New Defender's Study Bible Notes
1:3 go forth to war. This census was commanded by God with military preparedness in view, as the Israelites would have to defeat the pagan nations in Canaan if they were to claim the promised land. This generation, however, would instead have to die in the wilderness because of their lack of faith that God would enable them to do this (Numbers 14:26-35).
l:18 assembled all the congregation. It is interesting that the Greek word used to translate “congregation” in the Septuagint is ecclesia, the New Testament word for “church.” Stephen actually called this congregation “the church in the wilderness” (Acts 7:38). Another word used for church in the New Testament is “assembly” (James 2:2; note also Hebrews 10:25). This assembly of “all the congregations,” probably numbering in the millions, thus might be considered a type of the coming “general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven” (Hebrews 12:23), which will all be called together in heaven at the return of Christ.