Read THE Book 2019

Welcome to RTB 2019, a place to read through the Bible in the year 2019 and stay in contact with others who are doing the same thing and have a little hand-holding as you go. Want to jump right in? You can click on the “Read THE Book 2019” tab above to find the most current weekly notes.

Some of my local friends know that I’ve been teaching through the Bible chronologically for many years. My goal was to help you sort out all that confusing timeline stuff so that when you read the Bible, especially the Old Testament, you have an understanding of where you are, when you are, and what was going on in the world at that time.

In 2017 I decided to do a trial run of a read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year discussion group that met every week to discuss what we read as we followed a reading schedule using the traditional book by book order. Have I mentioned that “book by book order” does not flow chronologically? Nope – the books are grouped into sections, but they don’t always flow in the order that the events happened. So to help us along, I wrote a weekly reading guide with three sections: What’s Going On? When and Where Are We? And Who’s Who? This was a one page handout that gave you just a little head’s up about things I thought you might want to know at the beginning of each week’s assigned reading to help you keep your bearings. The trial run turned out to be a success for those who finished.

I have decided to go ahead and make those weekly notes available here on the website so that anyone can read along at their own pace. If you missed the January 1st start date, the notes are designed so that you can start at week 1 any time of year and begin your own journey to Read THE Book. Feel free to contact me and let me know how I can help get you started. It doesn’t matter to me how you use this information as long as it does what I always imagined it might do. If it helps you to Read THE Book, then I’m happy to know I’ve made it a little easier.

Want to be part of the local discussion group? There are two groups to choose from. One will meet in Scottsboro, AL at the First Methodist Church on Sunday nights at 5:00 PM. Another group meets at Jamoka’s Coffee shop in Guntersville, AL Mondays at noon.

And of course, I’ll be having several workshops throughout the year that give the overview of the whole Bible, known as “THE Bible Story.” I encourage anyone local to try to come to this workshop as it will really help you get all the chronology sorted out. You’ll even make your own timeline showing the major people and events from Genesis to Revelation and that will come in handy as you are reading. If you want to host a workshop at your church, just let me know

It is my prayer that anyone who is thinking about making a New Year’s Resolution to read through the Bible in 2019 will join with me and let’s make a commitment to each other to do it together! It seems like everything is just a little easier when you have friends who can share the same experience with you. The reading schedule will begin on January 1, 2019 and I’ll have all the information you need well before that, so keep checking back as I post new information here.

Let’s Do This!

Daily Reading Schedule [Word][PDF]
One-Sheet Schedule Overview [Word][PDF]

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Group Guidelines & Reading Schedule

Daily Reading Schedule [Word] [PDF]
One-Sheet Schedule Overview [Word] [PDF]

