Numbers 26

Listen to Numbers 26

Census of the New Generation

1 1After the plague, the LORD said to Moses and to Eleazar the son of Aaron, the priest,
2 2"Take a census of all the congregation of the people of Israel, from twenty years old and upward, by their fathers' houses, all in Israel who are able to go to war."
3 And Moses and Eleazar the priest spoke with them 3in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho, saying,
4 "Take a census of the people,[a] from twenty years old and upward," as the LORD 4commanded Moses. The people of Israel who came out of the land of Egypt were:
5 5Reuben, the firstborn of Israel; the sons of Reuben: of Hanoch, the clan of the Hanochites; of Pallu, the clan of the Palluites;
6 of Hezron, the clan of the Hezronites; of Carmi, the clan of the Carmites.
7 These are the clans of the Reubenites, and those listed were 6 43,730.
8 And the sons of Pallu: Eliab.
9 The sons of Eliab: Nemuel, Dathan, and Abiram. These are the Dathan and Abiram, 7chosen from the congregation, who contended against Moses and Aaron in the company of Korah, when they contended against the LORD
10 and 8the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up together with Korah, when that company died, when the fire devoured 250 men, and 9they became a warning.
11 But 10the sons of Korah did not die.
12 The sons of 11Simeon according to their clans: of Nemuel, the clan of the Nemuelites; of Jamin, the clan of the Jaminites; of Jachin, the clan of the Jachinites;
13 of Zerah, the clan of the Zerahites; of Shaul, the clan of the Shaulites.
14 These are the clans of the Simeonites, 12 22,200.
15 The sons of 13Gad according to their clans: of Zephon, the clan of the Zephonites; of Haggi, the clan of the Haggites; of Shuni, the clan of the Shunites;
16 of Ozni, the clan of the Oznites; of Eri, the clan of the Erites;
17 of Arod, the clan of the Arodites; of Areli, the clan of the Arelites.
18 These are the clans of the sons of Gad as they were listed, 14 40,500.
19 The sons of 15Judah were Er and Onan; and Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan.
20 And the sons of Judah according to their clans were: of Shelah, the clan of the Shelanites; of Perez, the clan of the Perezites; of Zerah, the clan of the Zerahites.
21 And the sons of Perez were: of Hezron, the clan of the Hezronites; of Hamul, the clan of the Hamulites.
22 These are the clans of Judah as they were listed, 16 76,500.
23 The sons of 17Issachar according to their clans: of Tola, the clan of the Tolaites; of Puvah, the clan of the Punites;
24 of Jashub, the clan of the Jashubites; of Shimron, the clan of the Shimronites.
25 These are the clans of Issachar as they were listed, 18 64,300.
26 The sons of 19Zebulun, according to their clans: of Sered, the clan of the Seredites; of Elon, the clan of the Elonites; of Jahleel, the clan of the Jahleelites.
27 These are the clans of the Zebulunites as they were listed, 20 60,500.
28 The sons of 21Joseph according to their clans: Manasseh and Ephraim.
29 22The sons of Manasseh: of 23Machir, the clan of the Machirites; and Machir was the father of Gilead; 24of Gilead, the clan of the Gileadites.
30 These are the sons of Gilead: of Iezer, the clan of the Iezerites; of Helek, the clan of the Helekites;
31 and of Asriel, the clan of the Asrielites; and of Shechem, the clan of the Shechemites;
32 and of Shemida, the clan of the Shemidaites; and of Hepher, the clan of the Hepherites.
33 Now 25Zelophehad the son of Hepher had no sons, but daughters. And the names of the daughters of Zelophehad were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah.
34 These are the clans of Manasseh, and those listed were 26 52,700.
35 These are the sons of Ephraim according to their clans: of Shuthelah, the clan of the Shuthelahites; of Becher, the clan of the Becherites; of Tahan, the clan of the Tahanites.
36 And these are the sons of Shuthelah: of Eran, the clan of the Eranites.
37 These are the clans of the sons of Ephraim as they were listed, 27 32,500. These are the sons of Joseph according to their clans.
38 The sons of 28Benjamin according to their clans: of Bela, the clan of the Belaites; of Ashbel, the clan of the Ashbelites; of Ahiram, the clan of the Ahiramites;
39 of Shephupham, the clan of the Shuphamites; of Hupham, the clan of the Huphamites.
40 And the sons of Bela were Ard and Naaman: of Ard, the clan of the Ardites; of Naaman, the clan of the Naamites.
41 These are the sons of Benjamin according to their clans, and those listed were 29 45,600.
42 These are the sons of 30Dan according to their clans: of Shuham, the clan of the Shuhamites. These are the clans of Dan according to their clans.
43 All the clans of the Shuhamites, as they were listed, were 31 64,400.
44 The sons of 32Asher according to their clans: of Imnah, the clan of the Imnites; of Ishvi, the clan of the Ishvites; of Beriah, the clan of the Beriites.
45 Of the sons of Beriah: of Heber, the clan of the Heberites; of Malchiel, the clan of the Malchielites.
46 And the name of the daughter of Asher was Serah.
47 These are the clans of the sons of Asher as they were listed, 33 53,400.
48 The sons of 34Naphtali according to their clans: of Jahzeel, the clan of the Jahzeelites; of Guni, the clan of the Gunites;
49 of Jezer, the clan of the Jezerites; of Shillem, the clan of the Shillemites.
50 These are the clans of Naphtali according to their clans, and those listed were 35 45,400.
51 This was the list of the people of Israel, 36 601,730.
52 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
53 37"Among these the land shall be divided for inheritance according to the number of names.
54 38To a large tribe you shall give a large inheritance, and to a small tribe you shall give a small inheritance; every tribe shall be given its inheritance in proportion to its list.
55 But the land shall be 39divided by lot. According to the names of the tribes of their fathers they shall inherit.
56 Their inheritance shall be divided according to lot between the larger and the smaller."
57 40This was the list of the Levites according to their clans: of Gershon, the clan of the Gershonites; of Kohath, the clan of the Kohathites; of Merari, the clan of the Merarites.
58 These are the clans of Levi: the clan of the Libnites, the clan of the Hebronites, the clan of the Mahlites, the clan of the Mushites, the clan of the Korahites. And Kohath was the father of Amram.
59 The name of Amram's wife was 41Jochebed the daughter of Levi, who was born to Levi in Egypt. And she bore to Amram Aaron and Moses and Miriam their sister.
60 42And to Aaron were born Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.
61 43But Nadab and Abihu died when they offered unauthorized fire before the LORD.
62 And those listed were 44 23,000, every male from a month old and upward. For 45they were not listed among the people of Israel, because 46there was no inheritance given to them among the people of Israel.
63 These were those listed by Moses and Eleazar the priest, who listed the people of Israel 47in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho.
64 48But among these there was not one of those listed by Moses and Aaron the priest, who had listed the people of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai.
65 For the LORD had said of them, 49"They shall die in the wilderness." Not one of them was left, 50except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun.

