Numbers 26

The Second Census

1 After the plague the LORD said to Moses and Eleazar son of Aaron, the priest,
2 “Take a census of the whole Israelite community by families—all those twenty years old or more who are able to serve in the army of Israel.”
3 So on the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho, Moses and Eleazar the priest spoke with them and said,
4 “Take a census of the men twenty years old or more, as the LORD commanded Moses.” These were the Israelites who came out of Egypt:
5 The descendants of Reuben, the firstborn son of Israel, were: through Hanok, the Hanokite clan; through Pallu, the Palluite clan;
6 through Hezron, the Hezronite clan; through Karmi, the Karmite clan.
7 These were the clans of Reuben; those numbered were 43,730.
8 The son of Pallu was Eliab,
9 and the sons of Eliab were Nemuel, Dathan and Abiram. The same Dathan and Abiram were the community officials who rebelled against Moses and Aaron and were among Korah’s followers when they rebelled against the LORD.
10 The earth opened its mouth and swallowed them along with Korah, whose followers died when the fire devoured the 250 men. And they served as a warning sign.
11 The line of Korah, however, did not die out.
12 The descendants of Simeon by their clans were: through Nemuel, the Nemuelite clan; through Jamin, the Jaminite clan; through Jakin, the Jakinite clan;
13 through Zerah, the Zerahite clan; through Shaul, the Shaulite clan.
14 These were the clans of Simeon; those numbered were 22,200.
15 The descendants of Gad by their clans were: through Zephon, the Zephonite clan; through Haggi, the Haggite clan; through Shuni, the Shunite clan;
16 through Ozni, the Oznite clan; through Eri, the Erite clan;
17 through Arodi,[a] the Arodite clan; through Areli, the Arelite clan.
18 These were the clans of Gad; those numbered were 40,500.
19 Er and Onan were sons of Judah, but they died in Canaan.
20 The descendants of Judah by their clans were: through Shelah, the Shelanite clan; through Perez, the Perezite clan; through Zerah, the Zerahite clan.
21 The descendants of Perez were: through Hezron, the Hezronite clan; through Hamul, the Hamulite clan.
22 These were the clans of Judah; those numbered were 76,500.
23 The descendants of Issachar by their clans were: through Tola, the Tolaite clan; through Puah, the Puite[b] clan;
24 through Jashub, the Jashubite clan; through Shimron, the Shimronite clan.
25 These were the clans of Issachar; those numbered were 64,300.
26 The descendants of Zebulun by their clans were: through Sered, the Seredite clan; through Elon, the Elonite clan; through Jahleel, the Jahleelite clan.
27 These were the clans of Zebulun; those numbered were 60,500.
28 The descendants of Joseph by their clans through Manasseh and Ephraim were:
29 The descendants of Manasseh: through Makir, the Makirite clan (Makir was the father of Gilead); through Gilead, the Gileadite clan.
30 These were the descendants of Gilead: through Iezer, the Iezerite clan; through Helek, the Helekite clan;
31 through Asriel, the Asrielite clan; through Shechem, the Shechemite clan;
32 through Shemida, the Shemidaite clan; through Hepher, the Hepherite clan.
33 (Zelophehad son of Hepher had no sons; he had only daughters, whose names were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milkah and Tirzah.)
34 These were the clans of Manasseh; those numbered were 52,700.
