|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:5-26 Here we have directions for the solemn ordination of the Levites. All Israel must know that they took not this honour to themselves, but were called of God to it; nor was it enough that they were distinguished from others. All who are employed for God, must be dedicated to him, according to the employment. Christians must be baptized, ministers must be ordained; we must first give ourselves unto the Lord, and then our services. The Levites must be cleansed. They must be clean that bear the vessels of the Lord. Moses must sprinkle the water of purifying upon them. This signifies the application of the blood of Christ to our souls by faith, that we may be fit to serve the living God. God declares his acceptance of them. All who expect to share in the privileges of the tabernacle, must resolve to do the service of the tabernacle. As, on the one hand, none of God's creatures are his necessary servants, he needs not the service of any of them; so none are merely honorary servants, to do nothing. All whom God owns, he employs; angels themselves have their services.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And thou shalt bring the Levites before the tabernacle of the congregation,.... Not without it, but within it, in the court of the tabernacle, at least at the door of it, where stood the altar of burnt offering, on which sacrifices for them were now to be offered:
and thou shalt gather the whole assembly of the children of Israel together; the heads of the tribes, and elders of the people, as Aben Ezra interprets this phrase in Leviticus 8:3; where the whole congregation is said to be assembled at the consecration of the priests, as here at the consecration of the Levites, having a concern therein, as well as to be spectators and witnesses of this solemn affair; and no doubt as many of them as could conveniently assemble at the door of the tabernacle did, though every individual of that large body of people could not possibly do it.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9, 10. thou shalt gather the whole assembly of the children of Israel together, &c.—As it was plainly impossible that the whole multitude of the Israelites could do this, a select portion of them must be meant. This party, who laid their hands upon the Levites, are supposed by some to have been the first-born, who by that act, transferred their peculiar privilege of acting as God's ministers to the Levitical tribe; and by others, to have been the princes, who thus blessed them. It appears, from this passage, that the imposition of hands was a ceremony used in consecrating persons to holy offices in the ancient, as, from the example of our Lord and His apostles, it has been perpetuated in the Christian Church.
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