Following The tribes are mentioned in the same order as in the earlier census Num. 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:
|Reuben ||46,500 ||43,730 |
|Simeon ||59,300 ||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 |
|Dan ||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.
Other Barnes' Notes entries containing Numbers 26:5:
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