Census of the Levites (Num 26:57-26:65)

“This is the enrollment of the Levites by their clans: Gershon, the clan of the Gershonites; Kohath, the clan of the Kohathites; Merari, the clan of the Merarites. These are the clans of Levi: the clan of the Libnites, the clan of the Hebronites, the clan of the Mahlites, the clan of the Mushites, the clan of the Korahites. Kohath was the father of Amram. The name of Amram’s wife was Jochebed daughter of Levi, who was born to Levi in Egypt. She bore to Amram Aaron, Moses, and their sister Miriam.  To Aaron were born Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. But Nadab and Abihu died when they offered unholy fire before Yahweh. The number of those enrolled was twenty-three thousand, every male from a month old and upward. They were not enrolled among the Israelites because there was no allotment given to them among Israelites.”

The Levites had a special clan census as in chapter 3. However, this time they did not break the numbers down by clans, not is there any explicit mention of the Shimeites, the Amramites, the Izharites, and the Uzzielites.

1)      The two clans of Gershon, the clan of the Gershonites;

  1. the Libnites;
  2. the Shimeites;

2)      The four clans of Kohath, the clan of the Kohathites;

  1. Amram married Jochebed, daughter of Levi

i.      Aaron

  1. Nadab, died in unholy fire
  2. Abihu, died in unholy fire
  3. Eleazar, followed Aaron as chief priest
  4. Ithamar

ii.      Moses

iii.      Miriam

  1. the Izharites;
  2. the Hebronites;
  3. the Uzzielites.

3)      The two clans of Merari, the clan of the Merarites:

  1. the Mahlites;
  2. the Mushites.

There were 23,000 Levite males from a month old. They did not get any allotment like the rest of the Israelites. In chapter 3, there were 22,000 so that there was an increase of 1,000.

“These were those enrolled by Moses and Eleazar the priest, who enrolled the Israelites in the plains of Moab by the Jordan opposite Jericho.   Among these there was not one of those enrolled by Moses and Aaron the priest, who had enrolled the Israelites in the wilderness of Sinai. Yahweh had said of them, ‘They shall die in the wilderness.’ Not one of them was left, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.”

Those enrolled here by Moses and Eleazar were not the same as those enrolled by Moses and Aaron in the wilderness of Sinai. Yahweh had said that they would die in the wilderness. Not one of them was left, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. The number was nearly the same but the people were different. It is hard to imagine that none of the Sinai Levites made it to Moab.

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