Sunday, September 13, 2009

Numbers 26-36

  • Chapter 26 - Census of the New Generation. They are beside the Jordan River, across from Jericho.

    • After the plague from the problem with the Medianite women resulting in the death of 24,000 Israelites, a new census was taken of all fighting age men:

      • Reuben: 43,730

      • Simeon: 22,200 (was 59,300 in the 1st census)

      • Gad: 40,500

      • Judah: 76,500

      • Issachar: 64,300

      • Zebulun: 60,500

      • Manasseh: 52,700 (was 52,700 in the 1st census)

      • Ephraim: 32,500

      • Benjamin: 45,600

      • Asher: 53,400

      • Naphtali: 45,400

    • Total: 601,731 (excludes Levi) - was 603,550 in the first census 38 years earlier.

    • Based on the census, Moses is to divide up that land proportionally.

    • The areas to be divided up will be chosen by lot (using the Urim and Thumin), so no tribe was to choose where they'd settle.

    • A census of the Levites was taken of men one month or older - 23,000 (was 22,000 in the 1st census).

    • Genealogy of Kohath: Moses and Aaron, although Kohathites, were distinct from among the Levites:

      • Kohath was the father of Amram

      • Amram’s wife was Jochebed, the daughter of Levi in Egypt

      • Amram and Jochebed gave birth to Aaron and Moses, and their sister Miriam

      • Aaron gave birth to Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar

      • Nadab and Abihu died when they offered strange first before the Lord

  • Chapter 27 - The Daughters of Zelophehad, Joshua to Replace Moses.

    • Zelophehad was one of the first generation who had died in the wilderness. He had no sons, but had five daughters, so he had no heirs. Even while the Israelites were still outside of the Promised Land, they asked Moses for an inheritance for their children. They trusted in God that he would give the land to them, and when they settle in the land, they and their families should be given an inheritance. So Moses rewarded their faith and trust by promising land for their children.

    • They probably brought up this issue because the land was being divided up and their father died of natural causes, not by the judgment from Korah's rebellion.

    • God has Moses climb to the top of the mountains of Abarim so he can see the promised land but where Moses will not be allowed to enter. Moses does not object but simply asks God to appoint them a new leader so they would not be "like sheep without a shepherd". God chooses Joshua to replace Moses.

    • God will not work directly with Joshua but through Eleazar, the priest, using the Urim and Thummin.

    • Moses lays his hands on Joshua and commissions him to be the new leader, replacing Moses.

  • Chapters 28 & 29 - Instructions about Offerings.

    • Calendar of Public Sacrifices:

      • Every day: 2 lambs

      • Sabbath: 2 lambs

      • 1st day of month: 2 bulls, 1 ram, 7 lambs, 1 goat

      • Unleavened Bread (each day): 2 bulls, 1 ram, 7 lambs, 1 goat

      • Pentecost (Feast of Weeks): 2 bulls, 1 ram, 7 lambs, 1 goat

      • 1st Day of 7th Month: 1 bull, 1 ram, 7 lambs, 1 goat

      • Feast of Booths:

        • 1st day: 13 bulls, 2 rams, 14 lambs, 1 goat

        • 2nd day: 12 bulls, 2 rams, 14 lambs, 1 goat

        • 3rd day: 11 bulls, 2 rams, 14 lambs, 1 goat

        • 4th day: 10 bulls, 2 rams, 14 lambs, 1 goat

        • 5th day: 9 bulls, 2 rams, 14 lambs, 1 goat

        • 6th day: 8 bulls, 2 rams, 14 lambs, 1 goat

        • 7th day: 7 bulls, 2 rams, 14 lambs, 1 goat

        • 8th day: 1 bull, 1 ram, 7 lambs, 1 goat

  • Chapter 30 - Laws Concerning Vows

    • A man must keep his vows and oaths.

    • If a girl still living in her father's house makes a vow, the father can make her break it or let it stand.

    • If a married woman makes a vow, her husband can make her break it or let it stand.

  • Chapter 31 - Vengeance on the Midianites

    • 12,000 (1,000 from each tribe) are ordered to attack Midian.

    • God commanded they be attacked in retribution for their seduction of Israel into sexual immorality and idolatry (Numbers 25).

    • Remember that Moses' father-in-law was a Midianite!

    • The Midianites were a nomadic people, at this time associated with the people of Moab.

    • Phineas goes with them along with the trumpets for the alarm and vessels of the sanctuary.

    • They killed the every male adult, the five Midianite kings and also Balaam.

    • Because not one Israelite soldier was killed, they brought an offering to the Lord as atonement.

    • They burned all the cities and took all their cattle, flocks and goods.

    • They brought the women and kids to Moses outside the camp.

    • Moses instructed them to kill all the male children and all women who were not virgins. Why? Is this Genocide?

    • In that ancient culture, the boys would have grown into men with the solemn responsibility to avenge their father’s death and to perpetuate Midianite culture - which in itself was anti-God.

    • Those who had killed anyone or had touched a dead body were then told to remain outside the camp, then on the third and seventh days purify themselves and their captives, according to Numbers 19:11-12. All the spoil was to be purified. Metals were to be put through the fire for this purpose, but anything that might be consumed by fire was to be purified by water.

    • The spoils are divided up.

  • Chapter 32 - Reuben, Gad, and part of Manasseh want to Stay East of the Jordan River

    • The area they want to settle was the area where they had defeated the kings Sihon and Og in chapter 21.

    • They promise to build fortified cities for their families and then enter the land with the other tribes to fight, not going back until the fighting is done.

    • Discuss a sheepfold - only 1 door.

    • It is significant to note that they were the first tribes to go into captivity because they had not the protection really of the Jordan River, which was a natural barrier against the enemy.

  • Chapter 33 - Review of the itinerary of Israel from Egypt until Their Present Camp.

    • This is the only part of the book that is explicitly said to be written by Moses; most of the book is said to have been given to Moses by God.

    • God instructs Moses to tell the Israelites that they are to drive out all the people living there, destroy all their images and shrines.

    • God says that if they fail to drive out the people there, they'll be like splinters in their eyes and thorns in their sides and God will do to the Israelites what He'd planned to do to the inhabitants of the land.

  • Chapter 34 - Boundaries of the Promised Land

    • The boundaries declared by God are larger than the area actually ever occupied by the Israelites, even under David, though they were under the control of David.

    • 2 Samuel 8:3: David also destroyed the forces of Hadadezer son of Rehob, king of Zobah, when Hadadezer marched out to strengthen his control along the Euphrates River. So, while the Israelites did not choose to live that far away, nonetheless David's kingdom and control extended to that point, thus fulfilling the promise God made to Abraham in Genesis 15:18. So, Israel's living area was smaller than the actual kingdom area would be when the covenant with Abraham would be fulfilled under King David.

    • Basically, the land was between the Mediterranean and the Jordan plus modern Lebanon and a portion of modern Syria.

  • Chapter 35 - Towns for the Levites

    • Six cities of refuge - 3 on the east side of the Jordan and 3 on the west side.

    • Plus 42 other towns for a total of 48 - including grazing land surrounding the towns.

    • Rules of revenge and the cities of refuge.

    • A refuge was in this way provided for one who had accidentally killed a person, for it might well be that a relative or friend of the victim would seek retaliation by killing the person responsible. In that city that person would be safe until such time as there was an investigation into the case. If it proved to be a case of actual murder, he must be delivered up to the avenger.

    • A deliberate murderer could not count on the protection of the city of refuge. If one struck another with an iron instrument, or stone or wooden weapon purposely, this was murder and the murderer was to be sentenced to death. In fact, the avenger of blood was to put the murderer to death.

    • If a case was not fully clear as to whether there was intent to cause harm or not, when the manslayer came to the city of refuge, "then the congregation shall judge between the manslayer and the avenger of blood according to these judgments". "There judgments" involve the question of whether the case was one of murder, as seen in verses or whether it was unintentional manslaughter.

    • The slayer was safe inside the city until this judgment took place. Then, if the person was found guilty of murder he was to be delivered to the avenger of blood, who was to put him to death. If not found guilty, he was to be allowed to remain in the city of refuge without fear of death. Then he must remain there until the death of the high priest, for if found outside the city, the avenger of blood was allowed to kill him.

    • After the death of the high priest he could return to his own home, and would be safe from any reprisal by the avenger of blood.

  • Chapter 36 - Concern about the earlier ruling about the daughters of Zelophehad.

    • The daughters of Zelophehad had before been assured of inheriting the possession of their father who had died. The problem remained for his tribe (Manasseh) as to whether these daughters might be married to husbands of a different tribe. God gave the answer that these daughters must not marry outside their own tribe.

    • The very last word in both Hebrew and English is Jericho.

    So, what does the Book of Numbers have to do with us and why are we bothering to study it?

    Numbers is a study in contrasts: two generations – one rebellious, the other one faithful. Two outcomes – cursing in being unable to enter the Promised Land, and blessing in receiving God’s inheritance. Two mediators – Moses the lesser, and Christ the greater.

    In this world, you are in your wilderness wanderings. Your goal is to reach your promised heavenly city, whose designer and builder is God. When you go through temptations, economic hardship, troubled relationships, sickness and sorrow, do you see only your present situation? Or do you look back to all the wondrous works that God has done for you in the past? How he has saved you from slavery to sin; how he has provided for you and your family when times were hard; how he has given you reconciliation with your loved ones when differences seemed irreconcilable.

    Do you continue to focus on God’s promise that he works all things for your good? That the sufferings in this present age are nothing compared with the glory that awaits us in the age to come? When you lose sight of God’s promise to be with you in this barren wilderness of life till the end of the age, you will end up bitter and rebellious like those first-generation Israelites in the wilderness.

    Always focus on God’s wondrous works for you in the past and on his promises of spiritual blessings in the heavenly places today and tomorrow. The book of Numbers has two very different outcomes for those who are faithful to the end, and those who rebel in this present age.

    Because of their rebellion, most of this book tells us about God’s severe judgment on them in their wanderings in the wilderness. The first 25 chapters tell the story of unbelief, rebellion, despair and death of the first generation, because they refused to place their trust in the Lord who had done marvelous wonders for them in Egypt and in the wilderness. In contrast, chapters 27-36 begin and end with the story of the faith of the daughters of Zelophehad in God’s promised inheritance. Their faith was evidence that they were ready to enter the land that God was giving them.

    Like the Israelites in the wilderness, you are God’s people living in today’s dry and barren wilderness, full of thorns and thistles along the way. You have been redeemed from your slavery to sin by a better mediator of a better covenant. But, like the people in the book of Numbers, you are still waiting to enter your Promised Land, the heavenly city, where your food and drink and light is Christ your Passover Lamb.

    You are pilgrims and strangers living in this barren land, living between redemption and the Promised Land. But as God’s people, “you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family.” (Ephesians 2:19). And as you await your final redemption, you are “I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. ” (1 Peter 2:11).

    Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from the New Living Translation of the Bible.

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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Numbers 20-25

  • Chapter 20 - The New Generation complains; Moses Strikes the Rock; Miriam and Aaron die.

    • This chapter opens 37 years after the incident with the 12 spies at Kadesh and 40 years since leaving Egypt.

    • Now they're camped at Kadesh once again now that the old generation has died off.

    • Miriam dies and is buried at Kadesh.

    • The new generation now rebels too complaining about the food and lack of water - wishing they were in Egypt (Egypt is a type of the world).

    • God in His "glorious presence" directs Moses and Aaron what to do, but they don't follow His directions to the letter:

      Numbers 20:8-13: "You and Aaron must take the staff and assemble the entire community. As the people watch, command the rock over there to pour out its water. You will get enough water from the rock to satisfy all the people and their livestock." So Moses did as he was told. He took the staff from the place where it was kept before the LORD. Then he and Aaron summoned the people to come and gather at the rock. "Listen, you rebels!" he shouted. "Must we bring you water from this rock?" Then Moses raised his hand and struck the rock twice with the staff, and water gushed out. So all the people and their livestock drank their fill. But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Because you did not trust me enough to demonstrate my holiness to the people of Israel, you will not lead them into the land I am giving them!" This place was known as the waters of Meribah, because it was where the people of Israel argued with the LORD, and where he demonstrated his holiness among them.

      Meribah means "arguing."

    • Why was God so angry with them? Who is the Rock? Christ! They broke the type where rivers of living water would come from Him:

      John 7:37-39: On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’ ” (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.)

      1 Corinthians 10:4: and all of them drank the same spiritual water. For they drank from the spiritual rock that traveled with them, and that rock was Christ.

      The first time God told Moses to strike the rock in Exodus 17:6 and water would come forth. This represented Christ’s death that brings forth life giving water. However, the second time Moses was told to only speak to the Rock, because Christ would never die twice. Moses and Aaron disobeyed and were punished.

    • Edom refuses to let Israel pass through their land on the king's road on their way to the Promised Land.

      If Israel could go through Edom, it would be only 20 miles, and they could then go on the east of the Dead Sea to cross the Jordan near Jericho. Yet for Israel this meant a long journey of 120 miles rather than 20 miles.

      The Edomites were descended from Jacob's brother, Esau.

      The king's road was an old caravan route.

      Moses tells the king of Edom that an angel brought them out of Egypt. Who was this "angel"?

    • Israel arrives at mount Hor.

    • God tells Moses and Aaron that "the time has come for Aaron to join his ancestors in death."

    • Moses, Aaron and Aaron's son Eleazar ascend to the top of Mount Hor. Moses removes Aaron's priestly garments from him and puts them on Eleazar, thus appointing him as the new high priest, and Aaron dies.

    • Israel mourns for 30 days.

  • Chapter 21 - Victory over the Canaanites; the Bronze Serpent; Journey to Moab; Israel Defeats the Ammorites and occupies their Territory.

    • The Canaanite king of Arad in the Negev attacks Israel and is defeated. Israel destroys all their towns.

    • The people start complaining about the manna.

    • As a result, God sends poisonous snakes among them and many die.

    • Numbers 21:8-9: Then the LORD told him, "Make a replica of a poisonous snake and attach it to the top of a pole. Those who are bitten will live if they simply look at it!" So Moses made a snake out of bronze and attached it to the top of a pole. Whenever those who were bitten looked at the bronze snake, they recovered!

      2 Kings 18:4: He removed the pagan shrines, smashed the sacred pillars, and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke up the bronze serpent that Moses had made, because the people of Israel had been offering sacrifices to it. The bronze serpent was called Nehushtan. Nehushtan means a thing of brass. It's not a god - it's just a piece of brass. The "He" is Hezekiah (about 715 BC).

      John 3:14-15: And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.

    • The serpent is always a symbol for sin because Satan came in the form of a serpent in the Garden of Eden. Brass is always a symbol of judgment.

    • Now if you go to the Saint Ambrose Cathedral in Milan, Italy you can see the glued-together pieces of brass and the people going up and offering their prayers and kissing the glass cover and so forth again. Because according to their story, someone picked up the pieces and now they've got it on display and are using it again.

    • The Amorites also refuse to let Israel pass through their territory on the king's road. Israel defeats King Sihon and King Og and occupies their land as far as the fortified territory of the Ammonites.

  • Chapter 22 - Balaam

    • Israel camps east of the Jordan River, across from Jericho, in the plains of Moab.

    • Balak, the Moabite king, sends for Balaam, a sorcerer, living in Pethor near the Euphrates River, to put a curse on Israel.

    • Balak's messengers give money to do the job; he tells them to stay the night (probably in hopes of getting more money).

    • God speaks to Balaam and tells him not to go with them and says He will not curse Israel.

    • Balak sends even more people and, probably more money, to persuade Balaam to come and curse Israel. This time, God says to go with them the next day, but he is only to do what God directs him to do.

    • God was furious that Balaam was going - then we get the incident of Balaam's donkey. So why was God upset at Balaam for doing what God told him to do?

    • In the story, God opens Balaam's eyes when the donkey won't go any further and he sees the angel of the Lord.

    • 2 Peter 2:15-16: They have wandered off the right road and followed the footsteps of Balaam son of Beor, who loved to earn money by doing wrong. But Balaam was stopped from his mad course when his donkey rebuked him with a human voice.

    • An 8th century BC inscription found in Jordan begins with, "Inscription of Balaam the son of Beor, the man who was a seer of the gods."

  • Chapters 23-24 - Balaam Bless Israel

    • First attempt: Balaam has Balak build 7 altars with sacrifices.

      God gives Balaam a message for Balak that Israel is a nation set apart from other nations and is blessed by God.

    • Second attempt: Balaam has Balak build 7 altars with sacrifices at a different place where Balaam will only see part of Israel and hopefully can at least weaken them.

      God tells Balaam to tell Balak that no sorcery has any power against Israel.

    • Third attempt: Balaam and Balak go the top of Mount Peor and again has seven altars built with sacrifices.

    • Balaam's prophecy: Balaam realizes that the Lord intends to bless Israel. The Spirit of the Lord comes on him and he delivers a prophecy and a vision of Israel and says "...Blessed is everyone who blesses you, O Israel, and cursed is everyone who curses you."

    • Balaam's final prophecy: Balaam prophecies that "A star will rise from Jacob; a scepter will emerge from Israel".

      This star is usually assumed to refer to the Messiah.

      And he prophecies that Moab, Amalek and Edom will be conquered and the Kenites will be taken captive by Assyria and that eventually Assyria will also be destroyed.

      Then Balaam and Balak return to their homes.

  • Chapter 25
    - Moab Seduces Israel

    • Israel is camped at Shittim, the final encampment before they cross the Jordan (Joshua 2:1). Satan brings forth another way of keeping Israel out of the promised land.

    • Numbers 31:16 and Revelation 2:14 reveal that it was Balaam's idea to involve Israel in sexual sin with the local Moabite women/prostitutes and then to be sucked into their Baal worship.

      Numbers 31:16: “These are the very ones who followed Balaam’s advice and caused the people of Israel to rebel against the Lord at Mount Peor. They are the ones who caused the plague to strike the Lord’s people.

      Revelation 2:14: “But I have a few complaints against you. You tolerate some among you whose teaching is like that of Balaam, who showed Balak how to trip up the people of Israel. He taught them to sin by eating food offered to idols and by committing sexual sin.

      Numbers 31:8: All five of the Midianite kings—Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba—died in the battle. They also killed Balaam son of Beor with the sword .

      Joshua 13:22: The Israelites had also killed Balaam son of Beor, who used magic to tell the future.

    • God orders Moses to execute the ringleaders and impale their bodies on stakes.

    • One Israelite man, Zimri, even brought a Moabite woman into the Israelite camp into his tent and Phinehas ran his spear through the man into the woman's stomach, killing both.

    • 24,000 died (including 1,000 of the leaders who were executed) as a result of this sin:1 Corinthians 10:8: And we must not engage in sexual immorality as some of them did, causing 23,000 of them to die in one day.

    • Because of what he did, God made a special covenant with Phinehas (Eleazar's son and Aaron's grandson) that he and his descendants would be priests for all time.

    • God orders Moses to attack the Midianites and destroy them.

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from the New Living Translation of the Bible.

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Numbers 10-19

  • Chapter 10 - TWO SILVER TRUMPETS
    (verses 1-10)

    • The two silver trumpets were to be made of hammered or beaten work.

    • If both trumpets were blown, this was the signal for all the congregation
      of Israel to gather before Moses at the door of the tabernacle.

    • If only one trumpet was blown, this was to summon the leaders
      of each tribe.

    • When about to travel, an alarm was blown, the
      first alarm signaling the movement of the camps on the east side (Judah),
      the second alarm calling for the movement of those on the south
      side. Nothing is said as to the north and west sides. Perhaps
      it is to be understood that the alarm was blown the third and fourth
      time for these.

    • At the coming of the Lord, His word will be a clarion call to
      summon all believers away from earth to His own glorious presence.

    • The sons of Aaron were those designated to blow the trumpets,
      therefore it was priestly work.

    • If, on entering their land, it was necessary to engage in warfare,
      then the trumpets were to sound an alarm.

    • Also, at the set times of Israel's appointed feasts, and at the
      beginning of each month, the trumpets were to be sounded in drawing
      attention to their burnt offerings and peace offerings.

    (verses 11-36)

    • What follows is the history of the wilderness journey of

    • About one year and five weeks after the Passover in Egypt the
      cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle in mid-spring, so that Israel began
      their journey following the cloud. As they followed God's leading, so should we!

    • They left the wilderness of Sinai only to enter the wilderness
      of Paran.

    • The tribes set out on the journey in the order God had prescribed:

      • Judah first.

      • When these had moved
        the tabernacle was taken down, and the sons of Gershon and the sons
        of Merari set out, carrying the tabernacle.

      • The tribe of
        Reuben was next

      • Then

      • Then Gad.

      • Following
        Gad were the Kohathites carrying the furniture of the tabernacle,
        so that on their arrival the tabernacle would have been prepared
        for them. Thus the Kohathites would be in the middle of the procession,
        with the holy things having a central place.

      • Ephraim next began their journey, then Manasseh, then Benjamin. Dan followed, then Asher
        and finally Naphthali.

    • Verse 29 speaks of Moses asking Hobab, son of Reuel to come with
      Israel. Hobab was the brother of Moses' wife Zipporah. No doubt
      it was simply because of this relationship that Moses requested
      him to come. Before the law was given, Jethro (known as Reuel also)
      had come to Moses and advised him to delegate authority to others
      in Israel, then had returned to his own land (Exodus 18:17-27). But he told Moses he would not
      go with Israel, but would return to his own land.

    • Moses nevertheless urged him, because Hobab knew something of
      the country they would pass through, and he could be "eyes"
      for Israel. Besides, Moses promised him, they would treat him well,
      as the Lord treated Israel. However, nothing is said as to whether Hobab
      accepted this. Still, Hobab is not mentioned again in all the wilderness
      history. His children are mentioned in Judges 4:11, but not as part
      of Israel.

    • Leaving Mount Horeb, the first leg of Israel's journey took three

    • We are told that
      the ark went before them, and that the cloud was above them.

    • Because the ark was the symbol of the Lord's presence, Moses prayed
      when it set out, "Arise, O LORD, and let your enemies be scattered! Let them flee before you!". Then when the ark rested, Moses prayed, "Return,
      O LORD, to the countless thousands of Israel

  • Chapter 11 - THE PEOPLE COMPLAIN

    • The people began complaining about their hardships and the fire of the Lord
      destroyed the outskirts of the camp.

    • When Moses prayed, the fire stopped. Then the area was called Taberah (the place of burning).

    • Then the "foreign rabble" despised the manna and wanted to turn back to Egypt.

    • Moses was sick of them and felt the burden was greater than
      he could bear.

    • Then God told him appoint
      seventy men (same number that went up the mountain and the number in the Sanhedrin) to be elders of the people on whom
      He put some of Moses' spirit and they prophesied.

    • In answer to their complaint of no meat, God gave them quails (three feet deep on the ground).

    • But God caused a plague to break out among them.

    • The place was called Kibroth-hattaavah (the graves of craving).

    • Then God moved them to Hazeroth where they stay for some time.

  • Chapter 12

    • Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses saying they were upset about Moses marrying a Cushite women, but were actually upset that their little brother was the leader.

    • God said "I speak to him face to face, directly". Is this the incarnate Christ?

    • The
      Lord struck Miriam with a skin disease (translated "leprosy") but at the intercession
      of Moses it was removed from her, though she was shut out of the camp
      seven days.

    Chapter 13-14

    • God instructs Moses to send out 12 men to spy out the land of Canaan.

    • Caleb represented Judah and Joshua represented Ephraim.

    • Joshua's original name was Hoshea (which means "salvation") but Moses renamed him Joshua (which means "The LORD is salvation").

    • Detailed the searching of the land by the spies, and
      the consequences of their lack of faith. The route would have been a round trip of about 500 miles.

    • Forgetting God, and judging from
      their own standpoint, the spies (except Caleb and Joshua) gave an evil
      report of the land - mentioning that there were giants in the land and the cities were walled and heavily fortified.

    • The whole congregation exclaimed, "We wish we had died in Egypt or even here in this wilderness".

    • They suggest appointing a new leader and going back to Egypt.

    • Caleb and Joshua tore their clothes and proclaimed that the people in the land had no protection because the Lord was with His people.

    • God proposed wiping out the complainers and making a new nation from Moses. Moses responded by saying basically "what would the Egyptians think?".

    • God decreed that all of twenty years old and upwards would die in
      the wilderness, except Caleb and Joshua, and that their little ones should
      be brought into the land.

    • The ten false spies died.

    • In further rebellion they said they would go
      up into the land, but they were smitten by the Amalekites and Canaanites.
      This is the beginning of their wandering 40 years in the wilderness - the same as the number of days the spies explored the land.

  • Chapter 15-19

    • God had not deviated from His purpose and give some of
      the laws of the offerings when they come into the promised land.

    • The punishment for breaking the Sabbath law - stoning to death.

    • Institution of the blue tassels.

    • Then is recorded the rebellion of Korah, Dathan,
      and Abiram, that which is spoken of in Jude 1:1 as the gainsaying of Core.
      It was the assumption of the priesthood by the Levites and rebellion against
      the anointing of God. Remember, not all Levites were priests - only Aaron and his descendants!

    • The brass incense burners of the rebellious Levites (250 in all) were beaten into plates as a covering for the altar.

    • 14,700 people die from the plague for rebelling against God.

    • By the budding of Aaron's rod, God bore witness as to whom He had chosen
      for the priesthood, and He gave instructions as to the responsibility
      and the portions of the priests and Levites.

    • Instructions are again given about the offerings and tithes.

    • Then is given
      the law of the Red Heifer, a provision for defilement in the wilderness.


Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from the New Living Translation of the Bible.

On-Line Sources:

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Numbers 5-9

  • Chapter 5 - Laws of Uncleanness, Trespassing and the unfaithful

    • Removal of the "unclean": Because the
      Lord dwelt among the sons of Israel, he ordered Moses to command
      the sons of Israel to purify the camp by sending out those who were
      unclean - "lepers" (the Hebrew word used describes various
      skin diseases) and those defiled by contact with the dead.

    • Restitution: When someone was robbed or wronged,
      they were to confess their sin, make full restitution plus add a
      penalty of 20%. If the wronged person was dead and there were no
      close relatives, the restitution and a ram for atonement went to
      the priest. This was a unique concept for that day.

      The lesson for us to draw from this is that we should not only apologize
      and make amends but that we should go beyond what might
      be expected of us.

    • The trial of jealousy: When a wife committed
      adultery or when her husband became jealous and suspected his wife
      of committing adultery, she was brought before the priest with a
      grain offering and required to drink water with the dust of the
      tabernacle in it; whereupon she would be shown to be guilty her
      "stomach swelled and her thigh wasted away" such that
      she could not get pregnant, or she would be vindicated if nothing
      happened. Suspicion and mistrust will destroy a marriage.

  • Chapter 6 - Law of the Nazirite and the Priestly Blessing:

    • (from the Hebrew root nazar, meaning "to separate")

    • God instituted the Nazirite vow for people who
      wanted to devote some time exclusively to serving him.

    • Parents could take the vow for their young child - such as with

    • The vow included 3 restrictions:

      • He had to abstain from wine or anything else
        from the grapevine (including grape juice and raisins).

      • His hair could not be cut and the beard
        could not be shaved - See story about Samson.

      • Touching a dead body was not allowed - not
        even if a parent or sibling.

      • At the end of the vow, he would bring to the Tabernacle entrance
        the appropriate offerings.

        Then, the Nazirite was to shave his hair and
        put it on the fire beneath the peace-offering sacrifice.

        Acts 18:18,21:24: Paul stayed in Corinth
        for some time after that, then said good-bye to the brothers
        and sisters and went to nearby Cenchrea. There he shaved
        his head
        according to Jewish custom, marking
        the end of a vow
        . Then he set sail for Syria, taking
        Priscilla and Aquila with him...Go with them to the Temple and
        join them in the purification ceremony, paying
        for them to have their heads ritually shaved. Then everyone
        will know that the rumors are all false and that you
        yourself observe the Jewish laws

    • Aaron and his sons were to bless the people of Israel
      with this special blessing:

         ‘May the Lord bless you and protect you.

         May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.

         May the Lord show you his favor and give you his

      This blessing was discovered in 1979 on a silver amulet in a Judean
      tomb dating to the 7th or 6th century B.C.

  • Chapter 7 - Offerings of the Twelve Princes of Israel for
    the Dedicating of the Altar:

    • Setting: On the day that Moses finished setting
      up the tabernacle, he anointed and consecrated it, all its furnishings,
      the altar and its utensils.

    • God spoke to Moses from between the two cherubim: When
      Moses entered into the tabernacle "he heard the
      speaking to him from between the two cherubim above
      the Ark’s cover - the place of atonement - that rests on the
      Ark of the Covenant. The Lord spoke to him from there.

      He had access to the mercy-seat and received his directions from
      there, while the place of approach for the people was at the brazen
      altar. BUT, we are called to approach the throne BOLDLY:

      Hebrews 4:16: So let us come boldly
      to the throne
      of our gracious God. There we will receive
      his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

      Exodus 29:42: “These burnt offerings
      are to be made each day from generation to generation. Offer them
      in the Lord’s presence at the Tabernacle entrance;
      there I will meet with you and speak with you.

    • The Chieftains’ Initiatory Gifts: The leaders
      of the tribes of Israel offered six covered carts and twelve oxen
      before the tabernacle which were accepted and given to the sons
      of Gershon and Merari, and Moses demonstrated the unified acceptance
      of the tabernacle through the gifts from the leaders of the twelve

    • Tribal Offerings: The leaders of the tribes of
      Israel, the heads of their fathers’ households, offered six
      covered carts (one for every two leaders) and twelve oxen (one for
      every leader) before the tabernacle.

    • Acceptance of Offerings: Moses daily accepted
      the carts and oxen for twelve days and gave two carts and four oxen
      to the sons of Gershon, four carts and eight oxen to the sons of
      Merari, none to the sons of Kohath since they carried the holy objects
      on their shoulder.

  • Chapter 8 - Light of the Sanctuary and Dedication of the Levites:

    • Lighting the Menorah: The Lord spoke to Moses
      exhorting him to tell Aaron that he is to mount the seven lamps
      on the lampstand so that they would give their light forward - the
      light of the glory of God was in Israel -. the light of His face
      might shine on them as the lampstand shone on the showbread in the

    • Dedication and purification of the Levites: They
      were to shave their entire body and wash their clothing and bring
      their grain and sin offerings. They were then brought to the entrance
      to the tabernacle and the people of Israel laid their hands on them.

    • Purification of the Levitical Order: The Lord
      prescribed through Moses how the Levite work-force (in place of
      the first-born Israelites) was dedicated and purified for their
      work as movers of the tabernacle.

    • The Retirement of the Levites: The Lord commanded
      Moses that the Levites may only do the hard work of erecting, dismantling
      and transporting the tabernacle from ages 25-50
      whereupon, they are to retire and only help the younger men do “guard
      duty”. See 4:1 where those above 30 were counted. Apparently,
      they served as apprentices from 25 to 30.

      Numbers 4:3: List all the men between
      the ages of thirty and fifty
      who are eligible to serve
      in the Tabernacle.

  • Chapter 9 - Passover in the Wilderness; the Cloud as Guide
    of the People:

    • Observance of the First Passover: On the first
      month of the second year after the people had come
      out of Egypt, the Lord commanded Moses to have Israel observe the
      Passover at twilight on the fourteenth day.

    • The Complaint of Those Barred from Participating in the
      Some men who were unclean because they had been
      with a dead person asked Moses why they should not be allowed to
      present their offering to the Lord at the Passover with the sons
      of Israel, and Moses agreed to seek the Lord’s command concerning

    • Observance of the Second Passover at Sinai: On
      the first month of the second year after the people had come out
      of Egypt, the Lord commanded the sons of Israel to observe the Passover
      on the fourteenth day according to its statues and ordinances and
      made provisions for exceptional cases--the defiled, the disobedient,
      and the alien.

    • Clean: If one is clean and not on a journey but
      does not keep the Passover, that one is to be cut off from the people
      and to bear his sin for not presenting his offering to the Lord.

    • If a foreigner is among the sons of Israel and
      observes the Passover according to the statue and ordinance of the
      Passover, he is permitted since there is one statue for both alien
      and the native of the land.

    • The Journey Commences: The Cloud and Silver Trumpets:
      The prescribed means of guidance for the sons of Israel was the
      movement of the cloud over the tabernacle and the sounding of two
      silver trumpets.

    • Leading of the Lord: On the day that the tabernacle
      was erected, the cloud covered the tabernacle by day and in the
      evening it appeared like fire over the tabernacle leading Israel
      from campsite to campsite by going ahead of them and then resting
      on the tabernacle.


Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from the New Living Translation of the Bible.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Numbers 1-4

Chapter 1: The Census of Fighting Age Men.

Census in the wilderness of Sinai of fighting age men (20 years old and above - Excludes the Levites):

  1. Reuben: 46,500 - leader was Elizur which means "God is a Rock."

  2. Simeon: 59,300 - leader was Shelumiel meaning "at peace with

  3. Gad: 45,650 - leader was Eliasaph, meaning "God has added."

  4. Judah: 74,600 - leader was Nahshon which means "a diviner."

  5. Issachar: 54,400 - leader was Nethanel, meaning "the gift of

  6. Zebulun: 57,400 - leader was Eliab, meaning "God is a Father."

  7. Ephraim: 40,500 - leader was Elishama, meaning "God has heard."

  8. Manasseh: 32,200 - leader was Gamaliel, meaning "God is a Rewarder."

  9. Benjamin: 35,400 - leader was Benjamin, meaning "My father is

  10. Dan: 62,700 - leader was Ahiezer, meaning "brother of help."
    Genesis 49:17, "Dan will be a snake beside
    the road, a poisonous viper along the path that bites the horse’s
    hooves so its rider is thrown off.

  11. Asher: 41,500 - leader was Pagiel, which means "event of God."

  12. Naphtali: 53,400 - leader was Ahira, meaning "brother of evil."

  13. TOTAL: 603,550 (same number as in Exodus 38:26)

   The Levites are counted in chapter 3, but not here. The tribes are to pitch their tents by their tribes. Chapter 2 specifies how the camp is to be arranged and how they to be arranged when on the march.

   Notice that instead of the tribes of Levi and Joseph being named and counted, the sons of Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim, are named and counted as the 12. Joseph was given the "double portion":

1 Chronicles 5:1-2: The oldest son of Israel was Reuben. But since he dishonored his father by sleeping with one of his father’s concubines, his birthright was given to the sons of his brother Joseph. For this reason, Reuben is not listed in the genealogical records as the firstborn son. The descendants of Judah became the most powerful tribe and provided a ruler for the nation, but the birthright belonged to Joseph.

Chapter 2: The Order of Encampment and Marching.

   This chapter prescribes how the camp was to be arranged
and the order in which the tribes were to march
. Surrounding the tabernacle
are the Levites: their arrangement is more closely described in chapter
3. They guarded the sanctuary from intrusions by unauthorized laypeople.
Beyond the Levites, the lay tribes are encamped.

   The 12 tribes were divided
into four groups of three:

  1. In premier position, east of the tabernacle
    camp, were Judah with Issachar and Zebulun (2:2–9).

  2. Next in rank
    came the tribes camping to the south of the tabernacle, Reuben with Gad
    and Simeon (2:10–16).

  3. After them on the west came Ephraim with Benjamin
    and Manasseh (2:18–24).

  4. Finally, on the northern side of the tabernacle
    camp were Dan with Asher and Naphtali (2:25–34).

   The same sequence
was to be maintained on the march. The Judah group headed the march, followed
by the Reuben group. Then followed the Levites carrying the tabernacle.
After them came the Ephraim group of tribes, and the Dan group brought
up the rear (verse 31). It is not known what Israel's tribal banners and
standards looked like. A gap had to be kept between the lay tribes and
the tabernacle. From the English Standard Version Study Bible.

   According to Rabbinical tradition, each had its own
standard with the crests of its ancestors

  • On the east, above the tent of Nahshon, there shone
    a standard of green, because it was on an emerald (the
    green stone) that the name of Judah was engraved upon the breastplate
    of the high priest. Upon this standard was a lion,
    according to the words of Jacob, "Judah is a lion's whelp."

  • Towards the south, above the tent of Elizur, the
    son of Reuben, there floated a red
    standard, the color of the Sardius, the stone upon which Reuben's name
    was written. Upon his standard was a human head, because
    Reuben was the head of the family. And Reuben means, as we saw in Exodus,
    "Behold a son," typical of Him who became the Son of man.

  • On the west, above the tent of Elishama, the son
    of Ephraim, there was a golden flag
    on which was the head of a calf, because it was through
    the vision of the calves or oxen that Joseph had predicted and provided
    for the famine in Egypt; and hence Moses, when blessing the tribe of
    Joseph (Deuteronomy 33:17) said, "Joseph has the majesty of
    a young bull...

