Apparently the Book of Numbers should really be called “In the Wilderness” (the meaning of Ba’midmar (במדבר), the Hebrew title). At least that’s what various sites on the Interwebs tell me.
So why the change? I’m not sure, but it is too bad they didn’t go with the more interesting sounding Hebrew version. For people who don’t read the Bible the current title makes it sound like it is all genealogies and such. Yes, it starts with a census, But consider these great passages that you miss out on if you don’t read it:
- A test for adultery
- The Nazirite vow
- Elders appointed to aid Moses
- The quail. Lots of quail.
- Miriam and Aaron oppose Moses
- Spies going into Canaan
- The people’s rebellion
- Korah’s rebellion (referred to in Jude)
- Moses strikes the rock
- The bronze serpent
- Balaam and his donkey
- Driving out the inhabitants
- Cities of refuge
- Much, much more!
Seriously, don’t miss the Book of Numbers — or anything else in the Bible. Like I’ve said, if/when you get to Heaven it will be awkward if you haven’t read every author’s books (“Oh, uh, hi Amos . . . look over there!” [Runs away again]).
Better yet, think about how you’ll tell Jesus all the excuses you had for not reading it regularly, and at some point reading it all. (Yeah, I’m fine using the carrot or the stick to get you to read more!)
Just read it. Every day.