  • You may use any Bible translation that you are comfortable with.
  • I have scheduled readings for Monday through Saturday with an average of about five chapters a day. Take Sunday off, use that day to catch up, or read some Psalms.
  • Each Sunday I will post notes about what you will be reading the next week. These notes will have three sections: What’s Going On, When and Where Are We, and Who’s Who. These notes are designed to guide you as you read through the Bible and my way of pointing out some things I wish someone had told me the first time I read through the Bible. For example, there are places the books don’t go in chronological order and there are times that when you begin a new book things have changed significantly in the world. I’ll try to help you keep it all straight.
  • You can Subscribe to the blog so that you will get an email notification when a new blog is posted by adding your email on the right side of the screen and hit “Subscribe”
  • I will be leading local discussion groups and encourage you to attend if you can. Or form your own discussion group with friends where you can share your a-ha moments, questions, and reflections with each other. If you are flying solo, please stay connected by following along on the website and use the comments section if you want to ask questions or share your own thoughts. One big advantage to this format is anyone can begin their reading journey at any point in the year and follow along at their own pace.
  • If you are part of the discussion group and you get behind or take time off for vacation, illness, or unexpected what-not, I suggest you rejoin the group when you are able and pick up with where the group is reading. You might miss stuff. That’s ok! Read the notes from the weeks you missed and don’t try to catch up. The goal is to stay with the group so that you can be current on discussions. You can read what you missed later.
  • I have decided not to include the Psalms in our reading schedule. Suggestions for how you might read through them:
    • Read one Psalm every day. There are 150 so you will read each one at least twice
    • Read 3-5 Psalms every Sunday
    • Wait until December (we finish our plan on Nov 30th) and then read all of the Psalms by reading five or six Psalms each day of December
    • Work your way through the book of Psalms any way that works for you
    • I don’t normally recommend the King James Version for daily reading. But the Psalms are at their most beautiful in the KJV. Consider reading them in several different translations
  • Consider keeping a journal as you read through the Bible for personal reflection. Everyone has their own style, but you might want to keep notes and random thoughts as you go along. I filled up a large 5 subject notebook in 2017 with my own a-ha moments and I’ve read through the Bible many, many times.
  • Some weeks will be lighter than others. I tried to keep the readings even throughout, but I want us to come to natural breaks in the story at the end of each week.
  • On the master schedule, there is a place to mark what you’ve read with an X. It feels good to mark things off as you accomplish them!
  • I’ve built in two breaks. One is halfway through the Old Testament and the other is between the Old and New Testaments. Use these weeks to catch up if you need to.
  • If you have never read all the way through the Bible before, your goal is just to keep up and finish! If you have read through the Bible before, I suggest that each time you read it through you find a different goal for that year. For example, you might read a different translation or use a study Bible with notes, or you might use the various maps to follow the story by location, learn the Names of God and see how they are used differently in different passages, etc. The last time I read through the Old Testament, I underlined all the words that God spoke in red. The words of Jesus are often in red in the New Testament and I thought it would be good to see the Words of the Lord in the OT the same way.
  • If at any time you read something that troubles you, ask Holy Spirit to guide you in your understanding. You may need to set something aside and trust that as the Lord wants you to learn something from that passage, He will bring it up at the right time. Don’t let it upset you if you struggle with some of the things you read. Bring it to the group and let’s talk about it. There are things that I struggle with, too. It’s ok. God knows our struggles and loves us anyway.

I suggest you begin each day with a prayer that might go something like this…..

Thank You, Father, for Your Word. Please guide me as I read today and help me understand what YOU would have me understand and absorb what YOU would have me absorb. Hide the words and the message in my heart so that I may carry it with me into everything I do. Open the eyes of my heart to what You would have me see, learn, know, and remember. Take me by the hand and walk with me on this journey. Send Holy Spirit to be my guide, my teacher, my helper, and my shield. In the Holy Name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

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Week 13: 1 Samuel 1-31

“We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.” 1 Samuel 8:19-20

What’s Going On?

As the period of the Judges comes to an end, the people of Israel decide they want to be like the nations around them and have a king to give them some national security and leadership. They seem to have forgotten that God is the only leader they really need. This is the beginning of the era I call United Israel, when they move from a Theocracy (God-led nation) to a Monarchy (man-led nation). Samuel, a prophet who hears from the Lord from a very young age, will serve both as the final Judge and the High Priest of Israel.

It is Samuel who will anoint the first two kings of the United Kingdom of Israel – first Saul and later, David. While it’s easy to see the importance of these two men as they finally bring all Israel together into one Kingdom, don’t overlook the importance of Samuel as God’s instrument to bring about many changes in the way Israel has functioned for the last four hundred years. Once the Kingdom is established, it is Samuel who will truly be the leader in many ways. Samuel will be the one to call Israel to repentance and turn their hearts back to God.

Saul is chosen by lot and all Israel accepts him to rule over them. Saul’s son Jonathan will lead Israel in an attack against the Philistines, but instead of waiting for the priest Samuel to offer a sacrifice before the battle, Saul will offer it himself and in so doing he will lose God’s favor. David, a young shepherd boy, is then chosen to be the future king over Israel. Even though David is chosen to be Saul’s successor, it will be many years before he actually becomes king.

Saul, who is being tormented by evil spirits, has young David come and play the harp to soothe him. When David bravely stands up against Goliath, he catches the attention of Israel and Saul’s jealousy begins to take root. David soon advances in Saul’s army and becomes close friends with Jonathan, Saul’s son. When Saul tries to kill him, Jonathan helps David escape and he flees Israel. He spends the next few years running from Saul and twice has the opportunity to kill him but spares his life because he respects that Saul is the God-appointed ruler of Israel. The book of 1 Samuel ends when Jonathan is killed in battle and Saul takes his own life before allowing the Philistines to kill him. While we know that God has already appointed David to be the next king and Samuel has already anointed him, the book comes to an end here with no king ruling over Israel.  

