7:2 Then the leaders of Israel, the heads of their clans, 1 made an offering. They were the leaders of the tribes; they were the ones who had been supervising 2 the numbering. 7:3 They brought 3 their offering before the Lord, six covered carts 4 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 5 from them, that they may be 6 used in doing the work 7 of the tent of meeting; and you must give them to the Levites, to every man 8 as his service requires.” 9
7:6 So Moses accepted the carts and the oxen and gave them to the Levites.
1 tn Heb “the house of their fathers.”
2 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.
3 tn Heb “and they brought.”
4 sn For a discussion and drawings, see W. S. McCullough, IDB 1:540. But see also D. J. Wiseman, IBD 1:254.
5 tn The object is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied.
6 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.
7 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”).
8 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.”
9 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.”