This is Episode #46 and today we’ll read Numbers, chapters 8-10 together. God instructs Moses to consecrate the Levites for service in the tabernacle. It’s time to celebrate the second Passover since leaving Egypt, and the Israelites embark on the next leg of their journey from Sinai to Paran.
Joy: You’re listening to Season 2 of the Lifting Her Voice podcast. This is Episode #46 and today we’ll read Numbers, chapters 8-10 together. God instructs Moses to consecrate the Levites for service in the tabernacle. It’s time to celebrate the second Passover since leaving Egypt, and the Israelites embark on the next leg of their journey from Sinai to Paran.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Season 2! I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me – from the beginning – simply reading God’s word together. We built some spiritual muscles in 2020 with just the New Testament. But this year we’re going all out, cover-to-cover, Old Testament and New. So, whether with your first cup in the morning, your commute to work, or as the last thing on your mind before sleep, God’s Word will equip you for every good work. I’m really glad you’re here!
Numbers Chapter 8
The Lighting in the Tabernacle
The Lord spoke to Moses: “Speak to Aaron and tell him: When you set up the lamps, the seven lamps are to give light in front of the lampstand.” So Aaron did this; he set up its lamps to give light in front of the lampstand just as the Lord had commanded Moses. This is the way the lampstand was made: it was a hammered work of gold, hammered from its base to its flower petals. The lampstand was made according to the pattern the Lord had shown Moses.
Consecration of the Levites
The Lord spoke to Moses: “Take the Levites from among the Israelites and ceremonially cleanse them. Do this to them for their purification: Sprinkle them with the purification water. Have them shave their entire bodies and wash their clothes, and so purify themselves.
Levites as a Presentation Offering
“They are to take a young bull and its grain offering of fine flour mixed with oil, and you are to take a second young bull for a sin offering. Bring the Levites before the tent of meeting and assemble the entire Israelite community. Then present the Levites before the Lord, and have the Israelites lay their hands on them. Aaron is to present the Levites before the Lord as a presentation offering from the Israelites, so that they may perform the Lord’s work. Next the Levites are to lay their hands on the heads of the bulls. Sacrifice one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering to the Lord, to make atonement for the Levites.
“You are to have the Levites stand before Aaron and his sons, and you are to present them before the Lord as a presentation offering. In this way you are to separate the Levites from the rest of the Israelites so that the Levites will belong to me. After that the Levites may come to serve at the tent of meeting, once you have ceremonially cleansed them and presented them as a presentation offering. For they have been exclusively assigned to me from the Israelites. I have taken them for myself in place of all who come first from the womb, every Israelite firstborn. For every firstborn among the Israelites is mine, both man and animal. I consecrated them to myself on the day I struck down every firstborn in the land of Egypt. But I have taken the Levites in place of every firstborn among the Israelites.
Duties of the Levites
“From the Israelites, I have given the Levites exclusively to Aaron and his sons to perform the work for the Israelites at the tent of meeting and to make atonement on their behalf, so that no plague will come against the Israelites when they approach the sanctuary.”
Moses, Aaron, and the entire Israelite community did this to the Levites. The Israelites did everything to them the Lord commanded Moses regarding the Levites. The Levites purified themselves and washed their clothes; then Aaron presented them before the Lord as a presentation offering. Aaron also made atonement for them to cleanse them ceremonially. After that, the Levites came to do their work at the tent of meeting in the presence of Aaron and his sons. So they did to them as the Lord had commanded Moses concerning the Levites.
The Lord spoke to Moses: “In regard to the Levites: From twenty-five years old or more, a man enters the service in the work at the tent of meeting. But at fifty years old he is to retire from his service in the work and no longer serve. He may assist his brothers to fulfill responsibilities at the tent of meeting, but he must not do the work. This is how you are to deal with the Levites regarding their duties.”
Numbers Chapter 9
The Second Passover
In the first month of the second year after their departure from the land of Egypt, the Lord told Moses in the Wilderness of Sinai, “The Israelites are to observe the Passover at its appointed time. You must observe it at its appointed time on the fourteenth day of this month at twilight; you are to observe it according to all its statutes and ordinances.” So Moses told the Israelites to observe the Passover, and they observed it in the first month on the fourteenth day at twilight in the Wilderness of Sinai. The Israelites did everything as the Lord had commanded Moses.
Failing to Celebrate the Passover
But there were some men who were unclean because of a human corpse, so they could not observe the Passover on that day. These men came before Moses and Aaron the same day and said to him, “We are unclean because of a human corpse. Why should we be excluded from presenting the Lord’s offering at its appointed time with the other Israelites?”
Moses replied to them, “Wait here until I hear what the Lord commands for you.”
Then the Lord spoke to Moses: “Tell the Israelites: When any one of you or your descendants is unclean because of a corpse or is on a distant journey, he may still observe the Passover to the Lord. Such people are to observe it in the second month, on the fourteenth day at twilight. They are to eat the animal with unleavened bread and bitter herbs; they may not leave any of it until morning or break any of its bones. They must observe the Passover according to all its statutes.
“But the man who is ceremonially clean, is not on a journey, and yet fails to observe the Passover is to be cut off from his people, because he did not present the Lord’s offering at its appointed time. That man will bear the consequences of his sin.
“If an alien resides with you and wants to observe the Passover to the Lord, he is to do it according to the Passover statute and its ordinances. You are to apply the same statute to both the resident alien and the native of the land.”
Guidance by the Cloud
On the day the tabernacle was set up, the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the testimony, and it appeared like fire above the tabernacle from evening until morning. It remained that way continuously: the cloud would cover it, appearing like fire at night. Whenever the cloud was lifted up above the tent, the Israelites would set out; at the place where the cloud stopped, there the Israelites camped. At the Lord’s command the Israelites set out, and at the Lord’s command they camped. As long as the cloud stayed over the tabernacle, they camped.
Even when the cloud stayed over the tabernacle many days, the Israelites carried out the Lord’s requirement and did not set out. Sometimes the cloud remained over the tabernacle for only a few days. They would camp at the Lord’s command and set out at the Lord’s command. Sometimes the cloud remained only from evening until morning; when the cloud lifted in the morning, they set out. Or if it remained a day and a night, they moved out when the cloud lifted. Whether it was two days, a month, or longer, the Israelites camped and did not set out as long as the cloud stayed over the tabernacle. But when it was lifted, they set out. They camped at the Lord’s command, and they set out at the Lord’s command. They carried out the Lord’s requirement according to his command through Moses.
Numbers Chapter 10
Two Silver Trumpets
The Lord spoke to Moses: “Make two trumpets of hammered silver to summon the community and have the camps set out. When both are sounded in long blasts, the entire community is to gather before you at the entrance to the tent of meeting. However, if one is sounded, only the leaders, the heads of Israel’s clans, are to gather before you.
“When you sound short blasts, the camps pitched on the east are to set out. When you sound short blasts a second time, the camps pitched on the south are to set out. Short blasts are to be sounded for them to set out. When calling the assembly together, you are to sound long blasts, not short ones. The sons of Aaron, the priests, are to sound the trumpets. Your use of these is a permanent statute throughout your generations.
“When you enter into battle in your land against an adversary who is attacking you, sound short blasts on the trumpets, and you will be remembered before the Lord your God and be saved from your enemies. You are to sound the trumpets over your burnt offerings and your fellowship sacrifices and on your joyous occasions, your appointed festivals, and the beginning of each of your months. They will serve as a reminder for you before your God: I am the Lord your God.”
From Sinai to Paran
During the second year, in the second month on the twentieth day of the month, the cloud was lifted up above the tabernacle of the testimony. The Israelites traveled on from the Wilderness of Sinai, moving from one place to the next until the cloud stopped in the Wilderness of Paran. They set out for the first time according to the Lord’s command through Moses.
Order of Setting Out
The military divisions of the camp of Judah’s descendants with their banner set out first, and Nahshon son of Amminadab was over their divisions. Nethanel son of Zuar was over the division of the tribe of Issachar’s descendants, and Eliab son of Helon was over the division of the tribe of Zebulun’s descendants. The tabernacle was then taken down, and the Gershonites and the Merarites set out, transporting the tabernacle.
The military divisions of the camp of Reuben with their banner set out, and Elizur son of Shedeur was over their divisions. Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai was over the division of the tribe of Simeon’s descendants, and Eliasaph son of Deuel was over the division of the tribe of Gad’s descendants. The Kohathites then set out, transporting the holy objects; the tabernacle was to be set up before their arrival.
Next the military divisions of the camp of Ephraim’s descendants with their banner set out, and Elishama son of Ammihud was over their divisions. Gamaliel son of Pedahzur was over the division of the tribe of Manasseh’s descendants, and Abidan son of Gideoni was over the division of the tribe of Benjamin’s descendants.
The military divisions of the camp of Dan’s descendants with their banner set out, serving as rear guard for all the camps, and Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai was over their divisions. Pagiel son of Ochran was over the division of the tribe of Asher’s descendants, and Ahira son of Enan was over the division of the tribe of Naphtali’s descendants. This was the order of march for the Israelites by their military divisions as they set out.
Setting Out and Coming to Rest
Moses said to Hobab, descendant of Reuel the Midianite and Moses’s relative by marriage, “We’re setting out for the place the Lord promised, ‘I will give it to you.’ Come with us, and we will treat you well, for the Lord has promised good things to Israel.”
But he replied to him, “I don’t want to go. Instead, I will go to my own land and my relatives.”
“Please don’t leave us,” Moses said, “since you know where we should camp in the wilderness, and you can serve as our eyes. If you come with us, whatever good the Lord does for us we will do for you.”
They set out from the mountain of the Lord on a three-day journey with the ark of the Lord’s covenant traveling ahead of them for those three days to seek a resting place for them. Meanwhile, the cloud of the Lord was over them by day when they set out from the camp.
Whenever the ark set out, Moses would say:
Let your enemies be scattered,
and those who hate you flee from your presence.
When it came to rest, he would say:
to the countless thousands of Israel.
I think I saw Jesus in a way I’ve never noticed Him before in chapter 9, verse 13. It basically says that if an Israelite was able to partake of the Passover and didn’t, he must bear the consequences of his sin. Jesus is the ultimate Passover lamb. He shed His blood for us. In other words, His blood applied to the lintels of our hearts causes the Death Angel to pass over us. We have free will to reject the offer of this gift, but if we do, we must bear the consequences of our sin on our own. Now, I know that some believe that Jesus died only for those who would believe. Others believe, me included, that Jesus died for everyone, knowing that some will reject His gift. Tell me what you think at Lifting Her Voice.com, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray that by spending time in His Word every day, you will by changed. Visit me at Lifting Her Voice.com with your comments and questions. And don’t forget to visit the Blog page while you’re there. If you like the podcast, it would be great if you’d give it a five-star review and share it with everyone you know. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you tomorrow!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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