A Time of Preparation…the People Numbered Numbers 1-10:10, cont’d.
Numbers 5-10:10 The Purification of the People, cont’d.
Numbers 8:1-4-The setting up of the lampstand.
Numbers 8:5-26-The cleansing of the Levites in preparation for service.
The first-born of all the sons of Israel are God’s. This began on the day when He struck down the first-born in the land of Egypt (:17). But, God has taken the Levites in their place (:18) and they are to serve Him by serving the priests (:19).
Numbers 8:21-Aaron presented the Levites as a wave offering before the LORD.
Numbers 8:25-Levites were to serve from age 25-50...but they could assist the other Levites after they retired.
We read before of the separating of the Levites from among the children of Israel when they were numbered, and the numbering of them by themselves (ch. 3:6, 15), that they might be employed in the service of the tabernacle. Now here we have directions given for their solemn ordination (v. 6), and the performance of it, v. 20. All Israel must know that they took not this honour to themselves, but were called of God to it; nor was it enough that they were distinguished from their neighbours, but they must be solemnly devoted to God. Note, All that are employed for God must be dedicated to him, according as the degree of employment is. Christian musts be baptized, ministers must be ordained; we must first give ourselves unto the Lord, and then our services. Observe in what method this was done:
- The Levites must be cleansed, and were so. The rites and ceremonies of their cleansing were to be performed, 1. By themselves. They must wash their clothes, and not only bathe, but shave all their flesh, as the leper was to do when he was cleansed, Lev. 14:8. They must cause a razor to pass over all their flesh, to clear themselves from that defilement which would not wash off. Jacob, whom God loved, was a smooth man; it was Esau that was hairy. The great pains they were to take with themselves to make themselves clean teaches all Christians, and ministers particularly, by repentance and mortification, to cleanse themselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, that they may perfect holiness. Those must be clean that bear the vessels of the Lord. 2. By Moses. He must sprinkle the water of purifying upon them, which was prepared by divine direction. This signified the application of the blood of Christ to our souls by faith, to purify us from an evil conscience, that we may be fit to serve the living God. It is our duty to cleanse ourselves, and God’s promise that he will cleanse us.
Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (p. 195). Peabody: Hendrickson, Logos Bible Software
Numbers 9:1-14-The first Annual Passover
Numbers 9:6-There were some men who were unclean because they had touched a dead person. If a person is unclean, or on a journey, they were told to wait one month and then they could celebrate the Passover. However, if a person simply neglects to celebrate it at the appropriate time he shall be cut off from the people and he shall bear his sin. God gives a provision here for those who are unable to keep the Passover.
Numbers 9:15-23-The cloud covered the tabernacle by day and at night had the appearance of fire...when it was lifted they would follow it and stop when it settled back down on the tabernacle...whether it be for a day or for a year..."at the command of the LORD they set out".
Numbers 10:1-10-Trumpets were used to summon the people. The priests were to blow 1 time for the leaders only to gather, blow 2 times for the congregation to gather, blow as a signal when they were to march, blow them in battle, and blow for the announcement of feasts that serve as a reminder of the LORD.
A March of Faith…the People Moving Numbers 10:11-12:16
Numbers 10:11-36 The People Marching
Numbers 10:11-12:16-The March to Kadesh-Barnea
Numbers 10:11-It was the twentieth day of the second month of the second year…the cloud lifted and the sons of Israel began their march for the first time.
Numbers 10:17,21-The Tabernacle was taken down and they began carrying it ahead of the items of the Holy Place…so that when it arrived at the stopping place it would be set up before the items arrived.
Numbers 10:29-32-Moses asks his brother-in-law, Hobad, to accompany them as a guide through the wilderness...it is insinuated that he agreed. Later, his family (the Midianites) settled in Canaan.
Numbers 10:33-The journey begins…the people of Israel leave Mt. Sinai and begin their march towards the Promised Land.
After the Exodus from Egypt, the most important event that happened in the life of the newly constituted nation was the stay at Sinai. This lasted almost a year. After their arrival at Sinai around 1447 (Exod. 19:1), the Israelites were given some fifty-eight chapters of legislation and instruction; this includes the second half of the Book of Exodus (chap. 20–40), all of Leviticus (chap. 1–27) and a good deal of the Book of Numbers (chap. 1–10). Finally, their departure from Sinai is given in Numbers 10:28.
There can be little doubt that this was a most decisive time in the life and experience of the nation. Here Yahweh gave his people the Sinaitic Covenant. As part of his gift to the people, he gave the decalogue or “ten words” (Exod. 20); the civil code called the “Book of the Covenant” (Exod. 24:7) or “Covenant Code” (Exod. 20:22–23:23); the ceremonial code with its legislation on the tabernacle and its ministers (Exod. 25–31 and 35–40) and the institution of the sacrifices, feast days, and related matters on worship (Lev. 1–27). To all of these mainly legal texts must be added Deuteronomy, which is connected to the same period of time.
Kaiser, W. C., Jr. (1998). A history of Israel: from the bronze age through the Jewish Wars (p. 113). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, Logos Bible Software
Numbers 10:34-36-These are the words that Moses spoke each time that they started journeying and when they stopped.
Prayer: Lord, the people attached such significance to the presence of the Tabernacle being with them. But what advantage we have…because You indwell us through the Holy Spirit! Teach me to be aware of Your presence with me every moment of every day.