The offerings of the princes at the dedication of the tabernacle. (1-9) The offerings of the princes at the dedication of the altar. (10-89)
Verses 1-9 The offering of the princes to the service of the tabernacle was not made till it was fully set up. Necessary observances must always take place of free-will offerings. The more any are advanced, the greater opportunity they have of serving God and their generation. No sooner was the tabernacle set up, than provision is made for the removal of it. Even when but just settled in the world, we must be preparing for changes and removes, especially for the great change.
Verses 10-89 The princes and great men were most forward in the service of God. Here is an example to those in authority, and of the highest rank; they ought to use their honour and power, their estate and interest, to promote religion and the service of God in the places where they live. Though it was a time of joy and rejoicing, yet still, in the midst of their sacrifices, we find a sin-offering. As, in our best services, we are conscious that there is sin, there should be repentance, even in our most joyful services. In all approaches to God we must by faith look to Christ as the Sin-offering. They brought their offerings each on a day. God's work should not be done confusedly, or in a hurry; take time, and we shall have done the sooner, or, at least, we shall have done the better. If services are to be done for twelve days together, we must not call it a task and a burden. All their offerings were the same; all the tribes of Israel had an equal share in the altar, and an equal interest in the sacrifices offered upon it. He who now spake to Moses, as the Shechinah or Divine Majesty, from between the Cherubim, was the Eternal Word, the second Person in the Trinity; for all God's communion with man is by his Son, by whom he made the world, and rules the church, who is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.
This chapter gives an account of the presents brought, by the princes of the twelve tribes at the setting up of the tabernacle, for the use of it, Nu 7:1-9; and at the dedication of the altar, and the service of that, Nu 7:10,11; first of the prince of the tribe of Judah, Nu 7:12-17; then of the prince of Issachar, Nu 7:18-23; of the prince of Zebulun, Nu 7:24-29; of the prince of Reuben, Nu 7:30-35; of the prince of Simeon, Nu 7:36-41; of the prince of Gad, Nu 7:42-47; of the prince of Ephraim, Nu 7:48-53; of the prince of Manasseh, Nu 7:54-59; of the prince of Benjamin, Nu 7:60-65; of the prince of Dan, Nu 7:66-71; of the prince of Asher, Nu 7:72-77; of the prince of Naphtali, Nu 7:78-83; the sum of all which follows, Nu 7:84-88; and the chapter is concluded with a token of God's approbation and acceptance of the whole, Nu 7:89.