Numbers 7:5
Take it of them, that they may be to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; and thou shalt give them unto the Levites, to every man according to his service.
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Numbers 7:5-8. According to his service — More or fewer, as the nature of their service, and of the things to be carried required. And as the Gershonites had the less burdensome things to carry, (Numbers 4:25,) they had the fewer carriages allowed them. Four wagons to the sons of Merari — Proportionable to their great burden, Numbers 4:28; Numbers 4:33.

Under the hand (or inspection) of Ithamar — For he had the care both of the Gershonites and Merarites, Numbers 4:28; Numbers 4:33.

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. 4, 5. The Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Take it of them, that they may be to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation—They exhibited a beautiful example to all who are great in dignity and in wealth, to be foremost in contributing to the support and in promoting the interests of religion. The strictness of the injunctions Moses had received to adhere with scrupulous fidelity to the divine model of the tabernacle probably led him to doubt whether he was at liberty to act in this matter without orders. God, however, relieved him by declaring His acceptance of the freewill offerings, as well as by giving instructions as to the mode of their distribution among the Levites. It is probable that in doing so, He merely sanctioned the object for which they were offered, and that the practical wisdom of the offerers had previously determined that they should be distributed "unto the Levites, to every man according to his service"—that is, more or fewer were assigned to each of the Levitical divisions, as their department of duty seemed to require. This divine sanction it is of great importance to notice, as establishing the principle, that while in the great matters of divine worship and church government we are to adhere faithfully to the revealed rule of faith and duty, minor arrangements respecting them may be lawfully made, according to the means and convenience of God's people in different places. "There is a great deal left to human regulation—appendages of undoubted convenience, and which it were as absurd to resist on the ground that an express warrant cannot be produced for them, as to protest against the convening of the people to divine service, because there is no Scripture for the erection and ringing of a church bell" [Chalmers]. i.e. More or fewer of them, as the nature of their service and of the things to be carried required.

Take it of them,.... The present of the wagons and oxen, by which it appears that this freewill offering of the princes was according to his mind and will, and what they were influenced and guided to by his Spirit, and was well pleasing in his sight, and acceptable to him:

that they may be to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; be made use of, and employed in carrying the tabernacle, and the things of it, from place to place, when the Israelites journeyed:

and thou shalt give them to the Levites; to ease them, whose business it was to bear and carry the several parts of the tabernacle, and the vessels of it:

to every man according to his service; whether lighter or heavier, for such difference there was in the three divisions of the Levites; and according as their work was, they had more or fewer wagons and oxen given them, as it follows, Numbers 7:7.

Take it of them, that they may be to do the {b} service of the tabernacle of the congregation; and thou shalt give them unto the Levites, to every man according to his service.

(b) That is, to carry things.

Verse 5. - Take it of them. It was the first absolutely voluntary offering made for the service of God, and as such altogether acceptable. Former "free-will offerings" had been at the least invited this had not. Numbers 7:5At the command of God, Moses received them to apply them to the purposes of the tabernacle, and handed them over to the Levites, "to every one according to the measure of his service," i.e., to the different classes of Levites, according to the requirements of their respective duties.
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