,400.

30 From the descendants of Zebulun:

All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families. 31 The number from the tribe of Zebulun was 57,400.

32 From the sons of Joseph:

From the descendants of Ephraim:

All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families. 33 The number from the tribe of Ephraim was 40,500.

34 From the descendants of Manasseh:

All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families. 35 The number from the tribe of Manasseh was 32,200.

36 From the descendants of Benjamin:

All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families. 37 The number from the tribe of Benjamin was 35,400.

38 From the descendants of Dan:

All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families. 39 The number from the tribe of Dan was 62,700.

40 From the descendants of Asher:

All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families. 41 The number from the tribe of Asher was 41,500.

42 From the descendants of Naphtali:

All the men twenty years old or more who were able to serve in the army were listed by name, according to the records of their clans and families. 43 The number from the tribe of Naphtali was 53,400.

44 These were the men counted by Moses and Aaron and the twelve leaders of Israel, each one representing his family. 45 All the Israelites twenty years old or more who were able to serve in Israel’s army were counted according to their families. 46 The total number was 603,550.

47 The ancestral tribe of the Levites, however, was not counted along with the others. 48 The Lord had said to Moses: 49 “You must not count the tribe of Levi or include them in the census of the other Israelites. 50 Instead, appoint the Levites to be in charge of the tabernacle of the covenant law—over all its furnishings and everything belonging to it. They are to carry the tabernacle and all its furnishings; they are to take care of it and encamp around it. 51 Whenever the tabernacle is to move, the Levites are to take it down, and whenever the tabernacle is to be set up, the Levites shall do it. Anyone else who approaches it is to be put to death. 52 The Israelites are to set up their tents by divisions, each of them in their own camp under their standard. 53 The Levites, however, are to set up their tents around the tabernacle of the covenant law so that my wrath will not fall on the Israelite community. The Levites are to be responsible for the care of the tabernacle of the covenant law.

54 The Israelites did all this just as the Lord commanded Moses.

The Arrangement of the Tribal Camps

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: “The Israelites are to camp around the tent of meeting some distance from it, each of them under their standard and holding the banners of their family.”

On the east, toward the sunrise, the divisions of the camp of Judah are to encamp under their standard. The leader of the people of Judah is Nahshon son of Amminadab. His division numbers 74,600.

The tribe of Issachar will camp next to them. The leader of the people of Issachar is Nethanel son of Zuar. His division numbers 54,400.

The tribe of Zebulun will be next. The leader of the people of Zebulun is Eliab son of Helon. His division numbers 57,400.

All the men assigned to the camp of Judah, according to their divisions, number 186,400. They will set out first.

10 On the south will be the divisions of the camp of Reuben under their standard. The leader of the people of Reuben is Elizur son of Shedeur. 11 His division numbers 46,500.

12 The tribe of Simeon will camp next to them. The leader of the people of Simeon is Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai. 13 His division numbers 59,300.

14 The tribe of Gad will be next. The leader of the people of Gad is Eliasaph son of Deuel.[a] 15 His division numbers 45,650.

16 All the men assigned to the camp of Reuben, according to their divisions, number 151,450. They will set out second.

17 Then the tent of meeting and the camp of the Levites will set out in the middle of the camps. They will set out in the same order as they encamp, each in their own place under their standard.

18 On the west will be the divisions of the camp of Ephraim under their standard. The leader of the people of Ephraim is Elishama son of Ammihud. 19 His division numbers 40,500.

20 The tribe of Manasseh will be next to them. The leader of the people of Manasseh is Gamaliel son of Pedahzur. 21 His division numbers 32,200.

22 The tribe of Benjamin will be next. The leader of the people of Benjamin is Abidan son of Gideoni. 23 His division numbers 35,400.

24 All the men assigned to the camp of Ephraim, according to their divisions, number 108,100. They will set out third.

25 On the north will be the divisions of the camp of Dan under their standard. The leader of the people of Dan is Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai. 26 His division numbers 62,700.

27 The tribe of Asher will camp next to them. The leader of the people of Asher is Pagiel son of Okran. 28 His division numbers 41,500.

29 The tribe of Naphtali will be next. The leader of the people of Naphtali is Ahira son of Enan. 30 His division numbers 53,400.

31 All the men assigned to the camp of Dan number 157,600. They will set out last, under their standards.

32 These are the Israelites, counted according to their families. All the men in the camps, by their divisions, number 603,550. 33 The Levites, however, were not counted along with the other Israelites, as the Lord commanded Moses.

34 So the Israelites did everything the Lord commanded Moses; that is the way they encamped under their standards, and that is the way they set out, each of them with their clan and family.

Footnotes:

  1. Numbers 2:14 Many manuscripts of the Masoretic Text, Samaritan Pentateuch and Vulgate (see also 1:14); most manuscripts of the Masoretic Text Reuel
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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