Numbers 3

1 These are the generacions of Aaron and Moses when the Lorde spake vnto Moses in mount Sinai
2 and these are the names of the sonnes of Aaron: Nadab the eldest sonne and Abihu Eleazar and Ithamar.
3 These are the names of the sonnes of Aaron which were preastes anoynted and their handes fylled to mynistre
4 but Nadab and Abihu dyed before the Lorde as they broughte straunge fyre before the Lorde in the wyldernesse of Sinai and had no childern. And Eleazar and Ithamar mynistred in the syght of Aaron their father.
5 And the Lorde spake vnto Moses saynge
6 brynge the trybe of leui and set them before Aaron the preast and let them serue him ad wayte apon him
7 and apon all the multitude before the tabernacle of witnesse to doo the seruyce of the habitacion.
8 And they shall wayte apo all ye apparell of ye tabernacle of witnesse and apon ye childern of Ysrael to doo ye seruyce of the habitacio.
9 And thou shalt geue the leuites vnto Aaron and his sonnes for they are geuen vnto him of ye childern of Ysrael.
10 And thou shalt appoite Aaro and his sonnes to wayte on their preastes office: and the strauger yt cometh nye shall dye for it.
11 And ye Lorde spake vnto Moses saynge:
12 beholde I haue take the leuites fro amonge ye childern of Ysrael for all the firstborne that openeth the matryce amonge the childern of Ysrael so that the leuites shall be myne:
13 because all the first borne are myne: for ye same daye that I smote all the fyrstborne in the lande of Egipte I halowed vnto me all the firstborne in Ysrael both man and beest and myne they shall be: for I am the Lorde.
14 And the Lorde spake vnto Moses in the wildernesse of Sinai sayenge:
15 Numbre the childern of Leui in ye housses of their fathers and Kynredes all yt are males from a moneth olde and aboue.
16 And Moses numbred them at the worde of the Lorde as he was comauded.
17 And these are ye names of ye childre of Leui: Gerson Cahath and Merari.
18 And yese are the names of the childern of Gerson in their kynredes: Libni and Semei.
19 And the sones of Cahath in their kynredes were Amram. Iezehar. Hebron and Vsiel.
20 And the sonnes of Merari in their kynredes were Maheli and Musi. These are the kynredes of Leui in the housses of their fathers.
21 And of Gerson came the kynred of ye Libnites and the Semeites which are the kynredes of the Gersonites.
22 And ye summe of them (when all the males were tolde) from a moneth olde and aboue were .vij. thousande and fyue hundred.
23 And the kynredes of the Gersonites pitched behynde the habitacion westwarde.
24 And the captayne of the most awnciet housse amonge ye Gersonites was Eliasaph the sonne of Lael.
25 And the office of the childern of Gerson in the tabernacle of witnesse was the habitacion and the tente with the coueringe theroff and the hangynge of the dore of the tabernacle of witnesse
26 and the hangynges of the courte and the curtayne of the dore of the courte: which courte went rounde aboute the dwellynge and the alter and the cordes yt perteyned vnto all the seruyce therof
27 And of Cahath came the kynred of ye Amramites and the kynred of the Iezeharites and of the Hebronites and of the Vsielites: And these are the kynredes of ye Cahathites.
28 And the numbre of all the males from a moneth olde and aboue was .viij. thousande and sixe hundred: which wayted on ye holy place.
29 And the kynred of the childern of Cahath pitched on ye southsyde of ye dwellynge
30 And ye captayne in ye most auncyent housse of the kynredes of the Cahathites was Elizaphan the sonne of Vsiel
31 and their office was: the arcke the table the candelsticke and the alter and the holy vessels to minystre with and the vayle with all that serued thereto.
32 And Eleazar ye sonne of Aaron the preast was captayne ouer all the captaynes of the Leuites and had the ouer syghte of them that wayted vppon the holythynges.
33 And of Merari came the kynredes of the Mahelites and of the Musites: and these are the kynredes of the Merarites.
34 And the nubre of them (when all the males fro a moneth olde ad aboue was tolde) drewe vnto .vi thousande and .ij. hundred.
35 And ye captayne of the most auncient housse amonge the kynredes of the Merarites was Zuriel the sonne of Abihail which pitched on the north syde of the dwellynge.
36 And the office of the sonnes of Merari was: the bordes of ye dwellynge and the barres pilers with the sokettes thereof and all the instrumetes there of and all that serued thereto:
37 and the pilers of the courte rounde aboute and their sokettes with their pynnes and cordes.
38 But on ye fore front of ye habitacio ad before the tabernacle of witnesse east warde shall Moses and Aaron and his sonnes pytch and wayte on the sanctuary in the steade of ye childern of Ysrael. And the straunger yt cometh nye shall dye for it.
39 And the hole summe of the leuites which Moses and Aaron nubred at ye comaudmet of ye Lorde thorow out their kynredes euen of all ye males of a moneth olde and aboue was .xxij. thousande.
40 And the Lorde sayde vnto Moses: Numbre all ye first borne that are males amoge the childern of Ysrael fro amoneth olde and aboue and take ye numbre of their names.
41 And thou shalt appoynte ye leuites to me the Lorde for all the firstborne amoge ye childern of Ysrael and the catell of ye leuites for the firstborne of the childern of Ysrael.
42 And Moses nubred as ye Lorde comauded him all the firstborne of ye childern of Ysrael.
43 And all the firstborne males in ye summe of names from amoneth olde and aboue were numbred .xxij. thousande .ij. hundred and .lxxiij.
44 And the Lorde spake vnto Moses sayenge:
45 take the leuites for all the fyrstborne of the childern of Israel ad the catell of the leuites for their catell: and the leuites shalbe myne whiche am the Lorde.
46 And for the redemynge of the two hundred and .lxxiij. whiche are moo than the leuites in the firstborne of the children of Israel
47 take .v. sycles of euery pece after the sycle of ye holy place .xx. geras the sycle.
48 And geue ye money wherewith the odde numbre of them is redemed vnto Aaron ad his sonnes.
49 And Moses toke the redempcio money of the ouerplus that were moo then the leuites amonge
50 the firstborne of the childern of Israel: and it came to a thousande .iij. hundred and .lxv. sycles of the holye sycle.
51 And he gaue that redempcion money vnto Aaron and his sonnes at the worde of the Lorde euen as the Lorde commaunded Moses.

Numbers 3 Commentary

Chapter 3

The sons of Aaron, The Levites taken instead of the first-born. (1-13) The Levites numbered by their families, Their duties. (14-39) The first-born are numbered. (40-51)

Verses 1-13 There was much work belonging to the priests' office, and there were now only Aaron and his two sons to do it; God appoints the Levites to attend them. Those whom God finds work for, he will find help for. The Levites were taken instead of the first-born. When He that made us, saves us, as the first-born of Israel were saved, we are laid under further obligations to serve him faithfully. God's right to us by redemption, confirms the right he has to us by creation.

Verses 14-39 The Levites were in three classes, according to the sons of Levi; Gershon, Kohath, and Merari; and these were subdivided into families. The posterity of Moses were not at all honoured or privileged, but stood upon the level with other Levites; thus it was plain, that Moses did not seek the advancement of his own family, or to secure any honours to it. The tribe of Levi was by much the least of all the tribes. God's chosen are but a little flock in comparison with the world.

Verses 40-51 The number of the first-born, and that of the Levites, came near to each other. Known unto God are all his works beforehand; there is an exact proportion between them, and so it will appear, when they are compared together. The small number of first-born, over and above the number of the Levites, were to be redeemed, and the redemption-money given to Aaron. The church is called the church of the first-born, which is redeemed, not as they were, with silver and gold; but, being devoted by sin to the justice of God, is ransomed with the precious blood of the Son of God. All men are the Lord's by creation, and all true christians are his by redemption. Each should know his own post and duty; nor can any service required by such a Master be rightly accounted mean or hard.

Chapter Summary


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.

Numbers 3 Commentaries

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