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A. M. 2514.
B. C. 1490.

A. M. 2514.
B. C. 1490.

Moses numbers the first-born

NUMBERS.

of the children of Israel and have the oversight of them | dren of Israel, from a month old An. Exod. Isr. 2. that keep the charge of the and upward, and take the num- An. Exod. Isr. 2. Ijar or Zif. sanctuary: ber of their names.

Ijar or Zif. 33 Of Merari was the family of the Mah- 41 u And thou shalt take the Levites for me lites, and the family of the Mushites: these (I am the LORD) instead of all the first-born are the families of Merari. .

among the children of Israel; and the cattle 34 And those that were numbered of them, of the Levites instead of all the firstlings among according to the number of all the males, from the cattle of the children of Israel a month old and upward, were six thousand 42 And Moses numbered, as the LORD com and two hundred.

manded him, all the first-born among the chil 35 And the chief of the house of the father dren of Israel. of the families of Merari, was Zuriel the son 43 And all the first-born males by the numof Abihail : ? these shall pitch on the side of ber of names, from a month old and upward, the tabernacle northward.

of those that were numbered of them, were 36 And munder n the custody and charge of twenty and two thousand two hundred and the sons of Merari shall be the boards of the threescore and thirteen. tabernacle, and the bars- thereof, and the pil- 44 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, lars thereof, and the sockets thereof, and all the 45 Take the Levites instead of all the firstvessels thereof, and all that serveth thereto, born among the children of Israel, and the

37 And the pillars of the court round about, cattle of the Levites instead of their catile ; and their sockets, and their pins, and their and the Levites shall be mine : I am the cords.

LORD. 38 ° But those that encamp before the taber- 46 And for those that are to be wredeemed nacle toward the east, even before the taber- of the two hundred and threescore and thir nacle of the congregation eastward, shall be teen of the first born of the children of Israel, Moses, and Aaron and his sons, P keeping the * which are more than the Levites : charge of the sanctuary for the charge of the 47 Thou shalt even take y five shekels apiece children of Israel; and the stranger that by the poll, after the shekel of the sanctuary cometh nigh shall be put to death.

shalt thou take them :( the shekel is twenty 39 : All that were numbered of the Levites, gerahs :). which Moses and Aaron numbered at the com- 48 And thou shalt give the money, wheremandment of the LORD, throughout their fami- with the odd number of them is to be relies, all the males from a month old and upward, deemed, unto Aaron and to his sons. were twenty and two thousand.

49 And Moses took the redemption money 40 And the Lord said unto Moses, * Num- of them that were over and above them that ber all the first-born of the males of the chil-were redeemed by the Levites :

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Chap, i. 53. cm Héb. the office of the charge. 31, 32.- Chap. i. 53.-p Chap. xviii. 5. r Ver. 10.- See chap. xxvi. 62. Ver. 15.

-1 Chap. iv. "Ver. 12, 41.—w Exod. xiii. 13; chap. xvii, 15.- Ver. -9 Ver. 7; 8. / 39, 43. - Lev. xxvii. 6 ; chap. xviii. 16.—2 Exod. xxx. 13; -u Ver. 12, 45. Lev. xxvii. 25; chap. xviii. 16; Ezek. xlv, 12.

Verse 39. Which Moses and Aaron numbered] The the numbers in the Hebrew Bible were expressed by word 1 1781 veaharon," and Aaron," has a point over letters, and not by words at full length; and if two each of its letters, probably designed as a mark of nearly similar letters were mistaken for each other, spuriousness. The word is wanting in the Samaritan, many errors in the numbers must be the consequence. Syriac, and. Coptic; it is wanting also in eight of Dr. Now it is probable that an error has crept into the Kennicott's MSS., and in four of De Rossi's. Moses number of the Gershoniles, ver. 22, where, instead of alone, as Houbigant observes, is commanded to take 7,500, we should read 7,200, as 7 caph, 500, might the number of the Levites ; see ver. 5, 11, 40, 44, have been easily mistaken for 7 resh, 200, especially and 51.

if the down stroke of the caph had been a little shorter All the males were twenty and two thousand.] than ordinary, which is often the case in MSS. The This total does not agree with the particulars; for the extra 300 being taken off, the total is just 22,000, as Gershonites were 7,500, the Kohathites 8,600, the mentioned in the 39th verse. Merarites 6,200, total 22,300. Several methods of Verse 43. All the first-born males-were twenty solving this difficulty have been proposed by learned and two thousand two hundred and threescore and men; Dr. Kennicott's is the most simple. - Formerly thirteen ]. Thus we find there were 27,3 first-born

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Moses is commanded to

CHAP. IV.

number the sons of Kohath. A. M. 2514. 50 Of the first-born of the chil-1 51 And Moses gave the money A. M. 2514.

B. C. 1490. An Exod. Isr. 2. dren of Israel took he the money; of them that were redeemed unto An: Exod. Isr. 2. Ijar or Zif. a thousand three hundred and Aaron and to his sons, according

Ijar ar Zif. threescore and five shekels, after the shekel to the word of the Lord, as the LORD comof the sanctuary :

manded Moses. a Ver. 46, 47.

b Ver. 48. beyond the number of the Levites. These are ordered, This species of redeeming of men is referred to ver. 46, to be redeemed ; and the redemption price is by St. Peter, 1 Epist. i. 18, 19: “Ye know that ye to be five shekels each, ver. 47, about 15s. And this were not redeenied with corruptible things, as silver money, amounting to 1,365 shekels, equal to £204. and gold, from your vain conversation, received by 15s. English, he took of the first-born of Israel, verse tradition from your fathers; but with the precious 50. But how was this collected among 22,273 per- (Tepew aluatı, valuable) blood of Christ, as of a lamb sons ? Rabbi Solomon Jarchi says, “to prevent con- without blemish and without spot,” &c. And it is tention, Moses took 22,000 slips of parchment, and not the first-born only which are thus redeemed, for wrote on each a son of Levi, and 273 others, on which he, by the grace of God, tasted death for EVERY man; he wrote five shekels'; then he mixed them in a bas- Heb. ii. 9. Reader, give glory to God that such a ket, and each man took out one ; those who drew the ransom has been paid for thy soul, and see that, reslips on which five shekels were written, paid the mo- deemed from thy vain conversation, thy empty, fruitless, ney; the others went free." This is a most stupid and graceless observances, on which thon hast built and silly tale, for such a mode of seulement never thy hopes of salvation, thou walk in newness of life, could have been resorted to by an intelligent, people. giving thy whole soul with thankfulness unto the FaIt would have been much more simple to have paid it ther who hath translated thee from darkness, and placed out of a general fund ; and it is very likely that in thee in the kingdom of his beloved Son. To Him be this way the expense was defrayed.

glory and dominion for ever and ever! Amen.

CHAPTER IV.

Moses is commanded to take the sum of the sons of Kohath from thirty years old and upward, 1-4. The

service which they had to perform, 5–15. The office of Eleazat, 16. The family of Kohath to be continued among the Levites, 17-19. They are not to go into the holy of holies, 20. The sum of the sons of Gershon, 21-23. The service they had to perform, 24-27. They are to be under Ithamar, 28. The sum of the sons of Merari, 29, 30. The service. they had to perform, 31-33. The sum of all the families of Kohath, 2,750, ver. 34-37. The sum of the families of Gershon, 2,630, ver. 38–41. The sum of the families of Merari; 3,200, ver. 42-45. - The sum total of the families of Gershon, Kohath, and Merari, 8,580, ver. 46-49. M2594. AND the Lord spake unto among the sons of Levi, after

A. M. 2514. An. Exod. Isr. 2.

Moses and unto Aaron, their families, by the house of An. Exod. Isr. 2. Ijar or Zif. saying, their fathers,

Ijar or Zif. 2 Take the sum of the sons of Kohath from 3. From thirty years old and upward even

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a See chap. viji. 24; 1 Chron. xxiii. 3, 24, 27.

NOTES ON CHAP. IV.

younger men might assist in ; hence the age of twentyVerse 3. From thirty years old] In chap. viii. five is fixed. 3. In David's time and afterwards, in 24, the Levites are ordered to enter on the service of the fixed tabernacle and temple, the laboriousness of the tabernacle at the age of twenty-five years ; and in the service no longer existed, and hence twenty years 1 Chron. xxiii. 24, they were ordered to commence was the age fixed on for all Levites to enter into the that work at twenty years of age. How can these work of the sanctuary. The rabbins say that the different times be reconciled1. At the time of Levites began to learn to do the service at twenty-five, which Moses speaks here, the Levitical service was and that having been instructed five years, they began exceedingly severe, and consequently required men the public service at thirly, and thus they reconcile full grown, strong, and stout, to perform it; the age the two periods referred to above. We may well therefore of thirty years was appointed as the period suppose that the sons of the prophels continued a confor cominencing this service, the weightier part of siderable time under instructions before they were which is probably here intended. 2. In chap. viii. called fully to exercise themselves in the prophetic 24, Moses seems to speak of the service in a general office. way; the severe, which was to be performed by the Until fifty years old) This was allowing twenty full-grown Levites, and the less laborious work which years for public severe service; a very considerate Vol. I. ( 41 )

625

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B.

b

Service of the sons of Kohath. NUMBERS.

· The office of Eleazar. A, M. 2514.

until fifty years old, all that enter sanctuary, and put them in a cloth B. C. 1490. An. Exod. Isr.2. into the host, to do the work in of blue, and cover them with a An. Exod. Ist. 2 Ijar or Zif. the tabernacle of the congregation. covering of badgers' skins, and

ljar or Zif. 4 This shall be the service of the sons of shall put them on a bar : Kohath in the tabernacle of the congregation, 13 And they shall take away the ashes from about the most holy things :

the altar, and spread a purple cloth thereon : 5 And when the camp setteth forward, Aaron 14 And they shall put upon it all the vessels shall come, and his sons, and they shall take thereof, wherewith they minister about it, even down d the covering veil, and cover the ark the censers, the flesh hooks, and the shovels, of testimony with it.:

and the m basons, all the vessels of the altar; 6 And shall put thereon the covering of and they shall spread upon it a covering of badgers' skins, and shall spread over it a cloth badgers' skins, and put to the staves of it. wholly of blue, and shall put in the staves 15 And when Aaron and his sons have made thereof.

an end of covering the sanctuary, and all the 7 And upon the table of shew-bread they vessels of the sanctuary, as the camp is to set shall spread a cloth of blue, and put thereon forward; after that, the sons of Kohath shall the dishes, and the spoons, and the bowls, come to bear it : • but they shall not touch and covers to h cover withal : and the con- any holy thing, lest they die. p These things tinual bread shall be therean :

are the burden of the sons of Kohath in the 8 And they shall spread upon them a cloth tabernacle of the congregation. of scarlet, and cover the same with a covering 16 And to the office of Eleazar the son of of badgers' skins,' and shall put in the staves Aaron the priest, pertaineth 4 the oil for the thereof.

light, and the sweet incense, and the daily 9 And they shall take a cloth of blue, and meat-offering, and the è anointing oil, and the cover the i candlestick of the light, and his oversight of all the tabernacle, and of all that lamps, and his tongs, and his snuff dishes, therein is, in the sanctuary, and in the vessels and all the oil vessels thereof, wherewith they thereof., minister unto it :

17 And the LORD spake unto Moses and 10 And they shall put it and all the vessels unto Aaron, saying, thereof within a covering of badgers' skins, 18 Cut ye not off the tribe of the families and shall put it upon a bar.

of the Kohathites from among the Levites : 11 And upon the golden altar they shall 19 But thus do unto them, that they may spread a cloth of blue, and cover it with a live, and not die, when they approach unto covering of badgers' skins, and shall put to the " the most holy things : Aaron and his sons staves thereof:

shall go in, and appoint them every one to his 12 And they shall take all the instruments service and to his burden : of ministry, wherewith they minister in the 20 But they shall not go in to see when

b Ver. 15. c Ver. 19.Exod. xxvi. 31.-e Exod. XXV. n Chap. vii. 9; x. 21; Deut. xxxi. 9; 2 Sam. vi. 13; 1 Chron. 10, 16. —Exod. xxv. 13.- Exod. XXV. 23, 29, 30; xv. 2, 15.- LO2 Sam. vi. 6,7; 1 Chron. xři. I, 10.--P Chap. Lev. xxiv. 6, 8. Or, pour out withal.-i Exod. XXV. ii. 31. Exod. xxv. 6; Lev. xxiv. 2. - Exod. xxx. 34. 31. * Exod. xxv. 37, 38. Exod. xxx. 1, 3.

• Exod. xxix. 40. — Exod. xxx. .23.- Ver. 4.

-See bouls.

Exod. xix. 21 ; 1 Sam. vi. 19. and merciful ordinance. A preacher who devotes his to work, when their eye waxes dim and their bodily whole time and strength to the service of the Church strength fails ! See on chap. viii. 25. Both for their of God from twenty to fifty or sixty years of age, own sakes, and for the good of the Church, they should should be then excused from his severer labour, and be excused from a labour to which they must be almaintained at the charge of the sanctuary. This would most every way inadequate. But notwithstanding this not only be a great comfort to a worn-out servant of comparative inactivity, their counsels, advice, and exGod, but also of great use to the work of the ministry, perience will always be considered as a treasure to the which, to be faithfully and effectually performed, re- Church of Christ. quires all the powers of the body and mind of man. Verse 20:. When the holy things are covered] LiteOld faithful ministers are to be highly respected for rally, whakeballa, when they are swallowed down; their work's sake, and to be supplied with all the ne- which shows the promptitude with which every thing cessaries and comforts of life ; but how little can they belonging to the holy of holies was put out of sight, do in the public ministry of the word, however willing for these mysteries must ever be treated with the deep626

(41* )

um Or,

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the priest.

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The different services to be

CHAP. IV.

performed by the Levites. the holy things are covered, lest hand of Ithamar the son of Aaron An Exod. Isr. 2. they die. Ijar or Zif. 21 And the LORD spake unto 29. As for the sons of Merari,

Ijar or Zif. Moses, saying,

thou shalt number them after their families, by 22 Take also the sum of the sons of Ger- the house of their fathers; shon, throughout the houses of their fathers, 30 From thirty years old and upward even by their families;

unto fifty years old shalt thou number them, 23 From thirty years old and upward until every one that entereth into the service, to do fifty years old shalt thou number them; all the work of the tabernacle of the congregation. that enter in * to perform the service, to do the 31 And this is the charge of their burden, work in the tabernacle of the congregation. according to all their service in the tabernacle

24 This is the service of the families of the of the congregation; the boards of the taberGershonites, to serve, and for y burdens : nacle, and the bars thereof, and the pillars

25 And a they shall bear the curtains of the thereof, and sockets thereof, tabernacle, and the tabernacle of the congre- 32 And the pillars of the court round about, gation, his covering, and the covering of the and their sockets, and their pins, and their badgers' skins that is above upon it, and the cords, with all their instruments, and with all hanging for the door of the tabernacle of the their service: and by name ye shall f reckon congregation,

the instruments of the charge of their burden. 26 And the hangings of the court, and the 33 This is the service of the families of the hanging for the door of the gate of the court, sons of Merari, according to all their service, which is by the tabernacle and by the altar in the tabernacle of the congregation, under round about, and their cords, and all the instru- the hand of Ithamar the son of Aaron the ments of their service, and all that is made for priest. them : so shall they serve.

34 & And Moses and Aaron and the chief of 27 At the appointment of Aaron and his the congregation numbered the sons of the sons shall be all the service of the sons of the Kohathites after their families, and after the Gershonites, in all their burdens, and in all house of their fathers, their service : and ye shall appoint unto them 35 From thirty years old and upward even in charge all their burdens.

unto fifty years old, every one that entereth 28 This is the service of the families of the into the service, for the work in the tabernacle sons of Gershon in the tabernacle of the con- of the congregation : gregation : and their charge shall be under the 36 And those that were numbered of them * Ver. 3. - Heb. to war the warfare. Or, carriage. — Chap. Ver. 3.

—Heb. warfare. Chap. iii. 36, 37.- e Exod. ii. 25, 26. —Heb. mouth.

xxvi. 15. 1 Exod. xxxviii. 21.

-8 Ver. 2.

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est reverence; and indeed without this they could not Thus we find that the whole number of the Levites have been to them the representatives of heavenly re- amounted to 22,300, of whom 8,580 were fit for seralities. See the concluding note.

vice, and 13,720 unfit, being either too old or too Verse 36. Those that were numbered] In chapter young. What an astonishing number of men, all proiii. 27, &c., we have an account of the whole number perly ecclesiastics; all performing some service by of the Levites, and here of those only who were able to which God was glorified, and the congregation at serve the Lord in the sancluary. By comparing the large benefited! See Ainsworth. two places we find the numbers to stand thus :

Able men
2750

From this and the preceding chapter we see the
KOHATHITES
Unable 5850

very severe labour which the Levites were obliged to

perform while the journeyings of the Israelites lasted. Total 8600

When we consider that there was not less than 10 Able men 2630

tons 13 cwt. 24 lb. 14. oz., i. e., almost ten tons and GERSHONITES Unable 4870

fourteen hundred pounds' weight of metal employed in

the tabernacle, (see the notes on Exod. xxxviii.,) beTotal 7500

sides the immense weight of the skins, hangings, Able men 3200

cords, boards, and posts, we shall find it was no very MERARITES Unable 3000

easy matter to transport this movable temple from

place to place. Total 6200

The Gershoniles, who were 7,500 men in the ser

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The sum of the families of

NUMBERS. Kohath, Gershon, and Merarı. by their families were two thou- unto fifty years old, every one An. Exod. Isr. 2. sand seven hundred and fifty. that entereth into the service, for An Exod. Isz. 2. Ijar or Zif. 37 These were they that were the work in the tabernacle of the

Ijar or Zif. numbered of the families of the Kohathites, congregation, all that might do service in the tabernacle of 44 Even those that were numbered of them the congregation, which Moses and Aaron did after their families, were three thousand and number according to the commandment of the two hundred. Lord by the hand of Moses.

45 These be those that were numbered of 38 And those that were numbered of the the families of the sons of Merari, whom sons of. Gershon, throughout their families, Moses and Aaron numbered according to the and by the house of their fathers,

word of the LORD by the hand of Moses. 39 From thirty years old and upward even 46. All those that were numbered of the Leunto fifty years old, every one that entereth vites, whom Moses and Aaron and the chief into the service, for the work in the tabernacle of Israel numbered, after their families, and of the congregation,

after the house of their fathers, 40 Even those that were numbered of them, 47 * From thirty years old and upward, even throughout their families, by the house of their unto fifty years old, every one that came to do fathers, were two thousand and six hundred the service of the ministry, and the service of the and thirty.

burden in the tabernacle of the congregation, 41 These are they that were numbered of 48 Even those that were numbered of them, the families of the sons of Gershon, of all that were eight thousand and five hundred and might do service in the tabernacle of the con- fourscore. gregation, whom Moses and Aaron did number

49 According to the commandment of the according to the commandment of the LORD. Lord they were numbered by the hand of

42 And those that were numbered of the fa- Moses, 'every one according to his service, milies of the sons of Merari, throughout their and according to his burden : thus were they families, by the house of their fathers, numbered of him, mas the LORD commanded 43 From thirty years old and upward even Moses.

- Ver. 22. i Ver. 29.

- Ver. 3, 23, 30.

Ver. 15, 24, 31.- - Ver. 1, 21.

vice, had to carry the tent, coverings, veils, hangings “ The apostle,” says he, “ treating of the death of of the court, fc., fc., chap. iji. 25, 26.

the saints, uses this similitude : If our earthly house The Kohathites, who were 8,600 men, had to carry of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building the ark, table, candlestick, altars, and instruments of of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the the sanctuary, chap. iii. 31.

heavens. For we that are in THIS TABERNACLE do The Merarites, who were 6,200 men, had to carry groan, being burdened, not for that we would be unthe boards, bars, pillars, sockets, and all malters con- clothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swalnected with these belonging to the tabernacle, with lowed up of life ;' 2 Cor. v. 1-4. So Peter calls his the pillars of the court, their sockets, pins, and cords, death the putting off of his TABERNACLE, 2 Pet. i. 14. chap. iii. 36, 37.

And this similitude is very fit; for, as here, in the The tabernacle was an epitome of the temple : the tabernacle of Moses, the holy things were first covertemple and tabernacle were representatives of the ed and taken away, (see ver. 20,) so the soul and its Church of the living God, and of the humanity of our powers are first withdrawn from the body by death. blessed Lord. As God dwelt in the tabernacle and 2. As the curtains and coverings were taken off and temple, so his fulness dwelt in the man Christ Jesus. folded up, so the skin and flesh of our bodies are pulled These again were types of the Christian Church, which off and consumed. 3. As the boards of the tabernais termed the body of Christ, Eph. i. 23, where he cle were disjointed and pulled asunder, so shall our dwells in the plenitude of the graces of his Spirit. bones and sinews: compare Job's description of the

Mr. Ainsworth has a very useful note on the 20th formation of man, chap. x. 8–12; and Solomon's verse of this chapter, the most edifying part of which account of his dissolution, Eccles. xii. 3, 4. As I shall here lay before the reader.

He considers the the disjointed and dissolved tabernacle was aftertabernacle and temple, not only as pointing out the old wards set up again, Num. X. 21, so shall our bodies dispensation, the annulling of which was typified by in the day of the resurrection; see 1 Cor. xv. their destruction, but he considers also the former as 51-54.” emblematical of the body of man.

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