  • Towards the north, above the tent of Ahiezer, the
    son of Dan, there floated a motley standard of red
    and white
    , like the jasper, in which the name of Dan was engraven
    upon the breastplate. In his standard was an eagle,
    the great foe of serpents, because Jacob had compared Dan to a serpent. But Ahiezer had substituted the eagle.

Arrangement of the tribes:

  • The tabernacle and its attendants were in the center.

  • On the East side were Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun. The standard of
    Judah was always in the lead when the tribes set out to march.

  • On the South side were Reuben, Simeon, and Gad.

  • On the West side were Ephraim, Manasseh, Benjamin.

  • On the North side were Dan, Asher, and Naphtali.

  • Each tribe had its own standard and leader, or prince.

   The Lord arranged the camp, with Judah facing
towards the sunrise
; this indicates the promised goal and also
reminds us of the rising of the Sun of Righteousness, the coming of the
Lord, when the wanderings of His people will end. And Yahweh
was in the midst of His people
to guide and protect them, to
supply their needs.

Chapter 3: Two Censuses of the Levites & Chapter 4: Duties.

   The two censuses in chapter 3 count two different groups
of Levites: the first (3:1–51) counts every male Levite over one
month old, whereas the second (4:1–49) counts those between 30 and
50 years of age
. The male Levites took the place of the firstborn males
of the other tribes in order to serve the Lord, so the first census ensures
that the number of the former matches the number of the latter. Transporting
the tabernacle requires strength, so the second census aims to find if
there are enough able-bodied male Levites for this task.

Luke 3:23: Jesus was about thirty years old when he began his public ministry...

John 8:57: The people said, “You aren’t even fifty years old. How can you say you have seen Abraham?

Numbers 3:1–4 The Sons of Aaron. This census begins
with the priests, the most holy family of the Levites. The priests
were descended from Aaron, who belonged to the Kohathite clan within the
tribe of Levi
(Exodus 6:16–25). Because of their high status,
they camped to the east of the tabernacle, guarding its entrance (Numbers
3:38); the tribe of Judah camped farther out (2:3). Despite their privileges,
two sons of Aaron (Nadba and Abihu) died as a result of giving an unauthorized
incense offering (3:4; see Leviticus 10:1–20). The remaining sons
of Aaron (Eleazar and Ithamar) served as priests of the Lord.

1 Chronicles 6:1: The sons of Levi were Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.

Numbers 3:11–13 Reason for the Levitical Census. In the last plague, every firstborn male Egyptian and every firstborn of their cattle died, but the Israelite boys and cattle were spared. So after this, all Israelite firstborn boys and cattle were dedicated to God. That meant the cattle were sacrificed and the boys should have served God in the sanctuary (Exodus 11:4–13:15). But after the golden calf incident, the Levites took the place of the firstborn boys (Exodus 32:25–29).

Numbers 3:14–39 The Clans' Numbers, Positions, and Responsibilities. The census results are listed by clan, specifying which parts of the tabernacle each clan was responsible for carrying and which side they had to guard:

  • Moses and the priests camped on the east, guarding the tabernacle sanctuary and protecting Israel.

  • Most privileged were the Kohathites (8,600), camping on the south side and responsible for guarding, carrying and placing the Ark of the Covenant, the Veil, the Golden Incense Altar, the Lampstand, the Showbread Table, the Laver and the Burnt Offering Altar, together with all the utensils these required (Numbers 3:31).

  • Next in privilege were the Gershonites (7,500), camping on the west side and responsible for carrying and setting up the curtains of the Outer Court, the Coverings of the Tabernacle, the curtain Door to the Sanctuary, the curtain Door to the Outer Court, together with all the ropes and fixings required for securing these curtains (Numbers 3:25-26)

  • Finally came the Merarites (6,200), camping on the north side and responsible for carrying and setting up the Boards, the Bars and the Pillars and Sockets of the Outer Court (Numbers 3:36-37)

   The Kohathites were entrusted with carrying the furnishings of the Holy Place and Holy of Holies of the Tabernacle. While the Israelites were encamped, the Kohathites would encamp to the south of the Tabernacle, except for Moses, Aaron, and their households, who would encamp directly to the east.

   The Gershoniteswere to take care of the outer coverings of the tabernacle and the curtains that marked the outer court and the altar (Numbers 3:25-26). Gershon is called Gershom in 1 Chronicles 6:16. The name means "exile".

   The Merarites were charged with the care of the boards of the tabernacle & related items as well as the pillars of the court all around & related components. Merari means sad/bitter.

1 Chronicles 6:49-50: Only Aaron and his descendants served as priests. They presented the offerings on the altar of burnt offering and the altar of incense, and they performed all the other duties related to the Most Holy Place. They made atonement for Israel by doing everything that Moses, the servant of God, had commanded them. The descendants of Aaron were Eleazar, Phinehas, Abishua,

   The total number of Levites (verse 39) is 22,000. The location of the priests at the east side of the tabernacle guarding its entrance (verse 38) may anticipate the role of Jesus as high priest, giving his people access to God's presence in heaven (Hebrews 9–10).

Numbers 3:40–51 Redemption of the Firstborn. The census showed there were 273 fewer Levites than firstborn males in the other tribes. To redeem these 273 Israelites who had no Levite to take their place, five shekels (verse 47) per person had to be paid. This is the tariff prescribed in Leviticus 27:6 for boys under five. Five shekels would have been about a year's pay for a herdsman.

Numbers 3:43 all the firstborn males . . . were 22,273. If the total population was over 2 million, as some hold, then this number would only represent the number of firstborn males born since the exodus. Other interpreters understand this figure as the total of all firstborn in Israel, which would then indicate a much smaller total population.

   Who were the Levites? Levites are the descendants
of Levi
. The term is generally used, from the perspective of
The Bible, to identify the part of the tribe that was set apart for the
secondary duties of the sanctuary service (1 Kings 8:4, Ezra 2:70), as
assistants to the priests, who were also Levites. Although all priests
were Levites, not all Levites were priests. There were three divisions
of the Levites, names for Levi's three sons, Gershon, Kohath and Merari.
Gershon had two sons, Kohath four, and Marari two.

