7:1 1 When Moses had completed setting up the tabernacle, 2 he anointed it and consecrated it and all its furnishings, and he anointed and consecrated the altar and all its utensils. 7:2 Then the leaders of Israel, the heads of their clans, 3 made an offering. They were the leaders of the tribes; they were the ones who had been supervising 4 the numbering. 7:3 They brought 5 their offering before the Lord, six covered carts 6 and twelve oxen – one cart for every two of the leaders, and an ox for each one; and they presented them in front of the tabernacle.
7:4 Then the Lord spoke to Moses: 7:5 “Receive these gifts 7 from them, that they may be 8 used in doing the work 9 of the tent of meeting; and you must give them to the Levites, to every man 10 as his service requires.” 11
7:6 So Moses accepted the carts and the oxen and gave them to the Levites. 7:7 He gave two carts and four oxen to the Gershonites, as their service required; 7:8 and he gave four carts and eight oxen to the Merarites, as their service required, under the authority 12 of Ithamar son of Aaron the priest. 7:9 But to the Kohathites he gave none, because the service of the holy things, which they carried 13 on their shoulders, was their responsibility. 14
7:10 The leaders offered 15 gifts 16 for 17 the dedication 18 of the altar when it was anointed. 19 And the leaders presented 20 their offering before the altar. 7:11 For the Lord said to Moses, “They must present their offering, one leader for each day, 21 for the dedication of the altar.”
7:12 The one who presented his offering on the first day was Nahshon son of Amminadab, from the tribe of Judah. 22 7:13 His offering was one silver platter weighing 130 shekels, 23 and one silver sprinkling bowl weighing 70 shekels, both according to the sanctuary shekel, each of them full of fine flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering; 7:14 one gold pan weighing 10 shekels, full of incense; 7:15 one young bull, one ram, and one male lamb in its first year, for a burnt offering; 7:16 one male goat for a purification offering; 7:17 and for the sacrifice of peace offerings: two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five male lambs in their first year. This was the offering of Nahshon son of Amminadab.
7:18 On the second day Nethanel son of Zuar, leader of Issachar, presented an offering. 7:19 He offered for his offering one silver platter weighing 130 shekels and one silver sprinkling bowl weighing 70, both according to the sanctuary shekel, each of them full of fine flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering; 7:20 one gold pan weighing 10 shekels, full of incense; 7:21 one young bull, one ram, and one male lamb in its first year, for a burnt offering; 7:22 one male goat for a purification offering; 7:23 and for the sacrifice of peace offerings: two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five male lambs in their first year. This was the offering of Nethanel son of Zuar.
7:24 On the third day Eliab son of Helon, leader of the Zebulunites, presented an offering. 24 7:25 His offering was one silver platter weighing 130 shekels and one silver sprinkling bowl weighing 70 shekels, both according to the sanctuary shekel, each of them full of fine flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering; 7:26 one gold pan weighing 10 shekels, full of incense; 7:27 one young bull, one ram, and one male lamb in its first year, for a burnt offering; 7:28 one male goat for a purification offering; 7:29 and for the sacrifice of peace offerings: two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five male lambs in their first year. This was the offering of Eliab son of Helon.
7:30 On the fourth day Elizur son of Shedeur, leader of the Reubenites, presented an offering. 7:31 His offering was one silver platter weighing 130 shekels and one silver sprinkling bowl weighing 70 shekels, both according to the sanctuary shekel, each of them full of fine flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering; 7:32 one gold pan weighing 10 shekels, full of incense; 7:33 one young bull, one ram, and one male lamb in its first year, for a burnt offering; 7:34 one male goat for a purification offering; 7:35 and for the sacrifice of peace offerings: two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five lambs in their first year. This was the offering of Elizur son of Shedeur.
7:36 On the fifth day Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai, leader of the Simeonites, presented an offering. 7:37 His offering was one silver platter weighing 130 shekels and one silver sprinkling bowl weighing 70 shekels, both according to the sanctuary shekel, each of them full of fine flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering; 7:38 one gold pan weighing 10 shekels; 7:39 one young bull, one ram, and one male lamb in its first year, for a burnt offering; 7:40 one male goat for a purification offering; 7:41 and for the sacrifice of peace offerings: two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five lambs in their first year. This was the offering of Sheloumiel son of Zurishaddai.
7:42 On the sixth day Eliasaph son of Deuel, leader of the Gadites, presented an offering. 7:43 His offering was one silver platter weighing 130 shekels and one silver sprinkling bowl weighing 70 shekels, both according to the sanctuary shekel, each of them full of fine flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering; 7:44 one gold pan weighing 10 shekels; 7:45 one young bull, one ram, and one male lamb in its first year, for a burnt offering; 7:46 one male goat for a purification offering; 7:47 and for the sacrifice of peace offerings: two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five lambs in their first year. This was the offering of Eliasaph son of Deuel.
7:48 On the seventh day Elishama son of Ammihud, leader of the Ephraimites, presented an offering. 7:49 His offering was one silver platter weighing 130 shekels and one silver sprinkling bowl weighing 70 shekels, both according to the sanctuary shekel, each of them full of fine flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering; 7:50 one gold pan weighing 10 shekels, full of incense; 7:51 one young bull, one ram, and one male lamb in its first year, for a burnt offering; 7:52 one male goat for a purification offering; 7:53 and for the sacrifice of peace offerings: two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five lambs in their first year. This was the offering of Elishama son of Ammihud.
7:54 On the eighth day Gamaliel son of Pedahzur, leader of the Manassehites, presented an offering. 7:55 His offering was one silver platter weighing 130 shekels and one silver sprinkling bowl weighing 70 shekels, both according to the sanctuary shekel, each of them full of fine flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering; 7:56 one gold pan weighing 10 shekels, full of incense; 7:57 one young bull, one ram, and one male lamb in its first year, for a burnt offering; 7:58 one male goat for a purification offering; 7:59 and for the sacrifice of peace offerings: two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five lambs in their first year. This was the offering of Gamaliel son of Pedahzur.
