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Bible Commentaries

Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical
Numbers 1

 

 

Verses 1-54

FIRST PART

THE KINGLY HOST OF JEHOVAH

Numbers 1-10

____________________

FIRST SECTION

THE ARMY OF THE LORD. THE ENUMERATION OR MUSTER OF THE WARRIORS. THE ARMY’S ORDER OF ENCAMPMENT AND MARCH

Numbers 1, 2

Moses and Aaron with twelve princes muster the men of war. Levites exempted and retained to serve the tabernacle

Numbers 1:1-54

Moses, Aaron, and the Twelve Princes

1And the Lord spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in [FN1]the tabernacle of the congregation, on the first day of the second month, in the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt, saying, 2Take ye the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel after their families, by [FN2]the house of their fathers, with the [FN3]number of their names, every male by their polls; 3From twenty years old and upward, [FN4]all that are able to go forth to war in Israel: thou and Aaron shall xnumber them by their [FN5]armies 4 And with you there shall be a man of every 5 tribe; every one head of the house of his fathers. And these are the names of the men that shall stand with you: of the tribe of Reuben; Elizur the son of Shedeur 6 Of Simeon; Shemuliel the son of Zurishaddai 7 Of Judah; Nahshon the son of 8 Amminadab. Of Isaachar; Nethaneel the son of Zuar 9 Of Zebulun; Eliab the son of Helon 10 Of the children of Joseph: of Ephraim; Elishama the son of Ammihud: of Manasseh; Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur 11 Of Benjamin; Abidan12, 13the son of Gideoni. Of Dan; Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai. Of Asher; 14, 15Pagiel the son of Ocran. Of Gad; Eliasaph the son of Deuel. Of Naphtali; 16Ahira the son of Enan. These [FN6] were the renowned of the congregation, princes of the tribes of their fathers, heads of thousands in Israel.

The Muster

17And Moses and Aaron took these men which are expressed by their names: 18And they assembled all the congregation together on the first day of the second month, and [FN7]they declared their pedigrees after their families, by bthe house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, 19by their polls.[FN8] As the Lord commanded Moses, [FN9]so he xnumbered them in the wilderness of Sinai.

20And the children of Reuben, Israel’s [FN10]eldest Song of Solomon, by their generations, after their families, by bthe house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, by their polls, every male from twenty years old and upward, call that were able to go forth to war; 21Those that were xnumbered of them, even of the tribe of Reuben, were forty and six thousand and five hundred.

22Of the children of Simeon, by their generations, after their families, by bthe house of their fathers, those that were xnumbered of them, according to the number of the names, by their polls, every male from twenty years old and upward, call that were able to go forth to war; 23Those that were xnumbered of them, even of the tribe of Simeon, were fifty and nine thousand and three hundred.

24Of the children of Gad, by their generations, after their families, by bthe house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, call that were able to go forth to war; 25Those that were xnumbered of them, even of the tribe of Gad, were forty and five thousand six hundred and fifty.

26Of the children of Judah, by their generations, after their families, by bthe house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, call that were able to go forth to war; 27Those that were xnumbered of them, even of the tribe of Judah, were threescore and fourteen thousand and six hundred.

28Of the children of Issachar, by their generations, after their families, by bthe house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, call that were able to go forth to war; 29Those that were xnumbered of them, even of the tribe of Issachar, were fifty and four thousand and four hundred.

30Of the children of Zebulun, by their generations, after their families, by bthe house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, call that were able to go forth to war; 31Those that were xnumbered of them, even of the tribe of Zebulun, were fifty and seven thousand and four hundred.

32Of the children of Joseph, namely, of the children of Ephraim, by their generations, after their families, by bthe house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, call that were able to go forth to war; 33Those that were xnumbered of them, even of the tribe of Ephraim, were forty thousand and five hundred.

34Of the children of Prayer of Manasseh, by their generations, after their families, by bthe house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, call that were able to go forth to war; 35Those that were xnumbered of them, even of the tribe of Prayer of Manasseh, were thirty and two thousand and two hundred.

36Of the children of Benjamin, by their generations, after their families, by bthe house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, call that were able to go forth to war; 37Those that were xnumbered of them, even of the tribe of Benjamin, were thirty and five thousand and four hundred.

38Of the children of Daniel, by their generations, after their families, byb the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, call that were able to go forth to war; 39Those that were xnumbered of them, even of the tribe of Daniel, were threescore and two thousand and seven hundred.

40Of the children of Asher, by their generations, after their families, by bthe house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, call that were able to go forth to war; 41Those that were xnumbered of them, even of the tribe of Asher, were forty and one thousand and five hundred.

42Of the children of Naphtali, throughout their generations, after their families, by bthe house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, call that were able to go forth to war; 43Those that were xnumbered of them, even of the tribe of Naphtali, were fifty and three thousand and four hundred 44 These are those that were xnumbered, which Moses and Aaron numbered, and the princes of Israel, being twelve men; each one was for bthe house of his fathers.

45So were all those that were xnumbered of the children of Israel, by bthe house of their fathers, from twenty years old and upward, call that were able to go forth to war in Israel; 46Even all they that were xnumbered were six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty 47 But the Levites after the tribe of their fathers were not xnumbered among them.

The Levites exempted

48[FN11]For the Lord had spoken unto Moses, saying, 49Only thou shalt not xnumber 50 the tribe of Levi, neither take the sum of them among the children of Israel: But [FN12]thou shalt xappoint the Levites over the tabernacle of testimony, and over all the vessels thereof, and over all things that belong to it: they shall bear the tabernacle, and all the vessels thereof; and they shall minister unto it, and shall encamp round about the tabernacle 51 And when the tabernacle setteth forward, the Levites shall take it down; and when the tabernacle is to be pitched, the Levites shall set it up: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death 52 And the children of Israel shall pitch their tents every man by his own camp, and every man by his own standard, [FN13]throughout their hosts 53 But the Levites shall pitch round about the tabernacle of testimony, that there be no wrath upon the congregation of the children of Israel: and the Levites shall keep the charge of the tabernacle of testimony 54 And the children of Israel did according to all that the Lord commanded Moses, so did they.

TEXTUAL AND GRAMMATICAL

[ Numbers 1:1. ודבר. The וַ of itself gives no proof of our book having a special or organic connection with Leviticus. Were that the case, then a similar inference must be made of a relation between Joshua and Deuteronomy, and between Judges and Joshua. In cases like the present, the Vav. conversive simply introduces what is related as a sequel to events preceding. It is left to the reader to recall what precedes. לצאתם. The לְ with the inf. const. has here the force of the genitive, as appears from its conjunction with לחדשׁ. See Fuerst sub. voc. A, 9. It is common in giving dates; comp. Genesis 7:11; Exodus 19:1. The inf. is used here as a noun == “their exodus.”

[ Numbers 1:2. The לְ before three different nouns in this verse is distributive; comp. Joshua 7:14; Joshua 7:16according to your tribes,” “by their tribes.”—By would be a good rendering here.—לבית אבתם. This phrase, that occurs so frequently in what follows, has a grammatical peculiarity, or even oddity. בֵּית אָב expresses a single notion “father’s-house,” the plural of which is “fathers’-houses.” The Hebrew forms the plural by giving a plural ending to the second noun, much as in English it is common to say “the Miss Smiths.” On this and other examples, see Ewald, § 270, c.

Numbers 1:10. פדהצור. On the ח quiescent in the middle of the word see Green’s Gram., § 13 b. But some MSS. and editions read פְּדָה צוּר.

Numbers 1:16. קְרִיאֵי העדה “The K’ri needlessly suggests קִרוּאֵי conf. Numbers 16:2,” Maurer. They are designated “as called men of the congregation, because they were called to the diets of the congregation, as representatives of the tribes.” Keil.

Numbers 1:18. “וַיִּתְיַלְדוּ an expressive ἅπ. λεγ.,” Lange, “to announce themselves as born, i. e., to have themselves entered in genealogical registers” (Keil).

Numbers 1:22. “The לְ before בְנֵי, in this and the following verses, seems to mean the same as the German auf, to, used in counting.” Lange.

Numbers 1:47. התפקדו. On the הָ see Green Gr., § 96, a.—Tr.].

EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL

I:1–4. And the LORD spake.—The date of the divine command. See the Text. The purpose of the command to muster the people.—The whole congregation is to be a host of the King Jehovah, “a people in arms;” nevertheless human nature requires that the whole people be represented by the selection of its men able to bear arms. To which end every one who is twenty years old must enter upon military duty; no term is fixed at which military service should cease. The infirm, the women, the children, the unclean must be added to those few who were of course invalidated by age. But the Levites are not here made free from military duty; on the contrary, they form the ideal power of the army, in that it is their office to carry the tabernacle as the banner of Jehovah, as the Theocratic banner of victory. On account of its importance the time of their service is therefore fixed definitely, from twenty-five, relatively thirty, to fifty years. The natural organization of the people served as a basis for the muster; tribes, tribal-branches or clans, fathers’-houses, and finally their sum-total by individuals, all registered by name. Moses and Aaron were to attend to this business of the muster by having in every tribe a captain chosen from the same to act for them.

[In the wilderness of Sinai.— Exodus 19:1-2, (comp. itinerary Numbers 33:15) shows the order of stations reached in the march to Sinai, to have been: Rephidim, the entrance into the wilderness of Sinai, and then the approach to the mountain. Leviticus 7:38 shows the proximity of the wilderness of Sinai to the mountain; Numbers 10:12 and Numbers 33:16, show that the wilderness of Sinai stretches as far as the wilderness of Paran. The Ordnance Survey Expedition to the Peninsula of Sinai in1868–’69, has confirmed in great part the conclusions of Robinson and Stanley, and therefore of tradition. All the members of the expedition, save Mr. Holland, concluded that Rephidim is in the Wady Feiran at Hesy el Khattatin. Mr. Holland alone places it “at the narrow pass of El Watiyeh in Wady es Sheikh.” They were unanimous in deciding that the primary camping ground of the wilderness of Sinai was the great plain Er Raheh, and that Mount Sinai is Jebel Musa while the mountain from which the law was delivered, the one “which can be touched,” is a peak of Jebel Musa, Res Sufsafeh. In Er Raheh there would be ample room for the entire mass of the people when they gave audience to the law. “A calculation made by Capt. Palmer, from the actual measurements taken on the spot, proves that the space extending from the base of the mountain to the water-shed or crest of the plain, is large enough to have accommodated the entire host of the Israelites, estimated at two million souls, with an allowance of about a square yard for each individual.” (The Desert of the Exodus, Palmer, ch. vi.). “The plain itself is upward of two miles long, and half a mile broad, and slopes gradually down from the water-shed on the north to the foot of Ras Sufsafeh. About three hundred yards from the actual base of the mountain there runs across the plain a low, semicircular mound, which forms a kind of natural theatre, while farther distant on either side of the plain the slopes of the enclosing mountains would afford seats to an almost unlimited number of spectators.” (Recovery of Jerusalem, pp411, 412). There are good camping places in the neighboring glens, valleys and mountain sides, especially at the mouth of Wady Leja where there is “an extensive recess, about a mile and a half long by three-quarters of a mile broad” (ibid. p412). It is exceedingly well watered by four running streams, and there are innumerable fountains and wells. Comp. Robinson, Vol1, p95 sqq, 100–107, 119–122. Stanley, Sinai and Palestine, pp40–44, 73–76.

The Tabernacle of the congregation.—The A. V. renders it, the Tabernacle of congregation, as if the notion “to meet” underlying the word מועד must refer to the people, and thus the word itself mean the gathering of the people together. The proper signification is Tent of Meeting, as appears from Exodus 29:42-43, which reads: “This shall be a continual burnt-offering throughout your generations at the door of the tent of meeting before the Lord; where I will meet you (אועד) to speak there unto thee. And there I will meet (נעדתי) with the children of Israel.” The same is suggested by Exodus 30:36, and Numbers 17:19, (A. V, 4). Hither then the Lord summoned those whom He would meet, and to whom He would make special communications, and ordered, Numbers 10:3, that trumpets should be sounded to gather the people as well (נועדו) to the Tent of Meeting. Hence God not only comes down to meet His people, but they come up to meet Him. See Smith’s Bib. Dict., article Tabernacle.

On the first day of the second month, i.e., the month Ziph, which in the Talmud is called אייר, lyar. It corresponds with our April. Ziph = the month of “blossoms;” but see Smith’s Bib. Dict.

The following data given in the Book of Numbers, are here arranged in their chronological order, according to Keil and others. But see Lange on vii1.

(1) The gifts of the oxen and wagons by the princes; their gifts for the altar on the day of its anointing, continuing for twelve days, chap7, and the cloud covering the Tabernacle ( Numbers 9:15) on the day of its erection; this date is given in Exodus 40:17 : comp. Leviticus 8:10-11 :

2yr,

1 m,

1day.

(2) The celebration of the passover, Numbers 9:1-5 :

2

1

14

(3) The order for the muster, Numbers 1:1 :

2

2

1

(4) Celebration of the Little Passover, Numbers 9:6-14 :

2

2

14

(5) Departure from Sinai, Numbers 10:11 :

2

2

20

The following points are noteworthy: In the period between the erection of the tabernacle and the order for the muster the following matters took place; The proclamation of the laws of sacrifice, for they were first enunciated in the tent of meeting, Leviticus 1:1; the consecration of Aaron’s sons in the day of the anointing of the Tabernacle, which took seven days; the first rites by the priesthood on the eighth day; the trespass by Nadab and Abihu; the remaining body of Levitical law; the princely gifts for moving the Tabernacle and for the dedication of the altar; the descent of the cloud upon the tabernacle; the order for the observance of the passover; its commemoration. This was in the time from one new moon (חדש) to the other.

In the period between the order for the muster and the departure from Sinai, the following events took place: The muster itself; the disposition of the camp, the body of law for its regulation; the celebration of the Little Passover; the census of the first-born and consecration of the Levites; all of which occurred in twenty days. A brisk and crowded season.

We observe further in this chronology that events which occurred at an earlier date are placed after the muster; the gifts by the princes and the passover really having preceded the muster. Why? Keil finds a reason in the desire not to interrupt the essential connection of Sinaitic law; and this opinion is of weight. In the legal books of the Trilogy, chronology is made secondary. As the idea of Leviticus was to give the body of Sacerdotal legislation, and such incidents as related to it, so the object of the Book of Numbers is to give the national organization, in all its theocratic features, and thus what is uppermost for the proper constitution of the immovable state, of course comes first.

Numbers 1:2. The sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel. On the three accounts of taking the census see above Introduction, § 7, a, c, and Smith’s Bib. Dict. art. Census. On the congregation see ibid. under the word. The data are wanting for a clear analysis of the subdivisions of the congregation represented by the following terms, families (משׁפחת), fathers’-houses (בית אבת). The latter is a subdivision of the former, while in Numbers 1:4 it appears as a subdivision of the tribe (מטה). The former is thus the grand subdivision of the tribe. This agrees with Numbers 10:4 (comp. Joshua 22:14) where “the thousands” (אלפים) appear as equivalent to “the families” (משׁפחת), the latter designating them according to their social constitution, the former with respect to their proportion of men fit for war and liable to tax. See Introd, § 6.

Numbers 1:3. פָקַד means “to muster, marshal,” and has reference more to disposition or arrangement than numbering. See a discussion of the word in Bush in loc.—Tr.].

Numbers 1:5-19. Roll of the captains who were called to aid in numbering the tribes. We furnish their names and the names of their fathers also, with their conjectural significations, since the names of the Israelites attest the religious mind of the people. See above Introd, § 6. Upon the three qualifications of the chief men, (1) קְרִיאֵי הָעֵדָה, (2) נְשִׂיאֵי מַטּוֹת אֲבוֹתָם, (3) רָאשִׁים see above, Introd. § 6. “אֲלָפִים synonymous with מִשְׁפָּחוֹת ‘families’ (comp. Numbers 10:4; Joshua 22:14, et al.), because the number of heads of families in the branches of a tribe amounted to at least a thousand” (Keil). Even if the thousands were in a greater or less degree independent of the number1,000, yet it does not then follow that they should always coincide with the tribe-branches.

They were not passively pressed into service, but took it upon them voluntarily, like the volunteers of Deborah ( Judges 21) and of the Messianic King ( Psalm 110); and that was, so to speak, their new birth in the higher sense. [These princes were likely a selection from those of highest rank among the appointments made according to Exodus 18:21-26, which occurred only a few months before this.—Tr.]

Numbers 1:20-47. Number of the fighting men in the tribes see above, Introd. § 6. They were mustered in representation of the supreme Commander himself; hence פִּקֻדִים.

Numbers 1:48-54. The prohibition against mustering the Levites and adding their number to the sum of the other tribes indicates no exemption from the military service, but an inherited calling to the discharge of the highest service of defence, the care of the headquarters ( Numbers 1:53) and of the ensign of the army, the Tabernacle. Therefore, notwithstanding their being so numerous, they were to encamp around the sanctuary and prevent all who were not Levites from approaching on pain of death. All the other divisions of the army were to encamp by their special standards.

[The reason for the peculiar service of the Levites that the text gives is that in Numbers 1:51; Numbers 1:53. It ought thus to have precedence. The Levites were to guard the Tabernacle against the intrusion of the other Israelites. By the stranger (זָר), for whom it would be death to come nigh, is meant a non-Levite ( Leviticus 22:10). The Levites were to guard against trespasses within that would be more ruinous than foes without.—Tr.]

DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL

On the whole book

The name Numbers gives no presentiment of the rich significance of this third book [of the Trilogy], unless one were to ascribe to the idea of number a Pythagorean notion, or, better still, one that belongs to Biblical philosophy of religion.

For, of course, the champions of Jehovah are numbered, as were the intimates or heroes of Odin, and as the latter were selected out to march forth with Odin to conflict at the end of time, so the former are chosen out, numbered and mustered so as to form an army of God, which is destined in a sacred campaign to make the conquest of the holy inheritance of God, Canaan, the promised land, for God’s people.

As significant individual types are to be noted especially the persons fit for war; for here, too, the proper estimate of personal life is the signature of true religion and of the kingdom of truth founded on it. But with the persons must be noted the most exact regard for their number, the typical numbering, as it is continued down to the Apocalypse ( Revelation 7), not excepting the Gospels and Acts of the Apostles. Moreover, the characteristic diversities of nations, or even of churches and states in the kingdom of God, find their type in the organization of the army of God, the order of Israel’s encampment under its princes, the Sanctuary in the midst of the army as the mysterious headquarters of the heavenly sentinel, the Commander in Chief, and the distribution of labor among His servants. Furthermore an important element appears in keeping the camp of the army pure, in which connection is to be considered the restitution for trespass which is too much overlooked [ Numbers 5:1-10]; also in contrast with this keeping pure, the higher consecration of the Lord’s volunteer heroes, the Nazarites [ Numbers 6:1-21].

A particularly significant jewel is the Aaronic blessing [ Numbers 6:22-27]. The invisible substance of Israel must, however, be visibly represented to the nation by a rich temple-treasure, assured by the cheerful offerings of its princes, demonstrated by a grand festive procession of the donors with their gifts [ Numbers 7:1-89]. But in the midst of the Sanctuary the golden candlestick must illumine the night; the Levites, as watchmen and servants, must surround the centre of the camp 8]. That no defect or scruple may arise in regard to the holy communion and the right of all to it, the Little Passover is instituted [ Numbers 9:1-14] as the same is also perpetuated in its counterparts in the divine service of the church. The pillar of cloud and fire over the Tabernacle is the sign of the promise that the Lord will never depart from His people [ Numbers 9:15-23]. The army is completed by the instruments of sacred signals, the silver trumpets [ Numbers 10:1-10]; their echoes are the sounds of bells, the peals of organs, Christian hymns, but also every righteous summons to the defence of our country.

[On Numbers 1:53. The meaning of Levite is “joined to, adhesion.” See Numbers 18:4. The location of the Levites in the camp was symbolical of this accepted relation by their being attached to Moses and Aaron and the sanctuary. In Isaiah 56:3; Isaiah 56:6-7 a participation in the priesthood of God’s people is promised to Gentiles, kindred to the relation of the Levites to the priests. See Naegelsbach in loc. and Bush on our ver.—Tr.]

HOMILETICAL HINTS

See General Homiletic Remarks in the vol. on Exodus, p167.

On chap1. The army of the Lord in particular. Its significance. Its destination. The mustering of the army.

On the whole book.

“The aim of the Holy Spirit in general is to show how God brought ever nearer to fulfilment His promises of inheriting the land of Canaan, spite of all the difficulties that stood in the way of it, and brought His people from Mt. Sinai to the borders of Canaan; also how they had God for their guide on the whole journey, which serves to prove that the religion of this people is the true religion.” Starke.

“The use to be derived from it is this: Whoever carefully and exactly considers all the historical circumstances will be led on every account to maintain a Christian walk in this journey through the world. The countless benefits that God showed His people in the wilderness assure us of the divine goodness, and comfort us in times of distress, and when we suffer want and often know not where to turn. The many rebellious conspiracies, murmurings, insurrections, etc., convince us of human depravity, and of man’s ingratitude toward his greatest Benefactor, and of the corruption of our hearts, which are presumptuous in fortune, and despondent in misfortune, and admonish us to take note of indwelling sin, that we may not become like Israel in sinning. God’s punishment of His perverse people represents to us His anger and justice, from which we ought to learn to be suitably afraid. The steadfastness, prudence, patience and meekness of Moses are a mirror into which we should diligently gaze, and pattern after his example in every thing that befalls us. In general we must not contemplate our life as different from the journey of the Israelites out of Egypt through the desert to the land of Canaan ( 1 Chronicles 30:15). The round-about ways that God leads us are wonderful; we must go through thick and thin, over mountains and through valleys, now a straight path, then a crooked ( Psalm 4:4). Our progress is marked by mournful monuments that we leave behind in our conscience, which reproaches us with a Meriba, where we strove with God and were not content with His guidance; the graves of lust, where we gave way to evil desires, etc. Still God provides us with manna, quails and water ( Psalm 33; Isaiah 30:20). He gives us victory when enemies assail us, He bears us on the way we go ( Deuteronomy 1:31). Jesus is the pillar of cloud and fire that abides with us, even when it is evening ( Luke 24:29), unto the end of the world ( Matthew 28:20). The sacrament of holy Baptism is the cloud ( 1 Corinthians 10:2). The sacrament of the Lord’s Supper is the manna, the food and drink of life. Whoever, then, would be a true Israelite, let him learn from this book to depart out of the Egypt of this world and of his sinful flesh, to disregard the Red Sea of dismay that Satan makes, furthermore to press through the wilderness of this world, where there is danger enough, and all looks dreadful, where Amalekites and Ammonites, where serpents and wild beasts make the passage hard, until at last he comes to the stern-flowing Jordan, and draws near the heavenly Canaan. Thus we may every way edify our life from this book, and sooth our sorrows and cares. And this, too, is God’s aim and object in the histories that are found here.” Starke.

[God’s particular providence over His people illustrated by the numbering. (1) It proved His faithfulness to His promise to Abraham and to Jacob ( Genesis 28:14). It was not left to be guessed at. (2) It was an intimation of how God meant to care for His people in the future, and meant that Moses and the inferior rulers should care for them. As the “Shepherd of Israel” ( Psalm 80:1), he would, like other shepherds, keep count of his flocks and deliver them by number to their under-shepherds, that they might know if any were missing. (3) It was in order to their being marshalled into several districts for the more easy administration of justice, and their more regular march through the desert. It is a rout and a rabble, not an army, that is not mustered and put in order. After M. Henry.

Leviticus precedes Numbers. The laws of offering to God precede the military organization and the march against enemies and to the conquest of Canaan. This is the ideal realization of the motto: “Be sure you’re right, then go ahead.” To be right, in the highest sense, is to be right with God. “If God be for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31. Let every one find time first for religion and reconciliation to God through the offering of Jesus Christ, before even preparing for the march and warfare of life. Let him do the same for every day.

On Numbers 1:47-54. The Levites exempted from military service. So with ministers. “If exempted from secular concerns, it is in order that they may be the more given up to the study and preaching of the word of God, and to prayer, which are the chief weapons of their warfare; for by these means they may endeavor to avert the wrath of God from the people. As Christians are separated from the world, so ministers should be still more detached from its pursuits and employments, and examples to the flock; ‘not,’ says M. Henry, ‘affecting to seem greater, but aiming to be really better, every way better, than others.’ ” Scott. The position and service of the Levites was according to the maxim: “Whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.” Matthew 20:27.—Tr.]

Footnotes:

FN#1 - the Tent of Meeting.

FN#2 - their fathers houses.

FN#3 - mustered, muster.

FN#4 - all who went forth to the army.

FN#5 - hosts.

FN#6 - are they that were called of.

FN#7 - they had themselves inscribed in the birth-registers.

FN#8 - comma.

FN#9 - and.

FN#10 - first-born.

FN#11 - And the LORD spake.

FN#12 - omit thou shalt.

FN#13 - according to.

Numbers

 


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.

Bibliography Information
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on Numbers 1:4". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/lcc/numbers-1.html. 1857-84.

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Tuesday, October 15th, 2019
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