Read 35.) Numbers 3:1 thru 8:26. Numbers 7:1 opens with, ‘When Moses finished setting up the Tabernacle….‘, and places this reading next in the order, even though we’ve moved all the way over into the book of Numbers. Don’t fret, we will not leave anything out; it will all be covered. With chapter 3, we read that the Tribe of Levi will serve the priests at the Tabernacle, in the place of the firstborn sons of Israel. The firstborn had been chosen in Exodus 13, but because of what the Levites did in Exodus 32, beginning at verse 25, they replaced the firstborn sons. The Levites were 3 clans, each would have specified duties. One clan would be responsible for all the textile components of the Tabernacle, another for all of the furnishings of the Tabernacle, and the third clan would be responsible for all of the hardware necessary for the Tabernacle to stand and function. Then, with chapter 4, we learn of the process by which they would set-up and take down the Tabernacle as they would move during their travels. First, the furnishings would be covered, and prepared for the Kohathites to carry. Then, the Gershonites would prepare and carry all the textile components. And, finally, the Merarites would gather up and carry all of the hardware involved. The men of these clans served in this fashion for 25 years, from 35 to 50 years of age, of which there were 8,580 at that time.
Chapter 5 explains this test for an unfaithful wife. Many have been highly critical of this chapter because it is so cruel. Really? Think about it. All that’s really said here is that a woman must drink a cup of water that has a little dirt in it. If she has been unfaithful, only something supernatural would have to take place for anything truly bad to happen to the woman, which simply means that if she has been unfaithful, she needs to be afraid of the Lord; not this ceremony, or any part of it. If she has remained faithful, nothing will happen! How cruel can this actually be, then, since it will depend entirely upon the Lord for anything bad to happen?!?!? Chapter 6 teaches of the exemplary commitment of some who wish to be fully dedicated to the Lord. They could become a Nazarite. This will relate to the story of Samson, years later, in the book of Judges; and closes with the lovely priestly blessing, “The Lord bless you and keep you….” Chapter 7 tells of all the 12 tribal leaders gave for the Tabernacle dedication. This was in the first two weeks of their year, and our month of March. The chapter ends with how Moses was receiving revelation from God. He could speak to, and hear the very voice of God! Our reading ends with Numbers 8:1-4. The 7 lamps upon the Golden Lampstand was the only light in the Holy Place of the Tent of Meeting. This Holy Place was about 35′ long, 17′ wide and 17′ high. All the furnishings were gold, as was the entire surface of every upright wall board! The warm glow of 7 oil lamps in the Holy Place must have been incredible for a priest to behold in this golden room! Moses could enter, to hear the voice of God from just above the Ark! Ah, the voice of the Lord… It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell