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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Numbers 3

Verses 1-51


The Levites, Their Duties And Number

Although Aaron and his family belong to the tribe of Levi (Exodus 2:1) the term ’Levites’ is usually employed, as here, to denote the non-Aaronite Levites. The family of Aaron is set apart for the priesthood (Exodus 28; Leviticus 8, 9), and the Levites are designated as their assistants, occupying an intermediate position between the priests and the congregation. They have charge of the tabernacle and its furniture, taking it down, carrying it during the march, and setting it up again. Their services in the tabernacle are not defined, but they would doubtless perform the humbler duties connected with the sacrifices, etc. In later times they were also doorkeepers and musicians in the Temple. See Nehemiah 11, 12; 1 Chronicles 6:31-32, 1 Chronicles 6:48; 1 Chronicles 15:16. The reason why this particular tribe was chosen for these offices, in addition to the fact that Moses and Aaron themselves belonged to it, seems to have been their zeal for the honour of Jehovah at the time of the worship of the Golden Calf (Exodus 32:26-29). The subject of the Levites is continued in Numbers 8, 16-18.

4. On Nadab and Abihu see Leviticus 10.

10. Stranger] see on Numbers 1:51.

13. See Exodus 13:2, Exodus 13:12.

43. See intro. to Numbers 1.

47. See on Exodus 30:13. Cp. Numbers 18:16.

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Numbers 3". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcb/numbers-3.html. 1909.