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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad

BeMidbar 34-2

In the desert of

Numbers 1:20-54

The people of Reuben, Israel's firstborn, their generations, by their clans, by their fathers' houses, according to the number of names, head by head, every male from twenty years old and upward, all who were able to go to war

Num. 1:20 ESV

Who were able to be delivered from bondage?

This verse shows that only those sons and daughters of Israel who were faithful in three areas were worthy of being delivered from bondage. It is written first "by their clans, by their fathers’ houses" which shows that they were faithful to their families. Had they assimilated with the Egyptians they wouldn't have been counted as sons of Israel. The second, since it's written "according to the number of names", we learn that they had kept their Hebrew names, not taking Egyptian names. The third thing is that they kept the Hebrew language during their whole time in Egypt.

Since Egypt symbolises the evil system of this age, the worldly, this shows us that it's possible to live hundreds of years in a foreign culture and still remain faithful in the faith and in what the Eternal has given us. We are in this evil world but we are not of this world's system and one day, the Messiah will come and he'll pull us out of the system creating a new world order on earth.

Another thing that we can see in this verse is that everyone was counted individually. The Hebrew word translated as "head by head" is le-gulgelotamלגלגלתם  – which means “by their skulls”. This leads us to the thought of the place where the Messiah was executed, called in Hebrew gulgoletלגלת – “the skull”, not because the place had the appearance of a skull but because it was, and still is, a place of tombs, on the Mount of Olives in front of the entrance to the temple.

This shows us that when the Eternal counted the sons of Israel he had the death of the Suffering Messiah in mind. He died for each one of them and that's why they were counted among the righteous ones.

May the Eternal count each one of us among the righteous ones who will inherit the world to come, through the suffering and death of His Lamb.


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