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The Israelites Are Counted a Second Time

26 After the Lord had stopped the deadly disease from killing the Israelites, he said to Moses and Eleazar son of Aaron, “I want you to find out how many Israelites are in each family. And list every man twenty years and older who is able to serve in Israel’s army.”

Israel was now camped in the hills of Moab across the Jordan River from the town of Jericho. Moses and Eleazar told them what the Lord had said about counting the men twenty years and older, just as Moses and their ancestors had done when they left Egypt.[a]

5-7 There were 43,730 men from the tribe of Reuben, the oldest son of Jacob.[b] These men were from the clans of Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi. Pallu was the father of Eliab and the grandfather of Nemuel, Dathan, and Abiram. These are the same Dathan and Abiram who had been chosen by the people, but who followed Korah and rebelled against Moses, Aaron, and the Lord. 10 That’s when the Lord made the earth open up and swallow Dathan, Abiram, and Korah. At the same time, fire destroyed two hundred fifty men as a warning to the other Israelites.[c] 11 But the Korahite clan wasn’t destroyed.

12-14 There were 22,200 men from the tribe of Simeon; they were from the clans of Nemuel, Jamin, Jachin, Zerah, and Shaul.

15-18 There were 40,500 men from the tribe of Gad; they were from the clans of Zephon, Haggi, Shuni, Ozni, Eri, Arod, and Areli.

19-22 There were 76,500 men from the tribe of Judah; they were from the clans of Shelah, Perez, Zerah, Hezron, and Hamul. Judah’s sons Er and Onan had died in Canaan.[d]

23-25 There were 64,300 men from the tribe of Issachar; they were from the clans of Tola, Puvah, Jashub, and Shimron.

26-27 There were 60,500 men from the tribe of Zebulun; they were from the clans of Sered, Elon, and Jahleel.

28-34 There were 52,700 men from the tribe of Manasseh son of Joseph; they were from the clan of Machir, the clan of Gilead his son, and the clans of his six grandsons: Iezer, Helek, Asriel, Shechem, Shemida, and Hepher. Zelophehad son of Hepher had no sons, but he had five daughters: Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah.[e]

35-37 There were 32,500 men from the tribe of Ephraim son of Joseph; they were from the clans of Shuthelah, Becher, Tahan, and Eran the son of Shuthelah.

38-41 There were 45,600 men from the tribe of Benjamin; they were from the clans of Bela, Ashbel, Ahiram, Shephupham, Hupham, as well as from Ard and Naaman, the two sons of Bela.

42-43 There were 64,400 men from the tribe of Dan; they were all from the clan of Shuham.

44-47 There were 53,400 men from the tribe of Asher; they were from the clans of Imnah, Ishvi, and Beriah, and from the two clans of Heber and Malchiel, the sons of Beriah. Asher’s daughter was Serah.

48-50 There were 45,400 men from the tribe of Naphtali; they were from the clans of Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem.

51 The total number of Israelite men listed was 601,730.

52 The Lord said to Moses, 53 “Divide the land of Canaan among these tribes, according to the number of people in each one, 54 so the larger tribes have more land than the smaller ones. 55-56 I will show you[f] what land to give each tribe, and they will receive as much land as they need, according to the number of people in it.”

57 The tribe of Levi included the clans of the Gershonites, Kohathites, Merarites, 58 as well as the clans of Libni, Hebron, Mahli, Mushi, and Korah. Kohath the Levite was the father of Amram, 59 the husband of Levi’s daughter Jochebed, who was born in Egypt. Amram and Jochebed’s three children were Aaron, Moses, and Miriam. 60 Aaron was the father of Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 61 But Nadab and Abihu had died when they offered fire that was unacceptable to the Lord.[g]

62 In the tribe of Levi there were 23,000 men and boys at least a month old. They were not listed with the other tribes, because they would not receive any land in Canaan.

63 Moses and Eleazar counted the Israelites while they were camped in the hills of Moab across the Jordan River from Jericho. 64 None of the people that Moses and Aaron had counted in the Sinai Desert were still alive, 65 except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. The Lord had said that everyone else would die there in the desert.[h]

The Daughters of Zelophehad Are Given Land

27 Zelophehad[i] was from the Manasseh tribe, and he had five daughters, whose names were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah.

One day his daughters went to the sacred tent, where they met with Moses, Eleazar, and some other leaders of Israel, as well as a large crowd of Israelites. The young women said:

You know that our father died in the desert. But it was for something he did wrong, not for joining with Korah in rebelling against the Lord.

Our father left no sons to carry on his family name. But why should his name die out for that reason? Give us some land like the rest of his relatives in our clan, so our father’s name can live on.

Moses asked the Lord what should be done, and the Lord answered:

Zelophehad’s daughters are right. They should each be given part of the land their father would have received.

Tell the Israelites that when a man dies without a son, his daughter will inherit his land. If he has no daughter, his brothers will inherit the land. 10 But if he has no brothers, his father’s brothers will inherit the land. 11 And if his father has no brothers, the land must be given to his nearest relative in the clan. This is my law, and the Israelites must obey it.

Joshua Is Appointed Israel’s Leader

12 The Lord said to Moses, “One day you will go up into the Abarim Mountains, and from there you will see the land I am giving the Israelites. 13 After you have seen it, you will die,[j] just like your brother Aaron, 14 because both of you disobeyed me at Meribah near the town of Kadesh in the Zin Desert. When the Israelites insulted me there, you didn’t believe in my holy power.”[k]

15 Moses replied, 16 “You are the Lord God, and you know what is in everyone’s heart. So I ask you to appoint a leader for Israel. 17 Your people need someone to lead them into battle, or else they will be like sheep wandering around without a shepherd.”

18 The Lord answered, “Joshua son of Nun can do the job. Place your hands on him to show that he is the one to take your place. 19 Then go with him and have him stand in front of Eleazar the priest and the Israelites. Appoint Joshua as their new leader 20 and tell them they must now obey him, just as they obey you. 21 But Joshua must depend on Eleazar to find out from me[l] what I want him to do as he leads Israel into battle.”

22 Moses followed the Lord’s instructions and took Joshua to Eleazar and the people, 23 then he placed his hands on Joshua and appointed him Israel’s leader.

Footnotes

  1. 26.4 just as. . . Egypt: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  2. 26.5-7 Jacob: The Hebrew text has “Israel,” Jacob’s name after God renamed him.
  3. 26.10 Israelites: See 16.1-35.
  4. 26.19-22 Judah’s sons. . . Canaan: See Genesis 38.1-10.
  5. 26.28-34 Zelophehad. . . Tirzah: See also 27.1-11; 36.1-12.
  6. 26.55,56 I will show you: The Hebrew text has “Cast lots to find out.” Pieces of wood or stone (called “lots”) were used to find out what the Lord wanted his people to do.
  7. 26.61 Nadab and Abihu. . . the Lord: See 3.1-4 and Leviticus 10.1,2.
  8. 26.64,65 None of the people. . . the desert: See 14.26-30.
  9. 27.1 Zelophehad: Hebrew “Zelophehad son of Hepher son of Gilead son of Machir son of Manasseh son of Joseph.” See also 26.28-34; 36.1-12.
  10. 27.12,13 One day. . . you will die: The story of Moses' death is in Deuteronomy 34.1-8.
  11. 27.14 both of you. . . my holy power: See 20.1-13.
  12. 27.21 from me: The Hebrew text has “by the urim,” something used by the priests to get answers from the Lord.

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