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Thursday, November 21 2013

Numbers 3: When Were The Levites Set Apart?

"These are the names of the sons of Aaron, the priests which were anointed, whom He consecrated to minister in the priest's office"

The Israelite tribe of Levi, the Levites, originated from Jacob's son Levi who, like nearly all of his brothers, was born in Syria before the LORD changed Jacob's name to Israel (see A Biography Of Jacob: The Jacobites Of Syria and A Biography Of Jacob: When Jacob Became Israel). Throughout Levi's lifetime (see Genesis 46: The First Census Of Israel) and for the four centuries that the Israelites lived in Egypt (see Exodus 1: I Will There Make Of Thee A Great Nation), there was nothing different about the tribe of Levi - the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ; see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) didn't assign the Levites to be the priesthood until after the Exodus, while the Israelites were in the Sinai. The first Passover, in Egypt, was ministered by the head of each household - there were no priests (see Exodus 12: The First Passover and What Did The Elders Of Israel Do?).

The Levites were thereafter set apart from the other tribes, beginning with Aaron (the brother of Moses - Moses was a Levite, but not a priest) and Aaron's descendants (see also From Moses And Aaron To Joshua and Eleazar).

"3:1 These also are the generations of Aaron and Moses in the day that the LORD spake with Moses in mount Sinai [see Exodus 19: Arrival At Mount Sinai].

3:2 And these are the names of the sons of Aaron; Nadab the firstborn, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 3:3 These are the names of the sons of Aaron, the priests which were anointed, whom he consecrated to minister in the priest's office. 3:4 And Nadab and Abihu died before the LORD, when they offered strange fire before the LORD, in the wilderness of Sinai, and they had no children: and Eleazar and Ithamar ministered in the priest's office in the sight of Aaron their father." (Numbers 3:1-4 KJV)

The LORD's instruction to Moses regarding the Levites was actually the instruction for Moses' own tribe.

The High Priest

"3:5 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 3:6 Bring the tribe of Levi near, and present them before Aaron the priest, that they may minister unto him. 3:7 And they shall keep his charge, and the charge of the whole congregation before the tabernacle of the congregation, to do the service of the tabernacle. 3:8 And they shall keep all the instruments of the tabernacle of the congregation, and the charge of the children of Israel, to do the service of the tabernacle. 3:9 And thou shalt give the Levites unto Aaron and to his sons: they are wholly given unto him out of the children of Israel. 3:10 And thou shalt appoint Aaron and his sons, and they shall wait on their priest's office: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.

3:11 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 3:12 And I, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of all the firstborn that openeth the matrix among the children of Israel: therefore the Levites shall be mine; 3:13 Because all the firstborn are mine; for on the day that I smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I hallowed unto me all the firstborn in Israel, both man and beast: mine shall they be: I am the LORD.

3:14 And the LORD spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, saying, 3:15 Number the children of Levi after the house of their fathers, by their families: every male from a month old and upward shalt thou number them. 3:16 And Moses numbered them according to the word of the LORD, as he was commanded." (Numbers 3:5-16 KJV)

The Levites were assigned according to the three branches from Levi i.e. "the sons of Levi by their names; Gershon, and Kohath, and Merari."

"3:17 And these were the sons of Levi by their names; Gershon, and Kohath, and Merari. 3:18 And these are the names of the sons of Gershon by their families; Libni, and Shimei. 3:19 And the sons of Kohath by their families; Amram, and Izehar, Hebron, and Uzziel. 3:20 And the sons of Merari by their families; Mahli, and Mushi. These are the families of the Levites according to the house of their fathers.

3:21 Of Gershon was the family of the Libnites, and the family of the Shimites: these are the families of the Gershonites. 3:22 Those that were numbered of them, according to the number of all the males, from a month old and upward, even those that were numbered of them were seven thousand and five hundred. 3:23 The families of the Gershonites shall pitch behind the tabernacle westward. 3:24 And the chief of the house of the father of the Gershonites shall be Eliasaph the son of Lael. 3:25 And the charge of the sons of Gershon in the tabernacle of the congregation shall be the tabernacle, and the tent, the covering thereof, and the hanging for the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, 3:26 And the hangings of the court, and the curtain for the door of the court, which is by the tabernacle, and by the altar round about, and the cords of it for all the service thereof.

3:27 And of Kohath was the family of the Amramites, and the family of the Izeharites, and the family of the Hebronites, and the family of the Uzzielites: these are the families of the Kohathites. 3:28 In the number of all the males, from a month old and upward, were eight thousand and six hundred, keeping the charge of the sanctuary. 3:29 The families of the sons of Kohath shall pitch on the side of the tabernacle southward. 3:30 And the chief of the house of the father of the families of the Kohathites shall be Elizaphan the son of Uzziel. 3:31 And their charge shall be the ark, and the table, and the candlestick, and the altars, and the vessels of the sanctuary wherewith they minister, and the hanging, and all the service thereof. 3:32 And Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest shall be chief over the chief of the Levites, and have the oversight of them that keep the charge of the sanctuary.

3:33 Of Merari was the family of the Mahlites, and the family of the Mushites: these are the families of Merari. 3:34 And those that were numbered of them, according to the number of all the males, from a month old and upward, were six thousand and two hundred. 3:35 And the chief of the house of the father of the families of Merari was Zuriel the son of Abihail: these shall pitch on the side of the tabernacle northward. 3:36 And under the custody and charge of the sons of Merari shall be the boards of the tabernacle, and the bars thereof, and the pillars thereof, and the sockets thereof, and all the vessels thereof, and all that serveth thereto, 3:37 And the pillars of the court round about, and their sockets, and their pins, and their cords." (Numbers 3:17-37 KJV)

With their service to the LORD, the Levites were also assigned to camp nearest and around the Tabernacle (see also Numbers 2: Israel's Battle Formation).

The Camp

"3:38 But those that encamp before the tabernacle toward the east, even before the tabernacle of the congregation eastward, shall be Moses, and Aaron and his sons, keeping the charge of the sanctuary for the charge of the children of Israel; and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death." (Numbers 3:38 KJV)

So it was then that the Levites were set apart within Israel.

"3:39 All that were numbered of the Levites, which Moses and Aaron numbered at the commandment of the LORD, throughout their families, all the males from a month old and upward, were twenty and two thousand.

3:40 And the LORD said unto Moses, Number all the firstborn of the males of the children of Israel from a month old and upward, and take the number of their names. 3:41 And thou shalt take the Levites for me (I am the LORD) instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel; and the cattle of the Levites instead of all the firstlings among the cattle of the children of Israel.

3:42 And Moses numbered, as the LORD commanded him, all the firstborn among the children of Israel. 3:43 And all the firstborn males by the number of names, from a month old and upward, of those that were numbered of them, were twenty and two thousand two hundred and threescore and thirteen.

3:44 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 3:45 Take the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel, and the cattle of the Levites instead of their cattle; and the Levites shall be mine: I am the LORD. 3:46 And for those that are to be redeemed of the two hundred and threescore and thirteen of the firstborn of the children of Israel, which are more than the Levites; 3:47 Thou shalt even take five shekels apiece by the poll, after the shekel of the sanctuary shalt thou take them: (the shekel is twenty gerahs:) 3:48 And thou shalt give the money, wherewith the odd number of them is to be redeemed, unto Aaron and to his sons.

3:49 And Moses took the redemption money of them that were over and above them that were redeemed by the Levites: 3:50 Of the firstborn of the children of Israel took he the money; a thousand three hundred and threescore and five shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary: 3:51 And Moses gave the money of them that were redeemed unto Aaron and to his sons, according to the word of the LORD, as the LORD commanded Moses." (Numbers 3:39-51 KJV)

Fact Finder: What did Levites do in the "New" Testament? Was the man who the Messiah called the greatest prophet (i.e. John the Baptist) a Levite?
See The Levites Of Christ and The Ministries Of The Two Greatest Prophets


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This Day In History, November 21

164 BC: Judas Maccabaeus, the son of Mattathias the Hasmonean, restored the Temple in Jerusalem after the original "abomination of desolation" (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Hasmonean Judea). The event is celebrated each year by Jews with the festival of Hanukkah (see Why Did The Messiah Observe Hanukkah? and The Temple Vessel Prophecies Today).

Hasmonean Judea 235: Anterus began his reign as pope (see The Struggle For The Papacy).

1620: Leaders of the Mayflower expedition wrote the Mayflower Compact which was designed to bolster unity among the English settlers of "New England." (see also Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy and The Pilgrims).

1783: In Paris, France, Jean de Rozier and the Marquis d' Arlandes made the first uncabled balloon flight, covering nearly 6 miles in 23 minutes.

1818: Czar Alexander I of Russia called for a Jewish state in "Palestine" (the word "Palestine" originated as an alternate English pronunciation of Philistine; see also Gaza In History And Prophecy).

1880: Emmanuel Daude d'Alzon of France died at age 70. The Church of Rome cleric, who founded the order of the "Augustinians of the Assumption," was active in preparing the Church of Rome's anti-Biblical doctrine of papal infallibility - that has proven itself false, by numerous papal blunders (see also Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).

1904: Motorized buses replaced horse-drawn cars in Paris.

1905: Albert Einstein's "Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?" was published in the journal Annalen der Physik (Annals of Physics). The paper examined the relationship between energy and mass which led to Einstein's famous mass-energy equivalence formula E = mc2.

1907: The Cunard liner Mauretania set a new speed record for steamship travel: 624 nautical miles in a one-day run.

1916: During the First World War (listen also to our Sermon The European World Wars), the Britannic, the larger sister ship of the Titanic, sank in the Kea Channel off Greece. It was on its fourth trip from Southampton to the island of Lesbos to pick up casualties. 18 people died, 1,106 survived. Still under construction when the Titanic sank in 1912, the Britannic had its design changed to correct defects in what was supposed to have been the unsinkable Titanic.

1918: The German High Seas Fleet surrendered at the Firth of Fourth in Scotland, one of the key conditions of the First World War armistice signed on November 11.

1929: A tidal wave caused by an underwater earthquake in the Atlantic Ocean off southeastern Newfoundland killed 29 people who were drowned when their homes were swept into the ocean.

1949: The United Nations granted Libya its independence (see also Libya In History And Prophecy).

1953: The British Museum published a scientific report proving that the "Pitdown Man," discovered in 1912 by Charles Dawson (not to be confused with Charles Darwin), proved to be a hoax (listen to our Sermon Darwin's Theory of Evolution).

1962: The Chinese People's Liberation Army declared a unilateral cease-fire during the Sino-Indian War.

1977: The first operational flight of the supersonic Concorde took place from London to New York.

1985: U.S. Navy intelligence analyst Jonathan Pollard was arrested for spying after being caught giving Israel classified information on Arab nations. He was sentenced to life in prison.

1986: During the "Iran-Contra Affair," National Security Council member Oliver North and his secretary destroyed documents that implicated them in the sale of weapons to Iran and the channeling of the proceeds to help support the Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

1991: The UN Security Council chose Boutros Boutros-Ghali of Egypt as the new Secretary-General of the United Nations.

2002: NATO invited former East-Bloc communist nations Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia to become members.

2004: The island of Dominica was hit by the most destructive earthquake in its recorded history.

2006: Anti-Syrian Lebanese Member of Parliament Pierre Gemayel was assassinated in suburban Beirut.



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