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Bible Commentaries
Numbers 8

Bridgeway Bible CommentaryBridgeway Bible Commentary

Verses 1-4

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).

Verses 5-26

Dedication of the Levites (8:5-26)

The ceremony described here parallels that for the dedication of the priests that has already been described in Leviticus 8:1-36. The washing, shaving, and offering of a sin offering indicated cleansing from sin; the offering of a burnt offering indicated dedication to God’s service. The action of the twelve tribal leaders (acting on behalf of the whole people) in laying their hands on the heads of the Levites was the people’s acknowledgment of the Levites as their representatives. By the symbolic action of waving his arms up and down, Aaron presented the Levites to God for his service (5-13). God then gave them back to Aaron to help him and the other priests in their work (14-19). Everything was done according to God’s instructions (20-22).

Twenty-five is given here as the minimum age for Levitical service, compared with thirty stated earlier (see 4:3). Perhaps there was an initial training period of five years. Levites ceased from their main duties when they became fifty years of age, but could still help in various ways (23-26).

Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Numbers 8". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bbc/numbers-8.html. 2005.
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