Why did the Israelites take a census?

Why did the Israelites take a census?

The French commentator Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhak (1040-1105), known as Rashi, explains that multiple censuses were taken because the Israelites were special to God and the number was important when the Divine Presence was about to dwell amongst the people.

What was the purpose of the census in the Bible?

Censuses in the Old Testament. The census lists of the Old Testament represent genuine sources, though colored and interpreted by later redactors according to the latter’s understanding and aims. In its historical origin the census served the purpose of ascertaining the military strength of the tribes.

Why did God tell Moses to take a census?

In Numbers 1:1–3, not long after Israel’s exodus from Egypt, God told Moses to count the people by tribe to determine the number of Jewish men 20 years and older who could serve in the military.

What is the census of Israel?

The purpose of the census is to obtain a full, reliable picture of Israel’s population and its characteristics, including demographic, social and economic data about each locality in the country. The data will be used to determine local and national policy.

Why did God not want a census?

In Exodus 30:12, we read, “When you take a census of the Israelites to count them, each must pay the Lord a ransom for his life at the time he is counted. Regardless of who did the inciting, David’s military commander Joab argued they should not take a census because it would bring disaster to the people of Israel.

Was there a census at the time of Jesus birth?

Chapter 2 of the Gospel of Luke correlates the date of the nativity of Jesus to a census. In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered.

What is the purpose of having a census?

Decennial Census The census tells us who we are and where we are going as a nation, and helps our communities determine where to build everything from schools to supermarkets, and from homes to hospitals. It helps the government decide how to distribute funds and assistance to states and localities.

What was the purpose of the Levites?

Levites’ principal roles in the Temple included singing Psalms during Temple services, performing construction and maintenance for the Temple, serving as guards, and performing other services. Levites also served as teachers and judges, maintaining cities of refuge in biblical times.

When was the last census in Israel?

The last census was carried out in 2008, and represented the first “combined” study, gathering both data from the field and existing administrative databases.

What does the Bible say about taking a census?

Second Samuel 24 tells us that God was angry against David and incited the king to take a census, for which David was punished by a plague in the land. National planning would be a sin, if they were called to trust in God alone for all their needs. The story of David’s sinful census has a nice twist at the end.

What is the purpose of the threshing floor?

The threshing floor in scripture is a place of separation and revelation. A place where the harvest was prepared by separating the grain from the useless straw for the purpose of exposing and collecting the most valuable part of the crop.

Did Mary and Joseph go to Bethlehem for a census?

All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child.

Why did Israel want to do a census?

Perhaps by way of speculation, the Census was also a matter of national pride, as the people collectively thought with David, “Look how big and prosperous and powerful we have become.” This is only a speculation. But the point is that Israel is NOT sin free according to the text.

Why was the Levites not included in the census?

The Levites, who were not counted in the census, were chosen as the priestly tribe. They bore the responsibility for the things of God’s tabernacle and the offerings. Numbers 1:49–50 notes, “You must not count the tribe of Levi or include them in the census of the other Israelites.

Why was David so sinful about the census?

Since counting hints at accomplishment and control, David sins in trying to know a number that is none of his business, a number that is for God alone to know. For God numbers the people and calls them by name ( cf Gen 15:15). A final area of sinfulness surrounds the manner in which a census can be and often is an oppressive tool of government.

Why was a census important in the ancient world?

In the ancient world, a census was often a tool for military draft. It was also a basis for exacting taxes. Finally, kings used it to measure their power and to manipulate and coerce based on that power.