After reading Numbers 26 I looked up some commentaries to help to try and understand the meaning of this second census that was taken before the Israelites entered Canaan. My understanding is that this census was in preparation for entering the Promised Land. This numbering was to prepare the men for war but also later on would help in how the land would be divided. We are reminded in verses 63-66 that no one was left who had been in Egypt or who had been present in the first census that was taken at Sinai with the exception of Caleb and Joshua.
This shows how God keeps his word when He told Moses and Aaron in Numbers 14:29 "In this wilderness your bodies will fall-every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has rumbled against me." Also in Numbers 14:35 God tells Moses and Aaron "They will meet their end in this wilderness; here they will die.
I find it interesting in Chapter 7 when the daughters of Zelophehad approached Moses regarding their family's inheritance. Since there were no sons in this family, the daughters didn't feel it was fair that they shouldn't receive their family's inheritance. God instructed that these daughters would receive an inheritance which showed all the Israelites that a family wouldn't suffer if there wasn't a male heir. This must have taken a lot of courage to bring this up to Moses. After Moses brings this case to God, God shows his fairness by telling Moses in verse 8 "If a man dies and leaves no son, give his inheritance to his daughter.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Numbers 28-30