This fourth Book of Moses is called NUMBERS, because it begins with the numbering of the people. The Hebrews, from its first words, call it VAIEDABBER. It contains the transactions of the Israelites from the second month of the second year after their going out of Egypt, until the beginning of the eleventh month of the fortieth year; that is, a history almost of thirty-nine years.
The children of Israel are numbered: the Levites are designed to serve the tabernacle.
1:1. And the Lord spoke to Moses in the desert of Sinai in the tabernacle of the covenant, the first day of the second month, the second year of their going out of Egypt, saying:
1:2. Take the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel by their families, and houses, and the names of every one, as many as are of the male sex,
1:3. From twenty years old and upwards, of all the men of Israel fit for war, and you shall number them by their troops, thou and Aaron.
1:4. And there shall be with you the princes of the tribes, and of the houses in their kindreds,
1:5. Whose names are these: Of Ruben, Elisur the son of Sedeur.
1:6. Of Simeon, Salamiel the son of Surisaddai.
1:7. Of Juda, Nahasson the son of Aminadab.
1:8. Of Issachar, Nathanael the son of Suar.
1:9. Of Zabulon, Eliab the son of Helon.
1:10. And of the sons of Joseph: of Ephraim, Elisama the son of Ammiud: of Manasses, Gamaliel the son of Phadassur.