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NUMBERS CHAPTER 7
The tabernacle being fully finished, the twelve princes offer gifts; which are delivered to the Gershonites and the Merarites, Numbers 7:1-11.
What they offered in particular of silver, gold, vessels, and beasts, Numbers 7:12-83.
The sum thereof, Numbers 7:84-88.
God spake to Moses from the mercy-seat, Numbers 7:89.
On the day; either,
1. Precisely; and so this history, as many others, is put out of its proper place, and this chapter, and the 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th, should follow next after Exodus 40:0 and this day is the same on which the tabernacle was erected, which was the first day of the first month of the second year, Exodus 40:17,Exodus 40:18. Or,
2. Largely, day being put for time, and
on the day for about the time, or, a little after the time. And thus it seems to be taken here, because all the princes did not offer these things upon one and the same day, but on several days, as here it follows. And so there is no disorder in the history, and this chapter comes in its proper place, and those things were done in the second month of the second year after the tabernacle, and altar, and all other instruments thereof were anointed, as is here expressed; and after the Levites were separated to the service of the tabernacle, and appointed to their several works, as is manifest from Numbers 7:5-9, which was done about a month after the tabernacle was erected, &c.; and after the numbering of the people, Numbers 1:0, when the princes here employed in the offerings were first constituted; and after the disposal of the tribes about the tabernacle, the order of which is here observed in the time of their offerings. Anointed it, Leviticus 8:10.
To wit, in the manner and days hereafter mentioned.
Covered wagons, for the more convenient and safe carriage of such things as were most cumbersome.
i.e. More or fewer of them, as the nature of their service and of the things to be carried required.
i.e. Under his care and inspection. See Genesis 39:22. And it must be noted that these words belong both to the Merarites here, and to the Gershonites, Numbers 7:7, because both of them were under his hands, as is affirmed, Numbers 4:28,Numbers 4:33.
Because of the greater worth and holiness of the things which they carried. See Numbers 4:6,Numbers 4:8,Numbers 4:10,Numbers 4:12,Numbers 4:14; 2 Samuel 6:6,2 Samuel 6:13.
The altar, to wit, of burnt-offerings, and incense too, as appears from the matter of their offerings. The singular number for the plural. Not for the first dedication of them, for it is apparent they were dedicated or consecrated before this time by Moses and Aaron for divers days together, Leviticus 8:0; Leviticus 9:0; but for a further dedication of them, these being the first offerings that were made for any particular persons or tribes.
In the day, i.e. about the time, as soon as it was anointed. See Poole Numbers 7:1.
As well for the greater solemnity and splendour of the work, as for the prevention of confusion. And in this offering they follow the order of their camp, and not of their birth.
In whose name and behalf this offering was made, and so in the rest.
One silver charger, a large dish or platter; of which see Exodus 25:29, to be employed about the altar of burnt-offering, or in the court, not in the sanctuary, for all its vessels were of gold.
Ten shekels of gold, and therefore belonging to the altar of incense.
Peace-offerings are more numerous, because the princes and priests, and some of the people, did make a feast before the Lord out of them, and celebrated it with great rejoicing.
When it was anointed: this is again repeated, to show why it is called the dedication of the altar. because it was the first offering made by any particular persons or tribes.
The meat-offering was not mentioned before, because it was sufficiently understood from the law which required it, Numbers 15:3-5, but for greater assurance is here expressed.
Which words are very conveniently added to explain in what sense he had so oft said that this was done
in the day when it was anointed, to wit, not exactly, but in a latitude, to wit, a little
after that it was anointed, as is here said.
Into the tabernacle of the congregation; into which Moses, though no priest, was permitted to enter by God’s special license.
To speak with him, i.e. to consult God upon occasion.
From off the mercy-seat, which Moses standing without the veil could easily hear. And this seems to be added in this place, to show that when men had done their part in the dedication of the tabernacle, altars, &c., God was not wanting in the performance of his part, and promise made, Exodus 25:22.
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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Numbers 7". Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 15 / Ordinary 20