Numbers Chapter 3
Verses 1-51: Chapters 3 and 4 record two censuses of the Levites. In chapter 3 all male Levites more than a month old are counted, whereas chapter 4 numbers all male Levites between 30 and 50 years of age. The tribe of Levi took the place of all the firstborn men in Israel. The result of the census showed that the number of male Levites fell short of the number of firstborn Israelites. So, the extra Israelites had to be redeemed in a different way, by paying money.
Verses 1-4 “The sons of Aaron, the priests”: The family of Aaron did belong to the tribe of Levi (1 Chron. 6:1-15), but in the capacity of priests they possessed superior status to the rest of the tribe. They alone could handle the sacrificial blood, touch the altar, and enter the tent of meeting. They were the authoritative teachers in Israel (Lev. 10:11; Deut. 24:8), and the official mediators between God and Israel. Along with such a great privilege came an immense responsibility, one that “Nadab and Abihu” did not meet. Therefore, they “died before the Lord”, offering strange fire. They were not meticulous in obeying God’s Word, as He had not commanded them to do what they did (Lev. 10:1). This reference explains why only Eleazar and Ithamar are mentioned as being in charge of the Levites (in 3:32; 4:16, 28, 33). Also, it sets forth the mortal danger men face in dealing with God, and thereby sets the tone for chapters 3 and 4 (verses 10, 13, 38, 4:15; 18-20; compare Acts 5:1-11; 12:22-23; 1 Cor. 10:6-11; 11:29-30).
Numbers 3:1 “These also [are] the generations of Aaron and Moses in the day [that] the LORD spake with Moses in mount Sinai.”
“Aaron and Moses”. Because Aaron and his sons are emphasized in this chapter, Aaron is named first.
“Mount Sinai”: The Lord had first communicated to Moses His choice of Aaron and his sons as priests in (Exodus 28:1 – 29:46), while he was in the midst of the cloud on Mt. Sinai (Exodus 24:18).
Moses and Aaron were the beginning of separation from the twelve tribes. This would be setting the Levitical tribe aside to substitute for the firstborn of each family. Moses and Aaron were the beginning of the chosen tribe. This tribe was set aside to serve the Lord and His tabernacle. Moses was the first, and the nearest, to God. His was not a service in the temple, but was to oversee the spiritual beginning. He was in direct contact with God. In fact, Moses gave instructions to Aaron about his service as high priest. Aaron was the first of the high priests to serve in the tabernacle. Verse 1 has to do with their families and service. Moses communed with God on Mount Sinai.
Verses 2-4: The disobedience of Aaron’s oldest sons, “Nadab” and “Abihu”, is recalled here (Lev. 10:1-2). Their younger brothers “Eleazar” and “Ithamar” took their place and ministered alongside of their father. All future priests would be descendants of these two men.
Numbers 3:2 “And these [are] the names of the sons of Aaron; Nadab the firstborn, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.”
The Targum of Jonathan adds, disciples of Moses, the master of the Israelites. None of the posterity of Moses being expressly named. Jarchi observes, that the sons of Aaron are called the generations of Moses, because he taught them the law. For whoever, he says, teaches his neighbor’s son, the law, the Scripture accounts of him as if he procreated him (see 1 Cor. 4:15).
“Nadab the firstborn, and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar”: As in (Exodus 6:23).
The high priest’s sons were priests in the temple. They were trained to take over as high priest at their father’s death. These 4 sons were in line for the priesthood.
Numbers 3:3 “These [are] the names of the sons of Aaron, the priests which were anointed, whom he consecrated to minister in the priest’s office.”
“The priests which were anointed”: Of all the tribe of Levi, only the sons of Aaron were priests. Only priests could offer the sacrifices; the rest of the Levites aided them in the work of the tabernacle (compare 3:7-9).
“Consecrated”: The setting apart of Aaron and his sons to the priesthood is recorded in (Lev. 8:1 – 9:24).
Not only was Aaron anointed as high priest, but his sons were anointed and set aside for God’s work as well. The word “consecrated” means hand upon. This just means that they had been dedicated to the service of God by the laying on of hands. This was a very honored position, to serve the Lord in the priest’s office.
Numbers 3:4 “And Nadab and Abihu died before the LORD, when they offered strange fire before the LORD, in the wilderness of Sinai, and they had no children: and Eleazar and Ithamar ministered in the priest’s office in the sight of Aaron their father.”
“Eleazar and Ithamar”: All of the future priests of Israel under the Mosaic Covenant were descendants of these two sons of Aaron. Eleazar and his descendants would later be singled out for great blessing (compare Num. 25:10-13).
Many believe the strange fire was speaking of them coming into the tabernacle drinking alcohol. Nadab and Abihu were the oldest, and had been set aside by God to work in the tabernacle. Fire came from the altar and killed them. They left no children.
Leviticus 10:1-2 “And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not.” ” And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.”
1 Chronicles 24:2 “But Nadab and Abihu died before their father, and had no children: therefore Eleazar and Ithamar executed the priest’s office.”
We see that the two younger brothers took their places, when they were killed.
Verses 5-13: The descendants of Levi were set apart to serve God because He declared, “The Levites shall be Mine” (Deut. 10:8). This whole tribe was selected rather than the “firstborn” of every family (3:40-51; 8:14).
Numbers 3:5 “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,”
After he had given him the order for the numbering the children of Israel, and for the manner of their encampment and journeying.
“Saying”: As follows.
This is said so many times, to show us the line of command. God spoke to Moses, and Moses to Aaron.
Numbers 3:6 “Bring the tribe of Levi near, and present them before Aaron the priest, that they may minister unto him.”
“The tribe of Levi”: The specific task of the Levites was to serve Aaron, his sons, and all of Israel by doing the work of the tabernacle, further defined in (3:25-26, 31, 36-37; 4:4-33).
The entire tribe of Levi was set aside to serve God. This would be the time for them to find out exactly what the Lord had for them to do. They would not be in the dark. God would specifically tell them what to do.
Numbers 3:7 “And they shall keep his charge, and the charge of the whole congregation before the tabernacle of the congregation, to do the service of the tabernacle.”
The charge of Aaron and of all the people of Israel, which was to secure the sanctuary from being polluted or plundered. This the Levites were to be employed about, and thereby ease the high priest and the other priests, and the people, of what otherwise would have been incumbent on them.
“Before the tabernacle of the congregation”: Not within it, neither in the holy place, nor in the most holy place, where they might not enter, to do any service peculiar thereunto. But at the door of the tabernacle, and in the court of it, and in the rooms and chambers in it. And do the service of the tabernacle. Not to offer sacrifices on the altar of the burnt offering, which stood in the court, and much less to burn incense on the altar of incense, and to him the lamps, and set on the showbread in the holy place. And still less to enter into the most holy place, and do there what was to be done on the day of atonement. But to do all that is before observed, and to bring the people’s offerings to the priest, and to assist in slaying them. And to keep all profane and polluted persons out of it, the tabernacle, as we find in later times. They were porters at it, and some of them were singers in it, and had the care of various things belonging to it (see 1 Chron. 9:14).
This “charge” is like their service assignment. Each person would be told specifically what his duties would be.
Numbers 3:8 “And they shall keep all the instruments of the tabernacle of the congregation, and the charge of the children of Israel, to do the service of the tabernacle.”
Take care of them that none be lost or come to any damage, especially while it was moving, and carried from place to place. Then the several parts of it, as well as the vessels in it, were committed to their care and charge, the particulars of which (see in Num. 3:25).
“And the charge of the children of Israel, to do the service of the tabernacle (see notes on Num. 3:7).
The Levites were to care for even the tiniest things in the tabernacle. They were responsible for all the utensils and the furniture. This is not a request, but a command.