When and Where Are We?

It is about 1000 BC and the twelve tribes are combined to form the Nation of Israel.

Who’s Who?

  • Hannah – Samuel’s mother
  • Eli – the High Priest in Israel at the beginning of the book.
  • Samuel – raised by Eli and follows him to become the next High Priest; anoints Saul, and later David, to be king over Israel
  • Saul – first king over the united nation of Israel
  • Jonathan – Saul’s son
  • David – shepherd boy who plays the harp for Saul, kills Goliath, serves in the army of Israel, and will eventually become the second king of Israel after Saul dies.

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth” Psalm 46:10

Weekly Reading Assignment:

  • Monday: 1 Samuel 1-5
  • Tuesday: 1 Samuel 6-10
  • Wednesday: 1 Samuel 11-15
  • Thursday: 1 Samuel 16-20
  • Friday: 1 Samuel 21-25
  • Saturday: 1 Samuel 26-31

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Week 12: Judges 1-21, Ruth 1-4

“When God was setting up judges for them, He would be right there with the judge: He would save them from their enemies’ oppression as long as the judge was alive, for God was moved to compassion when He heard their groaning because of those who afflicted and beat them. But when the judge died, the people went right back to their old ways—but even worse than their parents!—running after other gods, serving and worshiping them. Stubborn as mules, they didn’t drop a single evil practice.”    Judges 2:18-19 (The Message)

What’s Going On?

Now that the Israelites have conquered the territory that God had reserved for them, the twelve tribes finally settle in the land. In Deuteronomy, God had let them know that there would be blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. As long as the people followed God, lived according to the Law, and kept their focus on the Lord, they were prosperous. When they allowed the other nations around them to have an influence on them, they lost the Lord’s favor. The Lord had told them to rid the land of its inhabitants, knowing they would be a bad influence, but they didn’t and the seed of corruption takes root. As the Israelites began to turn their backs on the Lord, they soon found themselves being invaded by neighboring kingdoms. The Lord would then raise up a leader, or Judge, to rule for a while until Israel was no longer in danger. For the next 350 years Israel will swing like a pendulum between total obedience and trust in the Lord, to rebellion and disobedience leading to oppression by foreign rulers. The cycle would go something like this: The Israelites did evil in the sight of the Lord, they cried out for help, God raised up someone to help them, they had peace in the land, and then they would get complacent and begin doing evil again. This cycle would be repeated over and over during the time of the twelve Judges.

A Moabite woman, Ruth, lived during the time of the Judges and chose to stay with her Israelite mother-in-law, Naomi, when her husband dies. She then finds true love with a man named Boaz who is a relative of Naomi’s and is therefore eligible to be her kinsman-redeemer. They will become the great-grandparents of David and will carry the lineage that leads to Jesus, the ultimate redeemer, about a thousand years later.

When and Where Are We?

1375-1050 BC.  The period known as the Judges lasted for about 350 years, from the time of Joshua’s death until the time Israel would finally be led by a king in the period of the United Kingdom. The stories all take place within Israel as it is still functioning under the twelve tribal lands.

Who’s Who?

The Judges were Othniel (Caleb’s brother), Ehud, Shamgar, Deborah, Gideon, Tola, Jair, Jephthah, Ibzan, Elon, Abdon, and Samson.

  • Baals – false gods worshipped by the inhabitants of the land (Dagon, Ashtoreth, Chemosh)
  • Cushan-Rishathaim – king of Aram; Eglon – king of Moab; Jabin – king of Canaan
  • Sisera – the Canaanite army commander, Jael – the woman who kills him
  • Barak – an army commander who joined with Deborah to fight the Canaanites
  • Zebah and Zalmunna – the kings of Midian
  • Abimelech – son of Gideon, puts himself in position as king but is killed
  • Micah – built an idol/image and used a wayward Levite to act as his priest who then went with the tribe of Dan to establish a new home after they couldn’t rid their allotted land of the Amorites
  • Naomi – an Israelite living in Moab with her two daughters-in-law: Orpah and Ruth
  • Ruth – a Moabite widow who marries Boaz, her kinsman-redeemer

“In those days, Israel had no king” Joshua 17:6; 18:1; 19:1; and 21:25

Weekly Reading Assignment:

  • Monday: Judges 1-5
  • Tuesday: Judges 6-8
  • Wednesday: Judges 9-12
  • Thursday: Judges 13-16
  • Friday: Judges 17-21
  • Saturday: Ruth 1-4
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Week 11: Joshua 1-24

“Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them.” Joshua 1:6

What’s Going On?

As we turn the page from Deuteronomy to Joshua, we also begin a new section of the Bible I call ‘The History.’ The first five books, ‘The Beginning,’ told us about God’s promise to Abraham and his descendants to have a large family, to own the land that would come to be known as Israel, and that one day all the world would be blessed through this family. We saw the family grow into a very large group of people while enslaved in Egypt and then watched as Moses was responsible for bringing the people back to the land that had been promised to Abraham in Genesis 13:14-18. The Law was given to Moses that all of Israel would be expected to follow and a system was set up for sacrifice to make atonement for sin. The people who came out of Egypt did not fully trust God and therefore would die before their children would be allowed to enter the land.

Now it is finally time for the conquest of the land that would soon be known as Israel, named after Jacob, the grandson of Abraham. This section begins with the Lord appointing Joshua as leader of His people. They are camped on the east side of the Jordan River when Joshua sends two spies to look over the land, this time for a plan of attack. They are protected by Rahab who acts in faith and will be spared when the city of Jericho is taken. Joshua then leads the people to the Jordan River where the waters are held back as the people pass through on dry land (sound familiar?) and a memorial is left behind. After circumcising all the men and celebrating the Passover, the manna was no longer needed as they finally were able to eat the produce of the land.

Jericho was the first land conquered by the Israelites led by Joshua. Next a small band was sent to conquer Ai, but because Achan had disobeyed the Lord’s command not to take any of the sacred things from those they were conquering, Israel was unsuccessful and the small army was defeated. After the destruction of Achan, the land of Ai is then conquered and the people renew their Covenant with the Lord as Joshua carves the Law of Moses on stones and reads all the words before the people. Gibeon had heard about the Israelites coming to take over their land and tricked the Israelites into a treaty which allows them to serve as slaves and not be killed. Five kings in central Canaan join forces against Israel and the sun stands still in the sky until the five kings are killed and the lands are captured. Israel then easily conquers the lands in the southern part of Canaan and then heads up to the northern lands where they again defeat all who stood against them.

Once most of the territories of Canaan had been conquered, the land is divided up among the twelve tribes of Israel and cities of refuge are established and the towns for Levites are chosen. There were still some Canaanites living among them, but the era of warfare was over. Joshua has succeeded in doing all that the Lord had asked of him and as he nears the end of his days, he gathers the people of Israel for his farewell address and a renewal of the covenant before sending them all to the land of their inheritance. The bones of Joseph had been brought up from Egypt and were buried in the plot of land he himself had purchased. Finally, Eleazar, son of Aaron, dies and is buried as well.

When and Where Are We?

Most scholars date this period at about 1400 BC. After crossing the Jordan River from the east, the people camp at Gilgal before going in to conquer Canaan, beginning with Jericho and Ai and reaching to the south and to the north to cover all the land of Canaan. Twelve regions are allotted and named for the families of the twelve sons of Jacob.

Who’s Who?

  • Joshua: new leader of the people of Israel. He had been Moses’ aide and one of the original spies.
  • Eleazar: son of Moses and current High Priest.

Weekly Reading Assignment:

  • Monday: Joshua 1-4
  • Tuesday: Joshua 5-8
  • Wednesday: Joshua 9-12
  • Thursday: Joshua 13-17
  • Friday: Joshua 18-21
  • Saturday: Joshua 22-24
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Week 10: Deuteronomy 19-34, Psalm 90

“You are standing here in order to enter into a covenant with the Lord your God, a covenant the Lord is making with you this day and sealing with an oath, to confirm you this day as His people, that He may be your God as He promised you and as He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I am making this covenant, with its oath, not only with you who are standing here with us today in the presence of the Lord our God but also with those who are not here today.”      Deuteronomy 29:12-13 (NIV)

What’s Going On?

