March 1st, Numbers 7: Offerings for the Tabernacle

May 5, 2011 Leave a comment

Numbers 7 recounts the offerings for the tabernacle. The leaders of Israel, the heads of families of the tribal leaders, brought six covered carts and twelve oxen, i.e. one cart for every two and an oxen from each leader.

Moses accepted their gifts at the Lord’s behest. Moses gave the Gershonites two carts and four oxen, and to the Merarites he gave four carts and eight oxen. But he did not give any to the Kohathites, who were to carry holy things on their shoulders.

When the altar was anointed, a different tribe leader brought his offering over twelve days.

They all made the same offering:

  • One silver plate weighing 130 shekels.
  • One silver sprinkling bowl weighing 70 shekels, both silver offerings filled with fine four mixed with oil as a grain offering.
  • One gold dish weighing 10 shekels, filled with incense.
  • One young bull, ram, and a year-old male lamb for a burnt offering.
  • One male goat for a sin offering.
  • Two oxen, five rams, five male goats and five year-old male lambs for a fellowship offering.
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February 28th, Numbers 4-6: Numbering the Levites and unfaithfulness

May 5, 2011 Leave a comment

Numbers 4 describes numbering the Levites, who totaled 8,580 at this point.

Numbers 5 instructs the Israelites to send lepers away from the camp, lest leprosy break out among them. It also describes the ritual for testing the unfaithfulness of a woman. It involves drinking bitter water, which brings a curse on the cheaters. The husband can initiate this if he suspects his wife of having an affair even if he does not have evidence, oddly enough.

Numbers 6 describes the Nazirite, a man or woman who makes a special vow of separation to the LORD. The Nazirite must abstain from wine, grapes, raisins, basically anything that comes from the grapevine. During the entire period of his vow of separation, no razor may touch his hair. He must not go near any dead body, even if his mother or father or sister dies.

The LORD tells Moses how Aaron and his sons are to bless the Israelites. This is known as the priestly blessing.

Numbers 6:24-26 says,
‘“The LORD bless you
and keep you;
25 the LORD make his face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
26 the LORD turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”

February 27th, Numbers 3-4: Role of the Levites

April 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Numbers 3 begins by recougint the sons of Aaron. Nadab the firstborn and Abihu perished before they had any sons, when they attempted to sacrifice an unclean offering to the LORD. So only Eleazar and Ithamar served as priests during Aaron’s lifetime.

The Levites were give over to Aaron and his sons for the task of taking care of the Tent of Meeting. Only Aaron and his sons were to serve as priests, anyone else approaching the sanctuary must be put to death.

The LORD also said that He would take the Levites in place of the first male offspring of every Israelite woman. The Levites belonged to God, for all the firstborn belong to God. So they counted the tribe of Levi, counting every male a month old or more.

The names of the sons of Levi were Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. Gershon numbered 7,500; Kohath numbered 8,600; and Merari numbered 6, 200. Each were given their own tasks in the upkeep of the Tent of Meeting.

So the total number of Levites was 22,000.

Then the LORD told Moses to count the firstborn males of the Israelites. The total number turned out to be 22, 273. So the LORD commanded Moses to take the Levites in place of the firstborn of Israel To redeem the 273 firstborn who exceed the number of Levites, five shekels were to be collected and given to Aaron and his sons as redemption money.

Numbers 4 explicitly lists the duties of the Kothatites, the Gershonites and Merarites.

February 26th, Numbers 1-2: The Census

April 29, 2011 Leave a comment

On the first day of the second month of the second year after the Israelites came out of Egypt, the LORD commanded Moses to take a census of the twelves tribes of Israel. From each tribe, the LORD selected one man to assist Moses in the counting of the Israelite population.

It ends up that the Israelite population now numbered 603, 500. However, the Levites were not counted among them. Instead, they were to be in charge of the tabernacle of Testimony, thus preventing the wrath of God from falling on Israel. (Numbers 1:53)

Numbers 2 tells us that the Israelites were to camp some distance from the Tent of Meeting, and they were to camp under the standard with the banners of his family.

On the east, toward the sunrise, the first tribe to camp would be Judah. Then the tribes of Issachar and and Zebulun would camp next to them, so the total number of men assigned to the camp of Judah numbered 186, 400.

On the south, Ruben would lead Simeon and Gad. The number of men assigned to the camp of Reuben numbered 151, 450.

The tent of meeting and center of the camps would be occupied by the Levites.

On the west, Ephraim would take the lead for Manasseh and Benjamin. The number of men assigned to the camp of Ephraim numbered 108, 100.

On the north, Dan would take the lead for Asher and Napthali. The number of men assigned to the camp of Dan numbered 157, 600.

And so the Israelites did as they were commanded, encamping under their standards.

February 25th, Leviticus 26-27: Reward for obedience and payments to the LORD

April 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Leviticus 26 warns the Israelites that obedience to the LORD’s commandments will result in reward, but disobedience would be met with punishment. Follow God’s Word and conquer your enemies, but forget God’s Word and be conquered by your enemies. But no matter what, God will remember His covenant with the Israelites and will not allow them to be destroyed completely when they are in the land of their enemies.

Leviticus 27 outlines the value of payments to the LORD, setting the value of a male between the ages of twenty and sixth at fifty shekels and a female of that age at thirty shekels. The priest would determine the value of things if not clearly laid out in this chapter. And this is where we get the idea that one should tithe a tenth of one’s earnings at a minimum.

Leviticus 27:32 says,
32 The entire tithe of the herd and flock—every tenth animal that passes under the shepherd’s rod—will be holy to the LORD.

February 24th, Leviticus 24-25: Memorial offering and rest for the land

April 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Leviticus 24 describes the LORD’s instructions for the memorial offering. The pure gold lampstand must be tended continually, and a certain type of bread set before the LORD Sabbath after Sabbath, representing the lasting covenant between God and the Israelites.

Then the son of an Israelite woman and an Egyptian father blasphemed the Name of the LORD. It is even mentioned that his mother’s name is Shelomith, daughter of Dibiri the Danite. They waited until the will of the LORD was made clear.

Leviticus 24:15-16 says:
15 Say to the Israelites: ‘If anyone curses his God, he will be held responsible; 16 anyone who blasphemes the name of the LORD must be put to death. The entire assembly must stone him. Whether an alien or native-born, when he blasphemes the Name, he must be put to death.

And so the Israelites took the blasphemer outside the camp and stoned him, obeying the LORD’s commands.

Leviticus 25 sees the LORD giving the instructions to let the land rest after six hears of harvest. Then the LORD issues values for the prices of slaves and land. Notably, everyone is to return to his own property in the Year of Jubilee (Leviticus 25:13).

Leviticus 25:54-55 says:
54 “‘Even if he is not redeemed in any of these ways, he and his children are to be released in the Year of Jubilee, 55 for the Israelites belong to me as servants. They are my servants, whom I brought out of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.

February 23rd, Leviticus 22-23: More rules for the priests and feasts

April 16, 2011 Leave a comment

Leviticus 22 tells of more of the rules for the priests.

Leviticus 23 details the LORD’s appointed feasts. So we know the LORD’s Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month, and on the fifteenth day the Feast of Unleavened Bread begins.

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