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Bible Commentaries

Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Numbers 8

Verses 1-4

Numbers 8:1-4 . Directions Relating to the Candlestick.— An account of the candlestick (really a “ lampstand” ) is contained in Exodus 25:31-40 *.

Numbers 8:2 . lightest: render as in mg. (and so in Numbers 8:3).— give light . . . candlestick: i.e. illuminate the opposite (N.) wall of the Holy Place, the candlestick being on the S. side.— flowers: flower-like ornaments.

Verses 5-22

Numbers 8:5-22 . The Purification of the Levites.— This differed from that of the priests (Exodus 29, Leviticus 8), for the Levites ( a) were only sprinkled with water instead of being washed altogether and anointed with oil; ( b) merely washed their ordinary garments instead of being clad in special garments. The shaving of all their hair was in pursuance of the belief mentioned on p. 216: if ceremonial impurity infected the person at all, it would exist in a concentrated form in the hair. The ceremonies described in Numbers 8:10-13 could obviously be only performed symbolically: cf. Exodus 29:24.

Numbers 8:13 . thou: here and in Numbers 8:15 it is Moses, whereas in Numbers 8:11; Numbers 8:21 it is Aaron who “ waves” the Levites.

Numbers 8:16 . even the first-born of all: read, ‘ even all the first-born among” ; cf. Numbers 8:18.

Numbers 8:19 . make atonement: better, “ afford a covering (or screen).” The Hebrew here cannot mean to expiate sin, but has in view the prevention of it, inasmuch as sin would be involved in the profanation of the Tabernacle by the approach of unhallowed laymen.

Verses 23-26

Numbers 8:23-26 . The Age-Limit for the Levites’ Service.— The limits here given (25 and 50) differ from those fixed in ch. 4 (where they are 30 and 50).

Numbers 8:24 . This is that which belongeth unto: read (Vulg.), “ This is the law of.”

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Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Numbers 8". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pfc/numbers-8.html. 1919.