Numbers 3:9 “And thou shalt give the Levites unto Aaron and to his sons: they [are] wholly given unto him out of the children of Israel.”
To be their ministers and servants.
“They are wholly given unto him out of the children of Israel”: Even all of them entirely, none excepted. The whole tribe which were not in the priestly office. Those were separated from the rest of the tribes of Israel, and appointed for the service of the priests. Or they were “give, given”; which is repeated not only to show that they were wholly given, as we render it, but to denote the certainty of it, that they were really given. And specially to declare the freeness of the gift. The priests had them as free gifts, nor did they pay them any thing for, their service. They were maintained another way, namely, by the tithes of the people. And indeed, the priests received a tithe out of the tithe of the Levites. So far were they from contributing any thing to their support, or in consideration of the service they did them.
This is saying emphatically that no Levite is to be left out of this charge. Just as the firstborn of all the families had belonged to God, now the Levites, who took the firstborn’s place, belong totally to God.
Numbers 3:10 “And thou shalt appoint Aaron and his sons, and they shall wait on their priest’s office: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.”
“The stranger”: Laymen or strangers (compare 1:51), would die if they participated in priestly activities (compare 3:38; 16:40).
The Levites were to help with the physical part of the ministry, but Aaron and his sons were to perform the services. They alone had been called to the priesthood. This honor would go from generation to generation of Aaron’s family.
Numbers 3:11 “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,”
Continued to speak unto him, and give him the reason of his appointing the Levites to minister to the priests and serve the tabernacle.
“Saying”: As follows.
This again is reminding us that the message came from the LORD to Moses, and then down the chain of command.
Numbers 3:12 “And I, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of all the firstborn that openeth the matrix among the children of Israel: therefore the Levites shall be mine;”
“Firstborn”: At the Exodus, the Lord claimed for Himself the firstborn of Israel’s males (Exodus 13:1-2). The firstborn was to act as the family priest. But when the full ministry of the Mosaic economy came in, God transferred the priestly duties to the Levites, perhaps partly because of their holy zeal in the golden calf incident (compare Exodus 32:29). The Levites substituted for the firstborn.
In Egypt, the last plague was the death of the firstborn of all the Egyptians. God spared the firstborn of the Hebrews, who had the blood over the doorpost of their houses. The firstborn of all Hebrews belonged to God. Rather than having one son of each family serve in the temple, God allowed them to buy their firstborn back with a silver shekel. “Silver” means redemption. God called the Levites to serve, instead of the firstborn son.
Numbers 3:13 “Because all the firstborn [are] mine; [for] on the day that I smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I hallowed unto me all the firstborn in Israel, both man and beast: mine shall they be: I [am] the LORD.”
Not merely in a general way, as all creatures are his, but in a special manner as his own, and that for the following reason.
“For on the day that I smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, I hallowed unto me all the firstborn in Israel, both man and beast”: That is, sanctified or set them apart as his own special property, or ordered the people of Israel so to do (Exodus 13:2). For as when he destroyed the firstborn of the Egyptians, he saved the firstborn of Israel. He had a special claim upon them as his. And though it was in the night when he destroyed the firstborn of Egypt, yet it was the night which preceded that day. And was a part of that day, even the fifteenth of Nisan, when the instructions were given to sanctify all the firstborn. Though, as Aben Ezra observes, “day” signifies “time”. So that it was at or about the same time that the one and the other were done.
“Mine they shall be”: This was declared when they were ordered to be sanctified to him, but now they were to be exchanged for the Levites.
“I am the Lord”: Who have sovereign power to do as he would in claiming the firstborn. And then in exchanging them for the Levites, and appointing the Levites to minister to the priests, and serve in the tabernacle.
It was the firstborn of the people and the cattle that God took on that night in Egypt.
Exodus 12:29 “And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that [was] in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.”
Verses 14-39: The Levites were also numbered, divided into three clans according to their relationship to Levi’s three sons: “Gershon, Kohath”, and Merari” (Exodus 6:16-22). The major duties of the clans are spelled out, as are their respective positions of encampment around the tabernacle. The Gershonites were “westward”, the Kohathites on the “southward”, and the Merarites on the “northward”. On the east side were the encampments of Moses, Aaron, and his sons. “All the males” who were over one month numbered 22,000 (3:39).
Numbers 3:14 “And the LORD spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, saying,”
At the same time, he gave the order, and made the declaration before mentioned. And in the place where now the children of Israel were, and from whence they shortly removed.
“Saying”: As follows.
The message that came from God through Moses, to Aaron and the people, was absolute.
Numbers 3:15 “Number the children of Levi after the house of their fathers, by their families: every male from a month old and upward shalt thou number them.”
“Number”: Moses took a census of every Levite male who was at least one month old. This included Moses and Aaron and their sons, because they descended from Amram (3:19; compare Exodus 6:20).
The children of Levi were numbered from one month of age, instead of twenty years old. These were to be set aside for God, when they were babies.
2 Timothy 3:15 “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
They were to be raised from infancy to serve the LORD.
Numbers 3:16 “And Moses numbered them according to the word of the LORD, as he was commanded.”
Took the account of all of a month old in the several houses and families of the tribe of Levi. Though Moses is only here mentioned, yet it seems from (Num. 3:39); that Aaron was concerned with him in it. Yea, in an after numbering of the Levites who were fit for business from thirty to fifty years of age, the chief of the children of Israel were assisting to him and Aaron (Num. 4:46).
“As he commanded”: He was obedient to the divine will in all things, and so in this. Though it was his own tribe and his own posterity, which in all successive ages were to be no other than ministering servants to the priests. And to have no inheritance in the land of Israel.
Moses did exactly as God had instructed him to do.
Numbers 3:17 “And these were the sons of Levi by their names; Gershon, and Kohath, and Merari.”
The immediate offspring and descendants of that patriarch.
“Gershon, and Kohath, and Merari”: These went down with him into Egypt (Gen. 46:11).
It is interesting that the number of sons he had were three. We will see their families become peoples, such as the Kohathites. Moses was actually from the tribe of Kohath.
Numbers 3:18 “And these [are] the names of the sons of Gershon by their families; Libni, and Shimei.”
Or to Gershon belonged two families, called after the names of his sons, who were now numbered, namely.
“Libni and Shimei”: And who are elsewhere mentioned as his sons (Exodus 6:17). And from hence were the families of the Libnites and Shimites (as in Num. 3:21).
The name “Libni” means white. “Shimei” means a renowned one.
Numbers 3:19 “And the sons of Kohath by their families; Amram, and Izehar, Hebron, and Uzziel.”
Who was the second son of Levi.
“Amram, and Izehar, Hebron, and Uzziel”: So in (Exodus 6:18); and from whom were named the family of the Amramites, to which Moses and Aaron belonged. And the families of the Izeharites, Hebronites, and Uzzielites, as they are called (Num. 3:27).
We know from previous lessons, that Amram and Jochebed were the parents of Aaron, Moses, and Miriam. “Izehar” means anointing. “Hebron” means community, and just such a city is to be found in the mountains of Judah. “Uzziel” means God is strength. We can see that even their names reveal their calling to serve God.
Numbers 3:20 “And the sons of Merari by their families; Mahli, and Mushi. These [are] the families of the Levites according to the house of their fathers.”
The third son of Levi.
“Mahli and Mushi”: The same as in (Exodus 6:19); from whom were denominated the families of the Mahlites and Mushites. Who, as the preceding families, were numbered at this time. These are the families of the Levites, according to the house of their fathers; in all eight families.
“Merari” means bitter, or sad. “Mahli” means weak and sickly. These were one group of those of Levi.
