Numbers 3

Numbers 3 is about the final group of God’s people – the Levites.  These are the ones who were tasked with being priests and taking care of the tabernacle.  Aaron is to be their leader.  “You shall give the Levites to Aaron and his sons; they are wholly given to him from among the people of Israel”.  God has provided Aaron a group of workers to care for and operate the tent of meeting.  There is lots of work to do and much upkeep to take place, but God has provided all that is needed.

As he did with the rest of His people, God instructs them to “list the sons of Levi, by fathers’ houses and by clans; every male from a month old and upward you shall list”.  Time for another count, but this time they didn’t start at age 20 but anyone a month old or more. This is to organize the workforce and help Aaron know what resources are available.  Like the rest of the tribes, the Levites also had specific duties and locations to serve.  There is much clarity around who is to be positioned where, and what tasks they are to be responsible for.

Tribe Location Number Task
Gershonites West 7500 Guard duty for the tabernacle, the tent with its covering, the screen for the entrance of the tent of meeting
Kohathites South 8600 keeping guard over the sanctuary
Merari North 6200 frames of the tabernacle, the bars, the pillars, the bases, and all their accessories
Moses, Aaron & his sons East Not defined guarding the sanctuary itself, to protect the people of Israel

God put a lot of emphasis on the importance of caring for the tent of meeting.  This is an important place as it is where God met with His priests and received sacrifices for atonement of sin.  The Levites have a special place in God’s economy.  “The Levites shall be mine: I am the Lord”.  They are the ones chosen to represent Him among His people, and are charged with care for both His people and the tabernacle.  Clearly God cares about the leadership as scripture is clear that anyone getting close to Moses and Aaron was to be killed.  That is healthy respect for a leader to say the least.


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