Numbers 4:19
But thus do to them, that they may live, and not die, when they approach to the most holy things: Aaron and his sons shall go in, and appoint them every one to his service and to his burden:
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4:4-20 The Kohathites were to carry the holy things of the tabernacle. All the holy things were to be covered; not only for security and respect, but to keep them from being seen. This not only marked the reverence due to holy things, but the mystery of the things signified by those types, and the darkness of the dispensation. But now, through Christ, the case is altered, and we are encouraged to come boldly to the throne of grace.wholly of blue - Compare Exodus 25:4 note. The third and external covering of the ark only was to be of this color. The table of showbread had Numbers 4:8 an outer wrapping of scarlet; the altar Numbers 4:13 one of purple.

Put in the staves - Probably, "put the staves in order." These were never taken out of the golden rings by which the ark was to be borne (see Exodus 25:14-15), but would need adjustment.

17-20. Cut ye not off the tribe of the families of the Kohathites from among the Levites, &c.—a solemn admonition to Moses and Aaron to beware, lest, by any negligence on their part, disorder and improprieties should creep in, and to take the greatest care that all the parts of this important service be apportioned to the proper parties, lest the Kohathites should be disqualified for their high and honorable duties. The guilt of their death would be incurred by the superintending priest, if he failed to give proper directions or allowed any irreverent familiarity with sacred things. To his service; to that which is peculiarly allotted to him, the services and burdens being equally distributed among them. But thus do unto them,.... As after directed:

that they may live and not die; live long, and not die a sudden and violent death:

when they approach unto the most holy things; the ark, the shewbread table, &c. to take them up and carry them:

Aaron and his sons shall go in; into the holy and most holy places:

and appoint them in everyone to his service, and to his burden; what everyone shall do, and how they shall take them up, and bear them.

But thus do unto them, that they may live, and not die, when they approach unto the most holy things: Aaron and his sons shall go in, and appoint {m} them every one to his service and to his burden:

(m) Showing what part every man shall bear.

Verse 19. - Thus do unto them, i.e., exactly as commanded in verses 5-15. The altar of burnt-offering was first of all to be cleansed from the ashes; a crimson cloth was then to be covered over it, and the whole of the furniture belonging to it to be placed upon the top; and lastly, the whole was to be covered with a sea-cow skin. The only thing not mentioned is the copper laver (Exodus 30:18), probably because it was carried without any cover at all. The statement in the Septuagint and the Samaritan text, which follows Numbers 4:14. respecting its covering and conveyance upon a frame, is no doubt a spurious interpolation.
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