Epistles of Thomas

February 26, 2009

Numbers 4-6

Filed under: Old Testament — Thomas @ 14:14
Tags: , , , ,

Numbers 4 begins with a census of all the men from thirty to fifty years of age in the Kohathite branch of the Levites by their clans and families. These men served in the work at the tent of meeting and their duties are also listed. The Gershonites and Merarites were similarly counted and their duty was to carry the tent and its related items. It concludes “Thus they were counted, as the Lord commanded Moses” (4:49). This is in contrast to the sinful census which took place later under David for which the people suffered (2 Sam 24:1; 1 Chron 21:1).

Chapter five deals with purity in the camp, the restitution of wrongs, and the curious test for a woman accused of infidelity. She is to drink bitter water and call a curse upon herself that will cause her to be barren if she is guilty. Chapter six details the Nazirite vow which is a vow of dedication to the Lord a man or woman can make for a period of time. During that period they must not eat anything from a grape vine or any fermented drink and they must not cut their hair. Samson is the most famous Nazirite but Amos 2:11-12 makes it clear that there were others. The chapter concludes with the priestly prayer which is popular among Christians today: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace” (6:24-26).

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