Q1: Your first question is a good one. I can suggest a couple of possible answers:
אין מוקדם ומאוחר בתורה - It's possible that the story of Menashe's conquest of Gilad happened prior to the two tribes talking to Moshe.
This is another piece of evidence that Bnei Yisrael always intended to capture the Gilad - and didn't just happen to capture it because ...
If you look in midrash and other early sources, you will actually find the following Hebrew names for the 5 books:
These ancient Hebrew names correspond exactly with the English names you cited. For some reason, in modern Jewish speech the names based on the first word have become ...
I always peek at the Targumim and indeed, Yonoson translates the first verse as:
"לָא מִן בִּגְלַל דְּאַתּוּן גֵּיוְתָנִין מִן כֻּלְהוֹן אוּמַיָא צָבֵי יְיָ בְּכוֹן וְאִתְרְעֵי בְּכוֹן אֱלָהֵן דְּאַתּוּן מַכִּיכֵי רוּחָא וְעִנְוְותָנִין מִכָּל עַמְמַיָא", meaning "you are the most humble and meek of all nations".
That means that he was ...
Your question poses 3 verses that seem to indicate that Israel was a smaller nation. Regarding the first 2 verses, see Rashbam that answers both of them
He says that both verses are connected. That all 7 nations together were larger than the Israelites. Then it goes on to state ...
When my son was very little, he commented on this verse to me: Israel must have been in the desert for a really long time, if they didn't know if they were the biggest nation or the smallest nation!
I don't think the Torah was being "sarcastic", ח"ו. Israel's numbers were actually great; Moses said they were "like the stars in heaven for ...
Coincidentally, just today I saw an explanation for this issue in Dr. Yitzchak Meitlis's book Parashat Derachim. He explains that there are four differences between the two censuses:
In the second census, there was no order to count specifically the males like in the first census.
No women are mentioned in the first census, while in the second one the ...
Truly we are great, as H"Y has chosen us to serve Him, and b'rov 'am hadrath melekh. But only because we do not intermarry therefore we are least, because the other nations may be counted as one since they may intermarry.
Zohar II:164a (end), P. Terumah
"ואת המשכן תעשה עשר יריעת וגו'".
רבי יהודה פתח, (שם יד כח) "ברב עם הדרת מלך ובאפס ...
The Ramban to Exodus 20:13-14 says this idea. I'm not sure if he is the first.
והנה עשרת הדברות חמשה בכבוד הבורא וחמשה לטובת האדם, כי כבד את אביך כבוד האל, כי לכבוד הבורא צוה לכבד האב המשתתף ביצירה, ונשארו חמשה לאדם בצרכו וטובתו.
And behold, the Ten Statements (Commandments) are five for the glory of the Creator and five for the benefit of man - as Honor ...