Tag Archives: ‘elef – clan/chief/thousand – Strong’s H505

Numbers 1:1–4:20: Adopted into God’s family

The lesson of the Torah reading בְּמִדְבַּר Bamidbar (“in the wilderness,” Num. 1:1–4:20) is the family of God started with Abraham, then his son Yitskhak (Isaac), his grandson Ya’akob (Jacob) and Jacob’s 12 sons. From that small family, the knowledge of God has spread all over the world.

It is the job of the Messiah — Yeshua (Jesus) — to find and gather all those who want to be adopted as God’s sons and daughters until He returns again. There will be no Gentiles in the Kingdom of God. All those who come in become part of Israel.

Continue reading Numbers 1:1–4:20: Adopted into God’s family

Does ‏אלף ’elef mean ‘thousand’ or ‘clan’ in Exodus and Numbers?

Some have asserted that the huge numbers of people listed in various places in Exodus and Numbers are impossible or unlikely for a number of real-world reasons. Those include lack of mention of such big numbers in Egyptian and other secular accounts, archaeological estimates of populations at the time, food supply and other logistics for such huge numbers during the Exodus, number of years Israel was in Egypt, smaller numbers mentioned in the Bible hundreds of years later, trepidation of Israel to invade the Land despite having huge army, etc.

Rather than exegesis, which is a critical examination of a text from the text, this is eisegesis, which means a critical examination of a text from considerations outside the text.

Continue reading Does ‏אלף ’elef mean ‘thousand’ or ‘clan’ in Exodus and Numbers?

Numbers 1 continued — controversy over translation of the Hebrew word ’elef as ‘thousand’

Some Jewish and Messianic scholars are feverishly debating whether the word “elef” (Strong’s lexicon Nos. 504 and 505) in Numbers 1 and the counting of the fighting men of the 12 tribes means “clans” or “thousands.” There’s more controversy in Judaism over this one Hebrew word than any other Hebrew word in the TaNaK.

Richard explains the controversy and gives us some tools on how to wade through all the scholarly debates on this issue. Judges 6 and the book of Chronicles gives us some insight into this controversy as well.
Continue reading Numbers 1 continued — controversy over translation of the Hebrew word ’elef as ‘thousand’

Numbers 1 — Were there hundreds of thousands or thousands in the army of Israel?

The book of Numbers immediately starts out with a census, with lots of numbers. The book is named very well. If you just think of numbers for the sake of numbers, this chapter is very easy to skip. However, there are some important lessons we can glean from this chapter. First, notice the names of the heads of these families. Many of them have the name of “El” or “Shaddai” in their own names. This shows us that they know.

Continue reading Numbers 1 — Were there hundreds of thousands or thousands in the army of Israel?

1st Samuel 11 — Saul proves himself as a leader

The “Snake” of Ammon picks a fight with Israel, giving Saul his first test as leader. His success cemented his authority. Yet some despising of him mirrors the rejection of Yeshua as God’s Messiah. Continue reading 1st Samuel 11 — Saul proves himself as a leader

Numbers 26–27: Accounting for light and righteousness in Israel

After various plagues and judgments over the 40 years of wandering in wilderness, God called for Israel to be counted again. It was also time to divide the Promised Land among the 12 tribes, based on the wisdom of God’s light and righteousness.

Thought questions

  • What does it mean to divide the land by lots?
  • Is the count by אלף elef, by clans or by thousands adding up to 601,000?
    • What is the significance of the word census in Num. 26:2 being the Hebrew word ראש rosh, which means “head”?
    • How many “heads” or “divisions” did each tribe have? (Compare the use of אלף elef in Joshua 6:15.)
  • If the Hebrew words Urim and Thurim mean “light” and “righteousness,” respectively, how does the use of decision-making objects named after those words relate to the division of the Promised Land among the tribes?