Most of those miracles of Moses that are recorded in the Book of Numbers are summarized on this page.
(Note: I do not purple color-code every miraculous meeting of God with Moses, because almost everything would be purple if I did. Instead, I only purple color-code those meetings which I feel are the most distinctive.)
In chapters 1-4 of the Book of Numbers, a tribal census is taken; and tribal regulations for the Israelite / Hebrew tribes are given.
In Numbers, chapters 5 and 6 various regulations are given.
In Numbers, chapters 7 and 8 offerings and activities related to the Tabernacle are written about.
Numbers 9:1-14 Information about Passover observance is provided.
Numbers 9:15-23 The behavior of the Hebrews relative to the Cloud of Yehovah (God) descending on and ascending from the Tabernacle is described.
Numbers 10:1-10 The regulations regarding silver trumpets are given.
Numbers 10:11-36 Information concerning the movement of the Hebrews from the Sinai to the Paran is given.
Numbers 11:1-4 Fire came from Yehovah (God) and burned part of the outer edge of the encampment of the Hebrews; the fire ceased after Moses prayed for it to end.
Numbers 11:5-35 The Hebrews complain that they want to eat meat instead of manna. Yehovah (God) hears their complaining and becomes very angry. In response, Moses is instructed to tell the people that they will eat meat until they can’t stand it anymore as punishment for their complaints.
In Numbers 11:16-17,24-30, Yehovah (God) takes some of the Spirit that is on Moses and places it on seventy Hebrew elders so that they can help Moses.
In Numbers 11:33-35 Yehovah (God) ultimately becomes so angry with the complaining of the people that He strikes them with a severe plague just as they begin to chew the meat that He has brought to them; many of the people die because of the plague. After the dead are buried, the remaining Hebrews move to another camp.
Numbers 12:1-9 Aaron and Miriam (Moses’s brother and sister, respectively) speak in opposition to Moses because he had married a non-Hebrew woman named Zipporah. She was a Cushite; and from Midian, according to Exodus 2:15-21.
God had previously commanded the Hebrew people not to enter into treaties with the inhabitants of the land into which He was leading them (e.g. Exodus 34:12,15). In particular, God warned against the Hebrews intermarrying with those peoples (e.g. Exodus 34:16). However, Zipporah was not from among those people; and, what is more, her family worshipped the God of the Hebrews, with her dad being considered a priest of God (e.g. Exodus 3:1; and all of Exodus chapter 18).
And, more-to-the-point, Moses was not being led away from God by Zipporah. So there was no real reason for Aaron and Miriam to complain about her.
Regardless of why Aaron and Miriam complain about Moses’s wife, they begin to speak of Moses as if he was no more chosen by God to lead the Hebrews than themselves (Numbers 12:2). God becomes angry about this, and addresses Aaron and Miriam directly regarding the question of how special Moses is to God. God composes a poem / ode to Moses (Numbers 12:6-8), and recites it to Aaron and Miriam, and Moses, at the entrance to the Tabernacle.
Numbers 12:10-16 Immediately following this meeting of God with Aaron, Miriam, and Moses, as the cloud of God lifted from the Tabernacle, Miriam is seen to have become leprous. The leprosy is healed after Moses prays for Miriam and after Miriam stays outside of the Hebrew encampment for seven days (a customary time for a daughter to endure shame for disobedience to her Father).
Numbers 13:1-25 Yehovah [God] tells Moses to assemble a group of twelve spies to go into Canaan, the land which God has promised to give to the Hebrews. A man is chosen from each of the twelve tribes of Israel, and the group of twelve goes into Canaan to spy on the land. After 40 days, the men return to the Hebrew encampment.
Numbers 13:26-33 Upon returning, the men report to Moses that Canaan is a very good place to live, with very successful farming. However, most of the men also report that those people who already live in Canaan are much more physically powerful than the Hebrews. At this point, one of the twelve men, named Caleb, recommends going into Canaan and taking possession of the land. The consensus of the other eleven men is to avoid Canaan. After this, the rumor was spread in the Hebrew camp that Canaan was a bad place to live, and that the people of Canaan were like giants compared to the Hebrews.
Numbers 14:1-10 Following the spread of the bad rumor concerning Canaan, the Hebrews as a group once again seek to return to Egypt. Moses and Aaron bow down in submission before the Hebrews. Caleb, and Joshua (another of the twelve men that spied on Canaan) tear their clothes; and then they cry out to the Hebrews to trust God, and to boldly enter Canaan and take the land. The response is a call for the stoning of Caleb, Joshua, Moses, and Aaron.
Numbers 14:10-19 At this point, the glory of Yehovah [God] appears before the entire Hebrew nation at the Tabernacle. God suggests to Moses that He (God) is considering killing the rebellious Hebrews and starting a new nation descended entirely from Moses. Concerned with glorifying God rather than himself, Moses replies to God that God will receive greater praise by forgiving the Hebrews.
Numbers 14:20-38 Yehovah [God] forgives the Hebrews, as Moses suggested. However, God states that no person 20 years old or older, except for Caleb and Joshua, will be allowed to go into the promised land of Canaan. The Hebrews will wander without a home for 40 years (one year for each of the 40 days of spying in Canaan), and all of those people who doubted Yehovah [God] will die outside of the promised land. In addition, except for Caleb and Joshua, all of the men that went to spy on Canaan suddenly succumb to a plague and die.
Numbers 14:39-45 Moses informs the Hebrews of Yehovah’s [God’s] decision, and they are upset by it. In response, the Hebrews suddenly go against their own previous doubts, and move to invade Canaan. However, since God has now decided not to permit these Hebrews to take possession of the land, God does not go with them into the battle. Consequently, this additional rebellion by the Hebrews is not successful: the battle is a failure for them, and they are forced to retreat.
Numbers 15:1-21 Some rules concerning how to make offerings are given.
Numbers 15:22-29 Some rules concerning offerings for unintentional sins are given.
Numbers 15:30-31 Intentional sin and blasphemy (mocking God) are declared equal; no offering for remission of this type of sin is possible. (Note: In 1 Samuel 15:23, "rebellion" is said to be like sorcery, and "arrogance" is like idolatry. From the prior verse, 1 Samuel 15:22, we see in context that this "rebellion" and "arrogance" are willful disobedience--what is called "intentional sin" here in the Book of Numbers.)
Numbers 15:32-36 An example of what constitutes intentional sin is given. A man is caught gathering firewood on the Sabbath. God Himself tells Moses that the only way to react to this sin is to take the man outside the encampment and to kill him by having every member of the community throw stones at him.
Numbers 15:37-41 A commandment is given that is intended to increase the people’s awareness of sin and obedience to God. The commandment calls for the addition to each corner of a person’s clothes of a tassel with a blue thread. This tassel is called a "tzitzit".
Numbers 16:1-50 Three men--Korah, Dathan, and Abiram--lead a rebellion of 250 men against the leadership of Moses and Aaron. The men seek to take Aaron’s priestly duties for themselves.
In Numbers 16:23-34, the ground opens up under the tents belonging to Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. Everyone who lives in those tents (except Korah himself) falls into the ground and is buried alive.
In Numbers 16:35, fire comes out from the entrance of the Tabernacle, where Yehovah’s [God’s] Glory is. Korah and the other men with him, who are offering incense to God against God’s command, are burned to death.
In Numbers 16:41-50, the whole Hebrew community rebels against Moses and Aaron over the deaths of Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and the others. God sends out a plague amongst the people; and 14,700 of the Hebrews died. The plague would have continued killing Hebrews; but Moses tells Aaron to present burning incense between the plague and the remaining Hebrews, which stops the plague’s progress.
Numbers 17:1-13 A staff is taken from the leader of each of the ancestral Hebrew tribes, and the leader’s name is carved on the staff so that it may be clearly identified later. For the tribe of Levi, the leader is Aaron. After all of the staves are left overnight with the Ark of the Covenant, Moses finds the staff belonging to Aaron has blossomed and produced ripe almonds.
Moses shows all of the staves to the Hebrew people. After this, Moses returns each staff except Aaron’s to the tribal leader that owned it; Aaron’s staff was once again placed with the Ark of the Covenant.
Having seen that Aaron’s staff has done what no man could cause it to do, the Hebrew people finally accept that it was God that chose Aaron for the priesthood, and this rebellion of the Hebrews ends.
Numbers 18:1-7 Yehovah [God] reaffirms that only Aaron and his sons have the privilege of being God’s priests. However, God further stipulates that they will also bear the responsibility for any violations against the priesthood as well. In fact, all of Aaron’s father’s family (which would include his brother Moses and his family; and his sister Miriam and her family) will bear the responsibility for any violations against God’s Sanctuary (i.e. the Tabernacle).
