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Numbers 4


Please choose a passage to read our commentary:

Numbers 4:1-15

The LORD commanded Moses to take another census of the family of Kohath, of the tribe of Levi, in verses 1-20. This census counted how many males there were between 30 and 50 years old. The family of Kohath was given the privilege of caring for the holiest items in the tabernacle. Before these items could be handled by the Kohathites, the priests had to cover them, because for any non-priest to look upon these items resulted in certain death.

Numbers 4:16-20

Verses 16-20 describe the responsibility of Aaron’s son, Eleazar, concerning the oils and the grain offering. The LORD also gives a warning to the Kohathites not to look at the holy objects of the tabernacle.

Numbers 4:21-28

Verses 21-28 cover the responsibilities given to the Gershonites. They were charged with transporting the curtains, coverings, and related items that comprised the tabernacle and the outer court.

Numbers 4:29-33

In verses 29-33, the duties of the Merarites were discussed. These duties involved the items comprising the tabernacle’s frame. This included the crossbars, bases, pegs, and other related items.

Numbers 4:34-45

Verses 34-45 cover the census itself. This census counted how many males there were that were between 30 and 50 years old in each family. Verses 34-37 contain the number of Kohathites, verses 38-41 contain the number of Gershonites, and verses 42-45 contain the number of Merarites. These sections are very similar in structure and content.

Numbers 4:46-49

The last four verses of chapter 4 (46-49) contain a summary of the census of the Levites.