Michael Boling – Reflections on Numbers 8-10


Numbers 8-10

God spoke to Moses and told him to have Aaron set up the lamps in the tabernacle. Aaron did as God had commanded. The Levites were also commanded by God to be set apart for service to God and the tabernacle. As He had stated in Leviticus, God provided instructions on the purification of the Levites. Now those commands and instructions regarding their purification were obeyed and acted upon. All Levites twenty-five years old or more were to take part in the duties of the tent of meeting. At age fifty, they were to retire from active service. They may assist the other Levities with work; however, they were to not be responsible for the preponderance of the duties. This was the Levitical “retirement plan”.

The people also celebrated the Passover at the appointed time as God had commanded. Now some could not celebrate this Feast of the Lord on the appointed day due to their uncleanness. Moses went to God with the question the people had as to why they should be kept from celebrating this special time of remembrance due to their uncleanness. In response to the people’s inquiry, God provided an alternate “make-up” date if you will to celebrate the Passover that was strictly applicable to those away on a journey or who were ceremonially unclean. Even though they were not celebrating Passover on the same day as everyone else, they were still to follow the specific regulations governing its observance.

A cloud covered the tabernacle by day and a pillar of fire covered it by night. When the cloud lifted from the tabernacle, the people broke camp and moved on. When God commanded them to stop and camp, they did just that. If the cloud lifted, whether it was during the day or during the night, the people broke camp as God commanded.

God spoke to Moses and commanded that two silver trumpets be made for the purpose of calling the assembly of the people together and for having the camps of the people set out in order to travel. When both trumpets were sounded, the people were to gather at the entrance of the tent of meeting. When a trumpet blast was sounded, the tribes to the East would set out. At the sound of the second blast, the camps on the south would set out. The sons of Aaron were responsible for sounding the trumpets. These trumpets were also commanded to be sounded at the outset of the appointed festivals and New Moon feasts.

On the twentieth day of the second month of the second year since their departure from Egypt, the cloud lifted from the tabernacle and the people set out from the Desert of Sinai and journeyed until the cloud once again set down on the tabernacle as they arrived in the Desert of Paran. The ark of the covenant went in front of the people as they journeyed.

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