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26 After the deaths of so many Israelites from the plague, the Eternal commissioned another census through Moses and Eleazar (Priest Aaron’s son).
Eternal One: 2 Add up exactly how many Israelites there are, those who are 20 years and older who are able to go to war. Identify them by their extended families.
3 So Moses and Priest Eleazar got everyone together in the Moabite flatlands next to the Jordan River, east of Jericho.
Moses and Eleazar: 4 Add up the people 20 years old and older, just as the Eternal One commanded Moses.
This is the record of the twelve Israelite families, the clans within them (according to the names of their founders) who actually enter the land.
The total number of the Israelites who had left Egypt were:
5-9 From Reuben (the eldest of Israel’s twelve sons)—the clans of Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi; the clans of Reuben number 43,730. Within this extended family, Pallu had Eliab, who had three sons—Nemuel, Dathan, and Abiram. Those last two are the same Dathan and Abiram, who (along with Korah) led that revolt against Moses and Aaron and the Eternal One. 10 They are the ones who (along with Korah) were swallowed up by the earth when so many people died and 250 were burned to death, too, as a future warning to the people. 11 (Korah’s sons were not killed in that episode, however.)
12-14 From Simeon—the clans of Nemuel, Jamin, Jachin, Zerah, and Shaul; the clans of Simeon number 22,200.
15-18 From Gad—the clans of Zephon, Haggi, Shuni, Ozni, Eri, Arod, and Areli; the clans of Gad number 40,500.
19-22 From Judah (remember that Judah also had Er and Onan, the sons who died in Canaan)[a]—the clans of Shelah, Perez, and Zerah. Within this extended family, Perez had Hezron and Hamul; the clans of Judah number 76,500.
23-25 From Issachar—the clans of Tola, Puvah (they’re called Punites), Jashub, and Shimron; the clans of Issachar number 64,300.
26-27 From Zebulun—the clans of Sered, Elon, and Jahleel; the clans of Zebulun number 60,500.
28 From Joseph—the clans of Manasseh and Ephraim. 29 Within this extended family, Manasseh had Machir, who generated his own clan and fathered Gilead, who also generated a clan. 30-32 Gilead’s descendants also became clans—Iezer, Helek, Asriel, Shechem, Shemida, and Hepher. 33 (Hepher is the one whose son, Zelophehad, didn’t himself have any sons. His daughters were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah.)[b] 34 The clans of Manasseh number 52,700. 35-37 Also within Joseph’s extended family, Ephraim had Shuthelah, Becher, and Tahan. From Shuthelah came the clan of Eranites. The clans of Ephraim number 32,500. So the total number from Joseph’s descendants, Manasseh plus Ephraim and counted by clans, was 85,200.
38-41 From Benjamin—the clans of Bela, Ashbel, Ahiram, Shephupham, and Hupham. Bela had two sons, Ard and Naaman, each of which became a clan; the clans of Benjamin number 45,600.
42-43 From Dan—the clans of Shuham; the clans of Dan number 64,400.
44-47 From Asher—the clans of Imnah, Ishvi, and Beriah. Beriah gave rise also to the clans of Heber and Malchiel. Asher’s daughter was Serah. The clans of Asher number 53,400.
48-50 From Naphtali—the clans of Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem; the clans of Naphtali number 45,400.
51 The grand total of Israelites organized was 601,730.
36 At that very moment, an elderly woman named Anna stepped forward. Anna was a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She had been married for seven years before her husband died 37 and a widow to her current age of 84 years. She was deeply devoted to the Lord, constantly in the temple, fasting and praying. 38 When she approached Mary, Joseph, and Jesus, she began speaking out thanks to God, and she continued spreading the word about Jesus to all those who shared her hope for the rescue of Jerusalem.
39 After fulfilling their sacred duties according to the law of the Lord, Mary and Joseph returned with Jesus to their own city of Nazareth in the province of Galilee. 40 There Jesus grew up, maturing in physical strength and increasing in wisdom, and the grace of God rested on Him.
41 Every year during Jesus’ childhood, His parents traveled to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration. 42 When Jesus was 12, He made the journey with them. 43 They spent several days there, participating in the whole celebration. When His parents left for home, Jesus stayed in Jerusalem, but Joseph and Mary were not aware. 44 They assumed Jesus was elsewhere in the caravan that was traveling together. After they had already traveled a full day’s journey toward home, they began searching for Him among their friends and relatives. 45 When no one had seen the boy, Mary and Joseph rushed back to Jerusalem and searched for Him.
46 After three days of separation, they finally found Him—sitting among a group of religious teachers in the temple—asking them questions, listening to their answers. 47 Everyone was surprised and impressed that a 12-year-old boy could have such deep understanding and could answer questions with such wisdom.
48 His parents, of course, had a different reaction.
Mary: Son, why have You treated us this way? Listen, Your father and I have been sick with worry for the last three days, wondering where You were, looking everywhere for You.
Jesus: 49 Why did you need to look for Me? Didn’t you know that I must be working for My Father?
Little is recorded about Jesus’ life between His birth and the age of 30. But this one episode tells so much. First, Jesus’ family life is a lot like anyone’s—full of mishaps and misunderstandings. Second, as Jesus enters young adulthood, He begins manifesting an extraordinary sense of identity. (Remember, a 12-year-old isn’t “just a kid” in Israel—he is becoming a man.) He isn’t just “Mary’s boy” or “Joseph’s stepson.” He has a direct relationship with God as His Father, and He knows His life will follow a path of working for God.
50 Neither Mary nor Joseph really understood what He meant by this. 51 Jesus went back to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. His mother continued to store these memories like treasures in her heart. 52 And Jesus kept on growing—in wisdom, in physical stature, in favor with God, and in favor with others.
This is a communal lament recalling David’s battles with Zobah and Naharaim from Aram (Syria) and Joab’s victory over the Edomites (2 Samuel 8).
1 God, You have turned away from us;
You have shattered us into a million tiny pieces;
You have boiled with anger.
Now put us back together, and refresh us with Your mercy.
2 You have made the earth shake; You have cracked it open effortlessly.
Heal the fissures in the earth, for it is unsteady.
3 You have caused Your people to suffer;
You have provided us with wine that makes us stagger.
4 You have unfurled a banner for those who revere You,
a signal to gather in safety out of the enemy’s reach.
5 So that Your treasured ones may be saved,
rescue us with Your right hand, and answer our pleas!
6 God’s voice has been heard in His holy sanctuary:
“I will celebrate; I will allocate Shechem
and the Succoth Valley to My people.
7 Gilead belongs to Me, and so does Manasseh;
Ephraim is the helmet that protects My head;
Judah is the scepter through which I rule;
8 Moab is the washpot in which I rinse My feet.
I will throw My shoe over Edom in conquest;
prepare for My victory, Philistia. Cry out because of Me!”
9 But who will take me into the fortified city?
Who will lead me into Edom?
10 Have You not turned Your back on us, O God?
Will You stay away and not accompany our armies, O God?
11 Help us against our enemy; we need Your help!
It’s useless to trust in the hand of man for liberation.
12 Only through God can we be successful.
It is God alone who will defeat our enemies and bring us victory!
15 Trouble compounds when you guarantee a stranger’s debt,
but you’ll be safe if you refuse the pledge.