1:2 “Take a census 1 of the entire 2 Israelite community 3 by their clans and families, 4 counting the name of every individual male. 5
1:18 and they assembled 6 the entire community together on the first day of the second month. 7 Then the people recorded their ancestry 8 by their clans and families, and the men who were twenty years old or older were listed 9 by name individually,
1:20 And they were as follows:
The descendants of Reuben, the firstborn son of Israel: According to the records of their clans and families, all the males twenty years old or older who could serve in the army were listed by name individually.
1:22 From the descendants of Simeon: According to the records of their clans and families, all the males numbered of them 10 twenty years old or older who could serve in the army were listed by name individually.
1 tn The construction is literally “lift up the head[s],” (שְׂאוּ אֶת־רֹאשׁ, sÿ’u ’et-ro’sh). This idiom for taking a census occurs elsewhere (Exod 30:12; Lev 5:24; Num 1:24; etc.). The idea is simply that of counting heads to arrive at the base for the standing army. This is a different event than the one recorded in Exod 30:11-16, which was taken for a different purpose altogether. The verb is plural, indicating that Moses had help in taking the census.
2 tc Smr lacks the Hebrew word “all” here.
3 tn Heb “the congregation of Israel.”
4 tn The tribe (מַטֶּה, matteh or שֵׁבֶט, shevet) is the main category. The family groups or clans (מִשְׁפְּחֹת, mishpÿkhot) and the households or families (בֵּית אֲבֹת, bet ’avot) were sub-divisions of the tribe.
5 tn This clause simply has “in/with the number of the names of every male with respect to their skulls [individually].” Counting heads, or every skull, simply meant that each person was to be numbered in the census. Except for the Levites, no male was exempt from the count.
6 tn The verb is the Hiphil of the root קָהַל (qahal), meaning “to call, assemble”; the related noun is an “assembly.”
7 tc The LXX adds “of the second year.”
8 tn The verb is the Hitpael preterite form וַיִּתְיַלְדוּ (vayyityaldu). The cognate noun תּוֹלְדוֹת (tolÿdot) is the word that means “genealogies, family records, records of ancestry.” The root is יָלַד (yalad, “to bear, give birth to”). Here they were recording their family connections, and not, of course, producing children. The verbal stem seems to be both declarative and reflexive.
9 tn The verb is supplied. The Hebrew text simply has “in/with the number of names of those who are twenty years old and higher according to their skulls.”
10 tc Some witnesses have omitted “those that were numbered of them,” to preserve the literary pattern of the text. The omission is supported by the absence of the expression in the Greek as well as in some MT