A census that identifies, locates, and numbers the people in a particular group or area, usually for purposes of taxation but also at times for other ends, such as conscription or forced labor. Several such enrollments are mentioned in the OT (Exod 30:11-16; Num 1:1-49; Num 1:26; 2Sam 24:1-9; cf. 1Chr 7:40; 1Chr 21:1-5; 2Chr 2:17; 2Chr 25:5; Ezra 2:2-67). It appears that periodic enrollments were common in the Roman Empire. The most famous of the enrollments is that mentioned in Luke 2:1-5 (Acts 5:37) in connection with the birth of Jesus. In the story, the enrollment is apparently carried out in accordance with Jewish, not Roman, custom, since Joseph goes back to his ancestral home.

Exod 30:11-16

The Half Shekel for the Sanctuary
11The Lord spoke to Moses:12When you take a census of the Israelites to register them, at registration all of them shall give ... View more

Num 1:1-49

The First Census of Israel
1The Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tent of meeting, on the first day of the second month, in the second year ... View more

Num 1:26

26The descendants of Judah, their lineage, in their clans, by their ancestral houses, according to the number of names, from twenty years old and upward, everyo ... View more

2Sam 24:1-9

David's Census of Israel and Judah
1Again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go, count the people of ... View more

1Chr 7:40

40All of these were men of Asher, heads of ancestral houses, select mighty warriors, chief of the princes. Their number enrolled by genealogies, for service in ... View more

1Chr 21:1-5

The Census and Plague
1Satan stood up against Israel, and incited David to count the people of Israel.2So David said to Joab and the commanders of the army, “Go ... View more

2Chr 2:17

17Then Solomon took a census of all the aliens who were residing in the land of Israel, after the census that his father David had taken; and there were found t ... View more

2Chr 25:5

Slaughter of the Edomites
5Amaziah assembled the people of Judah, and set them by ancestral houses under commanders of the thousands and of the hundreds for all ... View more

Ezra 2:2-67

2They came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, and Baanah.
The number of the Israelite people:3the d ... View more

Luke 2:1-5

The Birth of Jesus
1In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered.2This was the first registration and was taken ... View more

Acts 5:37

37After him Judas the Galilean rose up at the time of the census and got people to follow him; he also perished, and all who followed him were scattered.

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