Numbers 1:48
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
The LORD had said to Moses:

New Living Translation
For the LORD had said to Moses,

English Standard Version
For the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

New American Standard Bible
For the LORD had spoken to Moses, saying,

King James Bible
For the LORD had spoken unto Moses, saying,

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For the LORD had told Moses: "

International Standard Version
because the LORD had ordered Moses:

NET Bible
The LORD had said to Moses,

New Heart English Bible
For the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The LORD had said to Moses,

JPS Tanakh 1917
And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying:

New American Standard 1977
For the LORD had spoken to Moses, saying,

Jubilee Bible 2000
For the LORD had spoken unto Moses, saying,

King James 2000 Bible
For the LORD had spoken unto Moses, saying,

American King James Version
For the LORD had spoken to Moses, saying,

American Standard Version
For Jehovah spake unto Moses, saying,

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:

Darby Bible Translation
For Jehovah had spoken to Moses, saying,

English Revised Version
For the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

Webster's Bible Translation
For the LORD had spoken to Moses, saying,

World English Bible
For Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,

Young's Literal Translation
seeing Jehovah speaketh unto Moses, saying,
Study Bible
Levites Exempted
47The Levites, however, were not numbered among them by their fathers' tribe. 48For the LORD had spoken to Moses, saying, 49"Only the tribe of Levi you shall not number, nor shall you take their census among the sons of Israel.…
Cross References
Numbers 1:47
The Levites, however, were not numbered among them by their fathers' tribe.

Numbers 1:49
"Only the tribe of Levi you shall not number, nor shall you take their census among the sons of Israel.
Treasury of Scripture

For the LORD had spoken to Moses, saying,

no reference

(48) For the Lord had spoken . . . --Better, And the Lord spake . . . (Numbers 3:1; Numbers 3:5-6; Numbers 3:14-15). It is true that the Levites were not included in the earlier numbering, and consequently that they must have been exempted by divine direction. It does not appear, however, that there is a reference to any previous command respecting the Levites, or that the specific destination of the Levites had been previously declared.

Verse 48. - Had spoken. Rather, "spake," and so Septuagint. This was the formal command to separate, although it had been anticipated to a considerable extent. The Levites had been marked out from the others

(1) as the tribesmen of Moses and Aaron,

(2) as the champions of Jehovah in the matter of the golden calf (Exodus 32:26, sq.); they had been already employed, or at least designated, for religious services; and the peculiarity of their future position in Israel had been recognized in the Divine legislation (Leviticus 25:32, sq.), and in their not being called upon to contribute to the capitation for the sanctuary. In a word, this ordinance, like so many others, did little more than give a formal and direct sanction to a state of things which had already come into play, partly through natural causes, partly through providential directions. For the Lord had spoken unto Moses,.... Not to number the Levites, when he gave him the orders to number the rest of the tribes: this is observed, lest it should be thought that this was what Moses did of himself, out of affection to the tribe he was of, and to spare it, that it might not be obliged to go forth to war when others did; not that they were forbid to engage in war, or that it was unlawful for them so to do, for when necessity required, and they were of themselves willing to engage in it, they might, as appears in the case of the Maccabees, but they might not be forced into it; they were, as Josephus (e) says, exempted from it; and so all concerned in religious service, both among Heathens and Christians, have always been excused bearing arms:

saying; as follows.

(e) Antiqu. l. 3. c. 12. sect. 4. 1:47-54 Care is here taken to distinguish the tribe of Levi, which, in the matter of the golden calf, had distinguished itself. Singular services shall be recompensed by singular honours. It was to the honour of the Levites, that to them was committed the care of the tabernacle and its treasures, in their camps and in their marches. It was for the honour of the holy things that none should see them, or touch them, but those who were called of God to the service. We all are unfit and unworthy to have fellowship with God, till called by his grace into the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and so, being the spiritual seed of that great High Priest, we are made priests to our God. Great care must be taken to prevent sin, for preventing sin is preventing wrath. Being a holy tribe, they were not reckoned among other Israelites. They that minister about holy things, should neither entangle themselves, nor be entangled, in worldly affairs. And let every believer seek to do what the Lord has commanded.
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