corner graphic

Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Numbers 4

 

 

Introduction
1The age at which the Levites were to begin to serve, and the duration of the service.
4The duty of the Kohathites.
16The charge of Eleazar.
17The office of the priests.
21The duty of the Gershonites;
29of the Merarites.
34The number of the Kohathites;
38of the Gershonites
42and of the Merarites.

Verse 2
Take the sum of the sons of Kohath from among the sons of Levi, after their families, by the house of their fathers,
3:19,27

Verse 3
From thirty years old and upward even until fifty years old, all that enter into the host, to do the work in the tabernacle of the congregation.
thirty years
8:24-26; Genesis 41:46; 1 Chronicles 23:3,24-27; 28:12,13; Luke 3:23; 1 Timothy 3:6
enter
2 Kings 11:4-12; 2 Chronicles 23:1-11; 2 Corinthians 10:3,4; Ephesians 6:10-18; 1 Timothy 1:18
to do
3:7,8; 16:9; 1 Chronicles 6:48; 23:4,5,28-32; 1 Timothy 3:1

Verse 4
This shall be the service of the sons of Kohath in the tabernacle of the congregation, about the most holy things:
15,19,24,30; 3:30,31; Mark 13:34

Verse 5
And when the camp setteth forward, Aaron shall come, and his sons, and they shall take down the covering vail, and cover the ark of testimony with it:
And when
2:16,17; 10:14
Aaron shall come
The law prohibiting any person, except the high priest on one day in the year, to enter into the most holy place, must have admitted an exception while the Israelites were in the wilderness: that exception, therefore, is here expressly made; and the directions given respecting it must be religiously observed, or the service could not be safely performed. While the cloud rested on the tabernacle, the general rule was in force; but when it was removed, then the priests might enter to prepare the sacred vessels for removal.
15; 3:27-32
they shall
Exodus 26:31-33; 36:35; 40:3; Isaiah 25:7; Matthew 27:51; Hebrews 9:3; 10:20
and cover
Exodus 25:10-22; 37:1-9; 2 Samuel 6:2-9

Verse 6
And shall put thereon the covering of badgers' skins, and shall spread over it a cloth wholly of blue, and shall put in the staves thereof.
badgers' skins
This was not the covering of badgers' skins made for the tabernacle, which was carried by the Gershonites, (ver. 24, 25,) but one made for the purpose of concealing and sheltering the ark when it was to be carried.
a cloth
7,8,11-13; Exodus 35:19; 39:1,41
and shall put
Wesamoo baddaiv, rather, "and adjust the staves thereof;" i.e., dispose them rightly under the covering, that they might be laid on their shoulders: for the staves were never taken out of the rings.
the staves
Exodus 25:13-15; 1 Kings 8:7,8

Verse 7
And upon the table of shewbread they shall spread a cloth of blue, and put thereon the dishes, and the spoons, and the bowls, and covers to cover withal: and the continual bread shall be thereon:
the table
Exodus 25:23-30; 37:10-16; Leviticus 24:5-8
cover withal
or, pour out withal. the continual. The Israelites, without doubt, were able to procure corn enough from the adjacent countries, even when in the wilderness, to make the shewbread, and to present the daily meat offerings.

Verse 8
And they shall spread upon them a cloth of scarlet, and cover the same with a covering of badgers' skins, and shall put in the staves thereof.
6,7,9,11-13

Verse 9
And they shall take a cloth of blue, and cover the candlestick of the light, and his lamps, and his tongs, and his snuffdishes, and all the oil vessels thereof, wherewith they minister unto it:
Exodus 25:31-39; 37:17-24; Psalms 119:105; Revelation 1:20; 2:1

Verse 10
And they shall put it and all the vessels thereof within a covering of badgers' skins, and shall put it upon a bar.
6,12

Verse 11
And upon the golden altar they shall spread a cloth of blue, and cover it with a covering of badgers' skins, and shall put to the staves thereof:
Exodus 30:1-19; 37:25-28; 39:38; 40:5,26,27

Verse 12
And they shall take all the instruments of ministry, wherewith they minister in the sanctuary, and put them in a cloth of blue, and cover them with a covering of badgers' skins, and shall put them on a bar:
7,9; 3:8; Exodus 25:9; 31:10; 2 Kings 25:14,15; 1 Chronicles 9:29; 2 Chronicles 4:11,16,19,22

Verse 13
And they shall take away the ashes from the altar, and spread a purple cloth thereon:
6-9,11,12; Exodus 27:3-5; 39:1,41; Leviticus 6:12,13

Verse 14
And they shall put upon it all the vessels thereof, wherewith they minister about it, even the censers, the fleshhooks, and the shovels, and the basons, all the vessels of the altar; and they shall spread upon it a covering of badgers' skins, and put to the staves of it.
all the vessels thereof
Exodus 38:1-7; 2 Chronicles 4:19
basons
or, bowls.

Verse 15
And when Aaron and his sons have made an end of covering the sanctuary, and all the vessels of the sanctuary, as the camp is to set forward; after that, the sons of Kohath shall come to bear it: but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die. These things are the burden of the sons of Kohath in the tabernacle of the congregation.
after that
7:9; 10:21; Deuteronomy 31:9; Joshua 4:10; 2 Samuel 6:13; 1 Chronicles 15:2,15
they shall
3:38; Exodus 19:12; 1 Samuel 6:19; 2 Samuel 6:6,7; 1 Chronicles 13:9,10; Hebrews 12:18-29
These things
3:30,31

Verse 16
And to the office of Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest pertaineth the oil for the light, and the sweet incense, and the daily meat offering, and the anointing oil, and the oversight of all the tabernacle, and of all that therein is, in the sanctuary, and in the vessels thereof.
the office
Eleazar himself, perhaps with the other priests, was required to carry the oil for the light, the incense, and the flour for the daily meat offering, and the holy ointment; besides superintending the Levites. It may be supposed, that he himself carried no more of the oil than for present use. (see ver. 9.)
3:32
the oil
Exodus 25:6; 27:20,21; Leviticus 24:2
the sweet
Exodus 30:34-38; 37:29
the daily
Exodus 29:39-41
the anointing
Exodus 30:23-33
the oversight
Luke 4:18; Acts 20:28; 1 Corinthians 4:1; 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 3:1,6; 1 Peter 2:25; 5:2

Verse 18
Cut ye not off the tribe of the families of the Kohathites from among the Levites:
16:32; 17:10; 18:5; Exodus 19:21; Leviticus 10:1,2; 1 Samuel 6:19; 2 Samuel 6:6,7; Jeremiah 38:23

Verse 19
But thus do unto them, that they may live, and not die, when they approach unto the most holy things: Aaron and his sons shall go in, and appoint them every one to his service and to his burden:
the most holy

Verse 20
But they shall not go in to see when the holy things are covered, lest they die.
they shall
15,19; Exodus 19:21; Leviticus 10:2; 1 Samuel 6:19; Hebrews 10:19,20; Revelation 11:19
the holy things
Hakkodesh, "the holy," or "sanctuary," i.e., the ark, as the Jews generally understand it; and with good reason, as any one may be convinced, who compares 1 Ki 8:8 with 2 Ch 5:9, where that which is called the holy in the former, is called the ark in the latter.

Verse 22
Take also the sum of the sons of Gershon, throughout the houses of their fathers, by their families;
3:18,21,24

Verse 23
From thirty years old and upward until fifty years old shalt thou number them; all that enter in to perform the service, to do the work in the tabernacle of the congregation.
thirty years
to perform the service
Heb. to war the warfare.
3; Isaiah 63:1-4; Romans 7:14-24; 1 Corinthians 9:7; 2 Corinthians 6:7; 10:3-5; Ephesians 6:10-19; Galatians 5:17,24; 1 Timothy 1:18; 2 Timothy 2:3,4; 4:7

Verse 24
This is the service of the families of the Gershonites, to serve, and for burdens:
burdens
or, carriage.
15,19,27,31,32,47,49

Verse 25
And they shall bear the curtains of the tabernacle, and the tabernacle of the congregation, his covering, and the covering of the badgers' skins that is above upon it, and the hanging for the door of the tabernacle of the congregation,
the curtains
3:25,26; 7:5-7
the covering
Exodus 26:14

Verse 26
And the hangings of the court, and the hanging for the door of the gate of the court, which is by the tabernacle and by the altar round about, and their cords, and all the instruments of their service, and all that is made for them: so shall they serve.
the hangings
Exodus 27:9
and their cords
Exodus 35:18

Verse 27
At the appointment of Aaron and his sons shall be all the service of the sons of the Gershonites, in all their burdens, and in all their service: and ye shall appoint unto them in charge all their burdens.
appointment
Heb. mouth. The Levites were under the command of the priests. Eleazar exercised this authority in general, as next in succession to Aaron: and he in particular was placed over the Kohathites; while Ithamar, his younger brother, commanded the Gershonites and Merarites. (ver. 33.)
Luke 1:70; 1 Corinthians 11:2

Verse 28
This is the service of the families of the sons of Gershon in the tabernacle of the congregation: and their charge shall be under the hand of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest.
33; 1 Corinthians 12:5,6

Verse 29
As for the sons of Merari, thou shalt number them after their families, by the house of their fathers;
3:33-35

Verse 30
From thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old shalt thou number them, every one that entereth into the service, to do the work of the tabernacle of the congregation.
service
Heb. warfare.
3,23; Psalms 110:1-7; 1 Timothy 6:11,12; 2 Timothy 2:4; 4:7,8

Verse 31
And this is the charge of their burden, according to all their service in the tabernacle of the congregation; the boards of the tabernacle, and the bars thereof, and the pillars thereof, and sockets thereof,
the charge
3:36,37; 7:8,9
the boards
Exodus 26:15

Verse 32
And the pillars of the court round about, and their sockets, and their pins, and their cords, with all their instruments, and with all their service: and by name ye shall reckon the instruments of the charge of their burden.
and by name
An inventory was taken of every particular, even to the very pins belonging to each part, that nothing might be wanting when the tabernacle was set up.
the instruments
3:8; 7:1; Exodus 25:9; 38:17,21; 1 Chronicles 9:29

Verse 33
This is the service of the families of the sons of Merari, according to all their service, in the tabernacle of the congregation, under the hand of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest.
under the hand
28; Joshua 3:6; Isaiah 3:6

Verse 34

Numbers href="/desk/?q=nu+4:2&sr=1">Numbers 4:2


Verse 35
From thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old, every one that entereth into the service, for the work in the tabernacle of the congregation:
3,23,30,39,43,47; 8:24-26; 1 Chronicles 23:3,24,26,27; 28:13; Luke 3:23; 1 Timothy 3:6

Verse 36

In the third chapter we have an account of the whole number of the Levites; and here of those only who were able to serve the Lord in the sanctuary. By comparing the two places, we find the number of the effective and ineffective males to stand thus:

d Levitical Priests

d

d
FamiliesEffective
Men
Ineffective Men
Totals

d

d Kohathites

d
2,7505,8508,600

d

d

d Gershonites

d
2,6304,8707,500

d

d

d Merarites

d
3,2003,0006,200

d

d

d Thus we find that the whole number of the Levites amounted to 22,300; of whom 8,580 were fit for service and 13,720 unfit, being either too old or too young. What an astonishing number of men, all performing some service by which God was glorified, and the congregation at large benefited!

Verse 40
Even those that were numbered of them, throughout their families, by the house of their fathers, were two thousand and six hundred and thirty.
3:32

Verse 41

Numbers href="/desk/?q=nu+4:22&sr=1">Numbers 4:22


Verse 44
Even those that were numbered of them after their families, were three thousand and two hundred.
3:34; Deuteronomy 33:25; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 12:8-12; 2 Corinthians 12:9,10

Verse 45

Numbers href="/desk/?q=nu+4:29&sr=1">Numbers 4:29


Verse 47
From thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old, every one that came to do the service of the ministry, and the service of the burden in the tabernacle of the congregation,
From thirty
3,23,30; 1 Chronicles 23:3,27
every one
15,24,37; Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-31

Verse 48
Even those that were numbered of them, were eight thousand and five hundred and fourscore.
3:39; Matthew 7:14; 20:16; 22:15

Verse 49
According to the commandment of the LORD they were numbered by the hand of Moses, every one according to his service, and according to his burden: thus were they numbered of him, as the LORD commanded Moses.
According to the
37,41,45; 1:54; 2:33; 3:51
every one
15,24,31; Isaiah 11:2-4; 42:1-7; 49:1-8; Romans 12:4-8
as the Lord
1,21

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Numbers 4:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/numbers-4.html.

Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology