Numbers 8

Listen to Numbers 8
1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
2 "Speak to Aaron, and tell him, 'When you light the lamps, the seven lamps shall give light in front of the lampstand.'"
3 Aaron did so. He lit its lamps to light the area in front of the lampstand, as Yahweh commanded Moses.
4 This was the workmanship of the lampstand, beaten work of gold. From its base to its flowers, it was beaten work: according to the pattern which Yahweh had shown Moses, so he made the lampstand.
5 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
6 "Take the Levites from among the children of Israel, and cleanse them.
7 Thus shall you do to them, to cleanse them: sprinkle the water of cleansing on them, let them shave their whole bodies with a razor, and let them wash their clothes, and cleanse themselves.
8 Then let them take a young bull, and its meal offering, fine flour mixed with oil; and another young bull you shall take for a sin offering.
9 You shall present the Levites before the Tent of Meeting. You shall assemble the whole congregation of the children of Israel.
10 You shall present the Levites before Yahweh. The children of Israel shall lay their hands on the Levites,
11 and Aaron shall offer the Levites before Yahweh for a wave offering, on the behalf of the children of Israel, that it may be theirs to do the service of Yahweh.
12 The Levites shall lay their hands on the heads of the bulls, and you shall offer the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering to Yahweh, to make atonement for the Levites.
13 You shall set the Levites before Aaron, and before his sons, and offer them as a wave offering to Yahweh.
14 Thus you shall separate the Levites from among the children of Israel, and the Levites shall be mine.
15 "After that, the Levites shall go in to do the service of the Tent of Meeting: and you shall cleanse them, and offer them as a wave offering.
16 For they are wholly given to me from among the children of Israel; instead of all who open the womb, even the firstborn of all the children of Israel, I have taken them to me.
17 For all the firstborn among the children of Israel are mine, both man and animal. On the day that I struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, I sanctified them for myself.
18 I have taken the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel.
19 I have given the Levites as a gift to Aaron and to his sons from among the children of Israel, to do the service of the children of Israel in the Tent of Meeting, and to make atonement for the children of Israel; that there be no plague among the children of Israel, when the children of Israel come near to the sanctuary."
20 Thus did Moses, and Aaron, and all the congregation of the children of Israel, to the Levites. According to all that Yahweh commanded Moses concerning the Levites, so the children of Israel did to them.
21 The Levites purified themselves from sin, and they washed their clothes; and Aaron offered them for a wave offering before Yahweh; and Aaron made atonement for them to cleanse them.
22 After that, the Levites went in to do their service in the Tent of Meeting before Aaron, and before his sons: as Yahweh had commanded Moses concerning the Levites, so they did to them.
23 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
24 "This is that which belongs to the Levites: from twenty-five years old and upward they shall go in to wait on the service in the work of the Tent of Meeting;
25 and from the age of fifty years they shall cease waiting on the work, and shall serve no more,
26 but shall minister with their brothers in the Tent of Meeting, to keep the charge, and shall do no service. Thus shall you do to the Levites concerning their duties."

Numbers 8 Commentary

Chapter 8

The lamps of the sanctuary. (1-4) Consecration of the Levites, and their service. (5-26)

Verses 1-4 Aaron himself lighted the lamps, thus representing his Divine Master. The Scripture is a light shining in a dark place, ( 2 Peter. 1:19 ) the tabernacle, which had no window, would have been without the lamps. The work of ministers is to light these lamps, by expounding and applying the word of God. Jesus Christ is the only Light of our dark, sinful world; and by his atonement, by his word and the Holy Spirit, he diffuses light around.

Verses 5-26 Here we have directions for the solemn ordination of the Levites. All Israel must know that they took not this honour to themselves, but were called of God to it; nor was it enough that they were distinguished from others. All who are employed for God, must be dedicated to him, according to the employment. Christians must be baptized, ministers must be ordained; we must first give ourselves unto the Lord, and then our services. The Levites must be cleansed. They must be clean that bear the vessels of the Lord. Moses must sprinkle the water of purifying upon them. This signifies the application of the blood of Christ to our souls by faith, that we may be fit to serve the living God. God declares his acceptance of them. All who expect to share in the privileges of the tabernacle, must resolve to do the service of the tabernacle. As, on the one hand, none of God's creatures are his necessary servants, he needs not the service of any of them; so none are merely honorary servants, to do nothing. All whom God owns, he employs; angels themselves have their services.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO NUMBERS 8

In this chapter orders are given for the lighting the seven lamps of the candlestick, Nu 8:1-4; and for the consecration of the Levites to their office, by a purification of them, Nu 8:5-8; by a separation of them from the children of Israel, and the imposition of their hands on them, and of the hands of the Levites on the offerings offered for them, Nu 8:9-15; and being thus given to the Lord, and claimed as his, instead of the firstborn of Israel, they are given to Aaron and his sons to do service in the tabernacle, Nu 8:16-22; and their age at which they were to enter into service and cease from it is fixed, Nu 8:23-26.

Numbers 8 Commentaries