These two books were published to deepen scripture study and gospel understanding.
NUMBERS are powerful symbols and often they are not literal because when used by God or His prophets they teach powerful messages. We miss many of these messages if we read them only as literal numbers.
IDIOMS are as important to recognizing and understanding scriptures as are parables and prophecies. Idioms are used when deep feelings are desired and emotion is involved. Such messages are not received if we do not understand that an idiom is in play. Our "ship will never come in" and we think it won't because "we live in a desert."