Outline of Numbers

Our overview and outline of Numbers is intended to help you study God’s Word. May you grow ever closer to Him as you read His letter to you.

The book of Numbers is so named because it contains two numberings of the children of Israel. In chapters 1-2, we have the first numbering of those 20 years and older able to go to war, a total of 603,550. (Numbers 2:32) (see Exodus 12:37 600,000). Thirty-nine years later, in chapter 26 we have a second numbering of those 20 years and older who are able to go to war, a total of 601,730 (Numbers 26:51). There was no increase during 40 years. Israel did not use the 40 years to grow numerically stronger, but the difference of 40 years was faith in God. The Levites were not included in this numbering, but their numbers went from 22,000 (Numbers 3:39) to 23,000 (Numbers 26:62). The book gives the history of the accounts during the 39 years of wandering in the wilderness. The Hebrew word for the book is “b’midbar” or “in the wilderness.”

Date:
First day of the second month of 1445 (Numbers 1:1) to first day of eleventh month of 1406 (Deuteronomy 1:3). The second month generally equates to our April/May and the eleventh month to January/February.

Divisions:
The book of Numbers is not divided by characters, events, or subjects, but by places. It can be divided into five parts:

I. At Sinai – chapters 1-9

  1. The First Numbering chapters 1-3
  2. The Levitical Duties chapter 4
  3. Purity chapter 5
  4. Nazarite chapter 6
  5. Offerings of Leaders chapter 7
  6. Cleansing the Levites chapter 8
  7. Second Passover chapter 9

II. From Sinai to Kadesh-Barnea – chapters 10-12

  1. Departure from Sinai chapter 10
  2. Complaint of Israel chapter 11
  3. Complaint of Aaron and Miriam chapter 12

III. At Kadesh-Barnea chapters 13-19

  1. Spies – chapter 13
  2. Revolt chapter 14
  3. Laws of sacrifice and sin chapter 15
  4. Rebellion of Korah chapter 16
  5. Aaron’s Rod chapter 17
  6. Priests duties and offerings chapter 18
  7. Purification procedures chapter 19

IV. From Kadesh-Barnea to Moab – chapters 20-21

  1. Striking the rock & death of Aaron chapter 20
  2. The Canaanites, the bronze serpent, and Sihon & Og chapter 21

V. At Moab – chapters 22-36

  1. Balak & Balaam chapters 22-24
  2. Israel’s failure chapter 25
  3. Second Numbering chapter 26
  4. Inheritance and Joshua chapter 27
  5. Offerings chapters 28-29
  6. Vows chapter 30
  7. Revenge on the Midianites chapter 31
  8. Tribes east of the Jordan chapter 32
  9. Review of the Journey chapter 33
  10. Boundaries of Caanan chapter 34
  11. Special Cities chapter 35
  12. Marriage & Inheritance chapter 36

Key Phrase:
There is no key phrase, but there are some key ideas; those of lost blessings because of a sinning people. (Num. 11:1, 4-10; 12:1; 14:1-4, 22)

  • At Red Sea (Ex. 14:10-12)
  • At Marah (Ex. 15:22-27)
  • At the Wilderness of Sin (Ex. 16:2)
  • At Rephidim (Ex. 17:2-3)
  • At Sinai (Ex. 32:1-6)
  • At Sinai (Ex. 10:1-2)
  • After Sinai (Num. 11:1)
  • After Sinai (the mixed multitude) (Num. 11:4-10)
  • Miriam and Aaron (Num. 12:1-2)
  • At Kadesh-Barnea (Num. 14:1-4)

Thereafter we have more rebellion.

  • Korah (Num. 16:1-3)
  • Response of People (Num. 16:41-45)
  • At Kadesh (Num. 20:1-5)
  • In Journey (Num. 21:4-5)
  • At Moab (Num. 25:1-3)

Yet, see Num. 23:21 (He has not observed iniquity in Jacob!)

Key Passage: 23:19
There are some classic passages in the book. Num. 6:24-26; 11:10, 23; 22:34; 24:17

Progression:
From Sinai to Jordan. The book portrays the sin life of a beginning nation.

Key Lesson:
Our sin raises God’s anger; our relationship raises God’s control; our confession raises God’s mercy.

What's Your Opinion?