The Message

Numbers 1

Census in the Wilderness of Sinai

11-5 God spoke to Moses in the Wilderness of Sinai at the Tent of Meeting on the first day of the second month in the second year after they had left Egypt. He said, “Number the congregation of the People of Israel by clans and families, writing down the names of every male. You and Aaron are to register, company by company, every man who is twenty years and older who is able to fight in the army. Pick one man from each tribe who is head of his family to help you. These are the names of the men who will help you:

from Reuben: Elizur son of Shedeur

from Simeon: Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai

from Judah: Nahshon son of Amminadab

from Issachar: Nethanel son of Zuar

from Zebulun: Eliab son of Helon

10 from the sons of Joseph,
    from Ephraim: Elishama son of Ammihud
    from Manasseh: Gamaliel son of Pedahzur

11 from Benjamin: Abidan son of Gideoni

12 from Dan: Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai

13 from Asher: Pagiel son of Ocran

14 from Gad: Eliasaph son of Deuel

15 from Naphtali: Ahira son of Enan.”

16 These were the men chosen from the congregation, leaders of their ancestral tribes, heads of Israel’s military divisions.

17-19 Moses and Aaron took these men who had been named to help and gathered the whole congregation together on the first day of the second month. The people registered themselves in their tribes according to their ancestral families, putting down the names of those who were twenty years old and older, just as God commanded Moses. He numbered them in the Wilderness of Sinai.

20-21 The line of Reuben, Israel’s firstborn: The men were counted off head by head, every male twenty years and older who was able to fight in the army, registered by tribes according to their ancestral families. The tribe of Reuben numbered 46,500.

22-23 The line of Simeon: The men were counted off head by head, every male twenty years and older who was able to fight in the army, registered by clans and families. The tribe of Simeon numbered 59,300.

24-25 The line of Gad: The men were counted off head by head, every male twenty years and older who was able to fight in the army, registered by clans and families. The tribe of Gad numbered 45,650.

26-27 The line of Judah: The men were counted off head by head, every male twenty years and older who was able to fight in the army, registered by clans and families. The tribe of Judah numbered 74,600.

28-29 The line of Issachar: The men were counted off head by head, every male twenty years and older who was able to fight in the army, registered by clans and families. The tribe of Issachar numbered 54,400.

30-31 The line of Zebulun: The men were counted off head by head, every male twenty years and older who was able to fight in the army, registered by clans and families. The tribe of Zebulun numbered 57,400.

32-33 The line of Joseph: From son Ephraim the men were counted off head by head, every male twenty years and older who was able to fight in the army, registered by clans and families. The tribe of Ephraim numbered 40,500.

34-35 And from son Manasseh the men were counted off head by head, every male twenty years and older who was able to fight in the army, registered by clans and families. The tribe of Manasseh numbered 32,200.

36-37 The line of Benjamin: The men were counted off head by head, every male twenty years and older who was able to fight in the army, registered by clans and families. The tribe of Benjamin numbered 35,400.

38-39 The line of Dan: The men were counted off head by head, every male twenty years and older who was able to fight in the army, registered by clans and families. The tribe of Dan numbered 62,700.

40-41 The line of Asher: The men were counted off head by head, every male twenty years and older who was able to fight in the army, registered by clans and families. The tribe of Asher numbered 41,500.

42-43 The line of Naphtali: The men were counted off head by head, every male twenty years and older who was able to fight in the army, registered by clans and families. The tribe of Naphtali numbered 53,400.

44-46 These are the numbers of those registered by Moses and Aaron, registered with the help of the leaders of Israel, twelve men, each representing his ancestral family. The sum total of the People of Israel twenty years old and over who were able to fight in the army, counted by ancestral family, was 603,550.

47-51 The Levites, however, were not counted by their ancestral family along with the others. God had told Moses, “The tribe of Levi is an exception: Don’t register them. Don’t count the tribe of Levi; don’t include them in the general census of the People of Israel. Instead, appoint the Levites to be in charge of The Dwelling of The Testimony—over all its furnishings and everything connected with it. Their job is to carry The Dwelling and all its furnishings, maintain it, and camp around it. When it’s time to move The Dwelling, the Levites will take it down, and when it’s time to set it up, the Levites will do it. Anyone else who even goes near it will be put to death.

52-53 “The rest of the People of Israel will set up their tents in companies, every man in his own camp under its own flag. But the Levites will set up camp around The Dwelling of The Testimony so that wrath will not fall on the community of Israel. The Levites are responsible for the security of The Dwelling of The Testimony.”

54 The People of Israel did everything that God commanded Moses. They did it all.

New International Reader's Version

Numbers 1

The Men of Israel Are Counted

1The Lord spoke to Moses in the tent of meeting. It happened in the Desert of Sinai. The Lord spoke to him on the first day of the second month. It was the second year after the Israelites came out of Egypt. The Lord said, “Count all the men of Israel. Make a list of them by their tribes and families. List every man by name. List them one by one. Count all the men able to serve in the army. They must be 20 years old or more. I want you and Aaron to make a list of them group by group. One man from each tribe must help you. Those who help must be the heads of their families.

Here are the names of the men who must help you.

“From the tribe of Reuben will come Elizur, the son of Shedeur.

From the tribe of Simeon will come Shelumiel, the son of Zurishaddai.

