Numbers 26

The Second Census and the Plan to Enter the Promised Land

Chapter 26

The Second Census. 1 After the plague, the Lord spoke to Moses and to Eleazar, the priest, saying, 2 “Take a census of the whole assembly of the people of Israel by their father’s house, those twenty years and older, all of those who are fit to bear arms.”

3 Moses and Eleazar spoke with them in the plain of Moab near the Jordan, across from Jericho, saying, 4 “Take a census of those twenty years and older, as the Lord commanded Moses, of all the people of Israel who came forth from the land of Egypt.”

5 Reuben was the firstborn son of Israel. The sons of Reuben were: Hanoch, of the Hanochite clan; Pallu, of the Palluite clan; 6 Hezron, of the Hezronite clan; Carmi, of the Carmite clan. 7 These were the clans of Reuben. Those counted numbered forty-three thousand, seven hundred and thirty.

8 The son of Pallu was Eliab. 9 The sons of Eliab were Nemuel, Dathan, and Abiram. These are the Dathan and Abiram who were the community leaders who rebelled against Moses and Aaron. They were companions of Korah when they rebelled against the Lord. 10 The earth opened its mouth and swallowed them together with Korah, whose followers died when fire devoured two hundred and fifty men; they served as a warning. 11 The descendants of Korah, however, did not die out.

12 The sons of Simeon by their clans were: Nemuel, of the Nemuelite clan; Jamin, of the Jaminite clan; Jachin, of the Jachinite clan; 13 Zerah, of the Zerahite clan; and Shaul, of the Shaulite clan. 14 These were the clans of Simeon. There were twenty-two thousand, two hundred of them.[a]

15 The sons of Gad by their clans were: Zephon, of the Zephonite clan; Haggi, of the Haggite clan; Shuni, of the Shunite clan; 16 Ozni, of the Oznite clan; Eri, of the Erite clan; 17 Arod, of the Arodite clan; and Areli, of the Arelite clan. 18 These were the clans of Gad. There were forty thousand, five hundred of them.

19 The sons of Judah: Er and Onan (but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan). 20 The sons of Judah by their clans were: Shelah, of the Shelahite clan; Perez,[b] of the Perezite clan; and Zerah, of the Zerahite clan. 21 The sons of Perez were: Hezron, of the Hezronite clan; and Hamul, of the Hamulite clan. 22 These were the clans of Judah. There were seventy-six thousand, five hundred of them.

23 The sons of Issachar by their clans were: Tola, of the Tolaite clan; Puvah, of the Puvahite clan; 24 Jashub, of the Jashubite clan; and Shimron, of the Shimronite clan. 25 These were the clans of Issachar. There were sixty-four thousand, three hundred of them.

26 The sons of Zebulun by their clans were: Sered, of the Seredite clan; Elon, of the Elonite clan; and Jahleel, of the Jahleelite clan. 27 These were the clans of Zebulun. There were sixty thousand, five hundred of them.

28 The sons of Joseph by their clans through Manasseh and Ephraim were: 29 the sons of Manasseh: Machir, of the Machirite clan (Machir was the father of Gilead); Gilead, of the Gileadites. 30 These were the sons of Gilead: Iezer, of the Iezerite clan; Helek, of the Helekite clan; 31 Asriel, of the Asrielite clan; Shechem, of the Shechemite clan; 32 Shemida, of the Shemidaite clan; and Hepher, of the Hepherite clan. 33 (Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, had no sons, only daughters. The name of the daughters of Zelophehad were: Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah.) 34 These were the clans of Manasseh. There were fifty-two thousand, five hundred of them.

35 The sons of Ephraim by their clans were: Shuthelah, of the Shuthelahite clan; Becher, of the Becherite clan; and Tahan, of the Tahanite clan. 36 These were the sons of Shuthelah: Eran, of the Eranite clan. 37 These were the clans of Ephraim. There were thirty-two thousand, five hundred of them. These were the descendants of Joseph by their clans.

38 The sons of Benjamin by their clans were: Bela, of the Belaite clan; Ashbel, of the Ashbelite clan; Ahiram, of the Ahiramite clan; 39 Shupham, of the Shuphamite clan; and Hupham, of the Huphamite clan. 40 The sons of Bela were Ard and Naaman: Ard, of the Ardite clan; and Naaman, of the Naamite clan. 41 These were the clans of Benjamin. There were forty-five thousand, six hundred of them.

42 The sons of Dan by their clans were: Shuham, of the Shuhamite clan. These were the clans of Dan. 43 The only clan was of the Shuhamites. There were sixty-four thousand, four hundred of them.

44 The sons of Asher by their clans were: Imnah, of the Imnite clan; Ishvi, of the Ishvite clan; and Beriah, of the Beriite clan. 45 The descendants of Beriah were: Heber, of the Heberite clan and Malchiel, of the Malchielite clan. 46 Asher also had a daughter named Serah.[c] 47 These were the clans of Asher. There were fifty-three thousand, four hundred of them.

48 The sons of Naphtali by their clans were: Jahzeel, of the Jahzeelite clan; Guni, of the Gunite clan; 49 Jezer, of the Jezerite clan; and Shillem, of the Shillemite clan. 50 These were the clans of Naphtali. There were forty-five thousand, four hundred of them.

51 The total number of people of Israel was six hundred and one thousand, seven hundred and thirty.

52 Land Allotments. The Lord then spoke to Moses, saying, 53 “The land is to be allotted unto these as an inheritance based on the number of those inscribed. 54 To the larger group you will give a larger inheritance, to the smaller group you will give a smaller inheritance. Every clan will be given an inheritance according to its size. 55 But the land will be divided by lot; they will inherit it according to the number of the names of their ancestral tribes. 56 Each inheritance will be distributed by lot, to the larger and smaller groups.”

57 The Levite Census.[d]These were the Levites who were counted by their clans: Gershon, of the Gershonite clan; Kohath, of the Kohathite clan; and Merari, of the Merarite clan.[e] 58 These were also Levite clans: the Libnite clan; the Hebronite clan; the Mahlite clan; the Mushite clan; and the Kohathite clan.

Kohath became the father of Amram. 59 The name of Amram’s wife was Jochebed, the daughter of Levi, who was born to Levi in Egypt. She bore Aaron, Moses, and their sister Miriam to Amram. 60 To Aaron were born Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 61 Nadab and Abihu died when they offered unclean fire before the Lord. 62 The total number of all the males one month old and older was twenty-three thousand. They were not counted among the people of Israel because no inheritance was given to them among the people of Israel.

63 These were the figures of the people of Israel counted by Moses and Eleazar the priest in the plain of Moab near the Jordan, across from Jericho. 64 There was not a single person among the people of Israel whom Moses and Aaron had counted in the Sinai Desert. 65 The Lord said of them: “They will surely die in the wilderness.” There were none of them left except for Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua, the son of Nun.


  1. Numbers 26:14 Twenty-two thousand, . . . of them: the sons of Simeon in the first census numbered 59,300 (Num 1:22-23). Thirty-eight years later in the second census there is a loss of 37,100 representing the biggest loss of all the tribes. It is possible that most of those who died in the plague (Num 25:9) were from Simeon.
  2. Numbers 26:20 Perez: the Davidic line from which Jesus came would be through Perez (see Mt 1:3).
  3. Numbers 26:46 A daughter named Serah: among all of the sons listed, Serah is the only daughter mentioned.
  4. Numbers 26:57 The two lists of Levite clans are not identical. They come from different traditions, the second being certainly the older. An attempt is made to reconcile them in 1 Chr 6:1-14.
  5. Numbers 26:57 The Levites have their own census as they did in the first counting (see ch. 3).

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