A month had passed from the time Moses had the tabernacle built and put into operation. It was almost a year since the Exodus. God now told Moses that there should be an exact account, tribe by tribe, of how many males of twenty years and older were among the Israelites. (Exodus 40:17; Numbers 1:1-3.) The First Census. There were several reasons for taking this special census. One reason was that it was necessary to have an accurate record of tribes, families and individuals. Better order could thus be maintained whenever the people broke camp, moved, or made camp.
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