Numbers Chapter 4 (Original 1611 KJV Bible)
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1 The age and time of the Leuites seruice. 4 The carriage of the Kohathites when the Priestes haue taken downe the Tabernacle. 16 The charge of Eleazar. 17 The office of the Priests. 21 The carriage of the Gershonites. 29 The carriage of the Merarites. 34 The number of the Kohathites, 38 of the Gershonites, 42 and of the Merarites.
9 And they shall take a cloth of blew, and couer the candlesticke of the light, and his lampes, and his tongs, and his snuffe dishes, and all the oyle vessels thereof, wherewith they minister vnto it.9
12 And they shall take all the instruments of ministery, wherewith they minister in the Sanctuary, and put them in a cloth of blew, and couer them with a couering of badgers skinnes, and shall put them on a barre.
14 And they shall put vpon it all the vessels thereof, wherewith they minister about it, euen the censers, the fleshhookes, and the shouels, and the basons, all the vessels of the Altar: and they shall spread vpon it a couering of badgers skinnes, and put to the staues of it.14
15 And when Aaron and his sonnes haue made an end of couering the Sanctuary, and all the vessels of the Sanctuary, as the campe is to set forward; after that, the sonnes of Kohath shall come to beare it: but they shal not touch any holy thing, lest they die. These things are the burden of the sonnes of Kohath in the Tabernacle of the Congregation.
16 ¶ And to the office of Eleazar the sonne of Aaron the Priest, perteineth the oile for the light, and the sweet incense, and the dayly meat offering, and the anoynting oyle, and the ouersight of all the Tabernacle, and of all that therein is, in the Sanctuary, and in the vessels thereof.16
19 But thus doe vnto them, that they may liue, and not die: when they approche vnto the most Holy things, Aaron and his sonnes shall goe in, and appoint them euery one to his seruice, and to his burden.
25 And they shall beare the curtaines of the Tabernacle, and the Tabernacle of the Congregation; his couering, and the couering of the badgers skinnes that is aboue vpon it, and the hanging for the doore of the Tabernacle of the Congregation:
26 And the hangings of the Court, and the hanging for the doore of the gate of the Court which is by the Tabernacle, and by the Altar round about, and their cords, and all the instruments of their seruice, and all that is made for them: so shall they serue.
27 At the appointment of Aaron and his sonnes, shall be all the seruice of the sonnes of the Gershonites, in all their burdens, and in all their seruice: and yee shall appoint vnto them in charge all their burdens.27
31 And this is the charge of their burden, according to all their seruice, in the Tabernacle of the Congregation, the boards of the Tabernacle, and the barres thereof, and the pillars thereof, and sockets thereof:31
32 And the pillars of the Court round about, and their sockets, and their pinnes, and their coards, with all their instruments, and with all their seruice: and by name yee shall reckon the instruments of the charge of their burden.
37 These were they that were numbred of the families of the Kohathites; all that might doe seruice in the Tabernacle of the Congregation, which Moses and Aaron did number, according to the commandement of the Lord, by the hand of Moses.
41 These are they that were numbred of the families of the sonnes of Gershon, of all that might doe seruice in the Tabernacle of the Congregation, whom Moses and Aaron did number, according to the commandement of the Lord.
49 According to the commandement of the Lord, they were numbred by the hand of Moses, euery one according to his seruice, and according to his burden: Thus were they numbred of him, as the Lord commanded Moses.
View Wesley's Notes for Numbers Chapter 4
4:3 From thirty - This age was prescribed, as the age of full strength of body, and therefore most proper for their laborious work of carrying the parts and vessels of the tabernacle, and of maturity of judgment, which is necessary for the right management of holy services. Whence even John and Christ entered not upon their ministry till that age. Indeed their first entrance upon their work was at their 25th year, when they began as learners, and acted under the inspection and direction of their brethren; but in their 30th year they were compleatly admitted to a full discharge of their whole office. But David, being a prophet, and particularly directed by God in the affairs of the temple, made a change in this matter, because the magnificence of the temple, and the great multitude of sacred utensils and sacrifices, required a greater number of attendants than formerly was necessary. Until fifty - When they were exempted from the toilsome work of carrying burdens, but not discharged from the honourable and easy work done within the tabernacle, #Num 8:26|. All that enter - That is, that do and may enter, having no defect, nor other impediment.
