I. Preparation for the continuation of the journey and departure from the wilderness of Sinai, Chapters 1-10. Now, that preparation was made:
1. With a census of the people undertaken, that is, a second census (the first, Exodus 30, in the year of the Exodus, undertaken for the use of collections; this one, for the use of departures and encampments), and that twofold:
a. Human, in which see:
α. The census of the Israelite people according to their heads, in which there is a mustering of those that were fit for military service (verses 1-46), with the Levitical tribe dismissed to the Priesthood and sacred ministry (verses 47-54): chapter 1.
β. The ordered the registered heads of the people, in which the camps would be fixed, that is, squared in their stations and departures, whose Divine and Ecclesiastical sanctuary would be in the midst, with equal intervals (verses 1-34): chapter 2.
b. Sacred, or Ecclesiastical, in which see:
α. The census of the Levitical tribe, according to the number both of the Fathers descended from Levi (verses 1-17), and of the families descended from those Fathers, among which chiefly were the Gershonites, the Kohathites, and the Merarites (verses 18-39), taken in the place of the firstborn of Israel for the administration of sacred things (verses 40-51): chapter 3.
β. The sum of those Levites, that, exceeding thirty years of age, were fit for the sacred ministry (verses 1-33), and also the ministries assigned separately to the Kohathites, the Gershonites, and the Merarites (verses 34-49): chapter 4.
2. With certain Laws set forth, chapters 5-9, and those:
a. Common, the people’s holiness:
α. Necessary holiness, concerning the casting out of the unclean and wicked from the camp (verses 1-4); concerning the restoration of an alienated thing (verses 5-10); concerning the law of Jealousy (verses 11-31): chapter 5.
β. Voluntary holiness, that is, the free sanctification of private individuals, who were called Nazarites (verses 1-21); and also the public sanctification of the entire Church through the Sacerdotal blessing of the entire people (verses 22-27): chapter 6.
b. Particular, concerning:
α. The Tribes of the people, the princes of which eagerly bestow gifts after the erection of the tabernacle (verses 1-88): with the manner also expressed, in which God spoke with Moses in the tabernacle (verse 89): chapter 7.
β. The Priests, who are instructed concerning the ordering of the candlestick and its lamps (verses 1-4); and also the Levites, whose cleansing, sacrifices (verses 5-22), and age are specified (verses 23-26): chapter 8.
3. In a twofold manner,
a. Of Sanctification in the celebration of the Passover, in which is the rule of the celebration of the Passover by the unclean (verses 1-14): and also of the order and signs to be observed in their departures, namely, the cloud, which, resting upon the tent by day, imposed a necessity of departure, if it moved, and of staying, if it rested (verses 15-23): chapter 9.
b. Of Departures, an indication of which, as also of all assemblies, had to be made by trumpets (verses 1-10): and also the order according to the direction of the cloud overhanging the tent (verses 11-28), in which also Moses attempts to take Hobab as a companion in the journey (verses 29-34), and forms the prayer of which he, being about to depart with the ark, had been wont to be make use (verses 35, 36): chapter 10.
II. History of their departures from the wilderness of Sinai to their station in the land of Moab: Chapters 11-21. Now, here is woven in the history of eight murmurings in diverse stations of those departures.
1. The murmuring of the people, worn out with the weariness of the journey, whence the punishment of fire is inflicted (verses 1-3): chapter 11:1-3.
2. The murmuring of the people, weary of the manna, and demanding flesh (verses 4-9), whence Moses, complaining of the burden and troubles of government, is supported with Seventy Elders adjoined, sharing in the Spirit of Moses (verses 10-25), and with Eldad and Medad prophesying (verses 26-30): and the people is fed for a whole month with quail, with a most grievous plague adjoined (verses 31-33). Both of these murmurings happened at station Eleven, קִבְרוֹת הַתַּאֲוָה, Kibroth-Hattaavah (verse 35): chapter 11:4-35.
3. The murmuring of Aaron and Miriam against Moses because of his Ethiopian wife, Zipporah (verses 1-3); whence Miriam is smitten with leprosy (verses 4-10), and, with Moses interceding, is healed (verses 11-15). It happened at station Twelve, חֲצֵרוֹת/Hazeroth (verse 16): chapter 12.
4. The murmuring in קָדֵשׁ/Kadesh, with the spies, who were terrifying the people, heeded. See:
a. The reason for the murmuring, the ten spies’, having returned out of the land of Canaan (verses 1-25), terrifying reports (verses 26-33): chapter 13.
b. Murmuring against Moses and Aaron; with Joshua and Caleb, who had been among the spies, proclaiming the goodness of the land in vain (verses 1-9); whence the Lord, having been provoked, in addition to other threats, leaves a part of the people to be smitten by enemies (verses 10-45): chapter 14.
c. The reconciliation and grace of God attested to the people both by a new accession of lawful sacrifices (verses 1-31), and by a singular delivery of law against the man guilty of violating the Sabbath (verses 32-36), and by the institution of external signs, of fringes on their garments, whereby the Israelites might profess their religion before others, and might recollect it among themselves with others of their own (verses 37-41): chapter 15.
5. The murmuring of the Levites against the priesthood of Aaron, incited by Korah, Dathan, and Abiram: which leaders of the sedition the earth swallowed alive in a pit (verses 1-40): chapter 16:1-40.
6. The murmuring of the whole people, on account of the punishment accomplished against the rabble-rousers, Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. See:
a. The murmuring of the people to a heinous degree, marching upon the tabernacle itself, from which death advances against the guilty in companies, with the certain ruin of all, if Moses had not appeased God (verses 41-50): chapter 16:41-50.
b. The title of Aaron and his posterity, chosen for the priesthood, by the miracle of his blossoming rod, asserted against the murmurers (verses 1-11), for which reason the people implore the help of Moses (verses 12, 13): chapter 17.
c. The duties of the miraculously confirmed Priests and Levities (verses 1-7), inculcated anew, with a stipend appointed both for the Priests from the sacrifices (verses 8-20), and for the Levites from the tithes (verses 21-32): chapter 18.
d. New laws prescribed to the Aaronites confirmed in their office concerning the burning of the red heifer to be sacrificed by a priest, and the transporting of its ashes into a clean place, and the keeping of them for the waters of expiation (verses 1-10): and concerning those that were going to make use of that expiatory water (verses 11-22): chapter 19.
7. The murmuring, when, after the death of Miriam at Kadesh (verses 1, 2), on account of the want of water a sedition of the people arises (verses 3-5): and Moses, having been instructed, that he should elicit water by speaking to the rock, did not obey, but together with Aaron struck the rock twice with his rod, not believing that water would flow forth by speaking alone, on account of which unbelief entrance into the promised land was denied to him (verses 6-13): next, the Edomites deny free passage to the Israelites (verses 14-21), and so the Israelites depart from Kadesh unto Hor, where Aaron dies (verses 22-29): chapter 20.
8. Murmuring. For, with a Canaanite King defeated (verses 1-3), in the journey from mount Hor toward the reedy sea, the people murmur on account of the want of food and drink, and are punished with serpents (verses 4-6): but, with Moses interceding, and with a brass serpent erected, those bitten are healed (verses 7-9): the Israelites also, after a solemn song sung to God at Beer (verses 10-20), overcome Og, King of Bashan, and Sihon, King of the Amorites (verses 21-35): chapter 25.
III. The preparation and arrangement of the people, having been brought to the plains of Moab near Jordan, in order to occupy their inheritance, the land of Canaan, and the inheritance on the other side of Jordan occupied as firstfruits of the rest. Chapters 22-36. See:
1. The disposition of the heirs themselves, the Israelites, taking possession of the inheritance of the land: chapters 22-31: in which is,
a. The machination of Balak, King of Moab, against the Israelites abiding in the land of Moab, hiring Balaam the False Prophet, although reluctant (verses 1-14), to curse the people (verses 15-41): chapter 22.
b. The attempt of Balaam to curse the people, with the Lord twice reversing his word, that he might ask good and favorable thigs for the people (verses 1-26), who, compelled by Balak a third time, prepares himself to curse (verses 27-30): chapter 23.
c. The Prophetic blessing of the same Balaam, moved and illuminated by the Spirit of God (verses 1, 2), of the Israelite people (verses 3-25): chapter 24.
d. The whoredom of the Israelite people with the Moabite women, and imitation of Moabite idolatry, with God most grievously punishing, both the guilty (verses 1-5), where also the zeal of Phinehas, against a certain one of the princes with a high hand leading a Midianite harlot to his brethren before the eyes of all, even of Moses himself, indeed, before the very entrance of the tabernacle, is praised and rewarded (verse 6-15); and the Midianites themselves, to be attacked and overthrown in war, by the Israelites, avenging the evil deed, with God commanding (verses 16-18): chapter 25.
e. A new, that is, a third, census of people apt for war, on account of the many killed, who were just now registered, and the inheritance next to be taken possession of and to be divided without jealousy (verses 1-54), and the commandment of the method to be observed in the division of the land (verses 55, 56); a census of the Levites (verses 57-65): chapter 26.
f. On occasion of the daughters of Zelophehad now dead, a law set forth concerning his rightful heirs (verses 1-11): and also the inauguration of Joshua unto the principate in the place of Moses (verses 12-23): chapter 27.
g. The legislation renewed concerning the continual sacrifice (verses 1-8), the burnt offering of the Sabbath in addition to the continual Sacrifice (verses 9, 10), the sacrifices of the new moons (verses 11-15), of the Passover (verses 16-25), and of the firstfruits (verses 27-31): chapter 28.
h. The legislation concerning the sacrifices of the feast days of the seventh month (verses 1-6), of the day of Atonement (verses 7-11), and of the feast of tabernacles (verses 12-40): chapter 29.
i. The legislation concerning the vows of men (verses 1, 2), and also of a woman either set under the power of her father (verses 3-5), or married (verses 6-8), or widowed (verses 9-16): chapter 30.
2. The occupation of the part of the inheritance on the other side of Jordan. See:
a. Its acquisition through war waged upon the Midianites at the commandment of God, in which there is an illustrious victory against them (verses 1-18), and a distribution of rewards and prey among the soldiers (verses 19-54): chapter 31.
b. The distribution of the land on the other side of Jordan occupied by war among the Reubenites, Gadites (verses 1-38), and the half tribe of Manasseh (verses 39-42): chapter 32.
3. The history of the stations of the children of Israel in the desert (verses 1-50), with a repetition of certain things concerning the extermination of the Canaanites, and of laws concerning the destruction of all idolatry (verses 51-56): chapter 33.
4. Political laws about the inheritance of the land of Canaan, concerning
a. The whole inheritance, in which the limits of the land of Canaan are defined (verses 1-15), and certain men are set in charge of the division by God (verses 16-29): chapter 34.
b. The sacred inheritance, that is, of the Levites, to whom a certain part is assigned (verses 1-8), also with cities of refuge or asylum cities appointed, namely, six, of the number of the forty cities allotted to the Levites (verses 9-15), in which also there is a consideration of the different classes of manslayers (verses 16-34): chapter 35.
c. The inheritance of the people, in which, upon occasion of the daughters of Zelophehad, with the children of Manasseh inquiring, a law is set forth to prevent the mixture of the inheritances and possessions of the tribes, and, lest they be mixed, the daughters shall marry only their fellow tribesmen (verses 1-9), whence the daughters of Zelophehad marry to kindred tribesmen (verses 10-13): chapter 36.