Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
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Numbers 4

1 - The LORD spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying,

2 - "Take a census of the sons of Kohath from among the sons of Levi, by their families, by their fathers' houses,

3 - from thirty years old and upward even until fifty years old, all who enter into the service, to do the work in the Tent of Meeting.

4 - "This is the service of the sons of Kohath in the Tent of Meeting, the most holy things.

5 - When the camp moves forward, Aaron shall go in, and his sons, and they shall take down the veil of the screen, and cover the ark of the Testimony with it,

6 - and shall put a covering of sealskin on it, and shall spread over it a cloth all of blue, and shall put in its poles.

7 - "On the table of show bread they shall spread a blue cloth, and put on it the dishes, the spoons, the bowls, and the cups with which to pour out; and the continual bread shall be on it.

8 - They shall spread on them a scarlet cloth, and cover the same with a covering of sealskin, and shall put in its poles.

9 - "They shall take a blue cloth, and cover the lamp stand of the light, and its lamps, and its snuffers, and its snuff dishes, and all its oil vessels, with which they minister to it.

10 - They shall put it and all its vessels within a covering of sealskin, and shall put it on the frame.

11 - "On the golden altar they shall spread a blue cloth, and cover it with a covering of sealskin, and shall put in its poles.

12 - "They shall take all the vessels of ministry, with which they minister in the sanctuary, and put them in a blue cloth, and cover them with a covering of sealskin, and shall put them on the frame.

13 - "They shall take away the ashes from the altar, and spread a purple cloth on it.

14 - They shall put on it all its vessels, with which they minister about it, the fire pans, the meat hooks, the shovels, and the basins; all the vessels of the altar; and they shall spread on it a covering of sealskin, and put in its poles.

15 - "When Aaron and his sons have finished covering the sanctuary, and all the furniture of the sanctuary, as the camp moves forward; after that, the sons of Kohath shall come to carry it: but they shall not touch the sanctuary, lest they die. These things are the burden of the sons of Kohath in the Tent of Meeting.

16 - "The duty of Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest shall be the oil for the light, the sweet incense, the continual meal offering, and the anointing oil, the requirements of all the tabernacle, and of all that is in it, the sanctuary, and its furnishings."

17 - The LORD spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying,

18 - "Don't cut off the tribe of the families of the Kohathites from among the Levites;

19 - but thus do to them, that they may live, and not die, when they approach to the most holy things: Aaron and his sons shall go in, and appoint them everyone to his service and to his burden;

20 - but they shall not go in to see the sanctuary even for a moment, lest they die."

21 - The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

22 - "Take a census of the sons of Gershon also, by their fathers' houses, by their families;

23 - you shall count them from thirty years old and upward until fifty years old; all who enter in to wait on the service, to do the work in the Tent of Meeting.

24 - "This is the service of the families of the Gershonites, in serving and in bearing burdens:

25 - they shall carry the curtains of the tabernacle, and the Tent of Meeting, its covering, and the covering of sealskin that is above on it, and the screen for the door of the Tent of Meeting,

26 - and the hangings of the court, and the screen for the door of the gate of the court, which is by the tabernacle and around the altar, and their cords, and all the instruments of their service, and whatever shall be done with them. They shall serve in there.

27 - At the commandment of Aaron and his sons shall be all the service of the sons of the Gershonites, in all their burden, and in all their service; and you shall appoint their duty to them in all their responsibilities.

28 - This is the service of the families of the sons of the Gershonites in the Tent of Meeting: and their duty shall be under the hand of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest.

29 - "As for the sons of Merari, you shall count them by their families, by their fathers' houses;

30 - you shall count them from thirty years old and upward even to fifty years old, everyone who enters on the service, to do the work of the Tent of Meeting.

31 - This is the duty of their burden, according to all their service in the Tent of Meeting: the tabernacle's boards, its bars, its pillars, its sockets,

32 - and the pillars of the court around it, and their sockets, and their pins, and their cords, with all their instruments, and with all their service: and by name you shall appoint the instruments of the duty of their burden.

33 - This is the service of the families of the sons of Merari, according to all their service, in the Tent of Meeting, under the hand of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest."

34 - Moses and Aaron and the princes of the congregation counted the sons of the Kohathites by their families, and by their fathers' houses,

35 - from thirty years old and upward even to fifty years old, everyone who entered into the service, for work in the Tent of Meeting.

36 - Those who were counted of them by their families were two thousand seven hundred fifty.

37 - These are those who were counted of the families of the Kohathites, all who served in the Tent of Meeting, whom Moses and Aaron counted according to the commandment of the LORD by Moses.

38 - Those who were counted of the sons of Gershon, their families, and by their fathers' houses,

39 - from thirty years old and upward even to fifty years old, everyone who entered into the service, for work in the Tent of Meeting,

40 - even those who were counted of them, by their families, by their fathers' houses, were two thousand six hundred thirty.

41 - These are those who were counted of the families of the sons of Gershon, all who served in the Tent of Meeting, whom Moses and Aaron counted according to the commandment of The LORD.

42 - Those who were counted of the families of the sons of Merari, by their families, by their fathers' houses,

43 - from thirty years old and upward even to fifty years old, everyone who entered into the service, for work in the Tent of Meeting,

44 - even those who were counted of them by their families, were three thousand two hundred.

45 - These are those who were counted of the families of the sons of Merari, whom Moses and Aaron counted according to the commandment of the LORD by Moses.

46 - All those who were counted of the Levites, whom Moses and Aaron and the princes of Israel counted, by their families, and by their fathers' houses,

47 - from thirty years old and upward even to fifty years old, everyone who entered in to do the work of service, and the work of bearing burdens in the Tent of Meeting,

48 - even those who were counted of them, were eight thousand five hundred eighty.

49 - According to the commandment of the LORD they were counted by Moses, everyone according to his service, and according to his burden. Thus were they counted by him, as the LORD commanded Moses.


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Numbers Images and Notes

The Book of Numbers

Numbers 14:14 - And they will tell [it] to the inhabitants of this land: [for] they have heard that thou LORD [art] among this people, that thou LORD art seen face to face, and [that] thy cloud standeth over them, and [that] thou goest before them, by day time in a pillar of a cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night.

The Old Testament - A Brief Overview

Bible Survery - Numbers
Hebrew Name - Bemidhbar "in the wilderness"
Greek Name - Numbers "numberings"
Author - Moses
Date - From 1490-1451 BC Approximately
Theme - The Journey to the Promised Land
Types and Shadows - In Numbers Jesus is the Pillar of Cloud by Day and the Pillar of Fire by Night

Photo of the Sinai Wilderness
Photo of the Sinai Wilderness

Summary of The Book of Numbers

The book of Numbers takes its name from the account of the census that happened two times among the congregation of Israel in Numbers 1-4 and Numbers 26. The Greek title was used even though there is really no connection with the "numberings." The original Hebrew title which means "in the wilderness," is much more accurate, because the book of Numbers is it's really an accurate history of the events that happened during the period of wandering in the wilderness and not necessarily a book about statistics. The book of Numbers seems to follow naturally after the book of Leviticus in the order of the books of Moses in the Old Testament. After the children of Israel received the laws at Mount Sinai, they began the journey as described in the book of Exodus, and they were ready to march directly into the land of Canaan. The book of Numbers reveals how the children of Israel became prepared, and went to various trials, and how they were sinful in not trusting the Lord. Their sinful ways resulted in 37 years of wandering through the harsh wilderness. The book of Numbers concludes with the children of Israel once again at the edge of the land of Canaan, where they received instructions for the conquest of Canaan and the division of the land.

Quick Reference Map
Map of the Route of the Exodus
Map of the Possible Route of the Exodus (Click to Enlarge)

The principle divisions of the book are as follows:

Outline of the Book of Numbers

1) The preparation for the departure from Sinai (1:1-10:10). The events described here took place in nineteen days. In this time a census was taken of all men who were over twenty and who could serve in military efforts (1-4). The total obtained was 603,550 (1:46). This would indicate that the total population of the group was probably near three million. The census was followed by the cleansing and blessing of the congregation (5-6), the offering of gifts from the various tribes (7), the consecration of the Levites (8) and the observance of the Passover at Sinai (9:1-14).

2 ) The journey from Sinai to Kadesh-barnea (10:11-14:45). This section includes the account of the coming of the quail (11), the rebellion against Moses by Miriam and Aaron (12), and the fateful mission of the spies (13, 14).

3) The wanderings of the desert wilderness (15-19). As noted above, this covered a period of thirty-seven years, from the end of the second to the beginning of the fortieth year in the wilderness. Ch. 15 includes various laws and a record of capital punishment for Sabbath breaking. The rebellion of Korah (ch. 16) and the budding of Aaron's rod (ch. 17) are also mentioned here.

4 ) The history of the last year, from the second arrival of the Israelites at Kadesh till they reach "the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho" (20-36: 13). Notable sections of this are the story of Balaam (22:2-24:25), the zeal of Phinehas (ch. 25), the second census (26:1-51) , instructions for dividing the land (26:52-27: 11), the appointment of Joshua as Moses' successor (27: 12-23), various laws concerning offerings and vows ( 28-30 ), the war with Midian (ch. 31), the settlement of the tribes east of the Jordan (ch. 32), a review of the locations at which Israel had camped during their wanderings (33: 1-49), more instructions concerning the conquest and division of Canaan (33:50-34:29 ), the appointment of the cities of refuge (ch. 35) and instructions concerning the marriage of land-owning Israelite women (ch. 36).

ARCHAEOLOGY

Ancient Bronze Snake

Bronze Snake from Lachish

Bronze Snake from Lachish, Late Bronze Age

Quick Reference Maps - Numbers

The Exodus of the Hebrews

Mount Horeb

The Red Sea

Canaan Before Joshua

Kadesh barnea

Moab and Ammon

 

Numbers Resources

The Wilderness Wanderings

More About the Book of Numbers
Numbers in the Picture Study Bible
Timeline of the Ancient World
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