4:5 They shall take down - For upon this necessary occasion the inferior priests are allowed to come into the holy of holies, which otherwise was peculiar to the high - priest. The covering veil - The second veil, wherewith the ark was covered while the tabernacle stood, #Exo 40:3|. Cover the ark - Because the Levites, who were to carry the ark, might neither see, nor immediately touch it.
4:6 Badgers - skins - Whereby the ark was secured from the injuries of the weather.
4:7 The dishes - Upon which the shew - bread was put. Continual bread - So called because it was continually to be there, even in the wilderness; where though they had only manna for themselves, yet they reserved corn for the weekly making of these loaves, which they might with no great difficulty procure from some of the people bordering upon the wilderness.
4:11 The golden altar - All covered with plates of gold.
4:12 The instruments of ministry - The sacred garments used by the priests in their holy ministrations. Cover them - All these coverings were designed, For safety, that these holy things might not be filled by rain, or tarnished by the sun. For decency, most of them had a cloth of blue, or purple, or scarlet over them; the ark, a cloth wholly of blue, perhaps an emblem of the azure skies, which are spread between us and the Majesty on high; For concealment. It was a fit sign of the darkness of that dispensation. The holy things were then covered. But Christ hath now destroyed the face of the covering.
4:13 The altar - Hence we may conclude, that they did offer sacrifices at other times, though not so constantly and diligently, as they did in Canaan. Moreover the taking away of the ashes only doth sufficiently imply that the fire was preserved, which as it came down from heaven, #Lev 9:24|. So it was by God's command to be continually fed, and kept burning, and therefore doubtless was put into some vessel, which might be either fastened to the altar and put within this covering, or carried by some person appointed thereunto.
4:15 Bear it - Upon their shoulders. Afterward the priests themselves, being multiplied, carried these things, though the Levites also were not excluded. They shall not touch - Before they are covered.
4:16 Eleazar - He himself is to carry these things, and not to commit them to the sons of Kohath. The oversight - The care that all the things above mentioned be carried by the persons and in the manner expressed.
4:18 Cut not off - Do not by your neglect provoke God to cut them off for touching the holy things.
4:19 To his service - To that which is peculiarly allotted to him, the services, and burdens being equally distributed among them.
4:25 The curtains - The curtains or covering of goats - hair. The tabernacle - The ten curtains which covered the boards of the tabernacle; for the boards themselves were carried by the Merarites. His covering - The covering of rams - skins which was put next over those ten curtains.
4:26 Which is round about - Which court compassed both the tabernacle and the altar.
4:28 Under the hand - Under his conduct and direction.
4:31 The sockets - Which were as the feet upon which the pillars stood.
4:32 Ye shall reckon - Every part and parcel shall be put in an inventory; which is required here rather than in the fore - going particulars; because these were much more numerous than the former; because being meaner things, they might otherwise have been neglected; and also to teach us, that God esteems nothing small in his service, and that he expects his will should be observed in the minutest circumstances. The death of the saints is represented us the taking down of the tabernacle. The immortal soul, like the most holy things, is first covered and taken away, carried by angels unseen, and care is taken also of the body, the skin and flesh, which are as the curtains, the bones and sinews, which are as the bars and pillars. None of these shall be lost. Commandment is given concerning the bones, a covenant made with the dust. They are in safe custody, and shall be produced in the great day, when this tabernacle shall be set up again, and these vile bodies made like the glorious body of Jesus Christ.
4:44 Three thousand - Here appears the wisdom of Divine Providence, that whereas in the Kohathites and Gershonites, whose burdens were fewer and easier, there were but about a third part of them fit for service; the Merarites, whose burdens were more and heavier, had above half of them fit for this work.
Numbers Chapter 4 Sidenote References (from Original 1611 KJV Bible):
7 Exod.25. 30. , Or, poure out withall.
9 Exod.25. 24. , Exod. 25. 38.
14 Or, bowles.
16 Exod.30. 34. , Exod. 30. 23.
23 Hebr. to warre the warfare.
24 Or, carriage.
27 Hebr. mouth.
30 Hebr. warfare.
31 Exod.26. 15.
* Courtesy of Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Pennsylvania
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