Numbers 2:1

 

 

 

The Bible says in Numbers 2:1-34, “And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,[2] Every man of the children of Israel shall pitch by his own standard, with the ensign of their father's house: far off about the tabernacle of the congregation shall they pitch.[3] And on the east side toward the rising of the sun shall they of the standard of the camp of Judah pitch throughout their armies: and Nahshon the son of Amminadab shall be captain of the children of Judah.[4] And his host, and those that were numbered of them, were threescore and fourteen thousand and six hundred.[5] And those that do pitch next unto him shall be the tribe of Issachar: and Nethaneel the son of Zuar shall be captain of the children of Issachar.[6] And his host, and those that were numbered thereof, were fifty and four thousand and four hundred.[7] Then the tribe of Zebulun: and Eliab the son of Helon shall be captain of the children of Zebulun.[8] And his host, and those that were numbered thereof, were fifty and seven thousand and four hundred.[9] All that were numbered in the camp of Judah were an hundred thousand and fourscore thousand and six thousand and four hundred, throughout their armies. These shall first set forth.[10] On the south side shall be the standard of the camp of Reuben according to their armies: and the captain of the children of Reuben shall be Elizur the son of Shedeur.[11] And his host, and those that were numbered thereof, were forty and six thousand and five hundred.[12] And those which pitch by him shall be the tribe of Simeon: and the captain of the children of Simeon shall be Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai.[13] And his host, and those that were numbered of them, were fifty and nine thousand and three hundred.[14] Then the tribe of Gad: and the captain of the sons of Gad shall be Eliasaph the son of Reuel.[15] And his host, and those that were numbered of them, were forty and five thousand and six hundred and fifty.[16] All that were numbered in the camp of Reuben were an hundred thousand and fifty and one thousand and four hundred and fifty, throughout their armies. And they shall set forth in the second rank.[17] Then the tabernacle of the congregation shall set forward with the camp of the Levites in the midst of the camp: as they encamp, so shall they set forward, every man in his place by their standards.[18] On the west side shall be the standard of the camp of Ephraim according to their armies: and the captain of the sons of Ephraim shall be Elishama the son of Ammihud.[19] And his host, and those that were numbered of them, were forty thousand and five hundred.[20] And by him shall be the tribe of Manasseh: and the captain of the children of Manasseh shall be Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur.[21] And his host, and those that were numbered of them, were thirty and two thousand and two hundred.[22] Then the tribe of Benjamin: and the captain of the sons of Benjamin shall be Abidan the son of Gideoni.[23] And his host, and those that were numbered of them, were thirty and five thousand and four hundred.[24] All that were numbered of the camp of Ephraim were an hundred thousand and eight thousand and an hundred, throughout their armies. And they shall go forward in the third rank.[25] The standard of the camp of Dan shall be on the north side by their armies: and the captain of the children of Dan shall be Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai.[26] And his host, and those that were numbered of them, were threescore and two thousand and seven hundred.[27] And those that encamp by him shall be the tribe of Asher: and the captain of the children of Asher shall be Pagiel the son of Ocran.[28] And his host, and those that were numbered of them, were forty and one thousand and five hundred.[29] Then the tribe of Naphtali: and the captain of the children of Naphtali shall be Ahira the son of Enan.[30] And his host, and those that were numbered of them, were fifty and three thousand and four hundred.[31] All they that were numbered in the camp of Dan were an hundred thousand and fifty and seven thousand and six hundred. They shall go hindmost with their standards.[32] These are those which were numbered of the children of Israel by the house of their fathers: all those that were numbered of the camps throughout their hosts were six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty.[33] But the Levites were not numbered among the children of Israel; as the LORD commanded Moses.[34] And the children of Israel did according to all that the LORD commanded Moses: so they pitched by their standards, and so they set forward, every one after their families, according to the house of their fathers.” These verses clearly show that the Israelites did exactly as the Lord commanded them in the previous chapter in regards to having the men from each tribe ready for war. And that is what it says in verse thirty-four: “And the children of Israel did according to all that the LORD commanded Moses.” Unfortunately for the Israelites, they would not continue to do “all that the LORD commanded Moses.” The law required perfect obedience all the time. The problem with the law was the weakness and inconsistency of man. How blessed we are in the age in which we live that because of Jesus, we are not under law but under grace.  

 

The Bible says in Numbers 3:1-4, “These also are the generations of Aaron and Moses in the day that the LORD spake with Moses in mount Sinai.[2] And these are the names of the sons of Aaron; Nadab the firstborn, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.[3] These are the names of the sons of Aaron, the priests which were anointed, whom he consecrated to minister in the priest's office.[4] And Nadab and Abihu died before the LORD, when they offered strange fire before the LORD, in the wilderness of Sinai, and they had no children: and Eleazar and Ithamar ministered in the priest's office in the sight of Aaron their father.” Aaron was Moses’ brother. Aaron was the first Jewish priest. Aaron was a great servant of God and an integral prat of the exodus from Egypt and the establishment of the nation of Israel in its new beginning. Aaron had four sons. How did that work out? It turned our terribly for the first two sons, Nadab and Abihu. In spite of what their father was like and in spite of the beliefs of the father, these two sons turned to false religion, and because they lived during the time of the law, they were killed by God for their disobedience. It sure is good to live under grace through Christ instead of under the law. One of the things to notice about these verses is that Aaron’s good example and good life was not enough to save his two oldest sons. That is because every person ultimately makes his or her own decisions. Whether you have good parents or not so good parents, your relationship to Jesus is up to you. This is a reminder to parents: what happens to your children spiritually speaking is between them and God. Some of the children will go the wrong way and it will be very sad. Cain was the first son born into the world, and he murdered his own brother. That is why the first commandment is addressed to the children and not to the parents (paraphrasing): “Honor you mother and your father; that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.”

 

The Bible says in Numbers 3:5-13, “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,[6] Bring the tribe of Levi near, and present them before Aaron the priest, that they may minister unto him.[7] And they shall keep his charge, and the charge of the whole congregation before the tabernacle of the congregation, to do the service of the tabernacle.[8] And they shall keep all the instruments of the tabernacle of the congregation, and the charge of the children of Israel, to do the service of the tabernacle.[9] And thou shalt give the Levites unto Aaron and to his sons: they are wholly given unto him out of the children of Israel.[10] And thou shalt appoint Aaron and his sons, and they shall wait on their priest's office: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.[11] And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,[12] And I, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of all the firstborn that openeth the matrix among the children of Israel: therefore the Levites shall be mine;[13] Because all the firstborn are mine; for on the day that I smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I hallowed unto me all the firstborn in Israel, both man and beast: mine shall they be: I am the LORD.” In the previous two chapters we saw how all the men for the army were selected from all the tribes of Israel, except for the men of the tribe of Levi. These men were not drafted into the army because they had duties to perform in the worship of God. There is a spiritual war to be prepared for as well as an actual war. There are spiritual enemies as well as enemies of the nation. God has a different calling for each person. There are a few Christians that God wants to go into a Christian service of preaching and teaching the Word of God. Of course, that is only possible if they are gifted and prepared through the proper study of the Word. Jesus ascended into heaven and gave gifts unto men: to some He gave the gift of pastors/teachers.

 

Notice what God said in verse ten, “And thou shalt appoint Aaron and his sons, and they shall wait on their priest's office: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.” God decides who will be the preachers and pastors. It is a terrible thing when a “stranger” is given such a responsibility. A stranger refers to someone who is not really saved, who has never met Jesus, and who is not born-again. That is one of the main problems with all of the Christian denominations. A young person can go to a seminary, get a degree, and then pursue “religion” as a career. The seminary that they go to may not even teach the basic truths of the Bible such as the deity of Christ, or the inerrancy of the Bible, or salvation by grace through faith in Christ. The result is a disaster for the churches when such “trained” people go to “minister.” They are trained, but not by the Holy Spirit. They are chosen by man, but not appointed by God.

 

The Bible says in Numbers 3:14-43, “And the LORD spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, saying,[15] Number the children of Levi after the house of their fathers, by their families: every male from a month old and upward shalt thou number them.[16] And Moses numbered them according to the word of the LORD, as he was commanded.[17] And these were the sons of Levi by their names; Gershon, and Kohath, and Merari.[18] And these are the names of the sons of Gershon by their families; Libni, and Shimei.[19] And the sons of Kohath by their families; Amram, and Izehar, Hebron, and Uzziel.[20] And the sons of Merari by their families; Mahli, and Mushi. These are the families of the Levites according to the house of their fathers.[21] Of Gershon was the family of the Libnites, and the family of the Shimites: these are the families of the Gershonites.[22] Those that were numbered of them, according to the number of all the males, from a month old and upward, even those that were numbered of them were seven thousand and five hundred.[23] The families of the Gershonites shall pitch behind the tabernacle westward.[24] And the chief of the house of the father of the Gershonites shall be Eliasaph the son of Lael.[25] And the charge of the sons of Gershon in the tabernacle of the congregation shall be the tabernacle, and the tent, the covering thereof, and the hanging for the door of the tabernacle of the congregation,[26] And the hangings of the court, and the curtain for the door of the court, which is by the tabernacle, and by the altar round about, and the cords of it for all the service thereof.[27] And of Kohath was the family of the Amramites, and the family of the Izeharites, and the family of the Hebronites, and the family of the Uzzielites: these are the families of the Kohathites.[28] In the number of all the males, from a month old and upward, were eight thousand and six hundred, keeping the charge of the sanctuary.[29] The families of the sons of Kohath shall pitch on the side of the tabernacle southward.[30] And the chief of the house of the father of the families of the Kohathites shall be Elizaphan the son of Uzziel.[31] And their charge shall be the ark, and the table, and the candlestick, and the altars, and the vessels of the sanctuary wherewith they minister, and the hanging, and all the service thereof.[32] And Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest shall be chief over the chief of the Levites, and have the oversight of them that keep the charge of the sanctuary.[33] Of Merari was the family of the Mahlites, and the family of the Mushites: these are the families of Merari.[34] And those that were numbered of them, according to the number of all the males, from a month old and upward, were six thousand and two hundred.[35] And the chief of the house of the father of the families of Merari was Zuriel the son of Abihail: these shall pitch on the side of the tabernacle northward.[36] And under the custody and charge of the sons of Merari shall be the boards of the tabernacle, and the bars thereof, and the pillars thereof, and the sockets thereof, and all the vessels thereof, and all that serveth thereto,[37] And the pillars of the court round about, and their sockets, and their pins, and their cords.[38] But those that encamp before the tabernacle toward the east, even before the tabernacle of the congregation eastward, shall be Moses, and Aaron and his sons, keeping the charge of the sanctuary for the charge of the children of Israel; and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.[39] All that were numbered of the Levites, which Moses and Aaron numbered at the commandment of the LORD, throughout their families, all the males from a month old and upward, were twenty and two thousand.[40] And the LORD said unto Moses, Number all the firstborn of the males of the children of Israel from a month old and upward, and take the number of their names.[41] And thou shalt take the Levites for me (I am the LORD) instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel; and the cattle of the Levites instead of all the firstlings among the cattle of the children of Israel.[42] And Moses numbered, as the LORD commanded him, all the firstborn among the children of Israel.[43] And all the firstborn males by the number of names, from a month old and upward, of those that were numbered of them, were twenty and two thousand two hundred and threescore and thirteen.” This numbering of the people was a very carefully kept and accurate genealogy. It is one detail that shows the accuracy of the Bible. These records were true and accurate. If they had not been, the writings would have been rejected as spurious and not the Word from God. Another thing to notice about these verses is how every detail of these people’s lives were ordered by the law. Under the law there were commandments and requirements that governed their daily responsibilities, their religious observances, and every aspect of their lives. But the time of the law proved one thing: the law did not work. Now in the age of grace we have much more freedom of movement and freedom of our own will. For example, in the Old Testament believers were required to give tithes and offerings. Now in the New Testament times believers are told in Second Corinthians 9:7, “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” It is wonderful to live in the age of grace when we have such freedom of choice because of the blood of Christ. Make sure that you know Jesus as Savior, and that you make your choices for His glory.

 

 

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Copyright; 2019 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved