Interestingly, the Book of Numbers is filled with all sorts of numbers! Israel counts everything and everyone. Push on through your reading even when it seems boring and repetitious; you will happen on to several fascinating stories that keep giving insight into this ancient people.
The book is set at Mt. Sinai one year after leaving Egypt. They celebrate their second Passover and receive detailed instructions so that the memorial will pass from generation to generation – as our Jewish cousins have celebrated once again this past week.
This week’s readings follow Holy Week: the week Christians celebrated Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter. These events from 2000 year ago are firmly set within the Passover tradition and our New Testament theologians recognized many connections to the sacrifice of Jesus and the sacrifice of the Paschal Lamb.
Also tucked away in all the lists of tribes and families is this beautiful benediction in chapter 6:
The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the Israelites: You shall say to them,
The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.
So they shall put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.
As You Read resource for Weeks 16 and 17
Living in The Story blog for Week 16