And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Numbers 8:1. This and what follows concerning the Levites, seems to have been delivered after the order for giving them to the priests, and settling their several charges, Numbers 3:4.Numbers 7:89 actually established among His people.
Nu 8:1-4. How the Lamps Are to Be Lighted.
1. the Lord spake unto Moses—The order of this chapter suggests the idea that the following instructions were given to Moses while he was within the tabernacle of the congregation, after the princes had completed their offering. But from the tenor of the instructions, it is more likely that they were given immediately after the Levites had been given to the priests (see on Nu 3:1-4:49), and that the record of these instructions had been postponed till the narrative of other transactions in the camp had been made [Patrick].How the lamps are to be lighted, Numbers 8:1-4. God commands the Levites to be cleansed, Numbers 8:5-15; that they may serve with Aaron and his sons instead of the first-born, Numbers 8:16-22. Their age and service, Numbers 8:23-26.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)1–4. The Lampstand
The golden lampstand (not ‘candlestick’ E.VV. [Note: .VV. The English Versions, i.e. Authorised and Revised.] ) stood in the Holy Place, on the south side, i.e. on the left of one entering from the court. It was the only source of light in the Tabernacle, the Holy of Holies being in darkness. The religious conceptions attaching to it in the time of the writer may be seen from Zechariah 4:1-6 a, Zec 4:10b – Zec 4:14. The full description of the lampstand is given in Exodus 25:31-40.Verse 1. - The Lord spake unto Moses. It does not appear when. The attempt of modern commentators to find a real connection between this section and the offering of the princes or the consecration of the Levites is simply futile. Such connection may be imagined, but the same ingenuity would obviously be equally successful if this section had been inserted in any other place from Exodus 37, to the end of this book. The more probable explanation will be given below. Numbers 1:5-15, made their presentation, corresponded to the order of the tribes in the camp (ch. 2), the tribe-prince of Judah taking the lead, and the prince of Naphtali coming last. In the statements as to the weight of the silver kearoth and the golden cappoth, the word shekel is invariably omitted, as in Genesis 20:16, etc. - In Numbers 7:84-86, the dedication gifts are summed up, and the total weight given, viz., twelve silver dishes and twelve silver bowls, weighing together 2400 shekels, and twelve golden spoons, weighing 120 shekels in all. On the sacred shekel, see at Exodus 30:13; and on the probable value of the shekel of gold, at Exodus 38:24-25. The sacrificial animals are added together in the same way in Numbers 7:87, Numbers 7:88.
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