Numbers 18:5
And you shall keep the charge of the sanctuary, and the charge of the altar: that there be no wrath any more on the children of Israel.
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(5, 6) And ye shall keep the charge of the sanctuary . . . —See Numbers 8:19.

18:1-7 The people complained of their difficulty and peril in drawing near to God. God here gives them to understand, that the priests should come near for them. Aaron would see reason not to be proud of his preferment, when he considered the great care and charge upon him. Be not high-minded, but fear. The greater the trust of work and power that is committed to us, the greater danger there is of betraying that trust. This is a good reason why we should neither envy others' honours, nor desire high places.A stranger - i. e. every one not a Levite. So in Numbers 18:7, it denotes each one who was not a priest: compare Numbers 3:10; Numbers 16:40. 2-7. thy brethren also of the tribe of Levi—The departments of the sacred office, to be filled respectively by the priests and Levites, are here assigned to each. To the priests was committed the charge of the sanctuary and the altar, while the Levites were to take care of everything else about the tabernacle. The Levites were to attend the priests as servants—bestowed on them as "gifts" to aid in the service of the tabernacle—while the high and dignified office of the priesthood was a "service of gift." "A stranger," that is, one, neither a priest nor a Levite, who should intrude into any departments of the sacred office, should incur the penalty of death. Of the sanctuary, i.e. of the holy, and of the most holy, place.

Upon the children of Israel, for coming too near the holy place, or for usurping any part of your sacred function, or for any other miscarriage which they may be guilty of through your carelessness or remissness, in which case they shall perish for their error, but their blood will I require at your hands, who should have advised them better, or overruled them. And ye shall keep the charge of the sanctuary,.... That is, the priests, Aaron and his sons; the high priest was to keep the charge of the most holy place particularly, and do what was to be done in that on the day of atonement; and the common priests to keep the charge of the holy place, and do everything relating to the altar of incense, the shewbread table, and candlestick:

and the charge of the altar; of burnt offering, which stood in the court of the tabernacle:

that there be no wrath any more upon the children of Israel: as had been upon Korah and his company, Numbers 16:32, and as afterwards came on Uzziah, 2 Chronicles 26:19.

And ye shall keep the charge of the sanctuary, and the charge of the altar: that there be no wrath any more upon the children of Israel.
5. ye shall keep the charge &c.] It ye includes both priests and Levites, then ‘the sanctuary’ is used in its widest sense to include the tent and the court and everything contained in them, which are to be guarded from the approach of laymen. But on the other hand ye may denote the priests only, and ‘the sanctuary’ will in that case mean everything from which the Levites were debarred; cf. Numbers 18:3; Numbers 18:7.Verse 5. - That there be no wrath any more upon the children of Israel. As there had been ill the case of Korah and his company, and of the many thousands who had fallen in consequence. This miracle awakened a salutary terror in all the people, so that they cried out to Moses in mortal anguish, "behold, we die, we perish, we all perish! Every one who comes near to the dwelling of Jehovah dies; are we all to die?" Even if this fear of death was no fruit of faith, it was fitted for all that to prevent any fresh outbreaks of rebellion on the part of the rejected generation.
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