The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Numbers 8

Num 8:1

Num 8: "The light in the most holy place illuminated the furnishings: the table of shewbread, lampstand, and incense altar -- as does the preaching of the Word. This, likewise, needs to shine brightly, to illuminate the elements of the Truth, which, combined together provide the fulness of the wisdom and truth of the ecclesia. The priests supervised the replenishment of oil each evening, and dressed the lamps each morning. The oil was supplied by Israel, and kept by the priests. The attention given to the lamps was designed to cause each to shine so that each contributed with its fellow, to overcome the darkness. That is our responsibility, to maintain the light of the Word, and to remove the elements of error and folly within the environment of our ecclesia. Together with the preparation of the lights, Moses reminded the Levites of their need to be cleansed (v 6). This was one of the many ceremonial cleansings which were significant of inward purity required of those who serve the Altar of Yahweh. So the principles of Yahweh were revealed in the people who provided the oil for the lamps, and the Levites who provided for the removal of sin. Both are important elements in Yahweh's work of salvation" (GEM).

Num 8:4

// Exo 25:31.

Num 8:7

WATER OF CLEANSING: "The water is literally 'sin-water', ie water to cleanse from sin. This was probably taken from the laver (Exo 30:18)" (GEM). A picture of baptism: "Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin" (Psa 51:2). "And this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also -- not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (1Pe 3:21).

Num 8:10

See Lesson, Laying on of hands.

Num 8:19

I HAVE GIVEN THE LEVITES AS GIFTS TO AARON AND HIS SONS...: So the Levites were a gift from God -- though they probably thought that they were giving themselves in service. In like manner God gave Jesus the disciples (John 17:9).

Num 8:24

TWENTY-FIVE YEARS OLD OR MORE: Poss a learning period of 5 years, until reaching full age of 30 (cp Num 4:3n). Or, the age of priests when beginning service seems to have declined from 30 to 25 to 20 (cp Num 8:24,25; 1Ch 23:24-27). Poss reason: Less strength and more numbers required as duties became fixed and expanded in temple (Temple 95).

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