Numbers 7:10
And the princes offered for dedicating of the altar in the day that it was anointed, even the princes offered their offering before the altar.
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Numbers 7:10. For the dedicating of the altar — Both of burnt-offerings and of incense, as appears from the matter of the offerings here said to be made. This is not meant of the first dedication of them, for they had been dedicated or consecrated before this time by Moses and Aaron, with solemn ceremonies which lasted seven days; (Exodus 29:37; Leviticus 8:11;) but for a further dedication of them, or the first application of them to their proper uses, these being the first offerings that were made for any particular persons or tribes. In the day — That is about the time when it was anointed.

7:10-89 The princes and great men were most forward in the service of God. Here is an example to those in authority, and of the highest rank; they ought to use their honour and power, their estate and interest, to promote religion and the service of God in the places where they live. Though it was a time of joy and rejoicing, yet still, in the midst of their sacrifices, we find a sin-offering. As, in our best services, we are conscious that there is sin, there should be repentance, even in our most joyful services. In all approaches to God we must by faith look to Christ as the Sin-offering. They brought their offerings each on a day. God's work should not be done confusedly, or in a hurry; take time, and we shall have done the sooner, or, at least, we shall have done the better. If services are to be done for twelve days together, we must not call it a task and a burden. All their offerings were the same; all the tribes of Israel had an equal share in the altar, and an equal interest in the sacrifices offered upon it. He who now spake to Moses, as the Shechinah or Divine Majesty, from between the Cherubim, was the Eternal Word, the second Person in the Trinity; for all God's communion with man is by his Son, by whom he made the world, and rules the church, who is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.To the Gershonites, who had to transport the hangings and coverings of the tabernacle, two wagons are assigned: to the Merarites, who had the charge of the solid parts of the tabernacle, four wagons. The furniture and vessels the Kohathites were to carry on their own shoulders. Compare Numbers 3:25-26, Numbers 3:31, Numbers 3:36-37. 10, 11. the princes offered for dedicating of the altar, &c.—"Altar" is here used in the singular for the plural; for it is evident, from the kind of offerings, that the altars of burnt offering and incense are both referred to. This was not the first or proper dedication of those altars, which had been made by Moses and Aaron some time before [Le 8:11]. But it might be considered an additional "dedication"—those offerings being the first that were made for particular persons or tribes. The altar, to wit, of burnt-offerings, and incense too, as appears from the matter of their offerings. The singular number for the plural. Not for the first dedication of them, for it is apparent they were dedicated or consecrated before this time by Moses and Aaron for divers days together, Le 8 Le 9; but for a further dedication of them, these being the first offerings that were made for any particular persons or tribes.

In the day, i.e. about the time, as soon as it was anointed. See Poole Numbers 7:1.

And the princes offered for dedicating of the altar,.... For setting it apart to sacred use and service, even the altar of burnt offering; or rather after it had bean sanctified and set apart, when it began to be made use of for sacrifice:

in the day that it was anointed; with the anointing oil, whereby it was devoted to sacred service:

even the princes offered their offering before the altar; the altar of burnt offering; they brought their vessels for the service of it, and the creatures for sacrifice, and set them before it; signifying what they meant, thereby, that the silver and golden vessels were for the use of it, and the beasts for sacrifice to be offered up on it: and here Jarchi also observes, that Moses would not receive their offering until he knew the mind of God about it, and it was declared to him from himself.

And the princes offered for {e} dedicating of the altar in the day that it was anointed, even the princes offered their offering before the altar.

(e) That is, when the first sacrifice was offered on it by Aaron, in Le 9:1.

10. The gifts which they brought after the wagons and oxen were such as to provide the first complete set of offerings upon the altar for all the different forms of sacrifice.

offered for the dedication] offered the dedication-gift (as R.V. marg.). The abstract word ‘dedication’ or ‘inauguration’ is employed with a concrete meaning.

Verse 10. - For dedicating of the altar. The altar was "dedicated" in the sense of being consecrated, by the anointing with the sacred oil and with the blood of the appointed sacrifices (Leviticus 8:10, 15). But it could still be "dedicated" in another sense by the sacrificial gifts, freely offered for the purpose, of the people. No rules appear to have been made as to dedications, but there is an allusion in Deuteronomy 20:5 to the dedication of houses, which may have been accompanied with religions rites, and we know that as a fact the temple was dedicated by Solomon (2 Chronicles 7:5), and re-dedicated by the Maccabees (1 Macc. 4:54, sq.), and the wall of Jerusalem was dedicated by Nehemiah (Nehemiah 12:27, sq.). The Septuagint has here εἰς τὸν ἐγκαινισμὸν, as in 1 Macc. 4:56, and cf. John 10:22. Offered their offering before the altar. This assuredly points to an offering made in common, and made at one time, via, on the day when the altar was anointed. It may be that the twelve princes all came for the purpose of making their offerings on that day, the day they would naturally choose for the purpose; but on account of the great number of other sacrifices, and the fewness of the priests, their offerings were postponed by the Divine command, and were actually received later. Thus in will and in meaning the offerings were made "on the day" of the consecration, but were publicly and solemnly received at some subsequent time. Numbers 7:10Presentation of dedicatory gifts for the altar. - Numbers 7:10. Every prince offered "the dedication of the altar," i.e., what served for the dedication of the altar, equivalent to his sacrificial gift for the consecration of the altar, "on the day," i.e., at the time, "that they anointed it." "Day:" as in Genesis 2:4. Moses was directed by God to receive the gifts from the princes on separate days, one after another; so that the presentation extended over twelve days. The reason for this regulation was not to make a greater display, as Knobel supposes, or to avoid cutting short the important ceremony of consecration, but was involved in the very nature of the gifts presented. Each prince, for example, offered, (1) a silver dish (kearah, Exodus 25:29) of 130 sacred shekels weight, i.e., about 4 1/2 lbs.; (2) a silver bowl (mizrak, a sacrificial bowl, not a sacrificial can, or wine-can, as in Exodus 27:3) of 70 shekels weight, both filled with fine flour mixed with oil for a meat-offering; (3) a golden spoon (caph, as in Exodus 25:29) filled with incense for an incense-offering; (4) a bullock, a ram, and a sheep of a year old for a burnt-offering; (5) a shaggy goat for a sin-offering; (5) two oxen, five rams, five he-goats, and five sheep of a year old for a peace-offering. Out of these gifts the fine flour, the incense, and the sacrificial animals were intended for sacrificing upon the altar, and that not as a provision for a lengthened period, but for immediate use in the way prescribed. This could not have been carried out if more than one prince had presented his gifts, and brought them to be sacrificed on any one day. For the limited space in the court of the tabernacle would not have allowed of 252 animals being received, slaughtered, and prepared for sacrificing all at once, or on the same day; and it would have been also impossible to burn 36 whole animals (oxen, rams, and sheep), and the fat portions of 216 animals, upon the altar.
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