|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:1-13 There was much work belonging to the priests' office, and there were now only Aaron and his two sons to do it; God appoints the Levites to attend them. Those whom God finds work for, he will find help for. The Levites were taken instead of the first-born. When He that made us, saves us, as the first-born of Israel were saved, we are laid under further obligations to serve him faithfully. God's right to us by redemption, confirms the right he has to us by creation.
Verse 1. - These... are the generations of Aaron and Moses. The word "generations" (toledoth) is used here in a peculiar and, so to speak, technical sense, with reference to what follows, as in Genesis 2:4; Genesis 6:9. It marks a new departure, looking down, not up, the course of history. Moses and Aaron were a beginning in themselves as the chosen heads of the chosen tribe: Moses having the higher office, but one entirely personal to himself; Aaron being the first of a long and eminent line of priests. The actual genealogy, therefore, is that of Aaron, and he is placed first. In the day. Apparently the day mentioned in Numbers 1:1; or it may be more general, as in Genesis 2:4.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
These also are the generations of Aaron and Moses,.... The descendants of them, those of the former, who is named first, because the eldest, were priests, and those of the latter Levites, and who are not very plainly pointed at, but are included among the Amramites, Numbers 3:27; the posterity of Moses being very obscure, only Levites, and these not particularly named but swallowed up among the Kohathites: find the following account was as it stood:
in the day that the Lord spoke with Moses in mount Sinai; and not, altogether as it then, was when he spoke to him in the wilderness, of Sinai, for then Aaron had four sons, but now two of them were dead as is after observed; and it seems to be for the sake of this circumstance chiefly that this clause is so put.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Nu 3:1-51. The Levites' Service.
1. These … are the generations of Aaron and Moses, &c.—This chapter contains an account of their families; and although that of Moses is not detailed like his brother's, his children are included under the general designation of the Amramites (Nu 3:27), a term which comprehends all the descendants of their common father Amram. The reason why the family of Moses was so undistinguished in this record is that they were in the private ranks of the Levites, the dignity of the priesthood being conferred exclusively on the posterity of Aaron; and hence, as the sacerdotal order is the subject of this chapter, Aaron, contrary to the usual style of the sacred history, is mentioned before Moses.
in the day that the Lord spake with Moses in mount Sinai—This is added, because at the date of the following record the family of Aaron was unbroken.
Numbers 3:1 Parallel Commentaries
Numbers 3:1 NIV
Numbers 3:1 NLT
Numbers 3:1 ESV
Numbers 3:1 NASB
Numbers 3:1 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible