Numbers 26

1 After the plague the Lord said to Moses and to Eleazar son of Aaron the priest,
2 "Take a census of the whole congregation of the Israelites, from twenty years old and upward, by their ancestral houses, everyone in Israel able to go to war."
3 Moses and Eleazar the priest spoke with them in the plains of Moab by the Jordan opposite Jericho, saying,
4 "Take a census of the people, from twenty years old and upward," as the Lord commanded Moses. The Israelites, who came out of the land of Egypt, were:
5 Reuben, the firstborn of Israel. The descendants 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; the number of those enrolled was forty-three thousand seven hundred thirty.
8 And the descendants of Pallu: Eliab.
9 The descendants of Eliab: Nemuel, Dathan, and Abiram. These are the same Dathan and Abiram, chosen from the congregation, who rebelled against Moses and Aaron in the company of Korah, when they rebelled against the Lord,
10 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up along with Korah, when that company died, when the fire devoured two hundred fifty men; and they became a warning.
11 Notwithstanding, the sons of Korah did not die.
12 The descendants of Simeon by 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, twenty-two thousand two hundred.
15 The children of Gad by 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 Gadites: the number of those enrolled was forty thousand five hundred.
19 The sons of Judah: Er and Onan; Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan.
20 The descendants of Judah by 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 The descendants of Perez were: of Hezron, the clan of the Hezronites; of Hamul, the clan of the Hamulites.
22 These are the clans of Judah: the number of those enrolled was seventy-six thousand five hundred.
23 The descendants of Issachar by 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: sixty-four thousand three hundred enrolled.
26 The descendants of Zebulun by 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; the number of those enrolled was sixty thousand five hundred.
28 The sons of Joseph by their clans: Manasseh and Ephraim.
29 The descendants of Manasseh: of Machir, the clan of the Machirites; and Machir was the father of Gilead; of Gilead, the clan of the Gileadites.
30 These are the descendants 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 Zelophehad 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; the number of those enrolled was fifty-two thousand seven hundred.
35 These are the descendants 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 descendants of Shuthelah: of Eran, the clan of the Eranites.
37 These are the clans of the Ephraimites: the number of those enrolled was thirty-two thousand five hundred. These are the descendants of Joseph by their clans.
38 The descendants of Benjamin by 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 descendants of Benjamin by their clans; the number of those enrolled was forty-five thousand six hundred.
42 These are the descendants of Dan by their clans: of Shuham, the clan of the Shuhamites. These are the clans of Dan by their clans.
43 All the clans of the Shuhamites: sixty-four thousand four hundred enrolled.
44 The descendants of Asher by their families: of Imnah, the clan of the Imnites; of Ishvi, the clan of the Ishvites; of Beriah, the clan of the Beriites.
45 Of the descendants 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 Asherites: the number of those enrolled was fifty-three thousand four hundred.
48 The descendants of Naphtali by 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 Naphtalites by their clans: the number of those enrolled was forty-five thousand four hundred.
51 This was the number of the Israelites enrolled: six hundred and one thousand seven hundred thirty.
52 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying:
53 To these the land shall be apportioned for inheritance according to the number of names.
54 To 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 according to its enrollment.
55 But the land shall be apportioned by lot; according to the names of their ancestral tribes they shall inherit.
56 Their inheritance shall be apportioned according to lot between the larger and the smaller.
57 This is the enrollment of the Levites by 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. Now Kohath was the father of Amram.
59 The name of Amram's wife was Jochebed daughter of Levi, who was born to Levi in Egypt; and she bore to Amram: Aaron, Moses, and their sister Miriam.
60 To Aaron were born Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.
61 But Nadab and Abihu died when they offered unholy fire before the Lord.
62 The number of those enrolled was twenty-three thousand, every male one month old and upward; for they were not enrolled among the Israelites because there was no allotment given to them among the Israelites.
63 These were those enrolled by Moses and Eleazar the priest, who enrolled the Israelites in the plains of Moab by the Jordan opposite Jericho.
64 Among these there was not one of those enrolled by Moses and Aaron the priest, who had enrolled the Israelites in the wilderness of Sinai.
65 For the Lord had said of them, "They shall die in the wilderness." Not one of them was left, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua 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.

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. Heb lacks [take a census of the people]: Compare verse 2
  • [b]. Or [Saul . . . Saulites]
  • [c]. Heb [clans of Naphtali]

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO NUMBERS 26

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