Index: Numbers

Numbers is a historical narrative that likely originated with separate oral units of history that were combined into a written volume.

Numbers 3:17-39
...All that were numbered of the Levites, which Moses and Aaron numbered at the commandment of the LORD, throughout their families, all the males from a month old and upward, were twenty and two thousand... The actual total is 22,300. It is likely to have been dropped out due to a copyist error.
Numbers 5:12
"Why did God require women to undergo this ritual?" [Off Site] -- part of a larger article, and series, on women in the Bible; see also here and our video version:
Numbers 10:29
Who was Moses' father-in-law?
Numbers 11:31-2
Is the amount of quail specified an imposibility?
Numbers 12:1-15
Numbers 14:33
And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years... A Skeptic asks, "Does 'wander' mean 'be lost'?", and then, rather than find out, simply assumes that it does and objects that it is incredible that so many people could be lost in so small an area for 40 years. No, it does not mean "be lost" - the word here is ra'ah, meaning "to tend a flock, pasture it". In other words they will live a nomadic lifestyle, which they did.
Numbers 15:32-4
Why consult Moses on this? Didn't the law already prescribe death?
Numbers 15:39
Does this contradict Eccl. 11:9? Not if you know the purpose of Ecclesiastes.
Numbers 16:20-35
Does God change his mind?
Numbers 21:6-9
"Wasn't the bronze serpent an example of pagan magical practices?" Answered with some background from the story of the golden mice and tumors in 1 Samuel.
Numbers 21:14
Refers to Book of the Wars of Jehovah, an alleged "lost book" of the Bible. See article on the OT "Lost Books" -- part of a larger article on the OT canon.
Numbers 22
"How did Moses get a copy of Balaam's oracles?" [Off Site] -- part of a larger essay
Numbers 22:5
Balaam son of who?
Numbers 22:14-22
Balaam's Bogus Journey -- did God tell Balaam to go, or not?
Numbers 23:19
Does God change his mind?
Numbers 23:21
He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them? How does this square with Romans 10:21, which says, But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people? They refer to two different periods of time - Numbers to shortly after Israel left Egypt, the second (which is an allusion to Isaiah) after an extensive period of sin many years later.
Numbers 25:9
How is this reconciled with 1 Cor. 10:8, which says 23,000? Most like to resolve this one by saying that the 24,000 deaths were over the more than one day Paul refers to (and this does work -- there is no justifiction for saying that the events of Numbers happened in one day because "The narrative of events is quick, brief, and consecutive" -- I could make an account of the creation "quick, brief and consecutive" and eliminate the time markers, that would still no prove that the creation happened in one day).
Numbers 26:52-6
Does this passage endorse gambling?
Numbers 31
Was God unjustly cruel to the Midianites? [Off Site] -- includes discussion of the issue of the use of young girls as "sex slaves" and the identification of virgins