Book of Numbers

Balaam’s Lack of Surprise at Donkey’s Speech - In Torah study group last week, we were discussing Balaam and his attempt to curse Israel. One thing which really struck us is how Balaam doesn’t even seem surprised when his donkey started talking to him! He just... More »
Covenant of Salt - I see the Torah occasionally refers to covenants of salt – such as the covenant of priesthood with Aaron’s descendants and of sovereignty with King David’s family. Why is salt mentioned? What is its... significance? More »
Jethro’s Many Names - I have been studying Scripture, and it seems that Jethro, Moses’s father-in-law, seems to have different names in different places. Did he have multiple names? What was his actual name? More »
Jewish Census - "Members of the Tribe" - Immediately after giving the Ten Commandments, God tells the Jewish people to organize themselves by tribe and take a census. (That's why the fourth book of the Bible is called "Numbers.") Isn't living in tribes... More »
Red Heifer - I was reading the Book of Numbers, chapter 19, which describes the Red Heifer. The whole thing seems quite mysterious. Can you explain? More »
Samson – Contact with Dead - I’m trying to understand something. Shimshon (Samson) was a nazir (Nazarite), which is why he didn’t cut his hair or drink wine. But isn’t one of the restrictions of a Nazarite not to come in contact with the dead... More »
The Nazirite Vow - The Torah (Numbers 6) talks about the nazir. A man who fears that his appetites dominate his judgment vows not to cut his hair and not to drink wine. Then at the end of thirty days, he shaves his hair off and brings it... More »
The Spies’ Rebellion - I was reading in Numbers chapter 13 how the Jewish people arrive at the border of the Land of Israel. They send prominent men from each tribe as spies, to explore how best to conquer the land. The spies spend 40 days... More »
Trying to Escape - When the Israelites were in the wilderness and were 'craving' meat so badly, why didn't they just use some of the cattle that they had. I realize some of that was for offerings, but there had to be a few extra. This... More »
Year and Date of Aaron’s Death - In what year did Aaron die? Numbers 33:38 writes explicitly that Aaron died in the 40th year in the desert, at the age of 123. But Deuteronomy 10:6 seems to say Aaron died in the second year in the desert, right after... More »

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