Numbers 26 Commentary

Chapter 26

Numbering of Israel in the plains of Moab. (1-51) The division of the land. (52-56) Number of the Levites. (57-62) None remaining of the first numbering. (63-65)

Verses 1-51 Moses did not number the people but when God commanded him. We have here the families registered, as well as the tribes. The total was nearly the same as when numbered at mount Sinai. Notice is here taken of the children of Korah; they died not, as the children of Dathan and Abiram; they seem not to have joined even their own father in rebellion. If we partake not of the sins of sinners, we shall not partake of their plagues.

Verses 52-56 In distributing these tribes, the general rule of equity is prescribed; that to many should be given more, and to fewer less. Though it seems left to the prudence of their prince, the matter at last must be settled by the providence of God, with which all must be satisfied.

Verses 57-62 Levi was God's tribe; therefore it was not numbered with the rest, but alone. It came not under the sentence, that none of them should enter Canaan excepting Caleb and Joshua.

Verses 63-65 The execution of the sentence passed on the murmurers, chap. 14:29 , is observable. There was not one man numbered now, who was numbered then, but Caleb and Joshua. Here appeared the righteousness of God, and his faithfulness to his threatenings. Especially observe the truth of God, in performing his promise to Caleb and Joshua. Death makes awful havoc of the human species, and causes surprising changes in families and nations; yet all is appointed in perfect wisdom, justice, and truth, by the Lord himself. This should stir us up to think upon the hateful nature of sin, the cause of all these devastations. We should renew our repentance, seek forgiveness, value the salvation of Christ, remember how frail we are, prepare for the summons of death, and fill up our days in serving our generation according to the will of God.

