Power Point Slides Session #2

The LORD spoke to Moses in Wilderness of Sinai, in the
tent of meeting…in the second year after they had
come out of Egypt, saying “take a census of all the
congregation of the people Israel, by clans, by fathers’
houses, according to the number of names, every
male, head by head – Numbers 1:1-3
Total Census Numbers
These are those who were listed, whom Moses
and Aaron listed with the help of the chiefs of
Israel, twelve men, each representing his
father’s house. So all those listed of the people
of Israel, by their fathers’ houses, from twenty
years old and upward, every man able to go to
war in Israel—all those listed were
Total Census Numbers
• Figures for the individual groups add up to the
given total.
• Total population may have been nearly 2.2
• The LORD kept His promise to Abraham about
raising a nation (Gn 15:5) to provide the
promised Savior (Gal 3:8 -9).
• The census agrees with the round figure given in
Ex 12:37 and with the exact count in Ex 38:26
and Nu 2:32.
What About the Levites?
But the Levites were not listed along
with them by their ancestral tribe. For
the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ”Only
the tribe of Levi you shall not list, and
you shall not take a census of them
among the people of Israel. But appoint
the Levites over the tabernacle of the
testimony, and over all its furnishings,
and over all that belongs to it.
What About the Levites?
• Levites were appointed “over the tabernacle”
(v. 50); therefore, there was no need to
tabulate their manpower in a military census.
• Their numbers and duties are recorded
separately in chapters 3 and 4.
• The LORD sets the Levites apart for special
• Their duty is spiritual, not military. God
charges the Levites with moving, maintaining,
and protecting the tabernacle.
What is a “Standard”?
• 13 times in chapter we read that
“the people of Israel shall camp
each by his own “standard”
• A standard designates a banner
to identify larger groups.
• Individual tribes also had
distinctive ensigns.
Matriarchal Ordering of Tribes
• Sons of LEAH came first, on the east side
(2:3 – 9)
• Sons of LEAH came second, on the south
side (2:10 -13, 16) along with Zipah’s son
Gad (2:14 – 16)
• Sons of RACHEL were third, on the west
side (vv 18 – 24)
• Sons of BILHAH were last, on the north
side. (v 27 – 28, 31)
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
“Behold I have taken the Levites from
among the people of Israel instead of
every…firstborn among the people of
Israel. The Levites shall be mine, for all
the firstborn are mine…In Egypt I
consecrated for my own all the
firstborn in Israel, both of man and
beast. They shall be mine: I AM the
LORD (Numbers 3:11 – 13)
The ROLE of the Levites
• The Levites were chosen by God to assist the
• Each Levitical clan performs assigned duties for
the care and security of the sanctuary and its
• Just as the Lord consecrated the Levites to care
for the tabernacle and support the services in
the sanctuary, Yahweh likewise calls and
consecrates His people to support the ministry
of Word and Sacrament today!
Redemption of the Firstborn
• All firstborn sons belong to the LORD –
• All the males of the Tribe of LEVI – 22,000
• The sons of LEVI served as the redemption
price for all the tribes of ISRAEL
• Except for the 273 over – therefore 5
shekels per head had to be given to Aaron
and his sons as a redemption price.
(3:46 – 47)
Duties of the Priests – Numbers 4
Duties of the Kohathites (4:1 – 20)
• Clan of Moses and Aaron
• Kohathites had the most sacred
assignment: carry “the sanctuary and all
the furnishings” after Aaron and his sons
“have finished covering” them. (v. 15)
• They were not to touch or even “to look
on the holy things…lest they die”(v. 20)
Duties of the Gershonites (4:21 - 28)
• Gershonites were to carry
– the curtains of the tabernacle and the tent of
– The covering of goatskin that was on top
– The screen for the entrance of the tent of meeting
– The hangings of the court
– The screen for the entrance of the gate of the
– They followed the command of Aaron and his
Duties of the Merarites (4:29 - 33)
• Merarites were under the direction of
Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest
• Merarites were to carry
– The frames of the tabernacle
– Its bars, pillars, and bases
– The pillars around the court with their bases,
pegs, and cords, with all their equipment and
all their accessories
• Numbers 11:34

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