In Hebrew, Bmidbar means ''in the wilderness,'' which is the real name of this book. The Greek translators called it Arithmoi, and in Latin it was Numeri, because the translators focused on the two census takings at the beginning and the end of the wanderings. But its basically ''the wilderness wanderings.''
Numbers is really a book about arrested progress. In a sense, it never should have happened. It took only 40 hours to get Israel out of Egypt - the Passover. But it took 40 years to get Egypt out of Israel.