View Numbers 8 in the note window.
Directions concerning the lamps, ver. 1 - 4.
Concerning cleansing the Levites, ver. 5 - 8.
Concerning the presenting them to God, ver. 9 - 22.
Concerning their age and service, ver. 23 - 26.
2: When thou lightest the lamps - The priests lighted the middle lamp
from the fire of the altar; and the rest one from another; signifying that
all light and knowledge comes from Christ, who has the seven spirits of
God, figured by the seven lamps of fire. Over against the
candlestick - On that part which is before the candlestick, Heb. over
against the face of the candlestick - That is, in that place towards which
the candlestick looked, or where the candlestick stood in full view, that
is, upon the north - side, where the table of shew - bread stood, as appears
from hence, because the candlestick stood close to the boards of the
sanctuary on the south - side, (Ex 26:35). And thus the lights were on
both sides of the sanctuary, which was necessary, because it was dark in
itself, and had no window.
4: Of beaten gold - Not hollow, but solid gold, beaten out of one
piece, not of several pieces joined or soldered together.
7: Of purifying - Heb. of sin, that is, for the expiation of sin.
This water was mixed with the ashes of a red heifer, (Nu 19:9), which
therefore may seem to have been prescribed before, though it be mentioned
after; such kind of transplacings of passages being frequent in scripture.
Shave all their flesh - This external rite signified the cutting off their
inordinate desire of earthly things and that singular purity of heart and
life which is required in the ministers of God.
8: A young bullock - The same sacrifice which was offered for a
sin - offering for the whole congregation, because the Levites came in the
stead of all the first - born, who did in a manner represent the whole
10: The children of Israel - Not all of them, which was impossible,
but some in the name of all the princes or chiefs of each tribe, who used
to transact things in the name of their tribes. Put their hands - Whereby
they signified their transferring that right of ministering to God from the
first - born in whose hands it formerly was, to the Levites, and their entire
resignation and dedication of them to God's service.
11: For an offering - Heb. for a wave - offering. Not that
Aaron did so wave them, which he could not do, but that he caused them
to imitate that motion, and to wave themselves toward the several parts
of the world: whereby they might signify their readiness to serve God,
according to their capacity wheresoever they should be.
12: Lay their hands - To signify that they were offered by them and
13: Set the Levites before Aaron - Give the Levites to them, or
to their service. Unto the Lord - For to him they were first properly
offered, and by him given to the priests in order to his service.
15: Go in - Into the court, where they were to wait upon the priests
at the altar of burnt - offering; and, at present, into the tabernacle, to
take it down and set it up.
19: To do the service of Israel - To serve God in their stead,
to do what otherwise they had been obliged to do in their own persons.
To make an atonement - Not by offering sacrifices, which the priests alone
might do, but by assisting the priests in that expiatory work, and by a
diligent performance of all the parts of their office, whereby God was
pleased both with them and with the people.
That there be no plague - This is added as a reason why God appointed them
to serve in the tabernacle, that they might guard it, and not suffer any of
the people to come near it, or meddle with holy things, which if they did,
it would certainly bring a plague upon them.
26: In the tabernacle - By way of advice, and assistance in lesser
and easier works.