Bible Book Number 4—Numbers
Place Written: Wilderness and Plains of Moab
Writing Completed: 1473 B.C.E.
Time Covered: 1512-1473 B.C.E.
1. Why were the events of Numbers recorded, and what do they impress on us?
THE events of the Israelites’ wilderness trek have been recorded in the Bible for our benefit today.* As the apostle Paul said: “Now these things became our examples, for us not to be persons desiring injurious things.” (1 Cor. 10:6) The vivid record in Numbers impresses upon us that survival depends on sanctifying Jehovah’s name, obeying him under all circumstances, and showing respect for his representatives. His favor does not come because of any goodness or merit in his people but out of his great mercy and undeserved kindness.
2. To what does the name Numbers refer, but what more fitting title did the Jews give to the book?
2 The name Numbers has reference to the numbering of the people that took place first at Mount Sinai and later on the Plains of Moab, as recorded in chapters 1-4 and 26. This name has been carried over from the title Numeri in the Latin Vulgate and is derived from A·rith·moiʹ in the Greek Septuagint. However, the Jews more fittingly call the book Bemidh·barʹ, which means “In the Wilderness.” The Hebrew word midh·barʹ indicates an open place, empty of cities and towns. It was in the wilderness to the south and to the east of Canaan that the events of Numbers took place.
3. What proves Moses’ writership of Numbers?
3 Numbers was evidently part of the original fivefold volume that included the books from Genesis to Deuteronomy. Its first verse opens with the conjunction “and,” tying it in with what went before. Thus, it must have been written by Moses, the writer of the preceding records. This is also clear from the statement in the book that “Moses kept recording,” and by the colophon, “These are the commandments and the judicial decisions that Jehovah commanded by means of Moses.”—Num. 33:2; 36:13.
4. What period of time is covered by Numbers, and when was the book completed?
4 The Israelites had departed from Egypt a little more than a year previously. Taking up the account in the second month of the second year after the Exodus, Numbers covers the next 38 years and nine months, from 1512 to 1473 B.C.E. (Num. 1:1; Deut. 1:3) Though not fitting into this time period, the events related at Numbers 7:1-88 and; 9:1-15 are included as background information. The earlier portions of the book were no doubt written as the events occurred, but it is evident that Moses could not have completed Numbers until toward the end of the 40th year in the wilderness, early in the calendar year 1473 B.C.E.
5. What features testify to the authenticity of Numbers?
5 There can be no doubt as to the authenticity of the account. Of the generally arid land in which they journeyed, Moses said that it was a “great and fear-inspiring wilderness,” and it is true even today that the scattered inhabitants are constantly on the move in search of pastures and water. (Deut. 1:19) Furthermore, the detailed instructions concerning encampment of the nation, the order of march, and the trumpet signals to govern camp affairs testify that the account was indeed written “in the wilderness.”—Num. 1:1.
6. How do archaeological finds support Numbers?
6 Even the fearful report of the spies when they returned from their expedition into Canaan, to the effect that “the fortified cities are very great,” is borne out by archaeology. (13:28) Modern-day discoveries have shown that the inhabitants of Canaan at that time had consolidated their hold by a series of forts stretching across the country in several places, from the Low Plain of Jezreel in the north to Gerar in the south. Not only were the cities fortified but they were usually built on the tops of hills, with towers rising above their walls, making them most impressive to people like the Israelites, who had lived for generations in the flat land of Egypt.
7. What stamp of honesty does Numbers bear?
7 Nations of the world are prone to whitewash their failures and magnify their conquests, but with an honesty that bespeaks historical truth, the Numbers account tells that Israel was completely routed by the Amalekites and by the Canaanites. (14:45) It straightforwardly confesses that the people proved faithless and treated God without respect. (14:11) With remarkable candor, God’s prophet Moses exposes the sins of the nation, of his nephews, and of his own brother and sister. Nor does he spare himself, for he tells of the time that he failed to sanctify Jehovah when water was provided at Meribah, so that he forfeited the privilege of entering the Promised Land.—3:4; 12:1-15; 20:7-13.
