Numbers 3:5-39 Levites’ Jobs

A little more data added to our visual. Click on it for a closer look.

God numbers the Levites and assigns their camping spots and duties. This tribe’s number is different than the rest in that ALL males are counted from one month old onward.

The tribe of Levi is the smallest tribe of all. Not only is their number smaller but the way they are counted makes that number even more significantly smaller. I wonder why this is. Again I turn to Excel to give me a visual representation of this. I updated my last chart with today’s information and also ordered the tribes according to Jacob’s original sons.

Something else I noticed is that the math is off a bit in the bible. I was wondering how many people were numbered in Moses an Aaron’s campsite and figured that if I added up the rest that the difference between the other camps and the total would give me my answer. But when I added I ended up with 300 over the bible’s statement of 22,000. I have no explanation for this. One thing that I can think of regarding Moses’ camp is that their numbers would have been included in the line they came from already so no separate number was needed. Is it possible that some of the children were counted into two different lines? A marriage that blended the two lines? I don’t know. This is one of the things I will have to take up with Jesus when I get there. This DOES NOT mean that my bible is flawed an inaccurate and therefore not reliable!!! I just don’t know all the facts as to how these numbers were arrived at.

I find it interesting that God chose to count ALL the male children from one month old and above when He didn’t do this with the other tribes. I believe He answered my “why” in the first portion of our reading. He was counting ALL who were to be dedicated to Him as His own. Rather than every family having to give their firstborn sons into service of the Lord He called instead ALL of the males of the Levite tribe. This kept things simpler and more uniform. This WHOLE FAMILY would train their children and their children’s children in service to the Lord. From the moment they were born they knew their role in life.

It was a place of honor, responsibility, and service. That distinction would bring with it later the pride that Jesus dealt with in the religious leaders. “Absolute power corrupts absolutely” in man. But for their time in the wilderness it also meant a dedicated mission. It also meant that NO group could do without the other. ALL four arms of this tribe were dependent on one another. One group carried the frames and bases. One carried all the fabric pieces. One carried the furnishings. And one presided over the completed pieces and stood between God and man. It took all of them together to bring the people and the Father together.

I don’t know about you but when I think about the priests I think of the typical religious leaders we read about in Jesus’ time. They appear pampered and well to do. I don’t think of them as needing to be strong men or having much in the line of physical demands placed on them.

But my vision doesn’t line up with the Levites in the wilderness. These men were the ones responsible for setting up and tearing down the Tabernacle. They also transported it through the wilderness. Granted, carts were probably used for much of the structural pieces but the furnishings were carried on the shoulders of the men by long poles. This was NOT lightweight furniture! It was heavy and required coordination of those performing the job.

They also were charged with guarding the Tabernacle while it was in its various stages. They had to be strong enough to repel those who would try to break through. I doubt this was a common occurrence in the camp itself but we do see times of division in the camp. The Levites had to be prepared to protect God’s house no matter the cost! They were also the ones left defending the camp when the rest of the fighting men went to war. They were the rear guard. They were NOT a bunch of soft men sitting around on pillows eating figs! They were dedicated men of God who stood in the gap and served the people and the Lord. An AWESOME task and job to have!

Father God thank You for opening my eyes to the lives of the Levites. Thank You for showing me how much more there was to their roles. Thank You also for giving me a curious mind to search out answers in Your word. We still have a conversation coming regarding math results. I’m really curious as to why the difference. I KNOW You will have an explanation that will make it all line up. I just have to be patient about hearing it.

I like how You set up Your “branches of government” where each arm relies on the other to do its part. I have a feeling that, conscious or not, my country’s government was made on Your model. Your model also represents the way ALL family’s should operate. There is a final authority but all members are important and have a role to play in the success of the group.

Thanks for including me in Your family. Help me be mindful of my role and perform ALL that is required of me to the best of OUR ability. I CAN’T do it alone. It is only together that what I do is a blessing; to me and to others. Keep me leaning on You Lord!

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