Numbers 4:26
And the hangings of the court, and the hanging for the door of the gate of the court, which is by the tabernacle and by the altar round about, and their cords, and all the instruments of their service, and all that is made for them: so shall they serve.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(26) Which is by the tabernacle and by the altar round about.—Or, which are . . . The curtains or hangings enclosed the whole of the court.

Numbers 4:26-28. Which is round about — Which court compassed both the tabernacle and the altar. Under the hand — Under his conduct and direction.4:21-33 We have here the charge of the other two families of the Levites, which, though not so honourable as the first, yet was necessary, and to be done regularly. All the things were delivered them by name. It intimates the care God takes of his church and every member of it. The death of the saints is represented as the taking down of the tabernacle, 2Co 5:1, and the putting it off, 2Pe 1:14. All shall be raised up in the great day, when these vile bodies shall be made like the glorious body of Jesus Christ, and so shall be for ever with the Lord.enter in to perform the service - literally, as in the margin, "to war the warfare," or, as the same phrase in part is rendered, Numbers 4:3, "enter into the host to do the work." The language is military. The service of God is a sacred warfare (Numbers 8:24-25 marginal reading). 24-28. This is the service of the families of the Gershonites, &c.—They were appointed to carry "the curtains of the tabernacle"—that is, the goats' hair covering of the tent—the ten curious curtains and embroidered hangings at the entrance, with their red morocco covering, &c. The gate of the court, i.e. which court compassed both the tabernacle and the altar, Exodus 27:16. And the hangings of the court,.... Which made the great court that surrounded the tabernacle, Exodus 27:9,

and the hanging for the door of the gate of the court; the eastern gate that led into the court, an hanging of twenty cubits, Exodus 27:16,

which is by the tabernacle, and by the altar round about; that is, which hangings that formed the court, and were round about the tabernacle, and the altar of burnt offering; See Gill on Exodus 26:36,

and their cords; which fastened the hangings to pins or stakes fixed in the ground to keep them tight, that they might not be moved to and fro with the wind:

and all the instruments of their service; in the court, as the tables on which the sacrifices were laid, and the hooks, and cords, and pins, on which they were hung and fastened, as Aben Ezra; see Ezekiel 40:39,

and all that is made for them; for the vessels of service, or for the tabernacle, or the altar, as the same writer intimates:

so shall they serve; by bearing them and carrying them.

And the hangings of the court, and the hanging for the door of the gate of the court, {p} which is by the tabernacle and by the altar round about, and their cords, and all the instruments of their service, and all that is made for them: so shall they serve.

(p) Which compassed both the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar of burnt offering.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
26. whatsoever shall be done with them] all that may have to be done with regard to them; e.g. the undoing of the hooks and loops, the rolling up of the strips of curtain and so on.Verse 26. - And their cords, and all the instruments of their service. Taking this verse in connection with verse 37, we must understand the word "their" as applying to the things mentioned in the previous verse. The Merarites carried the cords, &c. of the hangings of the court. כּבלּע, "like a swallow, a gulp," is probably a proverbial expression, according to the analogy of Job 7:19, for "a single instant," of which the Arabic also furnishes examples (see A. Schultens on Job 7:19). The Sept. rendering, ἐξάπινα, conveys the actual sense. A historical illustration of Numbers 4:20 is furnished by 1 Samuel 6:19.

(Note: According to Knobel, Numbers 4:17-20 have been interpolated by the Jehovist into the Elohistic text. But the reasons for this assumption are weak throughout. Neither the peculiar use of the word shebet, to which there is no corresponding parallel in the whole of the Old Testament, nor the construction of נגשׁ with את, which is only met with in 1 Samuel 9:18 and 1 Samuel 30:21, nor the Hiphil הכרית, can be regarded as criteria of a Jehovistic usage. And the assertion, that the Elohist lays the emphasis upon approaching and touching the holy things (Numbers 4:15; Numbers 8:19; Numbers 18:3, Numbers 18:22), and not upon seeing or looking at them, rests upon an antithesis which is arbitrarily forced upon the text, since not only seeing (Numbers 4:20), but touching also (Numbers 4:19), is described as causing death; so that seeing and touching form no antithesis at all.)

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