Numbers 26:9
And the sons of Eliab; Nemuel, and Dathan, and Abiram. This is that Dathan and Abiram, which were famous in the congregation, who strove against Moses and against Aaron in the company of Korah, when they strove against the LORD:
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26:1-51 Moses did not number the people but when God commanded him. We have here the families registered, as well as the tribes. The total was nearly the same as when numbered at mount Sinai. Notice is here taken of the children of Korah; they died not, as the children of Dathan and Abiram; they seem not to have joined even their own father in rebellion. If we partake not of the sins of sinners, we shall not partake of their plagues.Following The tribes are mentioned in the same order as in the earlier census Numbers 1, except that Manasseh here precedes Ephraim; probably as being now the larger tribe.

The following table shows the numbers of the tribes at each census; at Sinai, and in the Plains of Moab:

At Sinai Plains of Moab Reuben 46,500 43,730 Simeon 9,300 22,200 Gad 45,650 40,500 Judah 74,600 76,500 Issachar 54,400 64,300 Zebulun 57,400 60,500 Ephraim 40,500 32,500 Manasseh 32,200 52,700 Benjamin 35,400 45,600 Daniel 62,700 64,400 Asher 41,500 53,400 Naphtali 53,400 45,400 Totals 603, 550 601, 730

Seven of the tribes, of which three are tribes belonging to the camp of Judah, show an increase of numbers; and five, among whom are the three belonging to the camp of Reuben, show a decrease. The greatest increase of any one tribe is in Manasseh. The most remarkable decrease is in Simeon, which now shows less than half its former strength. To this tribe Zimri, the chief offender in the recent transgression, belonged Numbers 25:14. Probably his tribesmen generally had followed his example, and had accordingly suffered most severely in the plague. In the parting blessing of Moses, uttered at no great interval from this date, the tribe of Simeon alone is omitted.

The families of all the tribes, excluding the Levites, number 57. The ancestral heads after whom these families are named correspond nearly with the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Jacob, enumerated in Genesis 46:8 ff. Both lists consist mainly of grandchildren of Jacob, both contain also the same two grandchildren of Judah, and the same two grandchildren of Asher. The document in Genesis should be regarded as a list, not of those who went down in their own persons with Jacob into Egypt, but of those whose names were transmitted to their posterity at the date of the Exodus as the heads of Israelite houses, and wire may thus be reckoned the early ancestors of the people.

7. These are the families of the Reubenites—the principal households, which were subdivided into numerous smaller families. Reuben had suffered great diminution by Korah's conspiracy and other outbreaks [Nu 16:1]. No text from Poole on this verse. And the sons of Eliab; Nemuel, and Dathan, and Abiram,.... Of Nemuel we nowhere else read either he died without children, or he and his family perished with his brethren, being concerned with them in the conspiracy; or the family of the Palluite was in his line; one of the same name may be observed in the tribe of Simeon:

this is that Dathan and Abiram, which were famous in the congregation; either before their rebellion, for their power and authority, being heads of their fathers' houses; or for their parts and abilities, being men of great wisdom and sense; or for their zeal, activity, and usefulness; or after it, and became famous, or rather infamous, on account of it, see Numbers 16:2.

who strove against Moses and against Aaron in the company of Korah, when they strove against the Lord; who joined with Korah and his company, and quarrelled with Moses and Aaron about the priesthood; with Moses for putting Aaron into it, and with Aaron for accepting it, and officiating in it; and so with the Lord himself, by whose orders he was invested with it.

And the sons of Eliab; Nemuel, and Dathan, and Abiram. This is that Dathan and Abiram, which were famous in the congregation, who strove against Moses and against Aaron in the {c} company of Korah, when they strove against the LORD:

(c) In that rebellion of which Korah was head.

9–11. The mention of Dathan and Abiram leads the writer, or a later editor, to add a note recalling the incidents of ch. 16. He combines the story of Dathan and Abiram with that of Korah in such a way that the events are inextricably confused."And Moses and Eleazar the priest spake with them" (דּבּר with the accusative, as in Genesis 37:4). The pronoun refers to "the children of Israel," or more correctly, to the heads of the nation as the representatives of the congregation, who were to carry out the numbering. On the Arboth-Moab, see at Numbers 22:1. Only the leading point in their words is mentioned, viz., "from twenty years old and upwards" (sc., shall ye take the number of the children of Israel), since it was very simple to supply the words "take the sum" from Numbers 26:2.

(Note: This is, at all events, easier and simpler than the alterations of the text which have been suggested for the purpose of removing the difficulty. Knobel proposes to alter וידבּר into ויּדבּר, and לאמר into לפקד: "Moses and Eleazar arranged the children of Israel when they mustered them." But הדבּיר does not mean to arrange, but simply to drive in pairs, to subjugate (Psalm 18:48, and Psalm 47:4), - an expression which, as much be immediately apparent, is altogether inapplicable to the arrangement of the people in families for the purpose of taking a census.),

- The words from "the children of Israel" in Numbers 26:4 onwards form the introduction to the enumeration of the different tribes (Numbers 26:5.), and the verb יהיוּ (were) must be supplied. "And the children of Israel, who went forth out of Egypt, were Reuben," etc.

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