Cross References 50

  • 1. Numbers 25:9
  • 2. Numbers 1:2, 3; Exodus 30:12; Exodus 38:25, 26
  • 3. ver. 63; See Numbers 22:1
  • 4. Numbers 1:1
  • 5. Genesis 46:8, 9; Exodus 6:14; 1 Chronicles 5:1-3
  • 6. [Numbers 1:21]
  • 7. Numbers 1:16; Numbers 16:2
  • 8. See Numbers 16:31-35
  • 9. Numbers 16:38; [1 Corinthians 10:6; 2 Peter 2:6]
  • 10. Exodus 6:24; 1 Chronicles 6:22; [Numbers 16:32]
  • 11. Genesis 46:10; Exodus 6:15; 1 Chronicles 4:24
  • 12. [Numbers 1:23]
  • 13. Genesis 46:16
  • 14. [Numbers 1:25]
  • 15. Genesis 46:12; 1 Chronicles 2:3-5; See Genesis 38:3-10
  • 16. [Numbers 1:27]
  • 17. Genesis 46:13; 1 Chronicles 7:1
  • 18. [Numbers 1:29]
  • 19. Genesis 46:14
  • 20. [Numbers 1:31]
  • 21. Genesis 46:20
  • 22. For ver. 29-37, see 1 Chronicles 7:14-20
  • 23. Joshua 17:1
  • 24. Numbers 36:1
  • 25. Numbers 27:1; Numbers 36:11; Joshua 17:3
  • 26. [Numbers 1:35]
  • 27. [Numbers 1:33]
  • 28. Genesis 46:21; 1 Chronicles 7:6; See 1 Chronicles 8:1-5
  • 29. [Numbers 1:37]
  • 30. Genesis 46:23
  • 31. [Numbers 1:39]
  • 32. Genesis 46:17; 1 Chronicles 7:30, 31
  • 33. [Numbers 1:41]
  • 34. Genesis 46:24; 1 Chronicles 7:13
  • 35. [Numbers 1:43]
  • 36. [Numbers 1:46]
  • 37. Joshua 11:23; Joshua 14:1, 2; Psalms 105:44
  • 38. Numbers 33:54; Numbers 35:8
  • 39. Numbers 33:54; Numbers 34:13; Joshua 11:23; Joshua 14:2
  • 40. Genesis 46:11; See Exodus 6:16-19; 1 Chr. 6:1, 16-30
  • 41. Ex. 2:1, 2, 4; Exodus 6:20
  • 42. Numbers 3:2; 1 Chronicles 24:1
  • 43. Numbers 3:4; Leviticus 10:1, 2; 1 Chronicles 24:2
  • 44. [Numbers 3:39]
  • 45. Numbers 1:49
  • 46. See Numbers 18:20
  • 47. ver. 3; See Numbers 22:1
  • 48. [Numbers 1:44; Deuteronomy 2:14, 15]
  • 49. Numbers 14:28, 29; 1 Corinthians 10:5
  • 50. See Numbers 13:6

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Take a census of the people is implied (compare verse 2)

Chapter Summary


In this chapter an order is given to number the people of Israel a second time, Nu 26:1-4 and the account begins with Reuben, the firstborn, and the families that sprung from him, and the number of them, Nu 26:5-7 and Dathan and Abiram being of this tribe, the affair of them and Korah is afresh related, Nu 26:8-11, then the tribe of Simeon, its families and number, Nu 26:12-14, next the tribe of Gad, and their families and number, Nu 26:15-18, after that the tribe of Judah, its families and number, Nu 26:19-22 then follows the tribe of Issachar, its families and number, Nu 26:23-25, next to that the tribe of Zebulun, its families and number, Nu 26:26,27 then the sons of Joseph, and first Manasseh, his families and number, Nu 26:28-34 and then the tribe of Ephraim, its families and number, Nu 26:35-37, after that the tribe of Benjamin, its families and number, Nu 26:38-41 next the tribe of Dan, its families and number, Nu 26:42,43 and which is followed by the tribe of Asher, its families and number, Nu 26:44-47, and the muster is closed with the tribe of Naphtali, its families and number, Nu 26:48-50, and the sum total of all the numbers is given, Nu 26:51 and then follows another order to divide the land of Canaan by lot, when conquered, to the several tribes, according to their names and number, Nu 26:52-56 and an account is given of the number of the Levites and their families, their number being taken not with the other tribes, but by themselves, and which is summed up, Nu 26:57-62 and the chapter is concluded with observing, that it appeared upon this numbering of the people, that there were but two persons living of those that were first numbered among the children of Israel, Nu 26:63-65.

Numbers 26 Commentaries

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