This week we continue Moses’ farewell address as the people of Israel are preparing to finally enter the Promised Land. There are yet still many instructions for how to live their daily lives once they have conquered the Canaanites and settle into their new homes and tribal communities. There are moral instructions, legal instructions, family and marital instructions, instructions about living in a community, instructions about going to war, and most importantly, instructions to keep the Lord’s commands and decrees and teach them to the next generation so that it will go well with them for many years to come. Chapter 28 summarizes how important it is to keep the commands of the Lord saying there will be blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. There is a little bit of foreshadowing here as we catch a glimpse into the future of the Nation of Israel, who will come to see both blessings and curses along the way. Since the people who are listening to Moses as he summarizes all that has happened and tells them what to expect as they move on without him weren’t all a part of the grand exodus from Egypt and the receiving of the Law forty years earlier at Mt Sinai, he realizes the need for this generation to stand in agreement with the Law and the conditions for being God’s holy people and calls for a national renewal of the covenant between Israel and her God. The book closes with Moses handing leadership off to his faithful aide, Joshua, a reading of the entire Law, and the call to read it publically every seven years. Moses then teaches them a song to help them remember all that they have been through and all of the blessings in store if they will only remain faithful to the Lord. Moses then blesses all of the tribes and sends them on their way. Moses must have watched them go with great pride and great sadness that he won’t be a part of the next leg of their journey. God then shows Moses all the land that Israel is about to inherit. We aren’t told exactly how it happens, but apparently after he dies, the Lord Himself buries Moses, the great servant of the Lord, there at Mount Nebo.

When and Where Are We?

It is about 1400 BC and the people are camped in Moab on the east side of the Jordan River.

Who’s Who?

  • Moses – Prophet, Deliverer, Law-Giver
  • Joshua – Moses’ aide and the new Commander in Chief
  • Eleazar – Aaron’s son and current High Priest

“Now choose life, so that you and your children my live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him. For the Lord is your life.” Deuteronomy 30:19b-20b

Weekly Reading Assignment:

  • Monday: Deuteronomy 19-22
  • Tuesday: Deuteronomy 23-25
  • Wednesday: Deuteronomy 26-27
  • Thursday: Deuteronomy 28-30
  • Friday: Deuteronomy 31-34
  • Saturday: Psalm 90
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Week 9: Deuteronomy 1-18

 “Listen, Israel! The Eternal is our True God—He alone.  You should love Him, your True God, with all your heart and soul, with every ounce of your strength.Make the things I’m commanding you today part of who you are.  Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you’re sitting together in your home and when you’re walking together down the road. Make them the last thing you talk about before you go to bed and the first thing you talk about the next morning.  Do whatever it takes to remember them: tie a reminder on your hand and bind a reminder on your forehead where you’ll see it all the time, such as on the doorpost where you cross the threshold or on the city gate.”

~The Shema~    Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (The Voice)

What’s Going On?

The time has finally come for the people of Israel to go in and conquer the land that had been promised to them four hundred years earlier. Moses knows he will be leaving them before they enter the Promised Land and realizes the need to gather the people together and remind them of what has led them to this point. The adults who came out of Egypt have all died except for Joshua and Caleb who were the two scouts who trusted the Lord to lead them into the land when they had been there forty years earlier. Since the majority of the people had chosen not to trust God, the Israelites have been wandering in the desert for forty years until that generation had died and the children had grown up. They have been following the cloud by day and fire by night, which has now led them to the east side of the Jordan River in the land of Moab. At the heart of the book of Deuteronomy is the retelling of their history and the absolute insistence that the Law continue to be their central focus once they enter their new homeland. Now that the people will actually be settling in the land, the need for the structure and guidance that the Law brings will take on a new importance. There will be a need for order for the next generations as they will be living with only the Law, the statutes, the traditions, the holy days, the feasts and festivals to set them apart from the foreign nations as Gods chosen people, long before the land will become the Nation of Israel with their own King. Moses, who was hesitant to accept the call of God on his life to lead the people because he felt he wasn’t a great speaker, has now developed into a very powerful speaker as he emphatically calls on the new generation of Israelites to remember God’s covenant given to all Israel and to not be afraid this time when they go in take over the land. While Moses has been their leader, he reminds the people that God is actually their leader and He will be with them long after Moses is gone.

When and Where Are We?

It’s about 1400 BC and the people are camped in the territory of Moab on the east side of the Jordan River, across from Jericho.

Who’s Who?

  • Moses – Prophet, Deliverer, Law-Giver
  • Joshua – One of the twelve spies who trusted the Lord, he will follow Moses as the new leader
  • Caleb – One of the twelve spies who trusted the Lord
  • Eleazar – Aaron’s son and current High Priest

“Love the Lord your God and keep His requirements, His decrees, His laws and His commands always.” Deuteronomy 11:1 (NIV)

Weekly Reading Assignment:

  • Monday: Deuteronomy 1-3
  • Tuesday: Deuteronomy 4-6
  • Wednesday: Deuteronomy 7-9
  • Thursday: Deuteronomy 10-12
  • Friday: Deuteronomy 13-15
  • Saturday : Deuteronomy 16-18
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Week 8: Numbers 20-36

“But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, ‘Because you did not trust in Me enough to honor Me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.” Numbers 20:12

What’s Going On

Chapter 20 picks the story up forty years later with relatively little mention of what has gone on during these years. We know that the generation of Israelites who came out of Egypt have died and a new generation will begin preparing to enter the Promised Land. After reading that Miriam has died, we learn that there is still an awful lot of grumbling and complaining going on, even though God continues to provide for their every need. Unfortunately Moses has just about had enough of their bad attitudes and in an angry fit he asks the thirsty people, “Must we (meaning Moses and God) bring water out of this rock?” Uh oh. Moses has been tirelessly pointing to God throughout this whole journey and right here at the end, he shows how very human he was. Not only did Moses and Aaron not follow Gods instructions to speak to the rock, their sin includes pride and taking credit for God’s work (Pride goeth before a fall Prov 16:18.) Aaron will die shortly after this and his son Eleazar becomes High Priest after him. When the king of Moab sees Israel camp outside of town, he calls on a medium to curse them. God, however, instructs him not to curse the Israelites but to bless them instead. It seems that with the help of a talking donkey, God’s will can be done through the most unlikely characters. The rest of the book of Numbers is like a tennis match. On one side we have “Blessings for Obedience” and on the other side, “Curses for Disobedience.” The message is clear. Where there is dependence on God, there is victory. Where there is grumbling and complaining there is destruction. A new census is taken and there are now 601,730 men of Israel, plus the Levites. Everyone who came out of Egypt, except Moses, Joshua, and Caleb, has died. Instructions are given from God through Moses to the people about what to do when they get into their new homeland as Joshua and Eleazar prepare to take over as Israel’s new leaders. Two tribes, Reuben and Gad, plus half of the huge tribe of Manasseh claim land on the East side of the Jordan River although they agree to go with all Israel as they prepare to cross over Jordon and begin claiming the land of Canaan, with its boundaries clearly defined in chapter 34. The final instructions include how the Levites are to be dispersed throughout the other tribes, a portion of land should be reserved as cities of refuge, and what to do when there is no male heir to claim the family inheritance.

When and Where Are We?

It is now about 1400 BC and the people have been wandering in the desert and waiting for the next generation to be raised up. Israel will request passage through the land of Edom, the descendants of Esau, but it will be denied. The stages of the journey are recorded very specifically in chapter 33. The story ends outside of Canaan in the land of Moab, across from Jericho.

Who’s Who?

  • Eleazar – Aaron’s son, the new High Priest. His son is Phinehas, the next High Priest
  • Sihon – king of the Amorites
  • Og – king of Bashan
  • Balak – king of Moab
  • Balaam – a pagan diviner/fortune teller/seer who speaks in oracles
  • Baal of Peor – a false god of fertility
  • Zelophehad – from the tribe of Manasseh, his daughters inherit his share because he has no sons
  • Joshua – the leader who will follow Moses and bring the people into the Promised Land

“Then Moses laid his hands on Joshua and commissioned him as the Lord instructed.” Numbers 27:23

Weekly Reading Assignment:

Monday:  Deuteronomy 1-3
Tuesday: Deuteronomy 4-6
Wednesday:  Deuteronomy 7-9
Thursday:  Deuteronomy 10-12
Friday:  Deuteronomy 13-15
Saturday:  Deuteronomy 16-18

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Week 7: Numbers 1-19

 “and the Lord said, ‘Now hear what I have to say! When there are prophets among you, I reveal Myself to them in visions and speak to them in dreams.  It is different when I speak with My servant Moses; I have put him in charge of all My people Israel. So I speak to him face-to-face, clearly and not in riddles; he has even seen My form! How dare you speak against My servant Moses?’” Numbers 12:6-8 (GNT)

What’s Going On? The Book of Numbers is all about, well – numbers. There will be a census taken at the beginning of their journey to The Promised Land, which was only about 200 miles away. There are 603,550 men of fighting age, plus their families, plus the tribe of Levi. It is estimated that there are at least 2,000,000 total and possibly even more than that. The people of Israel are called to assemble in their family tribe units and placed in an orderly fashion around the Tabernacle. God is very specific in His instructions on how to do this. There is a grand dedication ceremony, they celebrate the Passover, and then head to the desert of Paran following the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. The people will learn some harsh lessons about rebellion and complaining along the way and a system of elders will be set up. Once they arrive at the outskirts of Canaan, twelve men are chosen, one from each tribe, to enter the land and then give a report to the people. The land is rich and fertile, but the inhabitants are large and fierce. Only Joshua and Caleb trust the Lord and vote to go in. The others are afraid and they choose not to go in. The constant complaining, opposition, and rebelling against Moses and the Lord will have harsh consequences. There will even be a full on rebellion against Moses, Aaron, and the priesthood. God will open the earth and swallow up those who led the revolt, reminding the people once again that He is their leader and will not stand for rebellion.

When and Where Are We? We start off at the foot of Mt. Sinai two years after leaving Egypt, about 1500 BC. The people have spent the last year building the Tabernacle and all of the things that will be used in service to the Lord. They will then begin the journey toward the land that had once belonged to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – the land of Canaan – The Promised Land. The first nine chapters of the book cover the time of preparation for leaving Mt Sinai, and then in chapter 10 the cloud begins to move and they people begin their journey in the orderly fashion as the Lord had decreed. The next few chapters will cover 40 years as the Israelites travel around in the desert and a new generation is prepared to conquer The Promised Land.  

Who’s Who?

  • Moses – “The Lord spoke to Moses”  This phrase is used over 150 times in the book of Numbers
  • Aaron – Moses’ brother, the first High Priest of Israel
  • Eleazar and Ithamar – living sons of Aaron (after Nadab and Abihu are killed)
  • Hobab – Jethro/Reuel’s son, their guide through the desert lands
  • Miriam – Moses’ sister and prophetess
  • Joshua – Moses’ aide, one of the two that trust God to lead them into Canaan
  • Caleb – One of the twelve spies, along with Joshua, who votes to go into Canaan
  • The Twelve Tribes of Israel – The twelve tribes are named after the twelve sons of Jacob, with two exceptions. The tribe of Levi will be scattered among the other twelve tribes in order to serve as the priests to the whole community. The Levites will not march together in formation with the others but will be responsible for the Tabernacle and all of its equipment. There is not a tribe named after Jacob’s son Joseph. Instead, Joseph’s two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, will each be heads of tribes thereby giving Joseph a double portion of the inheritance. These twelve tribes are Reuben, Simeon, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Ephraim, Manasseh, Benjamin, Dan, Asher, Gad, and Naphtali.
  • Gershonites, Kohathites, Merarites – the names of the family groups of the sons of Levi that would be used in service for the Lord. Korah, a Kohathite, will lead a rebellion against Moses and he and his supporters will be swallowed up by the earth. Moses and Aaron were also from the line of Kohath.

                                                             God is a God of order!

Weekly Reading Assignment:

Monday: Numbers 1-3
Tuesday: Numbers 4-6
Wednesday: Numbers 7-9
Thursday: Numbers 10-12
Friday: Numbers 13-15
Saturday: Numbers 16-19

Posted in RTB 2019 | Leave a comment