(In the Wilderness)
(Sefer Bamidbar) Numbers 1:1 – 4:20
YHVH spoke unto Moshe in the wilderness of Sinai, in
the Tent of Meeting, on the first day of
the second month, in the second year after they were
come out of the land of Egypt, saying,
2- Take ye the sum of all the congregation of the
children of Yisrael, after their families, by the
house of their fathers, with the number of their
names, every male by their polls;
3- From twenty years old and upward, all that are
able to go forth to war in Yisrael: thou and Aharon
shall number them by their armies.
5- And these are the names of the men who will stand
with you: for Reuven, Elitzur ben Shedeur.
6- For Shimon, Shlumiel ben Tzurishaddai.
7- For Yehudah, Nachshon ben Aminadav.
8- For Yissachar, Natanel ben Tzuar.
9- For Zevulun, Eliav ben Chelon.
10- For the sons of Yoseph: for Ephrayim, Elishama
ben Amihud; for Menashe, Gamliel ben Pedahtzur.
11- For Benyamin, Avidan ben Gidoni.
12- For Dan, Achiezer ben Amishaddai.
13- For Asher, Pagiel ben Achran.
14- For Gad, Elyasaph ben of Deuel.
15- For Naphtali, Achira ben Einan.
16- These were the renowned of the congregation,
princes of the tribes of their fathers, heads of
thousands in Yisrael.
17- And Moshe and Aharon took these men which are
expressed by their names:
19- As YHVH commanded Moshe, so he numbered them in
the wilderness of Sinai.
45- So were all those that were numbered of the
children of Yisrael, by the house of their fathers,
from twenty years old and upward, all that were able
to go forth to war in Yisrael;
46- So all those numbered were six hundred thousand
and three thousand and five hundred and fifty.
2:9- All that were numbered in the camp of Yehudah
were an hundred thousand and fourscore thousand
and six thousand and four hundred, for their armies.
These shall set forth first.
16- All that were numbered in the camp of Reuven
were a hundred thousand and fifty and one thousand
and four hundred and fifty, for their armies. And
they shall journey in the second rank.
24- All that were numbered of the camp of Ephraim
were a hundred thousand and eight thousand and a
hundred, for their armies. And they shall go forward
in the third rank.
31- All they that were numbered in the camp of Dan
were a hundred thousand and fifty and seven
thousand and six hundred. They shall set out last by
“And he said, Thy name shall be
called no more Yaakov, but Yisrael: for as a prince
power with Elohim and with men, and has prevailed.”
“And Eliyahu took twelve stones, according to the
number of the tribes of the sons of Yaakov,
unto whom the word of YHVH came, saying, Yisrael
shall be thy name.”
(1 Kings 18:31)
“As the Army of heaven cannot be numbered, neither
the sand of the sea measured: so will I
multiply the seed of David my servant, and the
Levites that minister unto me.”
“Be of good courage, and let us behave ourselves
valiantly for our people, and for the cities
of our Elohim: and let YHVH do that which is good in
(1 Chronicles 19:13)
“YHVH shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir
up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry,
yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies.”
“As when the melting fire burns, the fire causes the
waters to boil, to make thy name known to
thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at
“And all people of the earth shall see that thou art
called by the name of YHVH; and they shall
be afraid of thee.” (Deuteronomy 28:10)
1. Assembled by Name, Ordered in Rank for War:
The journey in this life is one which leads us to
the battle. Though there are indeed wars without, it
is the conquest within which is our mission. Armed
with heavenly armor, as Isaiah 59:17 relates:
“For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a
helmet of salvation upon his head; and
he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing,
and was clad with zeal as a cloak,”
the army of the sons of Yisrael is a telling sign of
a Heavenly war plan. For, in this week’s parasha is
a covert plan for marching onward to victory. Hidden
in the names of tribal representation and rank is
the strategy for spiritual success against the
enemies of our soul. Consider the ranking of the
1st – Yehudah: praise - indicating the beginning of
true victory is worship as Psalms 100:4 describes:
“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into
his courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and
bless His name.” Likewise is this principle
solidified in 2 Chronicles 20:21 with King
“…he appointed singers unto YHVH, and that should
praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out
before the army, and to say, Praise YHVH; for His
mercy endures forever.”
2nd – Reuven: behold a son - this denotes a steady
vision on Mashiyach, as 1 Chronicles17:13 reveals:
“I will be his father, and he shall be My son: and I
will not take my mercy away from him…”
And, again HaShem paternally sees Mashiyach ben
David as Psalms 2:7 confirms:
“I will declare the decree: YHVH has said unto me,
Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten thee.”
3rd – Ephraim: fruitful - originating in Eden’s
early edict to be fruitful and multiply, the aim
increase facilitates the distancing from any
uninvited spiritual bankruptcy as Proverbs 11:24
“There is that scatters, and yet increases; and one
that withholds what is right, but tends to poverty.”
Re: this righteous planter, Psalms 1:3 speaks
clearly of the prospering soul who is planted in
“And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers
of water, that brings forth his fruit in his
4th – Dan: judge - acting as the final offensive,
the force of judgment must guard our advancing
situation. Of numerous verses paralleling sound
judgment with assured victory, Daniel 7:22 attests:
“Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was
given to the saints of the most High; and
the time came that the saints possessed the
With the battle ahead and the enemies of Elohim
filled with disdain, let us remember 1 Samuel 17:45:
“Then said David to the Philistine, You come to me
with a sword, and with a spear, and with a
shield: but I come to thee in the name of YHVH of
hosts, the Elohim of the armies of Yisrael.”
A Calculated Name to Determine One’s Course:
Even as the armies of Yisrael were assembled by
their patriarchal tribes and numbered under their
renowned princes, the identity with those names
would demonstrate a mystical reality not new to our
people. As it was with Avraham, association with a
name reveals much, as Genesis 17:5 foretold;
“Neither shall thy name any more be called Avram,
but thy name shall be Avraham; for a father
of many nations have I made thee.”
Ecclesiastes 7:1 speaks of this necessary dimension
of our understanding, yet hinting to needed change:
“A good name is better than precious ointment; and
the day of death than the day of one's birth.”
As Father Yaakov wrestled for his blessing, we too
must be unrelenting for that new day beyond
impending death. For those named in Isaiah 56:5,
delighting in things that please the Eternal is
“Even unto them will I give in Mine house and within
my walls a place and a name better than of
sons and of daughters: I will give them an
everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.”