In the future, if there is another rebellion against the Sanctuary, God will expect all of Aaron’s father’s family to suppress the rebellion; and if there is another rebellion against the priesthood (such as people trying to offer incense to God without His Permission) then God will expect Aaron and his sons to suppress that rebellion. Any failure to suppress such rebellions will not only result in the deaths of the rebels; but also in the deaths of that group of Aaron’s relatives who were required, and failed, to suppress the rebellion.
This responsibility for suppressing rebellion is placed on Aaron’s relatives after Moses and Aaron had stopped the plague that had just previously come out against the rebelling Hebrews. God had acted to suppress the rebels Himself; but since Moses and Aaron had disagreed with, and acted against, God’s Plan for quelling the rebellion, they had effectively assumed responsibility for quelling the rebellion themselves.
This transfer of responsibility from God to Aaron’s relatives is tantamount to God saying “I had a plan; and you didn’t agree with it, and blocked it. So if you think you know better than I do about what should be done, then I’m giving the problem to you. But be careful; because if you fail to control this problem, and it arises again, then I won’t just seek to kill them next time--I’ll seek to kill you, too.”
Numbers 18:25-32 The tribe of Levi is to share amongst themselves the remaining 9/10 of the tithe to God. This would be 9% of everything gained in Israel (the total tithe to God is 1/10; and 9/10 of 1/10 is 9/100, which is 9%).
Numbers 19:1-22 Commandments regarding the use of the ashes of the red heifer and the water of cleansing are given.
Numbers 20:1 The Hebrews return to Kadesh; and Miriam (the sister of Moses and Aaron) dies and is buried.
Numbers 20:2-13 As before (Exodus 17:1-7), there is no water at Kadesh. At the entrance to the Tabernacle, Yehovah [God] tells Moses to speak to a rock in front of the Israelites, and water will come from the rock. Moses takes his staff, and he and Aaron gather the Israelites together before the rock. However, rather than simply speak to the rock, Moses hits the rock twice with his staff. Again, water comes out.
Nevertheless, God is displeased with Moses and Aaron for their lack of faith and disobedience. For this reason, Moses and Aaron are also barred from entering the land that God has promised to the Hebrews; they will die in the desert, just like the people similarly condemned in Numbers 14:26-35.
Numbers 20:14-21 The Edomites deny the Hebrews passage through Edom.
Numbers 20:15-22 Yehovah [God] tells Aaron and Moses that they should take Aaron’s son Eleazar and climb to the top of Mount Hor. When they get there, Aaron’s clothes should be removed and placed on Eleazar as part of the transfer of the position of chief priest from Aaron to his son. God tells Aaron and Moses that this is necessary at this time because Aaron will die on top of the mountain. After Aaron, Eleazar, and Moses go to the top of Mount Hor and do what God has commanded them, Aaron dies.
Numbers 21:1-3 A Canaanite king attacks the Hebrews, and the Hebrews totally destroy those Canaanites and their towns.
Numbers 21:4-9 In impatience, the Hebrews speak against Yehovah [God] and Moses. In response, God sends poisonous snakes into the Hebrew camp, and many people die. However, after the Hebrews admit their sin against God and Moses, a bronze snake is placed on a pole above the Hebrew camp. This is done by Moses at God’s command; and the people are healed from their snake bites.
Numbers 21:10-20 Some of the details of where the Hebrews traveled in the desert is given.
Numbers 21:21-35 Details of some Hebrew victories and land acquisitions are given.
Numbers 22:1-7 The Hebrews camp across the Jordan River from the land promised to them by God; in particular, across from the city of Jericho. This was along the border with the country of Moab.
Balak, the king of Moab (as well as the other elders of Moab) fears the huge camp of the Hebrews being so near their land. The Moabites are afraid that they cannot stop the Hebrews if the Hebrew people decide to fight against them. So they make an alliance with the country of Midian. In addition, the elders of Moab and Midian seek out the services of a Midianite named "Balaam".
Moses had lived in Midian during his exile from Egypt. He married Zipporah there (Exodus 2:15-21); and his sons were by Zipporah (Exodus 18:2-4).
This made Jethro, also from Midian, his father-in-law. Jethro was “the priest in Midian” (Exodus 3:1,18:1); Jethro is also called “Reuel”, which means “friend of God” (Exodus 2:18). Jethro is the one who first suggested the judge system that became the government administration system among the Hebrews (Exodus 18:13-27).
So the previous relationship between the Midianites and the Hebrews has been good. Also, Midian has followers of the same God as the Hebrews.
Numbers 22:7-14 Balaam, a Midianite who can speak with God, says to God that Balak and the elders of Moab and Midian are seeking his services. Specifically, they want Balaam to go with them to the Hebrew encampment, and to curse the Hebrews. Elohim (God) tells Balaam to neither go, nor to curse the Hebrews; and Balaam obeys God.
Numbers 22:15-20 The Moabite king, Balak, sends even higher ranking individuals to Balaam to obtain his services. Though God has already given Balaam His decision, Balaam nevertheless inquires again with God concerning the matter. Failing to simply, faithfully accept God’s decision is to test God's Patience. In His anger, Elohim (God) tells Balaam to go with the men.
Numbers 22:21-35 Balaam rides a donkey to go with the men sent by the king Balak. The donkey sees that an angel of Yehovah (God) is standing in the road, waiting to use a sword to kill Balaam. After the donkey dodges the angel three times--and is beaten each time by Balaam--the donkey is granted a human voice, to speak with Balaam. Then Balaam is also made capable of seeing the angel. Balaam admits that he has sinned, and offers to go back to his home; but the angel tells him to continue onward.
Numbers 22:36-39 Balaam meets Balak; and Balak serves meat sacrificed to idols to Balaam, and to the princes with them.
Numbers 23:1-24:9 Balaam uses sacrifices in an attempt to entice God to speak to him in visions (that God speaks to Balaam in visions is stated clearly in Numbers 24:4,16). Although this is “sorcery” (it is also correct to call this “witchcraft”), it nevertheless serves God’s purpose to speak to Balaam, so God does speak to him. However, the words that God gives to Balaam are not the curses against Israel and against the Hebrew people that Balak the king desires; instead, they are blessings for the Hebrews of Israel.
Three sacrifices are made. With the first and second, Balaam lies down to have a vision; but with the third, he looked out over the plains at the Hebrew encampment, and the Spirit of Elohim (God) came upon him, and gave him the words while he was awake.
Numbers 24:10-25 King Balak becomes angry with Balaam because he has pronounced blessings rather than cursings for the Hebrews of Israel. God then gives Balaam curses to speak against Balak’s people, the Moabites, as well as curses for the Amalekites and Kenites who are also there. Then Balaam returns to his home in Midian.
Numbers 25:1-18 The women of the Moabites and the Midianites seduce Hebrew men into sexual immorality and worship of the false god Baal of Peor. Because of this, a plague attacks the Hebrews; and 24,000 people eventually die because of the plague.
One Hebrew man even led a Midianite woman before Moses and the whole Hebrew encampment as they were weeping at the entrance to the Tabernacle. Phinehas, the son of Eleazar and the grandson of Aaron, pushed a spear through both of them and killed them; and Yehovah (God) made a promise of a lasting priesthood to Phinehas.
After this, Yehovah (God) declared the Midianites to be enemies and ordered that they be killed. Also, all of the men that had worshipped the Baal of Peor were executed. The number of Hebrew people that died was 24,000 (Numbers 25:9).
Numbers 26:1-65 A second census of the Israelites is made at the command of Yehovah (God). Additional mention is made of the Korah rebellion (Numbers 26:8-11); of the disobedience of two of Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu (Numbers 26:60-61); and of the rebellion of Israel that led to their dieing in the desert (Numbers 26:64-65).
Numbers 27:1-11 A man named Zelophehad, who only had female children, dies; and questions are raised concerning who should receive Zelophehad’s portion of the promised land when it is captured.
Yehovah (God) commands that if a man has no sons to inherit his land, that his daughters should inherit the land; and if there are no children, the land should stay in the man’s family through inheritance to other properly close relatives of the man.
Numbers 27:12-22 Moses is reminded by Yehovah (God) that he will not be allowed to enter the Promised Land to receive a portion with the other Israelites. In fact, Moses is told that he is about to die. Moses asks Yehovah (God) to choose a replacement leader for the Israelites. God chooses Joshua; and Moses performs a commissioning ceremony to commission Joshua, just as Yehovah (God) commanded him.
Numbers 28:1-29:40 Yehovah (God) gives regulations for sacrificial offerings to Him.
Numbers 30:1-16 Yehovah (God) gives regulations for vows made to Him.
Numbers 31:1-8 Yehovah (God) commands Moses to send the Israelite army against the Midianites. The Israelite army kills all the Midianites, including five kings of Midian; and Balaam, the Midianite who spoke with God (and also tested God's Patience).
