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Numbers 1

Counting the people

1:0This is the first part of this book (Chapters 1-10). It is about the Israelites at the start of their journey.

1 The Israelites were in the Desert of Sinai. It was the first day of the second month of the second year after they left Egypt. Moses was in the Tent of Meeting. The LORD said to Moses, 2 ‘Put the people into clans and families and count them. Make a list. Write the name of each man on the list. 3 You and Aaron must record the names of all the men in each group. But only record the names of men who are 20 years old or older. Those men can fight in the army. 4 The most important man from each tribe must help you.

1:4The Tent of Meeting was a very special tent. God had told Moses how to build it (Exodus 25:8 to 27:21).

5 These are the men who must help you:

Elizur, who is the son of Shedeur. He is from the tribe of Reuben.

6 Shelumiel, who is the son of Zurishaddai. He is from the tribe of Simeon.

7 Nahshon, who is the son of Amminadab. He is from the tribe of Judah.

8 Nethanel, who is the son of Zuar. He is from the tribe of Issachar.

9 Eliab, who is the son of Helon. He is from the tribe of Zebulun.

10 Elishama, who is the son of Ammihud. He is from the tribe of Ephraim.

Gamaliel, who is the son of Pedahzur. He is from the tribe of Manasseh.

(Ephraim and Manasseh were Joseph's sons.)

11 Abidan, who is the son of Gideoni. He is from the tribe of Benjamin.

12 Ahiezer, who is the son of Ammishaddai. He is from the tribe of Dan.

13 Pagiel, who is the son of Ochran. He is from the tribe of Asher.

14 Eliasaph, who is the son of Deuel. He is from the tribe of Gad.

15 Ahira, who is the son of Enan. He is from the tribe of Naphtali.’

16 God said that Moses must choose those men from among the people. They were leaders of their clans. They were Israel's leaders. 17 Those men helped Moses and Aaron. 18 On the first day of the second month, they said that all the people must come together. The people were in clans and in families. They made a list of all the men who were 20 years old or older. 19 They obeyed the things that the LORD had said to Moses. So he recorded the names in the Desert of Sinai.

20 The men in the tribe of Reuben came first. Reuben was the first son of Israel (Jacob). They recorded the names of all the men in each clan and family. All the men who were 20 years old or older were on the list. Those men could fight in the army. 21 There were 46 500 men from the tribe of Reuben. 22 Next was the tribe of Simeon. They recorded the names of all the men in each clan and family. All the men who were 20 years old or older were on the list. Those men could fight in the army. 23 There were 59 300 men from the tribe of Simeon. 24 Next was the tribe of Gad. They recorded the names of all the men in each clan and family. All the men who were 20 years old or older were on the list. Those men could fight in the army. 25 There were 45 650 men from the tribe of Gad. 26 Next was the tribe of Judah. They recorded the names of all the men in each clan and family. All the men who were 20 years old or older were on the list. Those men could fight in the army. 27 There were 74 600 men from the tribe of Judah. 28 Next was the tribe of Issachar. They recorded the names of all the men in each clan and family. All the men who were 20 years old or older were on the list. Those men could fight in the army. 29 There were 54 400 men from the tribe of Issachar. 30 Next was the tribe of Zebulun. They recorded the names of all the men in each clan and family. All the men who were 20 years old or older were on the list. Those men could fight in the army. 31 There were 57 400 men from the tribe of Zebulun. 32 Ephraim was a son of Joseph. They recorded the names of all the men in each clan and family. All the men who were 20 years old or older were on the list. Those men could fight in the army. 33 There were 40 500 men from the tribe of Ephraim. 34 Manasseh was a son of Joseph. They recorded the names of all the men in each clan and family. All the men who were 20 years old or older were on the list. Those men could fight in the army. 35 There were 32 200 men from the tribe of Manasseh. 36 Next was the tribe of Benjamin. They recorded the names of all the men in each clan and family. All the men who were 20 years old or older were on the list. Those men could fight in the army. 37 There were 35 400 men from the tribe of Benjamin. 38 Next was the tribe of Dan. They recorded the names of all the men in each clan and family. All the men who were 20 years old or older were on the list. Those men could fight in the army. 39 There were 62 700 men from the tribe of Dan. 40 Next was the tribe of Asher. They recorded the names of all the men in each clan and family. All the men who were 20 years old or older were on the list. Those men could fight in the army. 41 There were 41 500 men from the tribe of Asher. 42 Next was the tribe of Naphtali. They recorded the names of all the men in each clan and family. All the men who were 20 years old or older were on the list. Those men could fight in the army. 43 There were 53 400 men from the tribe of Naphtali.

44 Moses and Aaron made a list of the men. The 12 leaders of Israel helped them to do it. That was one man from each tribe. 45 They recorded the names of all the men in each family. All the men who were 20 years old or older were on the list. Those men could fight in the army. 46 The number of all the men was 603 550.

47 But Moses and Aaron did not count the Levites among the other men. 48 The LORD had said to Moses, 49 ‘You must not count the tribe of Levi. You must not put the Levites on the list with the other Israelites. 50 The Levites' work is in the Tent of Meeting. They must carry the Tent everywhere. They must carry everything from the Tent and their work is with all those things. And they must put their tents round it. 51 When the people move to another place, the Levites must pack the Tent. When the people make a new camp, the Levites must put the Tent up again. If any other person comes near to the Tent, he must die. 52 All the other Israelites must camp in groups. Each man must camp with his own group. Each group must put up its own flag. 53 But the Levites must camp on each side of the Tent of Meeting. They must keep it safe. Then God will not be angry with the people.’

54 The Israelites did everything that the LORD had said to Moses.