Numbers 8

1 How the lamps are to be lighted.

5 The consecration of the Levites.

23 The age and time of their service.

When this was spoken, says Bp. Patrick, is not certain. If Moses went into the tabernacle immediately after the princes had offered, (ch. 7:89,) it may be thought he then spake these things unto him; but both this and what follows, concerning the Levites, seem rather to have been delivered after the order for giving them to the priests, and appointing their several charges. (ch. 3; 4.) But some other things intervening, which depended upon what had been ordered respecting their camp, and that of the Israelites, Moses omits this until he had stated them, and some other matters which he had received from God. (See ch. 7:11.)


Ex 25:37; 37:18,19,23; 40:25; Le 24:1,2; Ps 119:105,130; Isa 8:20

Mt 5:14; Joh 1:9; 2Pe 1:19; Re 1:12,20; 2:1; 4:5


this work.

Ex 25:31-39; 37:17-24

beaten work.

Ex 25:18; 37:7,17,22

the pattern.

Ex 25:9,40; 1Ch 28:11-19; Heb 8:5; 9:23


cleanse them.

Ex 19:15; 2Co 7:1; Jas 4:8


Le 8:6; 14:7; Isa 52:15; Eze 36:25; Heb 9:10


19:9,10,13,17-19; Ps 51:7; Heb 9:13

let them shave. Heb. let them cause a razor to pass over,etc.

Le 14:8,9

wash their.

19:7,8,10,19; 31:20; Ge 35:2; Ex 19:10; Le 15:6,10,11,27; 16:28

Ps 51:2; Jer 4:14; Mt 23:25,26; Jas 4:8; 1Pe 3:21; Re 7:14

a young.

Ex 29:1,3; Le 1:3; 8:2

his meat.

15:8,9; Le 2:1


Le 4:3,14; 16:3; Isa 53:10; Ro 8:3; 2Co 5:21

thou shalt bring.

Ex 29:4-37; 40:12

shalt gather the whole.The words, {kol âdath,} which are rendered "the whole assembly," often signify all the elders, or principal persons in the several tribes. (ch. 15:4; 25:7; 35:12.) And they cannot well have any other sense here; for it would be impossible for all the children of Israel to put their hands on the Levites, as stated in the next verse.

Le 8:3

3:45; Le 1:4; Ac 6:6; 13:2,3; 1Ti 4:14; 5:22

offer. Heb. wave. offering. Heb. wave-offering.Not that they were actually waved, but they were presented to God, as the God of heaven, and the Lord of the whole earth, as the wave offerings were; and in calling them wave-offerings, it was intimated to them that they must move to and fro with readiness in the business of their profession.

6:20; Ex 29:24; Le 7:30; 8:27,29

they may execute. Heb. they may be to execute, etc.

1:49-53; 3:5-43


Ex 29:10; Le 1:4; 8:14; 16:21

the one.

8; 6:14,16; Le 5:7,9,10; 8:14,18; 9:7; 14:19,20,22; Heb 10:4-10


Le 1:4; 4:20,35; 8:34; 16:6,11,16-19; Heb 9:22

offer them.{Wehainaphta othom tenoophath,} literlly, as in ver. 11, "and thou shalt wave them for a wave-offering;" manifestly in allusion to the ancient sacrificial rite of waving the sacrifices before the Lord; and it is probable, that some significant action, analogous to the waving of the sacrifice, was employed on this occasion; for the Levites were considered as an offering to the Lord, to whose service they were wholly dedicated. To this the apostle Paul manifestly alludes, when, in writing to the Romans, he says, (ch. 12:1,) "I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."

11,21; 18:6; Ro 12:1; 15:16


6:2; De 10:8; Ro 1:1; Ga 1:15; Heb 7:26

and the Levites.

17; 3:45; 16:9,10; 18:6; Mal 3:17

go in.

11; 3:23-37; 4:3-32; 1Ch 23:1-32; 25:1-26:32

and offer.

11,13; 3:12

wholly given.{Nethunim, nethunim,} "given; given;" The word being repeated, "because," says Bp. Patrick, "the children of Israel had devoted them to him, by laying their hands upon them, (ver. 10,) and Aaron had waved them as a wave-offering to the Lord." (ver. 11.)

instead of such.Houbigant, on the authority of the Samaritan, reads, "instead of every first-born of the children of Israel, who openeth the womb."


all the.

3:13; Ex 13:2,12-15; Lu 2:23

on the day.

Ex 12:29; Ps 78:51; 105:36; 135:8; Heb 11:28

I sanctified.

Ex 13:14,15; 29:44; Le 27:14,15,26; Eze 20:12; Joh 10:36; 17:19

Heb 10:29; Jas 1:18


I have given.

3:6-9; 18:2-6; 1Ch 23:28-32; Eze 44:11-14

a gift. Heb. given. that there.

1:53; 16:46; 18:5; 1Sa 6:19; 2Ch 26:16-20


were purified.

7; 19:12,19


11-13,15; 3:12

Aaron made.


after that.

15; 2Ch 30:15-17,27; 31:2; 35:8-15

as the Lord.



from twenty.In ch. 4:3, the Levites are appointed to the service of the tabernacle at the age of 30 years; and in 1 Ch 23:24, they are ordered to commence their work at 20 years of age. In order to reconcile this apparent discrepancy, it is to be observed, 1. At the time of which Moses speaks in ch. 4:3, the Levitical service was exceedingly severe, and consequently required full grown, robust men, to perform it; the age of 30 was therefore appointed as the period for commencing this service, the weightier part of which was probably there intended. 2. In this place God seems to speak of the service in a general way: hence the age of 25 is fixed. 3. In David's time, and afterwards, in the fixed tabernacle and temple, the laboriousness of the service no longer existed, and hence 20 years was the age appointed.

4:3,23; 1Ch 23:3,24-27; 28:12,13

wait upon. Heb. war the warfare of, etc.

1Co 9:7; 2Co 10:4; 1Ti 1:18; 6:12; 2Ti 2:3-5

cease waiting upon the service thereof. Heb. return from thewarfare of the service.

4:23; 2Ti 4:7The Levites, above fifty years of age, might superintend and assist their junior brethren in the ordinary offices, and give them and the people counsel and instruction; but they were exempted from carrying the tabernacle and from other laborious services. It is remarkable, that no law was made concerning the age at which the priests should begin to officiate, and though various blemishes disqualified them for the service of the sanctuary, yet they continued their ministrations till death, if capable. On the other hand, nothing is said concerning any bodily defects or blemishes disqualifying the Levites; but the time of their service is expressly settled. Their work was far more laborious than that of the priests; it is therefore likely that the priests would not begin very early to officiate; and the wisdom and experience of age would increase, rather than diminish, their fitness for the sacred duties of their office.

to keep.

1:53; 3:32; 18:4; 31:30; 1Ch 23:32; 26:20-29; Eze 44:8,11

and shall.

1Ti 4:15
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