Numbering of Israel in the plains of Moab. (1-51) The division
of the land. (52-56) Number of the Levites. (57-62) None
remaining of the first numbering. (63-65)
Moses did not number the people but when God commanded
him. We have here the families registered, as well as the
tribes. The total was nearly the same as when numbered at mount
Sinai. Notice is here taken of the children of Korah; they died
not, as the children of Dathan and Abiram; they seem not to have
joined even their own father in rebellion. If we partake not of
the sins of sinners, we shall not partake of their plagues.
In distributing these tribes, the general rule of equity
is prescribed; that to many should be given more, and to fewer
less. Though it seems left to the prudence of their prince, the
matter at last must be settled by the providence of God, with
which all must be satisfied.
Levi was God's tribe; therefore it was not numbered with
the rest, but alone. It came not under the sentence, that none
of them should enter Canaan excepting Caleb and Joshua.
The execution of the sentence passed on the murmurers,
chap. 14:29, is observable. There was not one man numbered
now, who was numbered then, but Caleb and Joshua. Here appeared
the righteousness of God, and his faithfulness to his
threatenings. Especially observe the truth of God, in performing
his promise to Caleb and Joshua. Death makes awful havoc of the
human species, and causes surprising changes in families and
nations; yet all is appointed in perfect wisdom, justice, and
truth, by the Lord himself. This should stir us up to think upon
the hateful nature of sin, the cause of all these devastations.
We should renew our repentance, seek forgiveness, value the
salvation of Christ, remember how frail we are, prepare for the
summons of death, and fill up our days in serving our generation
according to the will of God.