(Continued from page 411)The Three Divisions in the Book of Numbers
The book of Numbers is divided into three parts:
Part One reads from Chapter 1:1 to 10:10 and describes the preparations for the march from Sinai.
Encompassed in this preparation is the ordering of the tribes (Chapters 1-2), instructions to the Levites (Chapters 3-4), cleansing and consecration (Chapters 5-6), tabernacle service (Chapters 7-8), Passover instructions (Chapter 9:1-14), and the accompaniment of the Lord (Chapter 9:15-10:10).
Part Two begins in Chapter 10:11 and continues through 21:10. This division covers the history of the wanderings.
This encompasses the journey to Kadesh Barnea (Chapter 10:11-14:45) and onto the Plains of Moab (Chapter15:1-21:1) with the accompanying rebellions.
Part Three, covers Chapter 21:11 through to chapter 36 and recounts the activities that take place east of the Jordan River [in the Trans-Jordan] before the Israelites enter Canaan.
Here we learn again of Israel's propensity to fall into idolatry (Chapter 25) under the influence of surrounding tribes, such as the "daughters of Moab" (Chapter 25:1-3) and the typified false prophet, the Midianite Balaam (Chapter 22-24), who was used by God to test his people (Deuteronomy 13 and 18) when he is turned from his occultic influences to the truth (Chapter 24) but, despite this enlightenment, returns to his old ways and is finally killed when Israel slaughters the Midianites (Numbers 31) .5-7
When we begin to consider the land of Canaan, we also gain an understanding of the importance of the Jordan River which divides the northern portion of land from the southern portion at the Dead Sea. The territory east of the Jordan River is referred to as the Trans-Jordan, and the land west of the Jordan River is referred to as the Cis-Jordan.
(Continued on page 413)