Torah Study Questions
Bamidbar - In Wilderness
Bamidbar (Numbers) 1:1 - 4:20
Mark R. Ensign, Adot Adonai, Amarillo, Texas
Introductory questions -- Brief answers, not for extended discussion:
1. At what point in history does this parsha unfold?
2. Where does this parsha take place geographically? What are the setting and environment?
3. Who are the primary actors in the parsha and what role or roles does each play? What is the significance of each role? Who are the secondary actors and what roles do they play? What is the significance of their roles?
4. What is the overall theme of this parsha? What are the subdivisions, if any?
Parsha Specific Questions -- for extended discussion:
What is the meaning of the Hebrew name of this book? Why does it bear the English designation of "Numbers?"
At the beginning of this chapter, who spoke to whom, in what location, in what facility, and on what day, month, and year after the exodus? What did YHVH instruct Moshe to do with Bnei Yisrael? By what two classifications were they to be counted? What was the age range to be counted and what was the reason for the beginning age? What three persons were designated to make the count of each tribe? What was the total count of Bnei Yisrael? What reasons may be deduced for the Holy One to have authorized Moshe to take the census?
Who were not counted in this census? What were the different tasks that they were appointed to do? How was Bnei Yisrael to camp and where? What was the centerpiece of the camp of Bnei Yisrael and why? Who camped around the Mishkan and what role did they serve? What would happen to one who was not a Levi'im if they approached the holy things? How did Bnei Yisrael respond to the instructions of YHVH through Moshe?
What indicated the location of each tribe as they camped around the Mishkan? Which direction was considered the "front"? What three tribes camped in that direction and which one was considered the leader of that group? When Bnei Yisrael began to journey under the direction of YHVH, which tribe went first? Which direction was mentioned next? What three tribes camped in that direction and which one was considered the leader of that group? What camp was in the middle and in what position did they journey? Which direction was mentioned next? What three tribes camped in that direction and which one was considered the leader of that group? Which direction was mentioned next? What three tribes camped in that direction and which one was considered the leader of that group? What did Bnei Yisrael do to comply with the instructions of YHVH through Moshe?
What relevance do these instructions, regarding the camping together of Bnei Yisrael, have to messianic Torah observant believers today? How may they be relevant in our future? How does Hebrews 10:23-25 relate to these instructions and what further lessons can we learn from them? What further insights are gained from the instructions of Rav Sha'ul in his first epistle to the Corinthians in 12:12-20?
Who were the sons of Aharon and what became of them? What responsibilities did YHVH give to the Levi'im and who was in charge of them? What was the intention of YHVH regarding the firstborn who had been saved at Pesach in Egypt? What exchange and substitution did he make for them? Why? When the Levi'im were counted, what was the age range? Who were the three sons of Levi? What responsibilities were given to the sons of Gershon? The sons of Kohath? The sons of Merari? Of the Levi'im, who camped in front of the Mishkan? What was the total of the census of the Levi'im? What discrepancy is there between the total of the three families and the number listed in v. 39?
Who were counted in the special census, in what age range, and what was the total? What was the difference in the number count of the Levi'im and of the firstborn of all Yisrael? How did YHVH instruct Bnei Yisrael to make up to difference? What was done with the silver? What traditional practice is derived from this?
What would happen to one who was a stranger (not a Levite) if they approached the holy things? What assurance does Rav Sha'ul give to the Ephesians in chapter 2:11-13? When we become sons of the Living Elohim through the blood of Y'shua who stands as the eternal Kohen HaGadol, what position are we placed in?
What was the age range of the special census of the Levi'im initially described in this chapter? What was the purpose of this census? When Bnei Yisrael were going to travel and the Mishkan was to be moved, what were Aharon and his sons to do before the sons of Kohath began their task? What was the reason for this instruction? What responsibility was specifically given to Elazar, the son of Aharon? What is significant about the age that begins the range for this special census? The age that ends the range?
Closing Questions: For Personal Introspection
Why do you believe our loving Father provided us with this particular portion of his words? What was his purpose and objective in preserving this portion of the Scriptures to this day? What benefit do they have for Torah observant believers today?
What other insights has the Ruach HaKodesh given you in your study of this portion that you would like to share with the group?
What questions from this portion have you had that have not been answered by the study?
What impact do you think the study of the words from your Father in this portion will have on your life? How do you plan to implement his instructions in this parsha in your life?
Silently pray for the Ruach HaKodesh to implant his words like seeds, to nurture their growth in your heart, and to enable you to respond fully as they do.