7:60 On the ninth day Abidan son of Gideoni, leader of the Benjaminites, presented an offering. 7:61 His offering was one silver platter weighing 130 shekels and one silver sprinkling bowl weighing 70 shekels, both according to the sanctuary shekel, each of them full of fine flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering; 7:62 one gold pan weighing 10 shekels, full of incense; 7:63 one young bull, one ram, and one male lamb in its first year, for a burnt offering; 7:64 one male goat for a purification offering; 7:65 and for the sacrifice of peace offerings: two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five lambs in their first year. This was the offering of Abidan son of Gideoni.
7:66 On the tenth day Ahiezer son of Amishaddai, leader of the Danites, presented an offering. 7:67 His offering was one silver platter weighing 130 shekels and one silver sprinkling bowl weighing 70 shekels, both according to the sanctuary shekel, each of them full of fine flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering; 7:68 one gold pan weighing 10 shekels, full of incense; 7:69 one young bull, one ram, and one male lamb in its first year, for a burnt offering; 7:70 one male goat for a purification offering; 7:71 and for the sacrifice of peace offerings: two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five lambs in their first year. This was the offering of Ahiezer son of Amishaddai.
7:72 On the eleventh day Pagiel son of Ocran, leader of the Asherites, presented an offering. 7:73 His offering was one silver platter weighing 130 shekels and one silver sprinkling bowl weighing 70 shekels, both according to the sanctuary shekel, each of them full of fine flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering; 7:74 one gold pan weighing 10 shekels, full of incense; 7:75 one young bull, one ram, and one male lamb in its first year, for a burnt offering; 7:76 one male goat for a purification offering; 7:77 and for the sacrifice of peace offerings: two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five lambs in their first year. This was the offering of Pagiel son of Ocran.
7:78 On the twelfth day Ahira son of Enan, leader of the Naphtalites, presented an offering. 7:79 His offering was one silver platter weighing 130 shekels and one silver sprinkling bowl weighing 70 shekels, both according to the sanctuary shekel, each of them full of fine flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering; 7:80 one gold pan weighing 10 shekels; 7:81 one young bull, one ram, and one male lamb in its first year, for a burnt offering; 7:82 one male goat for a purification offering; 7:83 and for the sacrifice of peace offerings: two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five lambs in their first year. This was the offering of Ahira son of Enan.
7:84 This was the dedication for the altar from the leaders of Israel, when it was anointed: twelve silver platters, twelve silver sprinkling bowls, and twelve gold pans. 7:85 Each silver platter weighed 130 shekels, and each silver sprinkling bowl weighed 70 shekels. All the silver of the vessels weighed 2,400 shekels, according to the sanctuary shekel. 7:86 The twelve gold pans full of incense weighed 10 shekels each, according to the sanctuary shekel; all the gold of the pans weighed 120 shekels. 7:87 All the animals for the burnt offering were 12 young bulls, 12 rams, 12 male lambs in their first year, with their grain offering, and 12 male goats for a purification offering. 7:88 All the animals for the sacrifice for the peace offering were 24 young bulls, 60 rams, 60 male goats, and 60 lambs in their first year. These were the dedication offerings for the altar after it was anointed. 25
7:89 Now when Moses went into 26 the tent of meeting to speak with the Lord, 27 he heard the voice speaking to him from above the atonement lid 28 that was on the ark of the testimony, from between the two cherubim. 29 Thus he spoke to him.
8:3 And Aaron did so; he set up the lamps to face toward the front of the lampstand, as the Lord commanded Moses. 8:4 This is how the lampstand was made: 33 It was beaten work in gold; 34 from its shaft to its flowers it was beaten work. According to the pattern which the Lord had shown Moses, so he made the lampstand.
8:5 Then the Lord spoke to Moses: 8:6 “Take the Levites from among the Israelites and purify 35 them. 8:7 And do this 36 to them to purify them: Sprinkle water of purification 37 on them; then have them shave 38 all their body 39 and wash 40 their clothes, and so purify themselves. 41 8:8 Then they are to take a young bull with its grain offering of fine flour mixed with olive oil; and you are to take a second young bull for a purification offering. 42 8:9 You are to bring the Levites before the tent of meeting and assemble the entire community of the Israelites. 8:10 Then you are to bring the Levites before the Lord, and the Israelites are to lay their hands on the Levites; 43 8:11 and Aaron is to offer 44 the Levites before the Lord as a wave offering from the Israelites, that they may do the work 45 of the Lord. 8:12 When 46 the Levites lay their hands on the heads of the bulls, offer 47 the one for a purification offering and the other for a whole burnt offering to the Lord, 48 to make atonement for the Levites. 8:13 You are to have the Levites stand before Aaron 49 and his sons, and then offer them as a wave offering to the Lord. 8:14 And so 50 you are to separate the Levites from among the Israelites, and the Levites will be mine.
8:15 “After this, the Levites will go in 51 to do the work 52 of the tent of meeting. So you must cleanse them 53 and offer them like a wave offering. 54 8:16 For they are entirely given 55 to me from among the Israelites. I have taken them for myself instead of 56 all who open the womb, the firstborn sons of all the Israelites. 8:17 For all the firstborn males among the Israelites are mine, both humans and animals; when I destroyed 57 all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I set them apart for myself. 8:18 So I have taken the Levites instead of all the firstborn sons among the Israelites. 8:19 I have given the Levites as a gift to Aaron and his sons from among the Israelites, to do the work for the Israelites in the tent of meeting, and to make atonement for the Israelites, so there will be no plague among the Israelites when the Israelites come near the sanctuary.” 58
8:20 So Moses and Aaron and the entire community of the Israelites did this with the Levites. According to all that the Lord commanded Moses concerning the Levites, this is what the Israelites did with them. 8:21 The Levites purified themselves 59 and washed their clothing; then Aaron presented them like a wave offering before the Lord, and Aaron made atonement for them to purify them. 8:22 After this, the Levites went in to do their work in the tent of meeting before Aaron and before his sons. As the Lord had commanded Moses concerning the Levites, so they did.
8:23 Then the Lord spoke to Moses: 8:24 “This is what pertains to the Levites: 60 At the age of twenty-five years 61 and upward one may begin to join the company 62 in the work of the tent of meeting, 8:25 and at the age of fifty years they must retire from performing the work and may no longer work. 8:26 They may assist 63 their colleagues 64 in the tent of meeting, to attend to needs, but they must do no work. This is the way you must establish 65 the Levites regarding their duties.”
9:2 “The Israelites are to observe 68 the Passover 69 at its appointed time. 70 9:3 In the fourteenth day of this month, at twilight, 71 you are to observe it at its appointed time; you must keep 72 it in accordance with all its statutes and all its customs.” 73 9:4 So Moses instructed 74 the Israelites to observe 75 the Passover. 9:5 And they observed the Passover 76 on the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight in the wilderness of Sinai; in accordance with all that the Lord had commanded Moses, so the Israelites did.
9:6 It happened that some men 77 who were ceremonially defiled 78 by the dead body of a man 79 could not keep 80 the Passover on that day, so they came before Moses and before Aaron on that day. 9:7 And those men said to him, “We are ceremonially defiled by the dead body of a man; why are we kept back from offering the Lord’s offering at its appointed time among the Israelites?” 9:8 So Moses said to them, “Remain 81 here and I will hear 82 what the Lord will command concerning you.”
9:9 The Lord spoke to Moses: 9:10 “Tell the Israelites, ‘If any 83 of you or of your posterity become ceremonially defiled by touching a dead body, or are on a journey far away, then he may 84 observe the Passover to the Lord. 9:11 They may observe it on the fourteenth day of the second month 85 at twilight; they are to eat it with bread made without yeast and with bitter herbs. 9:12 They must not leave any of it until morning, nor break any of its bones; they must observe it in accordance with every statute of the Passover.
9:13 But 86 the man who is ceremonially clean, and was not on a journey, and fails 87 to keep the Passover, that person must be cut off from his people. 88 Because he did not bring the Lord’s offering at its appointed time, that man must bear his sin. 89 9:14 If a resident foreigner lives 90 among you and wants to keep 91 the Passover to the Lord, he must do so according to the statute of the Passover, and according to its custom. You must have 92 the same 93 statute for the resident foreigner 94 and for the one who was born in the land.’”
9:15 95 On 96 the day that the tabernacle was set up, 97 the cloud 98 covered the tabernacle – the tent of the testimony 99 – and from evening until morning there was 100 a fiery appearance 101 over the tabernacle. 9:16 This is the way it used to be continually: The cloud would cover it by day, 102 and there was a fiery appearance by night. 9:17 Whenever the cloud was taken up 103 from the tabernacle, then after that the Israelites would begin their journey; and in whatever place 104 the cloud settled, there the Israelites would make camp. 9:18 At the commandment 105 of the Lord the Israelites would begin their journey, and at the commandment of the Lord they would make camp; as long as 106 the cloud remained settled over the tabernacle they would camp. 9:19 When the cloud remained over the tabernacle many days, then the Israelites obeyed the instructions 107 of the Lord and did not journey.
9:20 When 108 the cloud remained over the tabernacle a number of days, 109 they remained camped according to the Lord’s commandment, 110 and according to the Lord’s commandment they would journey. 9:21 And when 111 the cloud remained only 112 from evening until morning, when the cloud was taken up 113 the following morning, then they traveled on. Whether by day or by night, when the cloud was taken up they traveled. 9:22 Whether it was for two days, or a month, or a year, 114 that the cloud prolonged its stay 115 over the tabernacle, the Israelites remained camped without traveling; 116 but when it was taken up, they traveled on. 9:23 At the commandment of the Lord they camped, and at the commandment of the Lord they traveled on; they kept the instructions of the Lord according to the commandment of the Lord, by the authority 117 of Moses.
10:1 118 The Lord spoke to Moses: 10:2 “Make 119 two trumpets of silver; you are to make 120 them from a single hammered piece. 121 You will use them 122 for assembling the community and for directing the traveling of the camps. 10:3 When 123 they blow 124 them both, all the community must come 125 to you to the entrance of the tent of meeting.
10:4 “But if they blow with one trumpet, then the leaders, the heads of the thousands of Israel, must come to you. 126 10:5 When you blow an alarm, 127 then the camps that are located 128 on the east side must begin to travel. 129 10:6 And when you blow an alarm the second time, then the camps that are located on the south side must begin to travel. 130 An alarm must be sounded 131 for their journeys. 10:7 But when you assemble the community, 132 you must blow, but you must not sound an alarm. 133 10:8 The sons of Aaron, the priests, must blow the trumpets; and they will be to you for an eternal ordinance throughout your generations. 10:9 If you go to war in your land against an adversary who opposes 134 you, then you must sound an alarm with the trumpets, and you will be remembered before the Lord your God, and you will be saved 135 from your enemies.
10:10 “Also in the time when you rejoice, such as 136 on your appointed festivals or 137 at the beginnings of your months, you must blow with your trumpets over your burnt offerings and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings, so that they may 138 become 139 a memorial for you before your God: I am the Lord your God.”
10:11 140 On the twentieth day of the second month, in the second year, the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle of the testimony. 141 10:12 So the Israelites set out 142 on their journeys from the wilderness of Sinai; and the cloud settled in the wilderness of Paran.
10:15 Over the company of the tribe of Issacharites was Nathanel son of Zuar, 10:16 and over the company of the tribe of the Zebulunites was Elion son of Helon. 10:17 Then the tabernacle was dismantled, and the sons of Gershon and the sons of Merari set out, carrying the tabernacle.
10:18 The standard of the camp of Reuben set out according to their companies; over his company was Elizur son of Shedeur. 10:19 Over the company of the tribe of the Simeonites was Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai, 10:20 and over the company of the tribe of the Gadites was Eliasaph son of Deuel. 10:21 And the Kohathites set out, carrying the articles for the sanctuary; 146 the tabernacle was to be set up 147 before they arrived. 148 10:22 And the standard of the camp of the Ephraimites set out according to their companies; over his company was Elishama son of Ammihud. 10:23 Over the company of the tribe of the Manassehites was Gamaliel son of Pedahzur, 10:24 and over the company of the tribe of Benjaminites was Abidan son of Gideoni.
10:25 The standard of the camp of the Danites set out, which was the rear guard 149 of all the camps by their companies; over his company was Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai. 10:26 Over the company of the tribe of the Asherites was Pagiel son of Ocran, 10:27 and over the company of the tribe of the Naphtalites was Ahira son of Enan. 10:28 These were the traveling arrangements 150 of the Israelites according to their companies when they traveled. 151
10:29 152 Moses said to Hobab son of Reuel, the Midianite, Moses’ father-in-law, 153 “We are journeying to the place about which the Lord said, ‘I will give it to you.’ Come with us and we will treat you well, 154 for the Lord has promised good things 155 for Israel.” 10:30 But Hobab 156 said to him, “I will not go, but I will go instead to my own land and to my kindred.” 10:31 Moses 157 said, “Do not leave us, 158 because you know places for us to camp in the wilderness, and you could be our guide. 159 10:32 And if you come with us, it is certain 160 that whatever good things the Lord will favor us with, we will share with you as well.”
10:33 So they traveled from the mountain of the Lord three days’ journey; 161 and the ark of the covenant of the Lord was traveling before them during the three days’ journey, to find a resting place for them. 10:34 162 And the cloud of the Lord was over them by day, when they traveled 163 from the camp. 10:35 And when the ark traveled, Moses would say, “Rise up, O Lord! May your enemies be scattered, and may those who hate you flee before you!” 10:36 And when it came to rest he would say, “Return, O Lord, to the many thousands of Israel!” 164
1 sn This long and repetitious chapter has several parts to it: the introduction (vv. 1-3), the assigning of gifts (vv. 4-9), the time of presentation (vv. 10-11), and then the tribes (vv. 12-83), and then a summary (vv. 84-89).
2 tn The construction of this line begins with the temporal indicator (traditionally translated “and it came to pass”) and then after the idiomatic “in the day of” (= “when”) uses the Piel infinitive construct from כָּלָה (kalah). The infinitive is governed by the subjective genitive, “Moses,” the formal subject of the clause. The object of the infinitive is the second infinitive, “to set up” (לְהָקִים, lÿhaqim). This infinitive, the Hiphil, serves as the direct object, answering the question of what it was that Moses completed. The entire clause is an adverbial clause of time.
sn This chapter belongs chronologically after Lev 8:11, because Aaron and his sons were not yet made the celebrants and officiants of the new shrine (completed in Exodus). Here then chapters 7-9 are actually earlier than chapters 1-6, and form a supplement by adding information not found in Exodus and Leviticus. The first verse here recapitulates the first act of Moses in consecrating the shrine (Exod 30:23-31).
3 tn Heb “the house of their fathers.”
4 tn The form is the Qal active participle from the verb “to stand” (עָמַד, ’amad). The form describes these leaders as “the ones standing over [the ones numbered].” The expression, along with the clear indication of the first census in chapter 1, shows that this was a supervisory capacity.
5 tn Heb “and they brought.”
6 sn For a discussion and drawings, see W. S. McCullough, IDB 1:540. But see also D. J. Wiseman, IBD 1:254.
7 tn The object is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied.
8 tn The verb is the perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive; following the imperative, this could be given an independent volitive translation (“they shall be”), but more fittingly a subordinated translation expressing the purpose of receiving the gifts.
9 tn The sentence uses the infinitive construct expressing purpose, followed by its cognate accusative: “[that they may be] for doing the work of” (literally, “serving the service of”).
10 tn The noun אִישׁ (’ish) is in apposition to the word “Levites,” and is to be taken in a distributive sense: “to the Levites, [to each] man according to his service.”
11 tn The expression כְּפִי (kÿfi) is “according to the mouth of.” Here, it would say “according to the mouth of his service,” which would mean “what his service calls for.”
12 tn Heb “hand.”
13 tn The verb is the imperfect tense, but it describes their customary activity – they had to carry, they used to carry.
14 tn Heb “upon them,” meaning “their duty.”
15 tn The verse begins with the preterite and vav (ו) consecutive: “and they offered.”
16 tn The direct object, “gifts,” is implied but not actually stated in the Hebrew text. It has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons and for clarity.
17 tn The sign of the accusative here must indicate an adverbial accusative and not the direct object; they offered their gifts for the dedication of the altar.
18 sn Some commentators take the word “dedication” in the sense of a dedication gift, and so make it the direct object. Many modern scholars assume that this is a late word, belonging only in P, the Chronicler, and the heading of Ps 30 (a Davidic psalm).
19 tn The adverbial clause uses the Niphal infinitive construct as the main verb. The word is the well-known מָשַׁח (mashakh, “to anoint, smear”).
21 tn The distributive sense is achieved by repetition: “one leader for the day, one leader for the day.”
23 tn The word “shekels” has been supplied in the translation for clarity. So also in vv. 19, 20, 25, 26, 31, 32, 37, 38, 43, 44, 49, 50, 55, 56, 60, 62, 66, 68, 73, 74, 79, 85, 86.
24 tn The phrase “presented an offering” is not found in the Hebrew text at this point but has been supplied to clarify what action is being done. The same phrase is absent from the Hebrew text in the following verses which tell who makes the offerings (7:30, 36, 42, 48, 54, 60, 66, 72, 78).
25 sn Even though the chapter seems wearisome and repetitious to the modern reader, it is a significant document. A. Rainey shows how it matches the exact ledgers of ancient sanctuaries (see ZPEB 5:202). The recording would have been done by the priestly scribes. Of the many points that can be observed here, it should not be missed that each tribe, regardless of its size or relative importance, was on equal footing before the
26 tn The adverbial clause of time is constructed with the infinitive construct of the verb “to enter” (בּוֹא, bo’) with the preposition and with the subjective genitive that follows serving as the subject of the clause. The verse is strategic in the structure of the book: At the completion of the dedication with the offerings Moses received more revelation from the
27 tc The MT is obscure here, simply giving the purpose infinitive and the prepositional phrase (“with him”). But the following clause using the Hitpael of the same verb, introducing a reflexive sense: “then he heard the voice speaking with him.” The Greek clarified it by inserting “Lord” after the word “voice.” The editor of BHS favors emendation of the form to a Piel participle rather than the Hitpael of the MT (reading מְדַבֵּר [mÿdabber] instead of מִדַּבֵּר [middabber], the Hitpael with assimilation). Most commentators agree with the change, assuming there was a mistaken pointing in the MT.