8. How do other Bible writers testify to the inspiration of Numbers?
8 That the account is a genuine part of the Scriptures that are inspired by God and beneficial is borne out by the fact that nearly all its major events, as well as many other details, are directly referred to by other Bible writers, many of whom highlight their significance. For example, Joshua (Josh. 4:12; 14:2), Jeremiah (2 Ki. 18:4), Nehemiah (Neh. 9:19-22), Asaph (Ps. 78:14-41), David (Ps. 95:7-11), Isaiah (Isa. 48:21), Ezekiel (Ezek. 20:13-24), Hosea (Hos. 9:10), Amos (Amos 5:25), Micah (Mic. 6:5), Luke in his record of Stephen’s discourse (Acts 7:36), Paul (1 Cor. 10:1-11), Peter (2 Pet. 2:15, 16), Jude (Jude 11), and John in recording Jesus’ words to the Pergamum congregation (Rev. 2:14), all draw on the record in Numbers, as did Jesus Christ himself.—John 3:14.
9. What does Numbers emphasize concerning Jehovah?
9 What purpose, then, does Numbers serve? Truly its account is of more than historical value. Numbers emphasizes that Jehovah is the God of order, requiring exclusive devotion of his creatures. This is vividly impressed on the reader’s mind as he observes the numbering, testing, and sifting of Israel and sees how the nation’s disobedient and rebellious course is used to emphasize the vital need to obey Jehovah.
10. For whose benefit was Numbers preserved, and why?
10 The record was preserved for the benefit of the generations to come, just as Asaph explained, “that they might set their confidence in God himself and not forget the practices of God but observe his own commandments” and that “they should not become like their forefathers, a generation stubborn and rebellious, a generation who had not prepared their heart and whose spirit was not trustworthy with God.” (Ps. 78:7, 8) Over and over again, the events of Numbers were recounted in the psalms, which were sacred songs among the Jews and so were often repeated as being beneficial to the nation.—Psalms 78, 95, 105, 106, 135, 136.
CONTENTS OF NUMBERS
11. Into what three parts may the contents of Numbers be divided?
11 Numbers logically falls into three parts. The first of these, concluding at chapter 10, verse 10, covers events taking place while the Israelites were still encamped at Mount Sinai. The next part, concluding with chapter 21, tells what happened during the next 38 years and a month or two more, while they were in the wilderness and until they arrived at the Plains of Moab. The final part, through chapter 36, is concerned with events on the Plains of Moab as the Israelites prepared for their entry into the Promised Land.
12. How large is the Israelite encampment at Sinai, and how is the camp organized?
12 Events at Mount Sinai (1:1–10:10). The Israelites have already been in the mountainous region of Sinai for about a year. Here they have been molded into a closely knit organization. At Jehovah’s command a census is now taken of all the men 20 years old and upward. The tribes are found to range in size from 32,200 able-bodied men in Manasseh up to 74,600 in Judah, making a total of 603,550 men qualified to serve in the army of Israel, besides the Levites and the women and children—a camp perhaps numbering three million or more. The tent of meeting is situated, along with the Levites, in the center of the camp. In assigned places on each side are camped the other Israelites, in three-tribe divisions, each tribe having instructions as to the order of march when the camp is to move. Jehovah issues the instructions, and the record says: “The sons of Israel proceeded to do according to all that Jehovah had commanded Moses.” (2:34) They obey Jehovah and show respect for Moses, God’s visible representative.
13. According to what arrangement are the Levites assigned to service?
13 The Levites are then set apart for Jehovah’s service, as a ransom for the firstborn of Israel. They are divided into three groups, according to their descent from the three sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. Locations in the camp and service responsibilities are determined on the basis of this division. From 30 years of age on, they are to do the heavy work of transporting the tabernacle. To get the lighter work done, provision is made for others to serve, starting at 25 years of age. (This was reduced in David’s time to 20 years of age.)—1 Chron. 23:24-32; Ezra 3:8.
14. What instructions are given to ensure the purity of the camp?
14 That the camp may be kept pure, instructions are given for quarantining those who become diseased, for making atonement for acts of unfaithfulness, for resolving cases in which a man might become suspicious of the conduct of his wife, and for assuring right conduct on the part of those set apart by vow to live as Nazirites to Jehovah. Since the people are to have the name of their God upon them, they must deport themselves in accord with his commandments.
15. (a) In connection with the inauguration of the altar, what contributions were made? (b) What relationship must Israel remember, and of what is the Passover to remind them?
