Numbers Chapter 4

At this point in the Bible, the Lord has been instructing Moses and the Israelites how they were to be organized into camps and tribes for their journey to the promised land. The majority of the men were called to be part of the army of Israel, while the tribe of Levi was called to serve with the tabernacle. The the three tribes within the Levites, were given specific charges, as well as Aaron and his sons. This instruction continues in this chapter as follows:

1 And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,
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 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.
4 This shall be the service of the sons of Kohath in the tabernacle of the congregation, about the most holy things:

The sons of Kohath, which is the family of Moses and Aaron, who were between 30 and 50 years old, were to be counted by families. These men were to be given the responsibility of caring for sacred things in the tabernacle of the congregation, or the meeting house of their time. The age of 30, was the age that Jesus would enter his ministry as well.

5 And when the camp setteth forward, Aaron shall come, and his sons, and they shall take down the covering veil, and cover the ark of testimony with it:
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.
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:
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.
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:
10 And they shall put it and all the vessels thereof within a covering of badgers’ skins, and shall put it upon a bar.
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:
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:
13 And they shall take away the ashes from the altar, and spread a purple cloth thereon:
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 basins, all the vessels of the altar; and they shall spread upon it a covering of badgers’ skins, and put to the staves of it.
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.

The ark of the covenant was to be covered with the veil, the badger skins and then the blue cloth, by Aaron and his sons. Then they were to prepare it to be carried by placing the staves (poles) into it. They were instructed to use blue cloth to cover all the sacred items in the sanctuary, including the candlestick, lamps, tongs, snuff dishes, and containers of oil. They were to cover those with badger skins and add the poles for carrying. Again, the golden altar was to be covered with a blue cloth, badgers skin and the poles added to it. All the accessories of the sanctuary were to be covered in blue and badgers skin, with a pole for carrying. They were to remove the ashes on the altar and cover it with purple cloth. Then all the tools used for the altar, were to be covered with badgers skins and prepared for carrying with the poles. When everything was prepared with coverings and staves, in order for the camp to move, the sons of Kohath were to carry them. An important part of the instruction given, was that they were not to touch any of these sacred things. The footnote for ‘not touch any holy thing’, says that they were specifically not to touch the ark. If they touched it or any of the holy things, they would die. I think that this was probably because the glory of the Lord was there. Only those who are prepared by God to witness His glory, may even see it without dying. This is because our mortal and impure natures do not allow us to experience it without a great change.

This reminds me of the administration of the sacrament. In the LDS church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), young men of the Aaronic priesthood administer the sacred emblems of the sacrament. Those who are ordained to the office of a priest, bless, brake, and distribute the sacrament to those in the office of a deacon. A deacon does not have the proper priesthood authority to bless the sacrament. The priests are also given the sacred responsibility of setting all the items on the sacrament table, much like the sons of Aaron were in those days. I think it is a good reminder to me of the sacred nature of the responsibilities of the young men of the priesthood.

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.

Eleazar, Aaron’s son, was responsible for overseeing the movement and care of all of these sacred items.

17 And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,
18 Cut ye not off the tribe of the families of the Kohathites from among the Levites:
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:
20 But they shall not go in to see when the holy things are covered, lest they die.

There was not to be a separation of the sons of Kohath and their families, from the rest of the Levites, even though they had such a sacred duty. I think this means that they were not to be given the higher authority of the priesthood. They were instead, to be set apart to a very specific duty by Aaron and his sons, within the priesthood they held, and were not to look upon any of these sacred items before they were covered. If they saw any of these items, they would die.

21 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
22 Take also the sum of the sons of Gershon, throughout the houses of their fathers, by their families;
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.
24 This is the service of the families of the Gershonites, to serve, and for burdens:
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,
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.
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.
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.

The total number of the family of Gerson, was taken for those between 30 and 50 years old. The Gershonites were instructed to carry the curtains of the tabernacle, the curtains of the tabernacle of the congregation, the covering of the tabernacle of the congregation, as well as all the hangings for the court, and all the items that went along with that. They were to be set apart for this specific service by the sons of Aaron, and Ithamar would watch over them in it.

29 As for the sons of Merari, thou shalt number them after their families, by the house of their fathers;
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.
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,
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.
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.

Instruction was given regarding the family of Merair. Those between 30 and 50 years old, were to be numbered and called to serve. They were to carry the boards, bars, pillars, bases, cords and all that went with these items. They were to be watched over by Ithamar as well.

34 And Moses and Aaron and the chief of the congregation numbered the sons of the Kohathites after their families, and after the house of their fathers,
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:
36 And those that were numbered of them by their families were two thousand seven hundred and fifty.
37 These were they that were numbered of the families of the Kohathites, all that might do service in the tabernacle of the congregation, which Moses and Aaron did number according to the commandment of the Lord by the hand of Moses.
38 And those that were numbered of the sons of Gershon, throughout their families, and by the house of their fathers,
39 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,
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.
41 These are they that were numbered of the families of the sons of Gershon, of all that might do service in the tabernacle of the congregation, whom Moses and Aaron did number according to the commandment of the Lord.

The Kohathites were totaled at 2,750 who were do service in the tabernacle of the congregation. The Gershonites were 2,630 in number who would serve in the tabernacle of the congregation.

42 And those that were numbered of the families of the sons of Merari, throughout their families, by the house of their fathers,
43 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,
44 Even those that were numbered of them after their families, were three thousand and two hundred.
45 These be those that were numbered of the families of the sons of Merari, whom Moses and Aaron numbered according to the word of the Lord by the hand of Moses.
46 All those that were numbered of the Levites, whom Moses and Aaron and the chief of Israel numbered, after their families, and after the house of their fathers,
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,
48 Even those that were numbered of them, were eight thousand and five hundred and fourscore.
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.

The family of Merari were numbered as Moses had been commanded, and they totaled 3,200 who would serve in the tabernacle of the congregation. In total there were 8,580 Levites, who would carry the burden of the tabernacle.

It is important for us to treat sacred things as sacred. God has given commandments in latter days on how His holy things should be managed and maintained. When we do not listen, we are not promised physical death, but our spirits will be separated from the spirit of God, which is a far greater consequence. I am glad to have studied this chapter on the Sabbath, when I can experience the blessings of the sacrament. I know that the men and men of the priesthood, young and old, are given specific responsibilities in taking care of our meeting house. Some have the duty of preparing the sacrament, while others are asked to prepare other rooms. I am often grateful for the men setting up chairs each week, so that we can enjoy our meetings. However, I don’t think I have thought of just how righteous that responsibility is. Our meeting house is the house of the Lord, just as much as the tabernacle of the congregation was in that day. The duties of the priesthood, are given all ultimately under the direction of the Lord. I hope that I will do my part to help sustain and support them in their responsibilities and callings, whatever that may be, so that I may be worthy of the blessings provided through the priesthood.

Advertisements

0 Responses to “Numbers Chapter 4”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




About My Scripture Study Buddy

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.

Testimony

I made an album with my dad in 2011. Check it out!

Testimony

NEW!!! Digital Downloads (mp3) available directly from the site.

Current Study

Currently I am studying the The Old Testament. I will be studying from the LDS - King James Version of the Bible (see link below). I am studying along with the book, Scripture Study for Latter-day Saint Families: The Old Testament by Dennis H. Leavitt and Richard O. Christensen.

Learn More:

I'm a Mormon

The Book of Mormon

You can order a free copy of the Book of Mormon here:

Book of Mormon Request

Archives

Follow me on Facebook:

My Wonderful Husband and Artist


%d bloggers like this: