Archive for the ‘Numbers’ Category

“These are the journeys of the children of Israel who left the land of Egypt in their legions, under the charge of Moses and Aaron. Moses recorded their starting points for their journeys according to the word of God, and these were their journeys with their starting points.” (Numbers 33:1–2)

Questions: The Bible recounts the forty-two places that the people of Israel encamped during their exodus from Egypt to the land of Israel. Some of the stops are described in detail; others are just mentioned by name. Some make sense geographically; many make no sense at all. Why is this long recounting necessary at all? Is there value in remembering and recounting a journey that you took? What can it help you do?

Ideas: Energy bars, granola bars, ready-made trail mix, any other type of food items meant for traveling like dried fruit and nuts. You can also create a trail with raisins, chocolates, nuts, or fruit and recount every step of your journey as you eat.

candy trail

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“We wish to bring an offering to God. Every man who found a gold article – an anklet, a bracelet, a ring, an earring or a body ornament – to atone for our souls before God.” (Numbers 31:50)

Questions: Why do you think gold was chosen as the gift of choice? Why do you think that the Israelites thought that giving a piece of jewelry would atone for their souls? Would you have given something? Why and why not? What would you have given? What do you think is the proper way to atone for something?

Ideas: Decorate your table with gold – a gold tablecloth, gold napkins, gold paper goods and cutlery. You can also serve other golden foods: golden grahams, golden syrup, golden raisins, golden delicious apples, Rold Gold pretzels, Yukon Gold potatoes, honey, gold wrapped chocolates, Goldschlager, etc.

gold candy

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“The daughters of Zelophehad the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of Manasseh the son of Joseph, came forward, and his daughters’ names were Mahla, Noah, Hogla, Milca, and Tirza.” (Numbers 27:1)

Questions: Why do you think it was so important that the lineage of the daughters of Zelophehad is mentioned here? Do you think your lineage is important too? Why or why not? Why do you think the Bible mentions the names of all these women too? What might this say about the power of standing up for what you believe in? And about the importance of one’s inheritance?

Ideas: Capers are a bit of an acquired taste, but they go well on salad and with chicken and fish. Experiment a bit with this new flavor as a tribute to these remarkable women.


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“God opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, ‘What have I done to you that you have struck me these three times?’” (Numbers 22:28)

Questions: Would you like it if animals could talk? What do you think they would say? What animal would you most like to hear talk? Why? What statement do you think the Bible might be making here about how we should treat animals?

Ideas: Serve three bean salad, three different dishes of food at your table, serve food that comes from all different types of animals, or serve animal crackers, gummy worms and animal-shaped chicken cutlets. Use these animals as props at your table, give them a voice too.


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‘They ascended Mount Hor in the presence of the entire congregation. Moses then stripped Aaron of his garments and dressed Eliezer his son in them, and Aaron died there on the top of the mountain.’ (Numbers 20:27-28)

Questions: Why was Aaron told to undress? Do you think he knew that he was going to die? What would you do if you knew when you, or someone you loved was going to die? What would you make sure to do with them or for them? Would you like to be buried on a mountain? Why or why not? Where would you like to be buried? Why?

Ideas: Serve rice or mashed potatoes in the form of two mounds or on two separate plates. For dessert you can simply serve one apple half balanced on top of another apple half. Whipped cream can represent the pillar of cloud, or you can have your guests or your kids try to make marshmallow stacks as the pillar of cloud.

cloud cake

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“The earth beneath them opened its mouth and swallowed them and their houses, and all the men who were with Korach and all the property.” (Numbers 16:32)

Questions: What horrible thing would someone have to do to make the earth swallow them whole? What responsibilities does a leader have? When is power used for a good thing? For a bad thing? Can one lead and still stay humble? Is there such a thing as wanting too much power? Can such desires cause earthquakes? Did Korach and his men deserve what they got?

Ideas: Make a small incision down the center of any loaf or round cake to represent the opening in the earth, earthquake parfaits can be made by layering pudding and cookie crumbs – anywhere you take a bite the earth caves in!


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‘They came to the valley of Eshkol and they cut a branch with a cluster of grapes. They carried it on a pole between two people and they also took some pomegranates and figs.’ (Numbers 13:23)

Questions: Why do you think the spies chose these fruits specifically? Why did they choose gigantic fruits rather than bring back more normal sized examples? What could their motive have been? Is it ever good to speak badly of something or someone? Does it matter if we speak negatively about inanimate objects? What power do words have?

Ideas: Put out a bowl of grapes, dried figs and pomegranates (or pomegranate juice if you can’t find fresh pomegranates) to represent the fruit the spies returned with from the Land of Israel. Or put out fruit that is native to your land. Make sure to praise the fruit!


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‘We remember the fish that we ate in Egypt free of charge, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic.’ (Numbers 11:5)

Questions: What do the Israelites mean here by the word “free”? Were these foods they ate truly “free”? What are the foods that are native to the place where you live? What foods would you miss if you were to leave your country? What do you think all these foods have in common?

Ideas: Since this list of foods is quite common it’s easy to make a dish or series of dishes incorporating these food items. Have your guests guess which items of food at your table were mentioned in the Bible, or, altneratively, make a dish that reminds you of home. Is there some food item that you miss that your mother or father used to make? Or something that was native to the city or country in which you grew up? Make it and share it with your family and friends. Was there a “cost” incurred in your leaving these food items behind? Is there a freedom that this dish reminds you of? Was it really “freedom”?

fish garlic

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“This is the service of the Gershonite families to serve and to carry. They shall carry the curtains of the Tabernacle and the tent of meeting, its covering and the goatskin covering overlaid upon it, and the screen for the entrance to the tent of meeting.” (Numbers 4:24–25)

Questions: Why was each tribe assigned a different task? Why was anyone required to carry anything at all? What do you thing the various parts of the Tabernacle represented? Do people in your family all have different tasks and chores? Why?

Ideas: Dress your table with a lace tablecloth or lacy fabrics, decorate with curtains, decide to make Bible study a part of your meal once a week, and carry some heavy wooden objects around, just to get a feel for all the different levels of spirituality.

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“Take the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, by their families, by their fathers’ houses, according to the number of their names, every male by a head count.” (Numbers 1:2)

Questions: Why does God feel a need to count his people? Why do any of us count anything? What does the process of counting do for us? For others?

Ideas: Serve any vegetable or fruit that can be sliced into rounds and then halved to represent a half-shekel (cucumber, zucchini, kiwi), serve round cookies (halved), or serve some type of food that can be counted and play counting games – with nuts, seeds, dried fruit, candy or breakfast cereal.

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