This was named Numbers because the children of Israel was numbered twice , The old Hebrew name was “in the wilderness”.Numbers should be read in connection with Exodus,Leviticus and Deuteronomy.
Chapters 1-14 Talks about the Old generation
Chapters 15-20 The wandering years.
Chapters 21-36 Talks about the new generation
Numbers talks about the census, the numbering of the adult males,distribution of the tribes,numbering of the Levi tribes( priestly)also they were not included in the general census, they were kept apart for the service of God and to take care of the Tabernacle duties,and distribution of their duties.They are taught how to function as a camp.Their religious,civil and military economies are set in order for their journeying,worshiping and conquering as a nation
chapters 5 thru 10 emphasizes of being Holy and truthful. The vows of the Nazarites totally separated unto the Lord.Free will offering of each tribe,and consecration of the levites. The guidance of the Lord thru the pillar of cloud by day and Fire by night. The observing the Passover in remembrance of the Passover similar to our Lord Supper -redemption from our sin thru Christ.The Lord commands Moses to make two trumpets for calling the assembly.
When they were at Sinai getting ready for the journey the pillar of cloud lifts and the trumpet sounds and the whole camp moves toward their journey towards the promised land Canaan.
After three days they begin to murmur and complain and display their sinfulness of unbelief and they send 12 spies who give them negative reports to instigate rebellion and the people refused to enter the land except Joshua and Caleb So the judgement falls and they wander for 38 more years and all of the old generation die by the end of the 40 years except Joshua and Caleb. God continues to support them thru all their needs .
During that time the Aron priesthood of 15000 people die of earthquake,fire and plague.Then causes the rod to blossom . the budding of the rod speaks of Christ and of His Resurrection, in Hebrew chapter 4 and 5..
Moses lived 120 years. 40 yrs in Egypt,40 yrs in in Exodus Median. and last 40 years as a leader of children of Israel. He was the only man God buried. He was raised and glorified and appeared in the mount of transfiguration. Moses also does not see the new land because when they were complaining of water God asked Moses to speak tot he rock instead he smote it twice .The book of Deuteronomy chapter 29 thru 34 explains the latter days of Moses.
Moses appointed Joshua as his successor and consecrated to take over Moses. Aaron also dies before reaching the land
Then again their journey was delayed due to Edom`s refusal to let them pass thru their land. later again people murmur and they get bitten by serpants and God gives them a way out to be saved.
People have confrontation with Balaam. Baalam summoned by Balak. Balak succeeds in turning people away from God
With the new generation they get new instruction of offering to be given unto the Lord,The vows of men and women,
Finally the book closes how to secure their inheritance which teaches of our security in Christ