28 tn The Hebrew word כַּפֹּרֶת (kapporet) has been traditionally rendered “mercy seat,” but since the ark is the footstool (see Ps 132), this translation is somewhat misleading. The word is etymologically connected to the verb “to make atonement.” A technical translation would be “place of atonement” or “propitiatory”; a more common translation would be “cover, lid” – provided that the definition “to cover” does not get transferred to the verb “to atone,” for that idea belongs to a homonym. See also Exod 25:17.
29 tn The cherubim are the carved forms of the angels attached to the ark. They indicate the guarding role of this order of angels in the holy of holies. They were also embroidered on the curtains. For basic material see ZPEB 1:788-90, and R. K. Harrison, ISBE 1:642-43.
30 sn This chapter has three main sections to it: the lighting of the lamps (vv. 1-4), the separation of the Levites (vv. 5-22), and the work of the Levites (vv. 23-26). Many modern scholars assume that the chapter belongs to P and was added late. But the chapter reiterates some of the Mosaic material concerning the work of the Levites in the new sanctuary. For the chapter to make sense the historical setting must be accepted; if the historical setting is accepted, the chapter is necessary as part of that early legislation. For more reading, see M. Haran, “The Nature of the’ohel mo‘edh in the Pentateuchal Sources,” JSS 5 (1960): 50-65, and “The Priestly Image of the Tabernacle,” HUCA 36 (1965): 191-226; and C. L. Meyers, The Tabernacle Menorah.
31 tn The verb is עָלָה (’alah). The Hiphil infinitive construct functions in a temporal clause. The idea of arranging the lamps on the lampstand certainly involved raising the lamps and placing them on the tops of each shaft and branch. Some have taken the idea to mean cause the flame to go up, or light the lamps.
32 tn The imperfect tense forms part of the instruction, and so the translation has to indicate that. The instruction would seem obvious, but the light was to shine in the area immediately in front of the lampstand, so that it would illumine the way and illumine the table that was across the room (hence, “in front of”).
33 tn The Hebrew text literally has “and this is the work of the lampstand,” but that rendering does not convey the sense that it is describing how it was made.
34 sn The idea is that it was all hammered from a single plate of gold.
35 tn The verb טָהַר (tahar) means that Moses was “to purify” or “to make ceremonially clean” the Levites so that they could enter the sanctuary and do the work prescribed for them. Whatever is “unclean” is not permitted in the sanctuary at all.
36 tn Or, more literally, “and thus you shall do.” The verb is the imperfect tense of instruction or legislation. Here it introduces the procedures to be followed.
37 tn The genitive in this expression indicates the purpose of the water – it is for their purification. The expression is literally “the waters of sin.” The word “purification” is the same as for the “sin/purification offering” – חַטָּאת (khatta’at). This water seems to have been taken from the main laver and is contrasted with the complete washing of the priests in Lev 8:6.
38 tn The verb is the Hiphil perfect with a vav (ו) of sequence. This verb, and those to follow, has the force of a jussive since it comes after the imperative. Here the instruction is for them to remove the hair from their bodies (“flesh”). There is no indication that this was repeated (as the Egyptian priests did every few days). It seems to have been for this special occasion only. A similar requirement was for the leper (Lev 14:7-9).
39 tn Heb “flesh.”
41 tn The verb is a reflexive (or possibly passive) in this verse, indicating the summary of the process. The ritual steps that have been prescribed will lead to this conclusion. The verb could be treated as a final imperfect (being a perfect with vav [ו] consecutive), and so translated “that they may….” The major difference here is that the ritual made the Levites “clean,” whereas the ritual for the priests made them “holy” or “sanctified” (Lev 8:12).
42 sn The first sacrifice was for the purification of the Levites. The second animal, which Moses was to take, would be used for the purification of the tabernacle from all pollution.
43 sn The consecration ceremony was to be done in full view of the assembled people. In all probability the laying on of the hands was done through representatives of the tribes, and not all the people. This ritual of the imposition of hands showed that the people were taking part in the consecration, and that the Levites represented them in the service of the
44 tn The Hebrew text actually has “wave the Levites as a wave offering.” The wave offering was part of the ritual of the peace offering and indicated the priest’s portion being presented to God in a lifted, waving motion for all to see. The Levites were going to be in the sanctuary to serve the
45 tn The construction emphasizes the spiritual service of the Levites, using the infinitive construct of עָבַד (’avad) followed by its cognate accusative.
46 tn The clause begins with a vav (ו) on the noun “the Levites,” indicating a disjunctive clause. Here it is clearly a subordinate clause prior to the instruction for Moses, and so translated as a circumstantial clause of time.
47 tn The imperative is from the verb “to do; to make,” but in the sentence it clearly means to sacrifice the animals.
48 sn The “purification offering” cleansed the tabernacle from impurity, and the burnt offering atoned by nullifying and removing the effects of sin in the Levites.
49 tc The Greek text adds the
50 tn The vav (ו) consecutive on the perfect tense not only carries the nuance of instruction forward to this clause, but also marks this clause out as a summary of what has taken place, i.e., by doing all this ritual Moses will have separated the Levites from the people for God’s own possession.
51 tn The imperfect tense could also be given the nuance of the imperfect of permission: “the Levites may go in.”
52 tn Heb “to serve.”
53 tn The two verbs in the rest of this verse are perfect tenses with vav (ו) consecutive constructions, making them equal to the imperfect. Some commentators try to get around the difficulty of repetition by making these future perfects, “and you will have cleansed,” as opposed to a summary statement, “for thus you will cleanse….”
54 tc The Greek text adds “before the
55 tn As before, the emphasis is obtained by repeating the passive participle: “given, given to me.”
56 tn Or “as substitutes” for all the firstborn of the Israelites.
57 tn The idiomatic “on the day of” precedes the infinitive construct of נָכָה (nakhah) to form the temporal clause: “in the day of my striking…” becomes “when I struck.”
58 sn The firstborn were those that were essentially redeemed from death in Egypt when the blood was put on the doors. So in the very real sense they belonged to God (Exod 13:2,12). The firstborn was one who stood in special relationship to the father, being the successive offspring. Here, the Levites would stand in for the firstborn in that special role and special relationship. God also made it clear that the nation of Israel was his firstborn son (Exod 4:22-23), and so they stood in that relationship before all the nations. The tribe of Reuben was to have been the firstborn tribe, but in view of the presumptuous attempt to take over the leadership through pagan methods (Gen 35:22; 49:3-4), was passed over. The tribes of Levi and Simeon were also put down for their ancestors’ activities, but sanctuary service was still given to Levi.
59 tn The verb is the Hitpael of חָטָּא (khatta’). In this stem the meaning of the root “to sin” is likely to be connected to the noun “sin/purification” offering in a denominative sense, although some would take it as a privative usage, “to remove sin.” The idea is clear enough: They performed all the ritual in order to purify themselves ceremonially.
60 tn The Hebrew text has “this [is that] which [pertains] to the Levites.” “This is what concerns the Levites, meaning, the following rulings are for them.
61 tc The age of twenty-five indicated in v. 24 should be compared with the age of thirty indicated in Num 4:3,23,30. In order to harmonize the numbers given in chapter 4 with the number given in Num 8:24 the LXX (and perhaps its Hebrew Vorlage) has thirty in all of these references. See further G. J. Wenham, Numbers (TOTC 4), 97-98.
62 tn The infinitive is לִצְבֹא (litsvo’), related to the word for “host, army, company,” and so “to serve as a company.” The meaning is strengthened by the cognate accusative following it.
63 tn The verb is the Piel perfect of שָׁרַת (sharat, “to serve, minister”). Here the form has the vav (ו) consecutive, and so is equal to the imperfect tense stressing permission. After the Levites reached the age of retirement, they were permitted to assist the others, but were not permitted to do the work themselves.
64 tn Heb “brothers,” but the meaning in this context is “fellow Levites.”
65 tn Heb “you shall do, make.”
66 sn The chapter has just the two sections, the observance of the Passover (vv. 1-14) and the cloud that led the Israelites in the wilderness (vv. 15-23). It must be remembered that the material in vv. 7-9 is chronologically earlier than vv. 1-6, as the notices in the text will make clear. The two main discussions here are the last major issues to be reiterated before dealing with the commencement of the journey.
67 tn The temporal clause is formed with the infinitive construct of יָצָא (yatsa’, “to go out; to leave”). This verse indicates that a full year had passed since the exodus and the original Passover; now a second ruling on the Passover is included at the beginning of the second year. This would have occurred immediately after the consecration of the tabernacle, in the month before the census at Sinai.
68 tn The verb is simply “to do; to make” (עָשָׂה [’asah] in the jussive). It must have the idea here of “to perform; to keep; to observe” the ritual of the Passover.
69 sn For a detailed study note on the Passover, see the discussion with the original institution in Exod 12. The word פֶּסַח (pesakh) – here in pause and with the article – has become the technical name for the spring festival of Israel. In Exod 12 the name is explained by the use of the verb “to pass over” (עָבַר, ’avar), indicating that the angel of death would pass over the house with the blood applied. Many scholarly attempts have been made to supply the etymology of the word, but none has been compelling enough to be accepted by a large number of biblical scholars. For general literature on the Passover, see J. B. Segal, The Hebrew Passover, as well as the Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias.
71 tn The literal Hebrew expression is “between the evenings” (so also in vv. 5, 11). Sunset is certainly one evening; the other may refer to the change in the middle of the afternoon to the late afternoon, or the beginning of dusk. The idea is probably just at twilight, or dusk (see R. B. Allen, TWOT 2:694).
72 tn The two verbs in this verse are identical; they are imperfects of instruction. The English translation has been modified for stylistic variation.
73 tn The two words in this last section are standard “Torah” words. The word חֹק (khoq) is a binding statute, something engraved and monumental. The word מִשְׁפָּט (mishpat) means “judgment, decision,” but with a more general idea of “custom” at its core. The verse is making it very clear that the Passover had to follow the custom and form that was legislated in Egypt.
74 tn Heb “spoke to.”
75 tn The infinitive construct functions as the direct object of the preceding verb (a Hebrew complementary usage), answering the question of what he said.
76 tc The LXX omits this first clause; it also omits “at twilight.”
77 tn In the Hebrew text the noun has no definite article, and so it signifies “some” or “certain” men.
78 tn The meaning, of course, is to be ceremonially unclean, and therefore disqualified from entering the sanctuary.
80 tn This clause begins with the vav (ו) conjunction and negative before the perfect tense. Here is the main verb of the sentence: They were not able to observe the Passover. The first part of the verse provides the explanation for their problem.
81 tn The verb is simply “stand,” but in the more general sense of waiting to hear the answer.
82 tn The cohortative may be subordinated to the imperative: “stand…[that I] may hear.”
83 tn This sense is conveyed by the repetition of “man” – “if a man, a man becomes unclean.”
84 tn The perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive functions as the equivalent of an imperfect tense. In the apodosis of this conditional sentence, the permission nuance fits well.
85 sn The delay of four weeks for such people would have permitted enough time for them to return from their journey, or to recover from any short termed defilement such as is mentioned here. Apart from this provision, the Passover was to be kept precisely at the proper time.
86 tn The disjunctive vav (ו) signals a contrastive clause here: “but the man” on the other hand….
87 tn The verb חָדַל (khadal) means “to cease; to leave off; to fail.” The implication here is that it is a person who simply neglects to do it. It does not indicate that he forgot, but more likely that he made the decision to leave it undone.
88 sn The pronouncement of such a person’s penalty is that his life will be cut off from his people. There are at least three possible interpretations for this: physical death at the hand of the community (G. B. Gray, Numbers [ICC], 84-85), physical and/or spiritual death at the hand of God (J. Milgrom, “A Prolegomenon to Lev 17:11,” JBL 90 : 154-55), or excommunication or separation from the community (R. A. Cole, Exodus [TOTC], 109). The direct intervention of God seem to be the most likely in view of the lack of directions for the community to follow. Excommunication from the camp in the wilderness would have been tantamount to a death sentence by the community, and so there really are just two views.
89 tn The word for “sin” here should be interpreted to mean the consequences of his sin (so a metonymy of effect). Whoever willingly violates the Law will have to pay the consequences.
90 tn The words translated “resident foreigner” and “live” are from the same Hebrew root, גּוּר (gur), traditionally translated “to sojourn.” The “sojourner” who “sojourns” is a foreigner, a resident alien, who lives in the land as a temporary resident with rights of land ownership.
91 tn The verb is the simple perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive. It is therefore the equivalent to the imperfect that comes before it. The desiderative imperfect fits this usage well, since the alien is not required to keep the feast, but may indeed desire to do so.
92 tn The Hebrew text has “there will be to you,” which is the way of expressing possession in Hebrew. Since this is legal instruction, the imperfect tense must be instruction or legislation.
93 tn Or “you must have one statute.”
94 tn The conjunction is used here to specify the application of the law: “and for the resident foreigner, and for the one…” indicates “both for the resident foreigner and the one who….”
95 sn This section (Num 9:15-23) recapitulates the account in Exod 40:34 but also contains some additional detail about the cloud that signaled Israel’s journeys. Here again material from the book of Exodus is used to explain more of the laws for the camp in motion.
96 tn Heb “and/now on the day.”
97 tn The construction uses the temporal expression with the Hiphil infinitive construct followed by the object, the tabernacle. “On the day of the setting up of the tabernacle” leaves the subject unstated, and so the entire clause may be expressed in the passive voice.
98 sn The explanation and identification of this cloud has been a subject of much debate. Some commentators have concluded that it was identical with the cloud that led the Israelites away from Egypt and through the sea, but others have made a more compelling case that this is a different phenomenon (see ZPEB 4:796). A number of modern scholars see the description as a retrojection from later, perhaps Solomonic times (see G. H. Davies, IDB 3:817). Others have tried to connect it with Ugaritic terminology, but unconvincingly (see T. W. Mann, “The Pillar of Cloud in the Reed Sea Narrative,” JBL 90 : 15-30; G. E. Mendenhall, The Tenth Generation, 32-66, 209-13; and R. Good, “Cloud Messengers?” UF 10 : 436-37).
99 sn The cloud apparently was centered over the tent, over the spot of the ark of the covenant in the most holy place. It thereafter spread over the whole tabernacle.
100 tn The imperfect tense in this and the next line should be classified as a customary imperfect, stressing incomplete action but in the past time – something that used to happen, or would happen.
101 tn Heb “like the appearance of fire.”
102 tc The MT lacks the words “by day,” but a number of ancient versions have this reading (e.g., Greek, Syriac, Tg. Ps.-J., Latin Vulgate).
103 tn The verb in this initial temporal clause is the Niphal infinitive construct.
104 tn Heb “in the place where it settled there”; the relative clause modifies the noun “place,” and the resumptive adverb completes the related idea – “which it settled there” means “where it settled.”
106 tn Heb “all the days of – that the cloud settled over the tabernacle.” “All” is the adverbial accusative of time telling how long they camped in one spot – all. The word is then qualified by the genitive of the thing measured – “all of the days” – and this in turn is qualified by a noun clause functioning as a genitive after “days of.”
107 tn This is the same Hebrew expression that was used earlier for the Levites “keeping their charge” or more clearly, “fulfilling their obligations” to take care of the needs of the people and the sanctuary. It is a general expression using שָׁמַר (shamar) followed by its cognate noun מִשְׁמֶרֶת (mishmeret).
108 tn The sentence uses וְיֵשׁ (vÿyesh) followed by a noun clause introduced with אֲשֶׁר (’asher) to express an existing situation; it is best translated as an adverbial clause of time: “and it was when the cloud was….”
109 tn The word “number” is in apposition to the word “days” to indicate that their stay was prolonged for quite a few days.
110 tn Heb “mouth of the
111 tn The construction is the same in the preceding verse.
112 tn “Only” is supplied to reflect the contrast between the two verses.
113 tn The construction in this half of the verse uses two vav (ו) consecutive clauses. The first is subordinated to the second as a temporal clause: “when…then….”
114 tn The MT has אוֹ־יָמִים (’o-yamim). Most translators use “or a year” to interpret this expression in view of the sequence of words leading up to it, as well as in comparison with passages like Judg 17:10 and 1 Sam 1:3 and 27:7. See also the uses in Gen 40:4 and 1 Kgs 17:15. For the view that it means four months, see F. S. North, “Four Month Season of the Hebrew Bible,” VT 11 (1961): 446-48.
115 tn In the Hebrew text this sentence has a temporal clause using the preposition with the Hiphil infinitive construct of אָרַךְ (’arakh) followed by the subjective genitive, “the cloud.” But this infinitive is followed by the infinitive construct לִשְׁכֹּן (lishkon), the two of them forming a verbal hendiadys: “the cloud made long to stay” becomes “the cloud prolonged its stay.”
116 tn Heb “and they would not journey”; the clause can be taken adverbially, explaining the preceding verbal clause.
117 tn Heb “hand.”
119 tn The Hebrew text uses what is called the “ethical dative” – “make [for] you two trumpets.” It need not be translated, but can simply be taken to underscore the direct imperative.
120 tn The imperfect tense is again instruction or legislation.
121 sn The instructions are not clearly spelled out here. But the trumpets were to be made of silver ingots beaten out into a sheet of silver and then bent to form a trumpet. There is archaeological evidence of silver smelting as early as 3000
122 tn Heb “and they shall be for you for assembling,” which is the way of expressing possession. Here the intent concerns how Moses was to use them.
123 tn The perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive is here subordinated as a temporal clause to the following similar verbal construction.
124 tn The verb תָקַע (taqa’) means “to strike, drive, blow a trumpet.”
125 tn Heb “the assembly shall assemble themselves.”
126 tn Heb “they shall assemble themselves.”
127 tn The word for an alarm is תְּרוּעָה (tÿru’ah). The root verb of this word means “to give a blast on the trumpet.” It may also on occasion mean “give a shout” in battle (Josh 6:10). In this passage it must refer to the sound of the trumpet.
128 tn Heb “the camps that are camping.”
129 tn The perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive functions as the equivalent of the imperfect tense. Here the emphasis is on the start of the journey.
130 tc The MT does not mention the departures of the northerly and westerly tribes. The Greek text completes the description by adding them, making a full schedule of the departure of the groups of tribes. The Greek is not likely to be original, however, since it carries all the signs of addition to complete the text, making a smooth, full reading. The MT is to be preferred; it apparently used two of the groups to give the idea.
131 tn The Hebrew text has “they shall blow an alarm”; the sentence without a formal subject should be taken as a passive idea.
132 tn There is no expressed subject in the initial temporal clause. It simply says, “and in the assembling the assembly.” But since the next verb is the second person of the verb, that may be taken as the intended subject here.
133 sn The signal for moving camp was apparently different in tone and may have been sharper notes or a different sequence. It was in some way distinguishable.
134 tn Both the “adversary” and “opposes” come from the same root: צָרַר (tsarar), “to hem in, oppress, harass,” or basically, “be an adversary.”
135 tn The Niphal perfect in this passage has the passive nuance and not a reflexive idea – the Israelites would be spared because God remembered them.
136 tn The conjunction may be taken as explicative or epexegetical, and so rendered “namely; even; that is,” or it may be taken as emphatic conjunction, and translated “especially.”
137 tn The vav (ו) is taken here in its alternative use and translated “or.”
138 tn The form is the perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive. After the instruction imperfects, this form could be given the same nuance, or more likely, subordinated as a purpose or result clause.
139 tn The verb “to be” (הָיָה, hayah) has the meaning “to become” when followed by the preposition lamed (ל).
140 sn This section is somewhat mechanical: It begins with an introduction (vv. 11, 12), and then begins with Judah (vv. 13-17), followed by the rest of the tribes (vv. 18-27), and finally closes with a summary (v. 28). The last few verses (vv. 29-36) treat the departure of Hobab.
tn The expression is difficult; it is מִשְׁכַּן הָעֵדֻת (mishkan ha’edut). The reference is to the sacred shrine that covered the ark with the commandments inside. NEB renders the expression as “tabernacle of the Token”; NAB has “the dwelling of the commandments.”
142 sn The verb is the same as the noun: “they journeyed on their journeyings.” This underscores the point of their continual traveling.
143 tn Heb “mouth.”
144 tn Heb “hand.”
145 sn The “standard” (דֶּגֶל, degel) was apparently some kind of a symbol put up on a pole to signify the tribal hosts. R. de Vaux thought it simply referred to a pole or a mast, but that would not distinguish tribes (Ancient Israel, 226-27).
146 tn Heb “carrying the sanctuary,” a metonymy of whole for parts, representing all the holy objects that were located in the sanctuary.
147 tn The verb is the third person plural form; without an expressed subject it is treated as a passive.
148 tn Heb “against their coming.”
149 tn The MT uses a word that actually means “assembler,” so these three tribes made up a strong rear force recognized as the assembler of all the tribes.
150 tn Or “journeyings of.”
151 tn The verb is the preterite with vav (ו) consecutive. But in this sentence it should be subordinated as a temporal clause to the preceding statement, even though it follows it.
152 sn For additional bibliography for this short section, see W. F. Albright, “Jethro, Hobab, and Reuel in Early Hebrew Tradition,” CBQ 25 (1963): 1-11; G. W. Coats, “Moses in Midian,” JBL 92 (1973): 3-10; B. Mazar, “The Sanctuary of Arad and the Family of Hobab the Kenite,” JNES 24 (1965): 297-303; and T. C. Mitchell, “The Meaning of the Noun h£tn in the Old Testament,” VT 19 (1969): 93-112.
153 sn There is a problem with the identity of Hobab. The MT says that he is the son of Reuel, making him the brother-in-law of Moses. But Judg 4:11 says he is the father-in-law. In Judg 1:16; 4:11 Hobab is traced to the Kenites, but in Exod 3:1 and 18:1 Jethro (Reuel) is priest of Midian. Jethro is identified with Reuel on the basis of Exod 2:18 and 3:1, and so Hobab becomes Moses’ חֹתֵן (khoten), a relative by marriage and perhaps brother-in-law. There is not enough information to decide on the identity and relationships involved here. Some suggest that there is one person with the three names (G. B. Gray, Numbers [ICC], 93); others suggest Hobab is a family name (R. F. Johnson, IDB 2:615), and some suggest that the expression “the son of Reuel the Midianite” had dropped out of the genealogy of Judges, leading to the conflict (J. Crichton, ISBE 2:1055). If Hobab is the same as Jethro, then Exod 18:27 does not make much sense, for Jethro did go home. On this basis many conclude Hobab is a brother-in-law. This would mean that after Jethro returned home, Moses conversed with Hobab, his brother-in-law. For more discussion, see the articles and the commentaries.
154 tn The verb is the Hiphil of the root “to be good” (יָטַב, yatav); it may be translated “treat well, deal favorably, generously with.” Here it is a perfect tense with vav (ו) following the imperative, showing a sequence in the verbal ideas.
155 tn The Hebrew text simply has “has spoken good” for Israel.
156 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Hobab) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
157 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Moses) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
158 tn The form with אַל־נָא (’al-na’) is a jussive; negated it stresses a more immediate request, as if Hobab is starting to leave, or at least determined to leave.
159 tn In the Hebrew text the expression is more graphic: “you will be for us for eyes.” Hobab was familiar with the entire Sinai region, and he could certainly direct the people where they were to go. The text does not record Hobab’s response. But the fact that Kenites were in Canaan as allies of Judah (Judg 1:16) would indicate that he gave in and came with Moses. The first refusal may simply be the polite Semitic practice of declining first so that the appeal might be made more urgently.
160 tn Heb “and it shall be.”
161 tn The phrase “a journey of three days” is made up of the adverbial accusative qualified with the genitives.
163 tn The adverbial clause of time is composed of the infinitive construct with a temporal preposition and a suffixed subjective genitive.
164 sn These two formulaic prayers were offered by Moses at the beginning and at the end of the journeys. They prayed for the