Thursday, October 6, 2011

12. Spreadsheet numbers in Numbers

A long time ago, the only calculating machines were a pencil and paper, and big erasers. There was a method of double checking columns of numbers to be added. If Zeb was to add up all the numbers of the tribes of Israel like they did on the box, he'd probably have used that method called, "Cross-Foot Calculating". The process was just adding the columns across. (that's the "Cross"). Then adding the columns down and putting the totals at the "Foot" of each column.

Next step is to add all the Cross sums for a Grand Total.  They're listed in column G. Then you add all the Foot sums for their Grand Total. Those are in row 7. If both Grand Totals matched, you can be comforted, all your adding was correct, and there were no mistakes.

So let's do the same thing with our spreadsheet program.
Looking in Numbers chapter 2, list all the tribe totals just like Zeb and the gang did on the box.
Then enter the summation formulas in the correct cells like the image here.

So we see all the numbers in scripture were listed correctly AND totaled correctly.  (Cell G6 = F7)  But more than that, the totals in chapter 2 (our spreadsheet) matches the totals of chapter 1, listed in a top-down format.

Now, you may not care actually how many noses were in each tribe, and where they lived, in relation to the Tabernacle, but you can take great comfort of the scriptures in seeing that God's word is accurate, even in seemingly unimportant "boring" numbers, in Numbers.

Isn't that comforting?...    Share it with a friend.