Sunday, July 17, 2011

The new census in Numbers 26. The Levites not counted because they have no inheritence.

Men  20 and over who go out to the legion are counted.  Totals are down a bit from 603,550 listed in numbers 2:32 to 601,730 in numbers 26:51. I think there is a space of about 39 years as this is now the end of the 40 years of wandering when they are soon to enter Israel and Moses is in his final days with both Aaron and Miriam already passed on. So the population has remained stable over these years not increasing but not decreasing either as they decreased by about 2,000. Haven't look at the tribe by tribe breakdown.

The main reason for the census does seem to be to allot land. As it says in numbers 26:53 Among these shall the land be apportioned as shares, according to the listed names with larger groups increase their shares with smaller groups reduce their share. So part oft this is to allot land.

Furthermore, it mentions why the Levites who actually serve a higher role in this case are not counted. That is because they are not allotted any shares in the land of Israel. (26:62) They were not part of the regular enrollment of the Israelites since no share was assigned to them among the Israelites. Also the counting of the Levites was counted all males at 1 month and up (Num 26:62) instead of 20 years and up as the normal census was.

In fact many of these ideas likely had to do with the idea of voting rights and giving it specifically to men over 20 or 21 who owned property. They didn't make it up on their own nor were they trying to oppress women. It was based on this biblical concept that they read that men who have property and serve in the Legon are counted when 20 and over and them not knowing everything themselves thought following the biblical ideas make sense in letting men over 20 who own property vote for who will lead them in both good times and bad times. And who will lead them to protect their own land and property and help keep law and order.

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