Book of Numbers

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Old Testament (Tanakh)

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The book of Numbers[1] in the Bible is the fourth book in the Old Testament. It is called a book of Moses because it contains the story of Moses and the Israelites when they wander throughout the wilderness before ending up at Israel (also known as Canaan or Palestine), where God promised they will settle.

The book is called Numbers because at the start God ordered a counting of the people (a census) in the twelve tribes of Israel. After counting all the men who are over twenty and fit to fight, the Israelites began to travel in well-ordered divisions, with God in the middle of the Ark of the Covenant. In Hebrew, the book is called Bmidbar, which means 'In a desert,' because it is the account of their 40 years of wandering therein. When the people found that the place God promised them was filled with strong and powerful people of other races, they became scared and rebelled against God and Moses. Therefore God punished them by making the Israelites travel forty years before they could settle on the promised land.

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  1. Hebrew: בַּמִּדְבָּר, Bamidbar, meaning in the desert

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