From the tribe of Judah will come Nahshon, the son of Amminadab.

From the tribe of Issachar will come Nethanel, the son of Zuar.

From the tribe of Zebulun will come Eliab, the son of Helon.

10 From the tribe of Ephraim will come Elishama, the son of Ammihud.

From the tribe of Manasseh will come Gamaliel, the son of Pedahzur.

Ephraim and Manasseh are Joseph’s two sons.

11 From the tribe of Benjamin will come Abidan, the son of Gideoni.

12 From the tribe of Dan will come Ahiezer, the son of Ammishaddai.

13 From the tribe of Asher will come Pagiel, the son of Okran.

14 From the tribe of Gad will come Eliasaph, the son of Deuel.

15 From the tribe of Naphtali will come Ahira, the son of Enan.”

16 These were the men appointed from the community. They were the leaders of the tribes of their people. They were the heads of the major families in Israel.

17 Moses and Aaron went and got the men whose names had been given to them. 18 Then Moses and Aaron gathered all the men of Israel together. It was the first day of the second month. The people wrote down the tribe and family they belonged to. The men 20 years old or more were listed by name. They were listed one by one. 19 Everything was done just as the Lord had commanded Moses. So Moses counted them in the Desert of Sinai.

20 Here is the number of men from the tribe of Reuben. He is Israel’s oldest son.

All the men able to serve in the army were counted. They were 20 years old or more. They were listed by name. They were listed one by one. They were listed according to the records of their tribes and families. 21 The number from the tribe of Reuben was 46,500.

22 Here is the number of men from the tribe of Simeon.

All the men able to serve in the army were counted. They were 20 years old or more. They were listed by name. They were listed one by one. They were listed according to the records of their tribes and families. 23 The number from the tribe of Simeon was 59,300.

24 Here is the number of men from the tribe of Gad.

All the men able to serve in the army were counted. They were 20 years old or more. They were listed by name. They were listed according to the records of their tribes and families. 25 The number from the tribe of Gad was 45,650.

26 Here is the number of men from the tribe of Judah.

All the men able to serve in the army were counted. They were 20 years old or more. They were listed by name. They were listed according to the records of their tribes and families. 27 The number from the tribe of Judah was 74,600.

28 Here is the number of men from the tribe of Issachar.

All the men able to serve in the army were counted. They were 20 years old or more. They were listed by name. They were listed according to the records of their tribes and families. 29 The number from the tribe of Issachar was 54,400.

30 Here is the number of men from the tribe of Zebulun.

All the men able to serve in the army were counted. They were 20 years old or more. They were listed by name. They were listed according to the records of their tribes and families. 31 The number from the tribe of Zebulun was 57,400.

32 Here is the number of men from the tribe of Ephraim. He is the son of Joseph.

All the men able to serve in the army were counted. They were 20 years old or more. They were listed by name. They were listed according to the records of their tribes and families. 33 The number from the tribe of Ephraim was 40,500.

34 Here is the number of men from the tribe of Manasseh. He is the son of Joseph.

All the men able to serve in the army were counted. They were 20 years old or more. They were listed by name. They were listed according to the records of their tribes and families. 35 The number from the tribe of Manasseh was 32,200.

36 Here is the number of men from the tribe of Benjamin.

All the men able to serve in the army were counted. They were 20 years old or more. They were listed by name. They were listed according to the records of their tribes and families. 37 The number from the tribe of Benjamin was 35,400.

38 Here is the number of men from the tribe of Dan.

All the men able to serve in the army were counted. They were 20 years old or more. They were listed by name. They were listed according to the records of their tribes and families. 39 The number from the tribe of Dan was 62,700.

40 Here is the number of men from the tribe of Asher.

All the men able to serve in the army were counted. They were 20 years old or more. They were listed by name. They were listed according to the records of their tribes and families. 41 The number from the tribe of Asher was 41,500.

42 Here is the number of men from the tribe of Naphtali.

All the men able to serve in the army were counted. They were 20 years old or more. They were listed by name. They were listed according to the records of their tribes and families. 43 The number from the tribe of Naphtali was 53,400.

44 These were the men counted by Moses and Aaron. The 12 leaders of Israel helped them. There was one leader from each tribe. 45 The men who were counted were able to serve in Israel’s army. All of them were 20 years old or more. They were counted family by family. 46 The total number of men was 603,550.

47 But the families of the tribe of Levi were not counted along with the others. 48 The Lord had spoken to Moses. He had said, 49 “You must not count the men from the tribe of Levi. Do not include them when you list the other men of Israel. 50 Instead, put the Levites in charge of the holy tent. That is where the tablets of the covenant law are kept. The Levites will be in charge of everything that belongs to the holy tent. They must carry the tent and everything that belongs to it. They must take care of it. They must set up camp around it. 51 When the holy tent must be moved, the Levites must take it down. And when the tent must be set up, the Levites must do it. Anyone else who approaches it must be put to death. 52 The Israelites must set up their tents by military groups. All of them must be in their own camps under their own flags. 53 But the Levites must set up their tents around the holy tent. That’s where the tablets of the covenant law are kept. Then I will not be angry with the community of Israel. The Levites will be responsible for taking care of the tent.”

54 The Israelites did everything just as the Lord had commanded Moses.