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Numbers 1-2Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Moses Counts the Israelites

The Lord spoke to Moses in the Meeting Tent. This was in the desert of Sinai. It was on the first day of the second month of the second year after the Israelites left Egypt. He said to Moses: “Count all the Israelites. List the name of each man with his family and his family group. You and Aaron must count the men of Israel who are 20 years old or older. (These are all the men who are able to serve in the army of Israel.) List them by their divisions. One man from each tribe will help you. This man will be the leader of his tribe. These are the names of the men who will stand with you and help you:

from the tribe of Reuben—Elizur son of Shedeur;

from the tribe of Simeon—Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai;

from the tribe of Judah—Nahshon son of Amminadab;

from the tribe of Issachar—Nethanel son of Zuar;

from the tribe of Zebulun—Eliab son of Helon;

10 from the descendants of Joseph:

from the tribe of Ephraim—Elishama son of Ammihud;

from the tribe of Manasseh—Gamaliel son of Pedahzur;

11 from the tribe of Benjamin—Abidan son of Gideoni;

12 from the tribe of Dan—Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai;

13 from the tribe of Asher—Pagiel son of Ocran;

14 from the tribe of Gad—Eliasaph son of Deuel[a];

15 from the tribe of Naphtali—Ahira son of Enan.”

16 All these men were the leaders of their families. The people also chose them to be leaders of their tribes. 17 Moses and Aaron took the men who had been chosen to be leaders 18 and called all the Israelites together on the first day of the second month. Then the people were listed by their families and their family groups. All the men who were 20 years old or older were listed. 19 Moses did exactly what the Lord commanded—he counted the people while they were in the desert of Sinai.

20 The tribe of Reuben was counted. (Reuben was the firstborn son of Israel.) The names of all the men who were 20 years old or older and able to serve in the army were listed. They were listed with their families and family groups. 21 The total number of men counted from the tribe of Reuben was 46,500.

22 The tribe of Simeon was counted. The names of all the men who were 20 years old or older and able to serve in the army were listed. They were listed with their families and family groups. 23 The total number of men counted from the tribe of Simeon was 59,300.

24 The tribe of Gad was counted. The names of all the men who were 20 years old or older and able to serve in the army were listed. They were listed with their families and family groups. 25 The total number of men counted from the tribe of Gad was 45,650.

26 The tribe of Judah was counted. The names of all the men who were 20 years old or older and able to serve in the army were listed. They were listed with their families and family groups. 27 The total number of men counted from the tribe of Judah was 74,600.

28 The tribe of Issachar was counted. The names of all the men who were 20 years old or older and able to serve in the army were listed. They were listed with their families and family groups. 29 The total number of men counted from the tribe of Issachar was 54,400.

30 The tribe of Zebulun was counted. The names of all the men who were 20 years old or older and able to serve in the army were listed. They were listed with their families and family groups. 31 The total number of men counted from the tribe of Zebulun was 57,400.

32 The tribe of Ephraim was counted. (Ephraim was Joseph’s son.) The names of all the men who were 20 years old or older and able to serve in the army were listed. They were listed with their families and family groups. 33 The total number of men counted from the tribe of Ephraim was 40,500.

34 The tribe of Manasseh was counted. (Manasseh was also Joseph’s son.) The names of all the men who were 20 years old or older and able to serve in the army were listed. They were listed with their families and family groups. 35 The total number of men counted from the tribe of Manasseh was 32,200.

36 The tribe of Benjamin was counted. The names of all the men who were 20 years old or older and able to serve in the army were listed. They were listed with their families and family groups. 37 The total number of men counted from the tribe of Benjamin was 35,400.

38 The tribe of Dan was counted. The names of all the men who were 20 years old or older and able to serve in the army were listed. They were listed with their families and family groups. 39 The total number of men counted from the tribe of Dan was 62,700.

40 The tribe of Asher was counted. The names of all the men who were 20 years old or older and able to serve in the army were listed. They were listed with their families and family groups. 41 The total number of men counted from the tribe of Asher was 41,500.

42 The tribe of Naphtali was counted. The names of all the men who were 20 years old or older and able to serve in the army were listed. They were listed by name with their families and family groups. 43 The total number of men counted from the tribe of Naphtali was 53,400.

44 Moses, Aaron, and the twelve leaders of Israel counted these men. (There was one leader from each tribe.) 45 They counted every man who was 20 years old or older and able to serve in the army. Each man was listed with his family. 46 The total number of men counted was 603,550 men.

