Numbers 26: The tribes of Israel are counted again


God orders another census (everyone over 20). It turns out that everyone who had been in the original census aside from Moses, Caleb and Joshua was dead. Here is the accounting by tribe.

Reuben: 43,730
Simeon: 22,200
Gad: 40,500
Judah: 76,500
Issachar: 64,300
Zebulun: 60,500
Joseph (Manasseh) 52,700
Joseph (Ephraim): 32,500
Benjanim: 45,600
Dan: 64,400
Asher: 53,400
Naphtali: 45,400
Total: 601,730
Plus 23,000 Levite males 1 month and older.

In other words:

After all the time in the desert, most of the original people have died. Some have left and we now have 601,730 people.

Change in numbers to the original count:

The original count was 603,550 men over 20. At this census they have 601,730 people total.  Assuming equal numbers of men and women at the start they have lost about half of their people.  In contrast the Levites have gained about 1,000 people.  It’s still a huge number of people and would have dwarfed the largest cities in that time.

Favorite bit:

Numbers 26: 19: The suns of Judah were Er and Onan who died in the land of Canaan back in Genesis 38. I love that we refer back to the other story.

Moral Lesson Learned:

Organizing a lot of people is really hard to do (Numbers 26)