Num 1:17 Moses and Aaron took these men who had been designated by their names,
Num 1:18 and on the first day of the second month, they assembled the whole congregation together, who registered themselves by clans, by patriarchal families, according to the number of names from twenty years old and higher, head by head,
Num 1:19 just like the LORD had commanded Moses. So he listed them in the desert of Sinai.
to stand and defend
Twelve generals, from eleven patriarchal families were part of this military census. The tribe of Levi was exempt from this draft, but Joseph’s patriarchal family had produced two prominent branches: Ephraim and Manasseh, and these were counted as separate clans, so the number equaled twelve.
This was not a listing for tax purposes. It was a listing of those who could fight, and would fight if necessary. It was a listing of the strong and the brave. It was a record of those who were willing to stand up for the faith of this nation, as well as defend the families of the nation.
LORD, thank you for those who protect our families, and our faith.