Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, July 24th, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Numbers 7

Bridgeway Bible CommentaryBridgeway Bible Commentary

Verses 1-88

Offerings from Israel’s leaders (7:1-88)

The story returns briefly to the ceremony of the dedication of the tabernacle that had taken place a month or so previously (7:1; see Exodus 40:17; Numbers 1:1). At this ceremony the leaders of the twelve tribes brought their gifts to the altar and offered them to God. The event is recorded here probably because it gives information about the wagons and oxen to be used in transporting the tabernacle. Two wagons and four oxen were for the Gershonites, who carried the tabernacle’s curtains and hangings. Four wagons and eight oxen were for the Merarites, who carried the larger and heavier load of the frames and foundation materials. The Kohathites, who carried the furniture and sacred vessels, received no wagons or oxen, because they carried their loads on shoulder poles (2-11).

All twelve tribal leaders donated the same amount. They shared the cost of the wagons and oxen equally, and brought identical offerings of vessels, cereals, oil, incense and animals required for the sacrificial rituals of the tabernacle. The writer’s purpose in repeating the details of the identical offerings is perhaps to emphasize that all tribes had an equal share in the maintenance of the tabernacle and its services (12-88).

Verse 89

More about the tabernacle (7:89-8:4)

A short note mentions how Moses received God’s messages in the Most Holy Place. Normally, no one except the high priest could enter the Most Holy Place, but Moses’ position was unique (89; cf. 12:7-8; Deuteronomy 34:10-12). Moses passed on instructions to Aaron to ensure that when the lamps were placed on the lampstand, they were positioned to throw light forward towards the opposite wall, and so give good light in the Holy Place (8:1-4).

Bibliographical Information
Fleming, Donald C. "Commentary on Numbers 7". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bbc/numbers-7.html. 2005.
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