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the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Numbers 7

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-89

Numbers 7:8 . Four waggons and eight oxen. These perhaps were only cars, seeing a pair of oxen could draw them; yet the people were rich in gold and silver.

Numbers 7:13 . One silver charger. An old name for a large platter, or dish to hold a joint of meat. These were essential to decency when the princes did eat before the Lord.

Numbers 7:14 . One spoon. A vase to hold incense, weighing about ten ounces, as in Exodus 25:29.


Moses anointed and consecrated the tabernacle, and all its sacred vessels; the snuffers and snuff-dishes were touched with the blood of atonement; and if all these consecrations were figurative of the atonement of Christ, and of the grace of the Holy Ghost, christians are to expect no consecrations but the anointing of the Holy One, or the blessings of the new covenant, to descend on their persons, and on all their religious assemblies.

Towards the erection of the tabernacle the people had made an equal subscription of the half shekel: the rich did not give more, and the poor did not give less. Each of the princes now therefore made an equal subscription of gold and silver vessels for himself and for his tribe, that there might be no jealousy, and no preference in the house of God. In his presence we are all poor, all sinful. How laudable, how generous, when men of opulence vie with one another to supply those decencies to the christian church, which the poor are unable to do. He who is worthy of our hearts is worthy also of our richest gifts.

The princes offered their gifts in rotation for twelve days, according to the order of their camp. On the seventh day Elishama brought his gift; for even a Jewish Sabbath was not profaned by the holy oblations of gold and silver for the service of the Lord. Let us imitate the Israelites in preserving exact order and discipline in the church; it very much contributes to keep the minds of the people in peace and quiet. When Moses entered the tabernacle to acquaint the Lord with what was done, he heard the voice of one speaking to him from the mercy-seat. This marks the perfection of the divine revelation. The oracles of truth are immediately from the source of truth; but the voice heard indicates to us that God accepted the oblations of the princes for themselves, and for their tribes. How happy when the divine approbation crowns our gifts; and when a blessing attends our feeble labours in the Lord. Let us give our hearts with our gifts, and then we shall surely be accepted in his sight.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Numbers 7". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/numbers-7.html. 1835.
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