Numbers 3:40-51

40 The LORD said to Moses, “Count all the firstborn Israelite males who are a month old or more and make a list of their names.
41 Take the Levites for me in place of all the firstborn of the Israelites, and the livestock of the Levites in place of all the firstborn of the livestock of the Israelites. I am the LORD.”
42 So Moses counted all the firstborn of the Israelites, as the LORD commanded him.
43 The total number of firstborn males a month old or more, listed by name, was 22,273.
44 The LORD also said to Moses,
45 “Take the Levites in place of all the firstborn of Israel, and the livestock of the Levites in place of their livestock. The Levites are to be mine. I am the LORD.
46 To redeem the 273 firstborn Israelites who exceed the number of the Levites,
47 collect five shekels[a] for each one, according to the sanctuary shekel, which weighs twenty gerahs.
48 Give the money for the redemption of the additional Israelites to Aaron and his sons.”
49 So Moses collected the redemption money from those who exceeded the number redeemed by the Levites.
50 From the firstborn of the Israelites he collected silver weighing 1,365 shekels,[b] according to the sanctuary shekel.
51 Moses gave the redemption money to Aaron and his sons, as he was commanded by the word of the LORD.

Numbers 3:40-51 Meaning and Commentary


In this chapter an account is given of the genealogy of the priests and Levites, and of the gift of the Levites to the priests, of the numbering of them, and the service they were to perform; and first of the priests, the sons of Aaron, Nu 3:1-4; and then of the Levites, as given unto them, to wait upon them, and assist them, Nu 3:5-10; and these were taken instead of the firstborn, Nu 3:11-13; and ordered to be numbered, which was done accordingly by their families, Nu 3:14-20; and the sum of each is given, and the particular work assigned to them; of the Gershonites, Nu 3:21-26; of the Kohathites, Nu 3:27-32; of the Merarites, Nu 3:33-38; the sum total of them is given, Nu 3:39; then the firstborn of the children of Israel, from a month old are ordered to be numbered, and were, Nu 3:40-43; and these appearing to be more in number than the Levites, by two hundred seventy three a direction is given that the two hundred seventy three should be redeemed at the rate of five, shekels apiece, and the money paid to Aaron and his sons, Nu 3:44-48; which was accordingly done, Nu 3:49-51.

Cross References 17

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. That is, about 2 ounces or about 58 grams
  • [b]. That is, about 35 pounds or about 16 kilograms
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