The Book of Numbers is the fourth book of the Hebrew Bible, and the fourth of five books of the Jewish Torah/Pentateuch. This book may be divided into three parts:
- The numbering of the people at Sinai, and preparations for resuming their march (1–10:10).
- An account of the journey from Sinai to Moab, the sending out of the spies and the report they brought back, the murmurings (eight times) of the people at the hardships by the way, and the subsequent exile into the wilderness for 40 years (10:11–21:20).
- The transactions in the plain of Moab before crossing the Jordan River (21:21–36).
In Numbers, the priests are instructed to bless the nation of Israel as follows: “May Yahweh bless you, and keep you. May Yahweh let his face shine on you and be gracious to you. May Yahweh show you his face and bring you peace.” This priestly blessing is regularly performed during Jewish services, on Jewish holidays, and sometimes by parents over their own children before the Friday Shabbat meal.
The period comprehended in the history extends from the second month of the second year, as measured from the Exodus, to the beginning of the eleventh month of the fortieth year, in all about thirty-seven years and nine months; a dreary period of wanderings. They were fewer in number at the end of their wanderings than when they left the land of Egypt. According to tradition, Moses authored all five books of the Torah. According to the documentary hypothesis, Numbers, with its dry style and emphasis on censuses, derives from the priestly source, c. 550–400 BC, and was combined with the other three sources to create the Torah c. 400. (more...)
1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:
4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
From Matthew 6, the Sermon on the Mount. LDS edition of the Bible