Verses 21-26: “Gershon”: The Gershonites numbered 7500 males and were responsible for the coverings of the tabernacle. They were to camp west of the tabernacle.
Numbers 3:21 Of Gershon [was] the family of the Libnites, and the family of the Shimites: these [are] the families of the Gershonites.
The first son of Levi.
“These are the family of the Gershonites; that were now, numbered.
They grew into tribes of people.
Numbers 3:22 “Those that were numbered of them, according to the number of all the males, from a month old and upward, [even] those that were numbered of them [were] seven thousand and five hundred.”
Of the two families that sprung from Gershon.
“According to the number of all the males, from a month old and upwards”: In the said families.
“Even those that were numbered of them, were seven thousand and five hundred”: 7,500 men, which was neither the least nor the largest number of the sons of Levi.
Compared to the other tribes, we can see how small in number they were. From 1 month old upwards, there were 7,500 males of the tribe of Gershon.
Numbers 3:23 “The families of the Gershonites shall pitch behind the tabernacle westward.”
The two before mentioned, the Libnites and Shimites.
“Shall pitch behind the tabernacle westward”: This was their situation when encamped. They were placed in the rear of the camp of the Levites. Between the tabernacle and the camp of Ephraim, which was westward also (Num. 1:18).
They pitched westward, but it was between the tabernacle and the tribes of Ephraim. The front of the tabernacle looked eastward, so they were just behind the tabernacle.
Numbers 3:24 “And the chief of the house of the father of the Gershonites [shall be] Eliasaph the son of Lael.”
Who had the chief authority over them, and the chief direction of them in what they were to do.
“Shall be Eliasaph the son of Lael”: But who he was, or of which family of the Gershonites, whether of the Libnites or Shimites, is not said here or elsewhere. Nor do the Jewish writers, who affect to know everything, pretend to tell us.
“Lael” means belonging to God. This is not the same Eliasaph, who was head of the tribe of Gad.
Numbers 3:25 “And the charge of the sons of Gershon in the tabernacle of the congregation [shall be] the tabernacle, and the tent, the covering thereof, and the hanging for the door of the tabernacle of the congregation,”
The Libnites and Shimites.
“In the tabernacle of the congregation”: Or with respect to the things of it, when it was taken down and committed to them. For otherwise they had no place in it, nor might they enter into it, or do any service therein.
“Shall be the tabernacle and the tent”: The former intends not the boards of it, which were the charge of the Merarites (Num. 3:36). But the curtains, as Aben Ezra, or the under curtains, as Jarchi calls them, which were made of fine twined linen (Exodus 26:1). And the latter is to be understood of the eleven curtains, as Aben Ezra. The curtains of goat’s hair, which were made for the roof of the tabernacle, as Jarchi observes (see Exodus 26:7).
“The covering thereof”: Made of rams’ skins, and badgers’ skins, which were thrown over the tent (Exodus 26:14).
“And the hanging for the door of the tabernacle of the congregation”: The vail, as Jarchi calls it. Not what divided the holy and most Holy Places, for that fell to the charge of the Kohathites (Num. 3:31). But the vail or hanging which was at the door of the tent, or which led into the Holy Place (Exodus 26:36).
Numbers 3:26 “And the hangings of the court, and the curtain for the door of the court, which [is] by the tabernacle, and by the altar round about, and the cords of it for all the service thereof.”
Which formed the great open court that encompassed the tabernacle, and was a hundred cubits long and fifty broad (Exodus 27:9).
“And the curtain for the door of the court”: Which was a hanging of twenty cubits, of blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twined linen (Exodus 27:16).
“Which is by the tabernacle, and by the altar round about”: This refers to the court, the hangings, and curtains of the door of it, which are spoken of. And this court surrounded the tabernacle, and the altar which was without the tabernacle, as Aben Ezra observes. And which was the altar of burnt offering that stood within this court. For the particle sometimes signifies “about”, and the word “around”, being joined with it, requires this sense.
“And the cords of it”: Which seem to be the cords of the court, which fastened the hangings and curtains to brass pins, or stakes fixed in the ground to keep them tight, that the wind might not move them to and fro. But Jarchi says, these were the cords of the tabernacle and tent, and not of the court. And indeed, the tabernacle had its cords as well as the court (Exodus 38:18). The cords of the court were in the charge of the Merarites (Num. 3:37).
“For all the service thereof”: For that part of the tabernacle and court which the Gershonites had in their care and custody.
This family was to be in charge of the tabernacle itself. The tent was cared for by them. This would include all of the tapestry and the hides. This was the outward tabernacle. Inside it included the caring of the curtains at the door and the curtain at the altar. The physical tabernacle was their charge.
Verses 27-32: “Kohath”: Some LXX manuscripts give the number of Kohathites as 8300, which is the preferred reading. (The addition of one Hebrew letter changes the “six” to a “three”. This letter was dropped very early in the copying of the text). The Kohathites were responsible for the holy objects of the tabernacle (including transporting the ark), and were to camp south of the tabernacle.
Numbers 3:27 “And of Kohath [was] the family of the Amramites, and the family of the Izeharites, and the family of the Hebronites, and the family of the Uzzielites: these [are] the families of the Kohathites.”
So called from Amram, the first son of Kohath, and father of Aaron and Moses. So that Moses and Aaron, and their children, are included in this family.
“And the family of Izeharites”: Of which family was Korah (Num. 16:1).
“And the family of the Hebronites, and the family of the Uzzielites”: Which four families had their names from Kohath’s four sons (Num. 3:19).
“These are the families of the Kohathites”: Which were as many as both the other sons of Levi.
Amram was from the tribe of Kohath. The Amramites were a people founded upon him. Each of the leaders of the people used his name, and started a tribe.
Numbers 3:28 “In the number of all the males, from a month old and upward, [were] eight thousand and six hundred, keeping the charge of the sanctuary.”
8,600 men, which was the largest number of any of the houses of the Levites. But considering it had double the number of families in it, the increase was not so large in proportion. At least to Gershon, whose two families wanted but 1,100 of these four.
“Keeping the charge of the sanctuary”: Of the Holy and most Holy Places, and the vessels and instruments belonging thereunto. Not that the males of a month old were keeping them, but when they were grown up and were capable of it. They had the charge thereof, in which they were instructed and trained up from their youth.
This comes to 8,600 males from 1 month old upward, who were of the tribes of Kohath. They were in charge of the things of the sanctuary. From this tribe, came the high priest and the priests.
Numbers 3:29 “The families of the sons of Kohath shall pitch on the side of the tabernacle southward.”
Or to the right, which was the more honorable place. Excepting the east or front, which was reserved for Moses and Aaron, and his sons, and who were one of these families. And is the reason why this honor was conferred upon them. As well as they had the more honorable charge, having the holy places and holy things committed to their care. And one from among them was appointed over all the Levites, and the chief of them. As they had also, when they came into the land of Canaan. Almost as many cities of refuge as both their other brethren had. Their situation about the tabernacle was between that and the camp of Reuben. And this accounts for it, how Korah who was of one of the families of the Kohathites, became so intimately acquainted with, and joined in a conspiracy with Dathan and Abiram. Who were of the tribe of Reuben (Num. 16:1).
The tabernacle faces east. These of the tribe of Kohath needed ready access to the tabernacle. They were close to the tabernacle on the south side. They were between the tabernacle and the tribes of Reuben.
Numbers 3:30 “And the chief of the house of the father of the families of the Kohathites [shall be] Elizaphan the son of Uzziel.”
The same man, who, with his brother Mishael, carried Nadab and Abihu out of the camp, and buried them (Lev. 10:4). He descended from the last and youngest of the families of the Kohathites. And some think this was one reason at least of Korah’s dissatisfaction. And of his entering into a conspiracy against Moses and Aaron, because one of a younger family of his house was preferred to this dignity before him.