35 These were the descendants of Ephraim by their clans: through Shuthelah, the Shuthelahite clan; through Beker, the Bekerite clan; through Tahan, the Tahanite clan.
36 These were the descendants of Shuthelah: through Eran, the Eranite clan.
37 These were the clans of Ephraim; those numbered were 32,500. These were the descendants of Joseph by their clans.
38 The descendants of Benjamin by their clans were: through Bela, the Belaite clan; through Ashbel, the Ashbelite clan; through Ahiram, the Ahiramite clan;
39 through Shupham,[c] the Shuphamite clan; through Hupham, the Huphamite clan.
40 The descendants of Bela through Ard and Naaman were: through Ard,[d] the Ardite clan; through Naaman, the Naamite clan.
41 These were the clans of Benjamin; those numbered were 45,600.
42 These were the descendants of Dan by their clans: through Shuham, the Shuhamite clan. These were the clans of Dan:
43 All of them were Shuhamite clans; and those numbered were 64,400.
44 The descendants of Asher by their clans were: through Imnah, the Imnite clan; through Ishvi, the Ishvite clan; through Beriah, the Beriite clan;
45 and through the descendants of Beriah: through Heber, the Heberite clan; through Malkiel, the Malkielite clan.
46 (Asher had a daughter named Serah.)
47 These were the clans of Asher; those numbered were 53,400.
48 The descendants of Naphtali by their clans were: through Jahzeel, the Jahzeelite clan; through Guni, the Gunite clan;
49 through Jezer, the Jezerite clan; through Shillem, the Shillemite clan.
50 These were the clans of Naphtali; those numbered were 45,400.
51 The total number of the men of Israel was 601,730.
52 The LORD said to Moses,
53 “The land is to be allotted to them as an inheritance based on the number of names.
54 To a larger group give a larger inheritance, and to a smaller group a smaller one; each is to receive its inheritance according to the number of those listed.
55 Be sure that the land is distributed by lot. What each group inherits will be according to the names for its ancestral tribe.
56 Each inheritance is to be distributed by lot among the larger and smaller groups.”
57 These were the Levites who were counted by their clans: through Gershon, the Gershonite clan; through Kohath, the Kohathite clan; through Merari, the Merarite clan.
58 These also were Levite clans: the Libnite clan, the Hebronite clan, the Mahlite clan, the Mushite clan, the Korahite clan. (Kohath was the forefather of Amram;
59 the name of Amram’s wife was Jochebed, a descendant of Levi, who was born to the Levites[e] in Egypt. To Amram she bore Aaron, Moses and their sister Miriam.
60 Aaron was the father of Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.
61 But Nadab and Abihu died when they made an offering before the LORD with unauthorized fire.)
62 All the male Levites a month old or more numbered 23,000. They were not counted along with the other Israelites because they received no inheritance among them.
63 These are the ones counted by Moses and Eleazar the priest when they counted the Israelites on the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho.
64 Not one of them was among those counted by Moses and Aaron the priest when they counted the Israelites in the Desert of Sinai.
65 For the LORD had told those Israelites they would surely die in the wilderness, and 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.

Cross References 90

  • 1. S Numbers 14:37; Numbers 25:8
  • 2. Exodus 30:11-16; Exodus 38:25-26; Numbers 1:2
  • 3. S Numbers 1:3
  • 4. ver 63; Numbers 33:48; Joshua 13:32
  • 5. Numbers 22:1
  • 6. S Exodus 6:14; S Exodus 13:3
  • 7. Numbers 1:20
  • 8. S Genesis 46:9
  • 9. 1 Chronicles 5:3
  • 10. 1 Chronicles 5:3
  • 11. Genesis 46:9
  • 12. Numbers 16:1
  • 13. Numbers 1:16
  • 14. S Numbers 16:2
  • 15. S Exodus 15:12
  • 16. S Numbers 16:35
  • 17. S Exodus 3:12; S Numbers 16:38; Numbers 16:35,38
  • 18. Exodus 6:24
  • 19. Numbers 16:33; Deuteronomy 5:9; Deuteronomy 24:16; 2 Kings 14:6; 2 Chronicles 25:4; Ezekiel 18:20
  • 20. S Genesis 46:10
  • 21. 1 Chronicles 4:24
  • 22. S Genesis 46:10
  • 23. S Genesis 46:10
  • 24. Numbers 1:23
  • 25. Genesis 46:16
  • 26. S Genesis 30:11; S Numbers 1:25; S Joshua 13:24-28
  • 27. S Genesis 38:3
  • 28. S Genesis 38:4
  • 29. Genesis 38:7; Genesis 38:2-10; Genesis 46:12
  • 30. S Genesis 38:5; 1 Chronicles 2:3
  • 31. S Genesis 38:29
  • 32. Joshua 7:17
  • 33. S Genesis 38:29
  • 34. Ruth 4:19; 1 Chronicles 2:9
  • 35. Numbers 1:27
  • 36. S Genesis 46:13; 1 Chronicles 7:1
  • 37. Genesis 46:13
  • 38. S Genesis 30:18; Numbers 1:29
  • 39. Numbers 1:30
  • 40. S Genesis 30:20; Numbers 1:31
  • 41. Numbers 1:32; Numbers 36:1
  • 42. S Genesis 41:52
  • 43. Numbers 1:34
  • 44. S Genesis 50:23; Joshua 17:1
  • 45. Judges 11:1
  • 46. Numbers 27:1; Numbers 36:1; 1 Chronicles 7:14,17
  • 47. Joshua 17:2; Judges 6:11; Judges 8:2
  • 48. Numbers 27:1; Numbers 36:2; Joshua 17:3; 1 Chronicles 7:15
  • 49. Numbers 27:3
  • 50. Numbers 36:11
  • 51. Numbers 1:35
  • 52. Numbers 1:32
  • 53. S Numbers 1:33
  • 54. Genesis 46:21; Numbers 1:36; 1 Chronicles 8:40; 1 Chronicles 7:6
  • 55. S Genesis 46:21; 1 Chronicles 8:3
  • 56. Numbers 1:37
  • 57. Numbers 1:38
  • 58. Judges 18:19
  • 59. Genesis 46:23
  • 60. S Numbers 1:40
  • 61. Numbers 1:41
  • 62. S Genesis 30:8; Genesis 46:24; 1 Chronicles 7:13
  • 63. Numbers 1:43
  • 64. Numbers 1:42
  • 65. S Exodus 12:37; Exodus 38:26; Numbers 1:46; Numbers 11:21
  • 66. ver 55; Joshua 11:23; Joshua 14:1; Ezekiel 45:8
  • 67. Numbers 33:54
  • 68. Numbers 35:8
  • 69. S Leviticus 16:8; Numbers 34:14
  • 70. S Genesis 46:11; Exodus 6:16-19
  • 71. Exodus 6:20
  • 72. S Exodus 2:1
  • 73. S Exodus 6:20
  • 74. S Exodus 2:4
  • 75. S Exodus 15:20
  • 76. Exodus 6:23; Numbers 3:2
  • 77. S Leviticus 10:1-2
  • 78. Numbers 3:4
  • 79. Numbers 3:39
  • 80. Numbers 1:47
  • 81. S Numbers 18:23
  • 82. S Numbers 2:33; Deuteronomy 10:9
  • 83. S Numbers 1:19
  • 84. S ver 3
  • 85. Numbers 22:1
  • 86. S Numbers 14:29; Deuteronomy 2:14-15; Hebrews 3:17
  • 87. Numbers 1:44
  • 88. Numbers 14:28; 1 Corinthians 10:5
  • 89. Numbers 13:6
  • 90. S Numbers 11:28; Joshua 14:6-10

Footnotes 5

  • [a]. Samaritan Pentateuch and Syriac (see also Gen. 46:16); Masoretic Text "Arod"
  • [b]. Samaritan Pentateuch, Septuagint, Vulgate and Syriac (see also 1 Chron. 7:1); Masoretic Text "through Puvah, the Punite"
  • [c]. A few manuscripts of the Masoretic Text, Samaritan Pentateuch, Vulgate and Syriac (see also Septuagint); most manuscripts of the Masoretic Text "Shephupham"
  • [d]. Samaritan Pentateuch and Vulgate (see also Septuagint); Masoretic Text does not have "through Ard" .
  • [e]. Or "Jochebed, a daughter of Levi, who was born to Levi"

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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