Numbers 31:9-18 After defeating the Midianites, the Israelites take all that they have captured from the Midianites to Moses and the priest Eleazar. This includes captive women and children. Moses becomes angry, and reminds the leaders of the army of how the Midianite women seduced the Israelites into idolatry, leading to a deadly plague from God against the Israelites. After this reminder, Moses orders all of the captives except the virgin females to be executed immediately.
Numbers 31:19-24 Regulations for the ritual purification of the Israelite army and its spoils are given.
Numbers 31:25-47 Everything that remains of what was captured from the Midianites is divided out to the Israelites according to the instructions of Yehovah (God).
Numbers 31:48-54 The top leaders of the Israelite army inform Moses that Yehovah (God) has kept alive every Israelite soldier that fought against the Midianites. In recognition of the mercy of Yehovah (God), these top leaders of the army offer all of their gold spoils as an “after-the-fact” mercy offering to God, to show appreciation for His kindness. Of course, the gold is the best spoils the men have to offer. The gold is placed in the Tabernacle as a memento and a memorial before Yehovah (God).
Numbers 32:1-42 The Israelite tribes of Gad and Reuben request that they not be required to live in the land promised to them by God; but rather, that they be allowed to have the land that the Israelites have already captured across the Jordan River from the promised land. Moses worries that God will again prevent all of Israel from entering the promised land.
However, when the tribes of Gad and Reuben are confronted by Moses with this concern, the two tribes propose to send all of their soldiers into the promised land together with the other ten tribes of Israel. These soldiers will assist the other tribes in conquering the promised land.
Moses accepts their proposal; but he warns the two tribes that they must do what they have agreed to do. Moses also orders that his replacement as leader (Joshua) and the priest (Eleazar) enforce this agreement with the tribes of Gad and Reuben.
In Numbers 32:7-13, Moses reminds the tribes of Gad and Reuben of the previous rebellion of the Israelites at Kadesh Barnea. At that time, the Israelites doubted God and refused to enter the promised land; and as a result, God commanded that all the rebels wander in the desert for the next 40 years, until they were all dead.
This reminder comes just after what God had commanded has occurred. This fulfills the prophecy of Numbers 14:20-38.
Numbers 33:1-49 A very brief summary of the Israelites journey out of Egypt and through the desert is given. The summary is given by Moses at the command of Yehovah (God); and focuses primarily on the many encampments of the Israelites during the journey. The summary ends with the encampment of the Israelites across the Jordan River from the city of Jericho, the first city the Israelites would attack in the promised land of Canaan.
Numbers 33:50-56 Yehovah (God) reminds the Israelites that they should divide the promised land of Canaan equitably amongst themselves when they have conquered it. God also commands the Israelites that the Canaanite inhabitants of the land are to be totally displaced; they are not to be allowed to retain any part of the promised land.
Additionally, anything related to the Canaanite’s religions is to be destroyed. God gives the Israelites a stern warning: if they do not do all that He commands with regards to the Canaanites, then all the bad things God has planned for the Canaanites will also be done to the Israelites.
Numbers 34:1-12 Yehovah (God) sets the boundaries of the promised land of Canaan, which is to be the homeland for the Israelites.
Numbers 34:13-29 Moses reminds the Israelites of how the promised land is to be divided among the Israelite tribes that will be living there. Yehovah (God) also gives Moses a list of the names of the men which He has chosen to supervise the distribution of the promised land to the Israelites.
Numbers 35:1-34 Regulations regarding the 48 cities of the Levite tribe (Numbers 35:7), including the six refuge cities, are given. The six refuge cities are places where those who accidentally kill someone can go to escape vengeance from the family members of the person who was killed. An assembly of judges was required to decide if the killing was an accident, or was murder (intentional killing).
In Numbers 35:30, Moses gives the law requiring at least two or three witnesses in murder cases.
In Numbers 35:33-34, two very important concepts are explicitly stated.
First, “bloodshed” (murder) contaminates the land and makes it “unclean”; and the only way to make the land “clean” again is for the person who causes bloodshed to also die.
Second, Yehovah (God) lives with His people, so it is important that the land be kept “clean” for Him.
Numbers 36:1-13 The case of Zelophehad’s daughters (Numbers 27:1-11) is revisited. Concerns are raised about the possibility of the daughters marrying outside of their own Israelite tribal clan (the Manasseh clan of the tribe of Joseph). The rule given is that if a female inherits land then she must marry within her own tribal clan (Numbers 36:6,8). This will lead to her children also being of the same tribal clan, and the land continuing to be held by members of the same tribal clan.
This completes the summary.
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