This leader, Elizaphan, was chosen of the younger branch.
Numbers 3:31 “And their charge [shall be] the ark, and the table, and the candlestick, and the altars, and the vessels of the sanctuary wherewith they minister, and the hanging, and all the service thereof.”
That is, when the tabernacle was taken down, and carried from place to place. This, and the following things, were committed to their care and custody. The ark with the mercy seat, and all appertaining thereunto, which were in the holy of holies.
“And the table, and the candlestick, and the altars”: The table of showbread, and the candlestick of pure gold, with its lamps, and the altar of incense. All which stood in the holy place, and the altar of burnt offering. Which was in the court, for both altars were their charge.
“And the vessels of the sanctuary wherewith they minister”: All the vessels which belonged to the above things. For the table, candlestick, and altars, all had vessels appertaining to them.
“And the hanging”: That is, the vail, as Jarchi interprets it. Which divided between the, Holy and the most Holy Place. All the other hangings for the court, and the door of it, and for the door of the tabernacle, were the charge of the Gershonites (Num. 3:25).
“And all the service thereof”: What belonged to the things in this part of the tabernacle.
They took care of the things in the Holy Place and the most Holy Place. The Ark, Candlestick, Table, and even the Altars symbolized Jesus in some way. This was a very favored task, to care for these holy things.
Numbers 3:32 “And Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest [shall be] chief over the chief of the Levites, [and have] the oversight of them that keep the charge of the sanctuary.”
Who was of the first of these families, the Amramites.
“Shall be chief over the chief of the Levites”: Over the three chiefs of the three houses of the Levites. Who were Eliasaph the son of Lael, the chief of the Gershonites. And Elizaphan the son of Uzziel, the chief of the Kohathites. And Zuriel the son of Abihail, the chief of the Merarites.
“And have the oversight of them that keep the charge of the sanctuary”: The Kohathites, who had the care of the things belonging to the Holy and most Holy Places. And these were particularly under the inspection of Eleazar, because they were things the priests had a special concern in (see Num. 4:32).
The order in the sanctuary leadership was Aaron (high priest), Eleazar (his son), the priest, and then those who were in charge of the holy things. Everything the Levites did must meet with the approval of Eleazar.
Numbers Chapter 3 Questions
1. Moses and Aaron were the beginning of separation from the _______ _________.
2. What was the Levitical tribe a substitute for?
3. The Levitical tribe was set aside for what purpose?
4. What position did Moses have?
5. Who was the first of the high priests?
6. Moses communed with God on _________ ________.
7. Who were the sons of Aaron?
8. What were the sons of Aaron consecrated to do?
9. Which two sons of Aaron did God kill?
10. Why did He kill them?
11. Who took their places as priests?
12. What do many believe the strange fire to be speaking of?
13. What part of the tribe of Levi was dedicated to God’s work?
14. What is the “charge” in verse 7 saying?
15. What was their charge?
16. What will happen to the stranger, who comes into the Holy Place?
17. Where would the next generation of priests come from?
18. What was the last plague in Egypt?
19. Why were the Hebrews spared?
20. How could the Hebrews purchase back their firstborn?
21. What was the age of the youngest male to be counted of the tribe of Levi?
22. Who were the sons of Levi?
23. Moses was actually from what tribe?
24. What does “Libni” mean?
25. Who were the parents of Aaron, Moses, and Miriam?
26. How many were numbered of the tribe of Gershon?
27. Which side of the tabernacle did the tribes of Gershon camp on?
28. What did the tribe of Gershon take care of?
29. What tribe was Amram from?
30. How many were numbered of the tribe of Kohath?
31. Where did the tribes of Kohath camp?
32. What were they in charge of?
33. What was the order of the leadership in the sanctuary?