Main Themes of the Book of Numbers

Numbers Overview

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Who wrote the book of Numbers and who did they write it to?

Moses wrote the book of Numbers for and about the Israelites.

When did the events of the book of Numbers happen?

Numbers covers the timeline of 1527BC-1405BC but focuses on the events right before the Israelites entered the Promised Land.

What is the setting of the book of Numbers?

The Israelites were wandering the wilderness right before entering the Promised Land.

What is the purpose of the book of Numbers?

  1. Census of 1st generation in the wilderness (Numbers 1-25)
    1. 1st generation census (Numbers 1-2)
    2. Choosing of the Levites (Numbers 3-4)
    3. Cleansing and blessing of the people (Numbers 5-6)
    4. Preparing for departure to Promised Land (Numbers 7-10)
    5. Rebellious complaining and discipline of the Israelites while wandering in the wilderness (Numbers 11-25)
      1. Mount Sinai to Kadesh (Numbers 11-15)
      2. Rebellion against priesthood (Numbers 16-19)
      3. Kadesh to plains of Moab (Numbers 20-25)
  2. Census of 2nd generation entering the Promised Land (Numbers 26-36)
    1. 2nd generation census (Numbers 26)
    2. Laws for the land (Numbers 27)
    3. Instructions to the new generation (Numbers 28-30)
    4. Vengeance on the Midianites (Numbers 31)
    5. Settlement East of the Jordan (Numbers 32)
    6. Summary of Journey from Egypt to Canaan (Numbers 33)
    7. Boundaries of Canaan and distribution of the land (Numbers 34-36)

How does the book of Numbers apply to my life?

  • The fourth book of the Pentateuch; the books of Moses.
  • Accounts for the gradual fulfillment of promises made to Abraham regarding his descendants being the people of God and occupying Canaan.
  • Displays the reality of God’s presence with the Israelites and their constant doubt, unbelief and grumbling that costs many lives and the delay of entering Canaan by 40 years.
  • Underscores the importance of obedience in the life of Christians and reminds us of the value of learning from the ways in which God has worked in the past.
  • Highlights God’s discipline when His people choose to disobey.
  • Becomes a warning and encouragement to trust God’s plans for His people no matter what.

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