   Prior to the Exodus, when the Israelites escaped the slavery of the Pharaoh of Egypt (see Who Was The Exodus Pharaoh?), the ancient way of worship was yet observed, with the firstborn son of each household inheriting the priest's office. That was changed at Sinai when an hereditary priesthood from the family of Aaron was established (Exodus 28:1). The Levites were formally set apart after the now-infamous incident with the golden calf idol that the Israelites made while Moses was away receiving The Ten Commandments from The Lord (Exodus chapter 32). The Levites did not take part in the idolatry, and actually killed 3,000 of those who did, as ordered by Moses (Exodus 32:25-29). After the incident was over, Moses said of the Levites, "Then Moses told the Levites, “Today you have ordained yourselves for the service of the Lord, for you obeyed him even though it meant killing your own sons and brothers. Today you have earned a blessing.”" (Exodus 32:29). The Levites were natural allies of Moses because Moses himself was of the tribe of Levi (Exodus 2:1-2,10). Levi had 3 sons: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. From those branches of the family, the Levites were organized into 3 levels of service:

  • The first level was composed of Aaron and his offspring, who were descended from Levi's son Kohath. They formed the priesthood.

  • The second level was made up of all of the other descendants of Kohath who were not descendants of Aaron. They were in charge of the most sacred parts of the Tabernacle (Numbers 3:27-32, 4:4-15, 7:9).

  • The third level consisted of all of the descendants of Gershon and Merari, who were given lesser duties (Numbers 3:21-26,33-37).

   The Levites served at the Tabernacle from age 30 to 50 (Numbers 4:3,23,30). They were not counted for military service in the armies of Israel, but were set apart for service to God (Numbers 1:45-50, 2:33, 26:62).

   According to Numbers 20:28, the office of the high priest was transmitted upon death to the oldest living son of the high priest: "Moses removed Aaron's garments and put them on his son Eleazar. And Aaron died there on top of the mountain. Then Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain." And according to Numbers 25:10-13, God made a covenant with Phinehas, the eldest son of Eleazar, which guaranteed a lasting priesthood with the Aaronic line.

   With their consecration to The Lord's service, the Levites were allotted no territorial inheritance of their own at the Division Of The Land; God was their inheritance (Numbers 18:20, 26:62, Deuteronomy 10:9). Once established in the Promised Land, they were supported, in the agricultural economy of the time, by the tithes of the produce of the land paid to The Lord by the other tribes.

   The Levites were assigned towns to live in from the inheritance of the other tribes - forty-eight cities, thirteen of which were for the priests along with their other inhabitants (Numbers 35:2-5). Nine of these cities were in Judah, three in Naphtali, and four in each of the other tribes (Joshua chapter 21). Six of the Levitical cities were designated as Cities Of Refuge.

   In Joshua, as in Numbers, the Levites consist of the clans of Kohath, Gershon, and Merari, and to each clan a large number of cities is assigned (Joshua 21). The Levites, as the servants of the Temple, appear next in I Chronicles, where David is represented as dividing them into "courses" to wait on the sons of Aaron by doing the menial work of the Temple because they were no longer needed to carry the Tabernacle (I Chronicles 23, especially verses 26-28). He also appointed some to be doorkeepers of the Temple, some to have charge of its treasure, and some to be singers (I Chronicles 25-26).

Chapter 4: Census and Duties of the Kohathite, Gershonite and Merarite clans.

Preparation of the tabernacle for travel:

  1. Aaron and his sons take down the veil and cover the ark (no one else allowed to look at or touch these items).

    (Aaron's son) had charge of the fragrant incense, the grain offering, the anointing oil and had oversight of the whole tabernacle.

    The immediate consequence of touching any of these objects out-of-turn, especially the ark of the covenant, was death.

    The Kohathites were to carry these items:

    • The ark is then covered first by the veil, then by a covering of goatskin and then a blue cloth. Then the carrying poles were inserted.

    • The table of the bread of the presence is covered with a blue cloth, then the plates, etc and showbread are placed on it, the entire thing is covered with scarlet cloth and the goatskin and the carrying poles inserted.

    • The lampstand and its vessels are covered with a blue cloth and then covered with goatskin and put on a carrying frame.

    • The golden altar was covered with a blue cloth and then goats skin and then its carrying poles inserted.

    • The ashes from the altar are covered with a blue cloth and then all the utensils are put on it. Then it is all covered with goatskin and put in its poles.

  2. The Gershonites were to carry:

    • The curtains of the tabernacle with its covering and the covering of goatskin and the screen for the entrance of the tabernacle and of the court gate (on two oxcarts per 7:7).

  3. The Merarites were to transport the planks, poles, bases, etc (requiring four oxcarts per 7:8).

  • The Kohathites between 30 and 50 years old numbered 2,750.

  • The Gershonites between 30 and 50 years old numbered 2,630.

  • The Merarites between 30 and 50 years old numbered 3,200.

  • Total was 8,580.

Kohathites: While the Israelites were on the march, the Kohathites would march between the second and third ranks of the tribes and carry the ark of the covenant, the table of showbread, the seven-branched lampstand, the various altars, and the vessels of the Holy Place (Numbers 3:29-31). They needed to take care not to touch any of those articles until Aaron and his sons had prepared them properly for transport. The immediate consequence of touching any of these objects out-of-turn, especially the ark of the covenant, was death. (Numbers 4:15,17-20). Kohath's descendants included some of the most famous of the Israelites, and also some of the most infamous. Moses and Aaron were, of course, two of Kohath's grandsons. From Aaron came a line of high priests that continued nearly unbroken through the ages of the Judges, the United Kingdom of Israel, the Kingdom of Judah, the Babylonian Captivity, and the Restoration. Judge Samuel was another famous Kohathite. Yet another grandson of Kohath, Korah, led a mutiny against Moses; for that he was executed directly by God Himself. Two of the sons of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, died after they offered "strange fire" to God (in the Holy of Holies itself, the most serious breach of duty and discipline of which they were capable). Jonathan, a great-grandson of Kohath, established an illegal priestly line for the Danites that lasted until the land was captured by Tiglath-pileser III (Judges 17-18). The meaning of Kohath's name is unknown, although it may be related to an Aramaic word meaning "obey".

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from the New Living Translation of the Bible.

On-Line Sources:

Off-Line Sources: