Numbers 7:3
And they brought their offering before the LORD, six covered wagons, and twelve oxen; a wagon for two of the princes, and for each one an ox: and they brought them before the tabernacle.
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7:1-9 The offering of the princes to the service of the tabernacle was not made till it was fully set up. Necessary observances must always take place of free-will offerings. The more any are advanced, the greater opportunity they have of serving God and their generation. No sooner was the tabernacle set up, than provision is made for the removal of it. Even when but just settled in the world, we must be preparing for changes and removes, especially for the great change.Covered wagons - Some prefer to render "litter Isaiah 66:20 wagons:" i. e. litters which were not on wheels, but borne by two oxen, one in front and one behind. Such conveyances would probably be more convenient than wheeled wagons in the rough country to be traversed. 2, 3. the princes of Israel … brought their offering before the Lord—The finishing of the sacred edifice would, it may well be imagined, be hailed as an auspicious occasion, diffusing great joy and thankfulness throughout the whole population of Israel. But the leading men, not content with participating in the general expression of satisfaction, distinguished themselves by a movement, which, while purely spontaneous, was at the same time so appropriate in the circumstances and so equal in character, as indicates it to have been the result of concerted and previous arrangement. It was an offer of the means of carriage, suitable to the migratory state of the nation in the wilderness, for transporting the tabernacle from place to place. In the pattern of that sacred tent exhibited on the mount, and to which its symbolic and typical character required a faithful adherence, no provision had been made for its removal in the frequent journeyings of the Israelites. That not being essential to the plan of the divine architect, it was left to be accomplished by voluntary liberality; and whether we look to the judicious character of the gifts, or to the public manner in which they were presented, we have unmistakable evidence of the pious and patriotic feelings from which they emanated and the extensive interest the occasion produced. The offerers were "the princes of Israel, heads of the house of their fathers," and the offering consisted of six covered wagons or little cars, and twelve oxen, two of the princes being partners in a wagon, and each furnishing an ox. Covered wagons, for the more convenient and safe carriage of such things as were most cumbersome.

And they brought their offering before the Lord,.... Before the tabernacle, as it is afterwards explained, where he had now taken up his habitation:

six covered wagons, and twelve oxen; according to the number of the twelve tribes, of which they were princes, two oxen for each wagon, which were to carry the tabernacle, and its vessels, from place to place; and which wagons were covered, not only to hide the things to be put into them from the sight of the people, being sacred, but to preserve them from the rain and dust, and the like; and no doubt, but as they were made of the best materials, So they were covered with rich coverings for the honour of the vessels put into them, being the presents of princes, and in which they joined, and could not be ordinary carriages. The word is rendered "litters" in Isaiah 66:20; and by some, "coaches"; the Targum of Jonathan is,"six wagons yoked,''or drawn with a yoke of oxen; and Aben Ezra says, it signifies a kind of oxen which drew wagons; but the Targum of Jonathan, Jarchi, and Ben Gersom interpret it "covered", as we do:

a wagon for two of the princes, and for each one an ox; two princes joined in the present of one wagon, which shows it could not be a common wagon, but rich carriage, and ornamented, as the Targum of Jonathan adds; and each prince presented an ox, so that there was a yoke of them for each wagon:

and they brought them before the tabernacle; the Targum of Jonathan says, Moses would not receive them, and therefore they brought them before the tabernacle; and so, says Jarchi, Moses received them not at their hands, until it was declared to him by the mouth of the Lord what he should do, as follows.

And they brought their offering before the LORD, six {a} covered wagons, and twelve oxen; a wagon for two of the princes, and for each one an ox: and they brought them before the tabernacle.

(a) Like horse litters, to keep the things that were carried in them from the weather.

Verse 3. - They brought their offering before the Lord, i.e., probably to the entrance of the tabernacle. Six covered wagons. עֶגְלֹת צָב. The meaning of the qualifying word צָב is extremely doubtful. The Targums render it as the A.V. On the other hand, Gesenius and. De Wette render it "litters," as the similar word צַבִּים in Isaiah 66:20 (where the Septuagint has ἐν λαμπήναις ἡμιόνων). The reading of the Septuagint, ἀμάξας λαμπηνίκας, is equally doubtful. Λαμπήνη, itself probably a foreign word, is explained by the Scholiasts as ἅμαξα βασιλικὴ, or as ἅρμα σκεπαστὸν; and Aquila has here ἅμαξαι σκεπασταὶ, and the Vulgate plaustra tecta. But Euseb. Emis. understands it as meaning "two-wheeled vehicles." It is a matter of little importance, but the nature of the country itself and the small number of oxen to each carriage point to the probability that they had no wheels, and were carried by the oxen, one in front, and one behind, by means of shafts, as is still the case in parts of India. Numbers 7:3The presentation of six waggons and twelve oxen for the carriage of the materials of the tabernacle is mentioned first, and was no doubt the first thing that took place. The princes of Israel, viz., the heads of the tribe-houses (fathers' houses), or princes of the tribes (see Numbers 1:4.), "those who stood over those that were numbered," i.e., who were their leaders or rulers, offered as their sacrificial gift six covered waggons and twelve oxen, one ox for each prince, and a waggon for every two. צב עגלת, ἁμάξας λαμπηνίκας (lxx), i.e., according to Euseb. Emis., two-wheeled vehicles, though the Greek scholiasts explain λαμπήνη as signifying ἅμαξα περιφανής, βασιλικὴ and ῥέδιον περιφανὲς ὁ ἐστὶν ἅρμα σκεπαστόν (cf. Schleussner, Lex. in lxx s.v.), and Aquila, ἅμαξαι σκεπασταί, i.e., plaustra tecta (Vulg. and Rabb.). The meaning "litters," which Gesenius and De Wette support, can neither be defended etymologically, nor based upon צבּים in Isaiah 66:20.
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