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The account of the arrangements for the service of the Levites is fully and carefully given in this and the following chapter. In the rites are certain matters of principle which are of permanent value. First there is the fact of the separation of this tribe by divine arrangement to the sacred service of the sanctuary. It must ever be borne in mind that the Levites occupied that position in a representative capacity. The original provision was that the first-born in every family should be set apart to the work of priesthood. In all probability for the sake of cohesion and order this tribe was now appointed to represent the first-born. This they did, man for man, their number at this period being twenty-two thousand. When the census of the first-born was taken, it was found that there were 273 more first-born than Levites. These unrepresented first-born were commanded to pay a redemption price devoted to the service of the sanctuary. All these arrangements solemnly emphasized for the people the supreme importance of worship and at the same time revealed to them the orderliness of Jehovah. It is of interest to remember that while Our Lord after the flesh was not of the tribe of Levi, He was the Firstborn and so, according to the original provision, a Priest.
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Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Numbers 3". "Morgan's Exposition on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 9 / Ordinary 14