The leaders of each tribe begin to bring offerings for the altar, a very holy object. All twelve tribes gave the same offerings. One tribe presented their offerings each day, making the celebration twelve days in length.
After the offering of the carts and oxen given to the Levites (vv. 1 – 9), the leaders offered the dedication offering for the altar when it was anointed (v. 10). Moses had anointed the altar a month earlier, after the tabernacle was assembled (Exodus 40:10). In response to this, the leaders offered their offering before the altar. The “leaders” (Heb. “nasim,” “elevated one”, “chief”) of each tribe were charged with bringing the offerings to the altar.
In light of the leaders’ offerings, the Lord said to Moses, “Let them present their offering, one leader each day, for the dedication of the altar (v. 11). In Hebrew, the phrase “one leader each day” is repeated. Literally, it reads “one leader each day, one leader each day.” The LORD probably did this to emphasize that every tribe was to have an equal participation in the celebration, and they were each to have a dedicated day.
There was to be no combining of the offerings, leaving a tribe out completely or reducing a tribe’s participation. Each tribe was given the same amount of time (one day) to bring their offerings to the tabernacle before the altar.
Next will be a description of the tribes presenting their offerings. They will present in the same order as they were sequenced in Numbers 2, when each tribe was assigned their place in the camp.
10 The leaders offered the dedication offering for the altar when it was anointed, so the leaders offered their offering before the altar. 11 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Let them present their offering, one leader each day, for the dedication of the altar.”
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