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Exposition of the Old and New Testament, by John Gill, [1746-63], at

Numbers Introduction


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This book has its name from the account it gives of the "numbers" of the children of Israel, twice taken particularly; which name it has with this Greeks and Latins, and so with the Syriac and Arabic versions; but with the Jews it is called sometimes "Vajedabber", from the first word of it, "and the Lord spake"; and sometimes "Bemidbar", from the fifth word of the first verse, "in the wilderness", and sometimes "Sepher Pikkudim"; or, as with Origen (a), "Ammesph‚kodim", the book of musters or surveys. That it was written by Moses is not to be doubted; and is indeed suggested by our Lord himself, Joh 5:46 compared with Num 3:14, and the references to it, in the New Testament, fully ascertain to us Christians the authenticity of it, as that of our Lord hinted at, and those of the apostle in Co1 10:4. It contains an history of the affairs of the Israelites, and of their travel in the wilderness for the space of thirty eight years; though the principal facts it relates were done in the second year of their coming out of Egypt, and in the last of their being in the wilderness; and it is not merely historical, but gives a particular account of several laws, ceremonial and judicial, to be observed by the people of Israel, as well as has many things in it very instructive, both of a moral and evangelical nature.

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