15 Filling in some details from the previous month (Num. 7:1, 10; Ex. 40:17), Moses next tells of the contributions of materials made by the 12 chieftains of the people over a period of 12 days from the time of the inauguration of the altar. There was no competition or seeking of self-glory in it; each one contributed exactly what the others did. All must now keep in mind that over these chieftains, and over Moses himself, there is Jehovah God, who speaks instructions to Moses. They must never forget their relationship to Jehovah. The Passover is to remind them of Jehovah’s wondrous deliverance from Egypt, and they celebrate it here in the wilderness at the appointed time, one year after leaving Egypt.
16. How does Jehovah lead the nation, and what trumpet signals are arranged?
16 In the same way that he had directed Israel’s movement out of Egypt, Jehovah continues to lead the nation in its travels by a cloud that covers the tabernacle of the tent of the Testimony by day and by the appearance of fire there by night. When the cloud moves, the nation moves. When the cloud remains over the tabernacle, the nation remains encamped, whether for a few days or a month or longer, for the account tells us: “At the order of Jehovah they would encamp, and at the order of Jehovah they would pull away. They kept their obligation to Jehovah at the order of Jehovah by means of Moses.” (Num. 9:23) As the time for departure from Sinai draws near, trumpet signals are arranged both to assemble the people and to direct the various divisions of the encampment on their wilderness trek.
17. Describe the procedure of march.
17 Events in the wilderness (10:11–21:35). At last, on the 20th day of the second month, Jehovah lifts the cloud from over the tabernacle, thus signaling Israel’s departure from the region of Sinai. With the ark of Jehovah’s covenant in their midst, they set out for Kadesh-barnea, some 150 miles [240 km] to the north. As they march by day, Jehovah’s cloud is over them. Each time the Ark goes out, Moses prays to Jehovah to arise and scatter his enemies, and each time it comes to rest, he prays for Jehovah to return “to the myriads of thousands of Israel.”—10:36.
18. What complaining breaks out on the way to Kadesh-barnea, and how does Jehovah adjust theocratic procedure in the camp?
18 However, trouble arises in the camp. On the trip north to Kadesh-barnea, there are at least three occasions of complaining. To quell the first outbreak, Jehovah sends a fire to consume some of the people. Then “the mixed crowd” set Israel to bemoaning that they no longer have as food the fish, cucumbers, watermelons, leeks, onions, and garlic of Egypt, but only manna. (11:4) Moses becomes so distressed that he asks Jehovah to kill him off rather than let him continue as male nurse to all this people. Considerately, Jehovah takes away some of the spirit from Moses and puts it upon 70 of the older men, who proceed to assist Moses as prophets in the camp. Then meat comes in abundance. As had happened once before, a wind from Jehovah drives in quail from the sea, and the people greedily seize great supplies, selfishly hoarding them. Jehovah’s anger blazes against the people, striking down many because of their selfish craving.—Ex. 16:2, 3, 13.
19. How does Jehovah deal with the faultfinding of Miriam and Aaron?
19 The troubles continue. Failing properly to view their younger brother, Moses, as Jehovah’s representative, Miriam and Aaron find fault with him over his wife, who has recently come into the camp. They demand more authority, comparable to that of Moses, though “the man Moses was by far the meekest of all the men who were upon the surface of the ground.” (Num. 12:3) Jehovah himself sets the matter straight and lets it be known that Moses occupies a special position, striking Miriam, who was likely the instigator of the complaint, with leprosy. Only by Moses’ intercession is she later healed.
20, 21. What events give rise to Jehovah’s decree that Israel must wander 40 years in the wilderness?
20 Arriving at Kadesh, Israel camps at the threshold of the Promised Land. Jehovah now instructs Moses to send spies to scout out the land. Entering from the south, they travel north clear to “the entering in of Hamath,” walking hundreds of miles in 40 days. (13:21) When they return with some of the rich fruitage of Canaan, ten of the spies faithlessly argue that it would be foolish to go up against so strong a people and such great fortified cities. Caleb tries to quiet the assembly with a favorable report, but without success. The rebellious spies strike fear into the Israelites’ hearts, claiming the land to be one that “eats up its inhabitants” and saying, “All the people whom we saw in the midst of it are men of extraordinary size.” As murmurings of rebellion sweep through the camp, Joshua and Caleb plead, “Jehovah is with us. Do not fear them.” (13:32; 14:9) However, the assembly begins to talk of pelting them with stones.
21 Then Jehovah intervenes directly, saying to Moses: “How long will this people treat me without respect, and how long will they not put faith in me for all the signs that I performed in among them?” (14:11) Moses implores him not to destroy the nation, as Jehovah’s name and fame are involved. Jehovah therefore decrees that Israel must continue to wander in the wilderness until all those registered among the people, from 20 years old and up, have died off. Of the registered males, only Caleb and Joshua will be permitted to enter the Land of Promise. In vain the people try to go up on their own initiative, only to suffer a terrible defeat meted out by the Amalekites and the Canaanites. What a high price the people pay for their disrespect of Jehovah and his loyal representatives!
22. In what ways is the importance of obedience emphasized?
22 Truly, they have much to learn in the way of obedience. Fittingly, Jehovah gives them additional laws highlighting this need. He lets them know that when they come into the Promised Land, atonement must be made for mistakes, but the deliberately disobedient must be cut off without fail. Thus, when a man is found gathering wood in violation of the Sabbath law, Jehovah commands: “Without fail the man should be put to death.” (15:35) As a reminder of the commandments of Jehovah and the importance of obeying them, Jehovah instructs that the people wear fringes on the skirts of their garments.
23. What is the outcome of the rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram?
23 Nevertheless, rebellion breaks out again. Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and 250 prominent men of the assembly gather in opposition to the authority of Moses and Aaron. Moses puts the issue to Jehovah, saying to the rebels: ‘Take fire holders and incense and present them before Jehovah, and let him choose.’ (16:6, 7) Jehovah’s glory now appears to all the assembly. Swiftly he executes judgment, causing the earth to split apart to swallow up the households of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, and sending out a fire to consume the 250 men, including Korah, offering the incense. The very next day, the people begin to condemn Moses and Aaron for what Jehovah did, and again He scourges them, wiping out 14,700 complainers.
24. What sign does Jehovah perform to end the rebelliousness?
24 In view of these events, Jehovah commands that each tribe present a rod before him, including a rod with Aaron’s name for the tribe of Levi. The next day Aaron is shown to be Jehovah’s choice for the priesthood, for his rod alone is found to be in full bloom and bearing ripe almonds. It is to be preserved in the ark of the covenant “for a sign to the sons of rebelliousness.” (Num. 17:10; Heb. 9:4) After further instructions for the support of the priesthood by means of tithes and concerning the use of cleansing water with the ashes of a red cow, the account returns us to Kadesh. Here Miriam dies and is buried.
25. How do Moses and Aaron fail to sanctify Jehovah, and with what result?
25 Again at the threshold of the Land of Promise the assembly gets to quarreling with Moses because of the lack of water. Jehovah counts it as quarreling with Him, and He appears in His glory, commanding Moses to take the rod and bring out water from the crag. Do Moses and Aaron now sanctify Jehovah? Instead, Moses twice strikes the crag in anger. The people and their livestock get water to drink, but Moses and Aaron fail to give the credit to Jehovah. Though the heartbreaking wilderness journey is almost over, they both incur Jehovah’s displeasure and are told they will not enter the Land of Promise. Aaron dies later on Mount Hor, and his son Eleazar takes over the duties of high priest.
26. What events mark the detour around Edom?
26 Israel turns to the east and seeks to go through the land of Edom but is rebuffed. While making a long detour around Edom, the people get into trouble again as they complain against God and Moses. They are tired of the manna, and they are thirsty. Because of their rebelliousness Jehovah sends poisonous serpents among them, so that many die. At last, when Moses intercedes, Jehovah instructs him to make a fiery copper serpent and place it on a signal pole. Those who have been bitten but who gaze at the copper serpent are spared alive. Heading north, the Israelites are impeded, in turn, by the belligerent kings Sihon of the Amorites and Og of Bashan. Israel defeats both of these in battle, and Israel occupies their territories to the east of the Rift Valley.