47 The families from the tribe of Levi were not counted with the other Israelites. 48 The Lord had told Moses: 49 “Don’t count the men from the tribe of Levi or include them with the other Israelites. 50 Tell the Levites that they are responsible for the Tent of the Agreement. They must take care of that tent and everything that is with it. They must carry the Holy Tent and everything in it. They must make their camp around it and take care of it. 51 Whenever the Holy Tent is moved, the Levites must do it. Whenever the Holy Tent is set up, the Levites must do it. They are the men who will take care of the Holy Tent. Anyone else who tries to take care of the tent must be killed. 52 The Israelites will make their camps in separate divisions. Everyone must camp near their family flag. 53 The Levites will set up their tents so that they surround the Tent of the Agreement. They will serve as guards and keep the people away from the Tent. This will protect the Israelites from the Lord’s anger.”

54 The Lord had given these commandments to Moses. So the Israelites did everything he commanded.

The Camp Arrangement

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: “The Israelites should make their camps around the Meeting Tent. Each division will have its own special flag, and everyone will camp near their group’s flag.

“The flag of the camp of Judah will be on the east side, where the sun rises. The people of Judah will camp near its flag. The leader of the people of Judah is Nahshon son of Amminadab. There are 74,600 men in his division.

“The tribe of Issachar will camp next to the tribe of Judah. The leader of the tribe of Issachar is Nethanel son of Zuar. There are 54,400 men in his division.

“The tribe of Zebulun will also camp next to the tribe of Judah. The leader of the tribe of Zebulun is Eliab son of Helon. There are 57,400 men in his division.

“The total number of men in Judah’s camp is 186,400. All these men are divided into their different tribes. Judah will be the first group to move when the people travel from one place to another.

10 “The flag of Reuben’s camp will be south of the Holy Tent. Each group will camp near its flag. The leader of the tribe of Reuben is Elizur son of Shedeur. 11 There are 46,500 men in this division.

12 “The tribe of Simeon will camp next to the tribe of Reuben. The leader of the tribe of Simeon is Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai. 13 There are 59,300 men in this division.

14 “The tribe of Gad will also camp next to the tribe of Reuben. The leader of the tribe of Gad is Eliasaph son of Deuel.[b] 15 There are 45,650 men in this division.

16 “The total number of men in all the divisions of Reuben’s camp is 151,450. His camp will be the second group to move when the people travel from place to place.

17 “When the people travel, Levi’s camp will move next. The Meeting Tent will be with them between the other camps. The people will make their camps in the same order that they move.

18 “The flag of the camp of Ephraim will be on the west side. The division of Ephraim will camp there. The leader of the tribe of Ephraim is Elishama son of Ammihud. 19 There are 40,500 men in this division.

20 “The tribe of Manasseh will camp next to Ephraim’s family. The leader of the tribe of Manasseh is Gamaliel son of Pedahzur. 21 There are 32,200 men in this division.

22 “The tribe of Benjamin will also camp next to Ephraim’s family. The leader of the tribe of Benjamin is Abidan son of Gideoni. 23 There are 35,400 men in this division.

24 “The total number of men in Ephraim’s camp is 108,100. They will be the third family to move when the people travel from one place to another.

25 “The flag of Dan’s camp will be on the north side. The tribes of Dan will camp there. The leader of the tribe of Dan is Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai. 26 There are 62,700 men in this division.

27 “The people from the tribe of Asher will camp next to the tribe of Dan. The leader of the tribe of Asher is Pagiel son of Ocran. 28 There are 41,500 men in this division.

29 “The tribe of Naphtali will also camp next to the tribe of Dan. The leader of the tribe of Naphtali is Ahira son of Enan. 30 There are 53,400 men in this division.

31 “There are 157,600 men in Dan’s camp. They will be the last to move when the people travel from place to place. Each group will have its own flag.”

32 So these were the Israelites. They were counted by families. The total number of Israelite men in the camps, counted by divisions, is 603,550. 33 Moses obeyed the Lord and did not count the Levites with the other Israelites.

34 So the Israelites did everything the Lord told Moses. Each group camped under its own flag. And everyone stayed with their own family and family group.

Footnotes:

  1. Numbers 1:14 Deuel Or “Reuel.”
  2. Numbers 2:14 Deuel Or “Reuel.”
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International

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