603,448 Funderals


603,548 Funerals

“Take a census of all the congregation of the people of Israel, from twenty years old and upward, by their fathers’ houses, all in Israel who are able to go to war.” Numbers 26:2

2 “Take a census of all the congregation of the people of Israel, by clans, by fathers’ houses, according to the number of names, every male, head by head. 3 From twenty years old and upward, all in Israel who are able to go to war, you and Aaron shall list them, company by company. Numbers 1:2-3

From 603,550 (1:46) to 601,730.  This is a slight drop in a population over 40 years. However it is interesting to contemplate that this is a completely different set of people. 603,548 of the first census had died in the wilderness with Joshua Caleb being the exceptions. This was due of course to their refusal to go into the land and the forced wandering in the wilderness.  Moses recorded this saying: "And the time from our leaving Kadesh-barnea until we crossed the brook Zered was thirty-eight years, until the entire generation, that is, the men of war, had perished from the camp, as the Lord had sworn to them" (Deut. 2:14).

That means that 630,548 died during those 40 years. There then were 15088 deaths per year on average. That equates to 41 per day. Of course those are raw averages arrived at by simple math. There were occasions were 24,000 died in plague associated with the rebellion of Korah and other such awful days. Still, death would have been a constant companion in their wandering. There would have indeed been a constant reminder of their rebellion against God. This of course does not include the women, children, and the 'mixed multitude' that were also there.

This would have given Israel ample opportunity to pass on the reason for their wandering. Paul wrote in the New Testament: "Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned" (Romans 5:12). With the death of each of these rebels the people would have been reminded of the law of sin and death.

On the other hand the death rate is still 1 to 1. It is appointed unto man to die (Heb. 9:27). There have been exceptions to this. Two exceptions out of the countless hundreds of millions of people is almost meaningless.  Almost, but yet we see that it is possible to not die.  It is possible to walk with God. 

The last enemy to be destroyed will be death (1Cor. 15:26).  We who are walking with Jesus now will live with him forever. Death will be destroyed by the resurrection. The body will be raise, glorified, and fit for eternal life in the presence of God. We rejoice in the hope of such eternal salvation from this sphere of life.