Archive for October 7th, 2014

Numbers 4

Numbers 4 now gets more targeted in how the Levites will be managed.  The census that was taken before was for all males one month or older, but God now instructs Moses and Aaron to get down to the working group of the three clans – those from 30 to 50 years old – who will be the ones serving to prepare and move the tent of meeting. They are instructed to begin with “Kohath….from thirty years old up to fifty years old, all who can come on duty, to do the work in the tent of meeting”.  This group was assigned a specific task “when the camp is to set out, Aaron and his sons shall go in and take down the veil of the screen and cover the ark of the testimony with it”.

How the tent of meeting was prepared for transport was very specific.  It was to be prepared by Aaron and his sons, and then the other clans of the Levites could be brought in to help.  “When Aaron and his sons have finished covering the sanctuary and all the furnishings of the sanctuary, as the camp sets out, after that the sons of Kohath shall come to carry these”.  God is very direct in what needs to be done to get the ark ready to move, and failure to do it His way will be fatal.  “But they must not touch the holy things, lest they die”.  It doesn’t get much clearer than that.

This was another well run operation.  “Aaron and his sons shall go in and appoint them each to his task and to his burden….the sons of Gershon….serving and bearing burdens”.  The Gershonites had a different role to play, and it too was very specific and well defined.  The management of this entire process though was t be “at the command of Aaron and his sons”.  This is not some accidental, let’s pack up quick and move on down the road sort of operation.  God has a very specific way He wants things done and Aaron and sons were accountable for it.

The third clan in the Levites tribe was the clan of Merari.  They appear to have the heavy lifting part of the responsibility here. They are to move “the frames of the tabernacle, with its bars, pillars, and bases” – so basically the framework that holds the whole thing up and together.  They too were under the direction of Aaron through his son Ithamar who was in charge of this group of workers.  Overall there were “8,580” identified in the 30-50 service range and they worked under Aaron and his sons to take down, pack, carry and put up the tent of meeting whenever God told them to move.

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