What you get in the Casual English Bible’s Numbers Bible Atlas are
- 25 high resolution 3D maps and charts for immediate download as PDFs. Updates are free.
Sample maps in the Number Bible Atlas
This should have been the story of Moses leading the Israelite invasion into Canaan.
But Moses never steps foot in Canaan. The entire generation of adults age 20 and above misses the invasion, too. Joshua and Caleb are the only exceptions, because of their confidence in God.
The plan was to march north out of the Sinai Peninsula and overrun Canaan’s cities in the southland first. But the Israelites choke. Scouts come back with a report that terrifies them. The enemy has walled cities, strong armies, and giants.
“Looking up at them, we felt like grasshoppers. And looking down at us, they felt we looked like grasshoppers, too” (Numbers 13:33).
Israelites refuse to attack. For that vote of zero confidence, God, who has already shown them his power in ways as dramatic as the 10 plagues of Egypt, sentences them to 40 years in the desert badlands.
Afterward, an elderly Moses, soon to die, leads the next generation to the east bank of the Jordan River. It’s the staging ground for the invasion that Moses won’t live to see.
Enroute to the river, Israelites respond to attacks from several armies by defeating them and taking their land. Two tribes of Israel decide to settle there, in what is now Jordan. But they also agree to join the invasion.
The story of Numbers starts with Moses taking a census, apparently to see what kind of an army God has to work with. That’s where the book gets its name, Numbers. The ancient Hebrew name, however, is Bemidbar, “in the wilderness.”
There’s no byline. We don’t know who wrote Numbers. Ancient Jewish tradition says Moses wrote the Bible’s first five books, from Genesis to Deuteronomy, under the direction of God. “God had the angel of his presence [possibly a way of referring to God himself] tell Moses the story of creation…until the time God will build an eternal temple for his people” (Jubilees 1:26, Dead Sea Scrolls).
One clue Moses may not have written all of it: “Moses was a humble man. The humblest man on earth” (Numbers 12:3). If he wrote that, he had chutzpah, and maybe a personality disorder.
Many scholars, perhaps most, say Numbers was likely pieced together from several sources. They say one source seems to come from priests, who wrote about sacrifices and worship rituals. Other sources are storytellers reporting tales such as one about a seer named Balaam, who had a temporarily talking donkey.
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