Take you the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, after their families, by the house of their fathers…
We may again learn of these gracious numberings of His people to number often with ourselves His mercies vouchsafed unto us, that we may send up thankful thoughts to His majesty for them. Such an holy numbering used Jacob when he said, "O Lord, with my staff came I over this river, and now I return with much wealth." How many great men, of all callings, may thus number God's favour towards them since their first beginning, in cities and towns, where little stocks have grown to great sums. What a fit meditation is this? and how shall the Lord like this kind of numbering? We may also remember what the Psalm says, and learn to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. But you may say this numbering was restrained to the Jews, and even so was God's love, in some sort, for a time. But when Christ came, then there went out a decree from Augustus Caesar that all the world should be taxed, which could not be without numbering of them. And therefore by Christ the partition-wall is broken down, and the comforts of God's numbering of them imparted to us, and to be approved by us to our joy, praying with him that so prayed, "Grant, good Lord, that in Thy numberings of Thy people I may be ever one."
Parallel VersesKJV: Take ye the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, after their families, by the house of their fathers, with the number of their names, every male by their polls;