Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Tribe of Levi Numbers 3

Numbers 3:12 "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; v13 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 this chapter a swap is made. The firstborn of Israel is exchanged for the tribe of Levi.

Exodus 13:2 "Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine."

Previously, we saw the arrangement of the tribes surrounding the tabernacle. The tribe of Levi was not numbered at that time. Now, they are brought forth to Aaron and claimed for service with the tabernacle. They are also numbered.

v6 "...they may minister unto him."
v7 "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."
v8 "..keep all the instruments"

With the numbering of the tribe of Levi the age is from 2 months and up of the males. v15. That came out to be 22,000 males.

Then the firstborn were numbered which totalled 22,273. v43 (twenty and two thousand two hundred and threescore and thirteen.)

A difference of 273. v46

Of the difference a payment was made to redeem the excess over 22,000. So, the firstborn were redeemed v41 v45 and the tribe of Levi became the caretakers of the tabernacle and the helpers to Aaron. They were also the inner most defenders of the tabernacle. They were to be placed on the four sides by family. v10 "...and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death."

As we will see later, this is a preparation for war. The tribes have been placed round about the tabernacle in what I would call four divisions with 3 brigades each. Within this formation are the Levites servicing and guarding the tabernacle.

It sounds a great deal like the mysterious wheel in a wheel mentioned in Ezekiel.

Ezekiel 1:15 "Now, as I beheld the living creatures behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces. v16 The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the color of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel. v17 When they went, they went upon their four sides: and they turned not when thy went." Read on for it is a fantastic picture painted in words.

I really do not know if this Ezekiel has anything to do with the arrangement of the tribes around the tabernacle but I can picture the children of Israel marching forward in their divisions and the Levites moving about the ark and the trappings of the tabernacle as they moved giving the appearance of moving forward and a buzz around the ark at the same time.

Again, seen from a mountain top, it must have been an awesome sight for an enemy to see coming toward them.

Psalm 125:2 "As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth even forever."

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