27. How does Jehovah overrule Balak’s plans in connection with Balaam?
27 Events on the Plains of Moab (22:1–36:13). In eager anticipation of their entry into Canaan, the Israelites now gather on the desert plains of Moab, north of the Dead Sea and to the east of the Jordan across from Jericho. Seeing this vast encampment spread out before them, the Moabites feel a sickening dread. Their king Balak, in consultation with the Midianites, sends for Balaam to use divination and put a curse on Israel. Although God directly tells Balaam, “You must not go with them,” he wants to go. (22:12) He wants the reward. Finally he does go, only to be stopped by an angel and to have his own she-ass miraculously speak to rebuke him. When at last Balaam gets around to making pronouncements about Israel, God’s spirit impels him, so that his four proverbial utterances prophesy only blessings for God’s nation, even foretelling that a star would step forth out of Jacob and a scepter would rise out of Israel to subdue and destroy.
28. What subtle snare is brought on Israel at Balaam’s suggestion, but how is the scourge halted?
28 Having infuriated Balak by his failure to curse Israel, Balaam now seeks the king’s good graces by suggesting that the Moabites use their own females in enticing the men of Israel to share in the lewd rites involved in the worship of Baal. (31:15, 16) Here, right on the border of the Promised Land, the Israelites begin to fall away to gross immorality and the worship of false gods. As Jehovah’s anger blazes forth in a scourge, Moses calls for drastic punishment of the wrongdoers. When Phinehas, son of the high priest, sees a chieftain bring a Midianite woman into his tent right inside the camp, he goes after them and kills them, striking the woman through her genital parts. At this, the scourge is halted, but not before 24,000 die from it.
29. (a) What is revealed by the census at the end of the 40th year? (b) What preparation is now made for entry into the Promised Land?
29 Jehovah now commands Moses and Eleazar to take a census of the people again, as had been done nearly 39 years earlier at Mount Sinai. The final count shows that there has been no increase in their ranks. On the contrary, there are 1,820 fewer men registered. None remain that had been registered at Sinai for army service, except Joshua and Caleb. As Jehovah had indicated would happen, all of them had died in the wilderness. Jehovah next gives instructions concerning the division of the land as an inheritance. He repeats that Moses will not enter the Land of Promise because of his failure to sanctify Jehovah at the waters of Meribah. (20:13; 27:14, footnotes) Joshua is commissioned as successor to Moses.
30. How is the account with the Midianites settled, and what territory assignment is made east of the Jordan?
30 Through Moses, Jehovah next reminds Israel of the importance of His laws concerning sacrifices and feasts and of the seriousness of vows. He also has Moses settle the account with the Midianites because of their part in seducing Israel over Baal of Peor. All the Midianite males are slain in battle, along with Balaam, and only virgin girls are spared, 32,000 of these being taken captive along with plunder that includes 808,000 animals. Not one Israelite is reported missing in battle. The sons of Reuben and of Gad, who raise livestock, ask to settle in the territory east of the Jordan, and after they agree to help in conquering the Promised Land, the request is granted, so that these two tribes, together with half the tribe of Manasseh, are given this rich tableland as their possession.
31. (a) On entering the land, how must Israel continue to show obedience? (b) What instructions are given regarding tribal inheritances?
31 After a review of the stopping places on the 40-year journey, the record again focuses attention on the need for obedience to Jehovah. God is giving them the land, but they must become His executioners, driving out the depraved, demon-worshiping inhabitants and destroying every last trace of their idolatrous religion. The detailed boundaries of their God-given land are stated. It is to be divided among them by lot. The Levites, who have no tribal inheritance, are to be given 48 cities with their pasture grounds, 6 of these to be cities of refuge for the unintentional manslayer. Territory must remain within the tribe, never being transferred to another tribe by marriage. If there is no male heir, then the daughters who receive an inheritance—for example, the daughters of Zelophehad—must marry within their own tribe. (27:1-11; 36:1-11) Numbers concludes with these commandments of Jehovah through Moses and with the sons of Israel poised at last to enter the Land of Promise.
32. In what ways are Jesus and his sacrifice typified in Numbers?
32 Jesus referred to Numbers on several occasions, and his apostles and other Bible writers clearly demonstrate how meaningful and beneficial its record is. The apostle Paul specifically compared Jesus’ faithful service to that of Moses, which is largely recorded in Numbers. (Heb. 3:1-6) In the animal sacrifices and in the sprinkling of the ashes of the young red cow of Numbers 19:2-9, we again see pictured the far grander provision for cleansing through the sacrifice of Christ.—Heb. 9:13, 14.
33. Why is the bringing forth of water in the wilderness of interest to us today?
33 Similarly, Paul showed that the bringing forth of water from the rock in the wilderness is full of meaning for us, saying: “They used to drink from the spiritual rock-mass that followed them, and that rock-mass meant the Christ.” (1 Cor. 10:4; Num. 20:7-11) Fittingly, it was Christ himself who said: “Whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty at all, but the water that I will give him will become in him a fountain of water bubbling up to impart everlasting life.”—John 4:14.
34. How did Jesus show that the copper serpent had prophetic meaning?
34 Jesus also made direct reference to an incident recorded in Numbers that foreshadowed the marvelous provision that God was making through him. “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,” he said, “so the Son of man must be lifted up, that everyone believing in him may have everlasting life.”—John 3:14, 15; Num. 21:8, 9.
35. (a) Against what should Christians be on guard, as illustrated by the Israelites in the wilderness, and why? (b) In their letters, to what examples of greed and rebellion did Jude and Peter refer?
35 Why were the Israelites sentenced to wander 40 years in the wilderness? For lack of faith. The apostle Paul gave powerful admonition on this point: “Beware, brothers, for fear there should ever develop in any one of you a wicked heart lacking faith by drawing away from the living God; but keep on exhorting one another each day.” Because of their disobedience and because of their faithlessness, those Israelites died in the wilderness. “Let us therefore do our utmost to enter into [God’s] rest, for fear anyone should fall in the same pattern of disobedience.” (Heb. 3:7–4:11; Num. 13:25–14:38) In warning against ungodly men who speak abusively of holy things, Jude referred to Balaam’s greed for reward and to Korah’s rebellious talk against Jehovah’s servant Moses. (Jude 11; Num. 22:7, 8, 22; 26:9, 10) Balaam was also referred to by Peter as one “who loved the reward of wrongdoing,” and by the glorified Jesus in his revelation through John as one who ‘put before Israel a stumbling block of idolatry and fornication.’ Certainly the Christian congregation today should be warned against such unholy ones.—2 Pet. 2:12-16; Rev. 2:14.
36. Against what injurious practices did Paul warn, and how may we today benefit by his counsel?
36 When immorality arose in the Corinthian congregation, Paul wrote them about “desiring injurious things,” referring specifically to Numbers. He admonished: “Neither let us practice fornication, as some of them committed fornication, only to fall, twenty-three thousand of them in one day.” (1 Cor. 10:6, 8; Num. 25:1-9; 31:16)* What about the occasion when the people complained that obeying God’s commands entailed personal hardship and that they were dissatisfied with Jehovah’s provision of the manna? Concerning this, Paul says: “Neither let us put Jehovah to the test, as some of them put him to the test, only to perish by the serpents.” (1 Cor. 10:9; Num. 21:5, 6) Then Paul continues: “Neither be murmurers, just as some of them murmured, only to perish by the destroyer.” How bitter the experiences of Israel as a result of their murmuring against Jehovah, his representatives, and his provisions! These things that “went on befalling them as examples” should stand forth as a clear warning to all of us today, so that we may go on serving Jehovah in the fullness of faith.—1 Cor. 10:10, 11; Num. 14:2, 36, 37; 16:1-3, 41; 17:5, 10.
37. Illustrate how Numbers helps us to understand other Bible passages.
37 Numbers also provides the background against which many other Bible passages can be better understood.—Num. 28:9, 10—Matt. 12:5; Num. 15:38—Matt. 23:5; Num. 6:2-4—Luke 1:15; Num. 4:3—Luke 3:23; Num. 18:31—1 Cor. 9:13, 14; Num. 18:26—Heb. 7:5-9; Num. 17:8-10—Heb. 9:4.
38. In what particular ways is the book of Numbers beneficial, and to what does it direct our attention?
38 What is recorded in Numbers is indeed inspired of God, and it is beneficial in teaching us the importance of obedience to Jehovah and respect for those whom he has made overseers among his people. By example, it reproves wrongdoing, and by happenings with prophetic import, it directs our attention to the One whom Jehovah has provided as the Savior and Leader of His people today. It provides an essential and instructive link in the record leading to the establishment of Jehovah’s righteous Kingdom in the hands of Jesus Christ, the one He appointed as Mediator and High Priest.