Some Tips on How To Read the Book of Numbers

A month after the Israelites left Egypt, almost like a new beginning a census was ordered by God. This book traces their 39 years of wilderness experience from Sinai to eastern side of Jordan.


Day 1:  chp 1-2 (Organisation)

Day 2:  chp 3-4 (Levites & their duties)

Day 3:  chp 5-6 (Cleansing & blessing)

Day 4: chp 7 (Gifts from the people)

Day 5: chp 8 (Levites consecrated)

Day 6: chp 9:1-14 (Passover celebrated)

Day 7: chp 9:15-10:36 (Movements)


Trouble in Camp (Sinai-Kadesh)

Day 8: chp 11 (Hardships & complaints)

Day 9: chp 12 (Jealousy & Criticism)

Day 10: chp 13-14 (Distrust and Judgment)

Day 11: chp 15 (Regulations and remembrance)

Day 12: chp 16 (Rebellion in camp)

Day 13: chp 17-18 (Priesthood established)

Day 14: chp 19 (Purification rites)


Journey continues (Kadesh-Plains of Moab)

Day 15: chp 20 (Water & Passage row & Judgment on Moses & Aaron)

Day 16: chp 21 (Victories & Judgment; Bronze Snake)

Day 17: chp 22-24 (Balaam’s oracle)

Day 18: chp 25 (Idolatry at camp & Phinenas’ intervention)


Restarting again (Plains of Moab-East of Jordan)

Day 19: chp 26 (Second census)

Day 20: chp 27 (Inheritance; Zelophehad’s daughters & succession for Moses )

Day 21: chp 28-30 (Offerings, festivals & vows)

Day 22: chp 31 (Vengeance against Midianites)

Day 23: chp 32 (Settlement in East Jordan)

Day 24: chp 33:1-49 (Wilderness route)

Day 25: chp 33:50-34:29 (Instructions when occupying Canaan)

Day 26: chp 35 (Cities of refuge)

Day 27: chp 36 (Inheritance laws confirmed)



The book of Numbers is surprisingly more than just numbers. It tells of a story of how God dealt with Israelites despite their unbelief. Through it all, God was faithful and his mercy evident in not wiping them off. In fact God continues to be involved with them – those that came out of Egypt and later the new generation going into Canaan.

It tells the stark reality of what disobedience entails yet tinge with mercy. This book is a mixture of big picture, regulations and interesting accounts too (bronze snake healing, talking donkey, inheritance for females, etc). A quick review of the headings for the readings from Day 1-27 already gives us an idea what their journey was like. And in many ways it mirrors our lives.

 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you didn’t trust me to show my holiness before the Israelites, you will not bring this assembly into the land that I am giving them.” (Num 20:12)

May the verse above, NOT be true of our lives today.