Epistles of Thomas

March 4, 2009

Numbers 7-9

Filed under: Old Testament — Thomas @ 23:59
Tags: , ,

Numbers 7 provides a list of the tribal leaders’ offerings at the dedication of the temple. The list is very repetitive and then sums up the total at the end. Presumably it is emphasising the importance of their contributing these offerings. Each tribe gave an equal amount. In chapter eight God commands: “When you set up the lamps, see that all seven light up the area in front of the lampstand.” This reminds me of the picture in Revelation 4. The Levites are then made ceremonially clean. “After that, the Levites came to do their work at the tent of meeting under the supervision of Aaron and his sons” (8:22). It is interesting that 8:25 mandates a Levitical retirement age of 50 after which they could act as advisors but could not do the work.

Numbers 9 instituted the observance of Passover at the appointed time, which was at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. Those who were unclean at this time could celebrate Passover on the fourteenth day of the second month at twilight. I guess they would be very careful that second month to ensure that they were clean. The rest of chapter nine deals with God’s guiding them through the cloud over the tabernacle. “Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out” (9:22). I bet the guys setting up and taking down the tabernacle were praying for it to be a year and not just two days!

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