Numbers 7: Tribal Princes' Offerings

The princes of Israel dedicate the tabernacle through offerings.

Introduction

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Previously listed as chiefs or leaders, the head of each tribe is also referred to as a prince. After Moses anoints the tabernacle—in the first month, 1 year after leaving Egypt—each prince brings a series of offerings to dedicate the tabernacle. Each prince brought a silver platter that weighed 130 shekels and a silver bowl of 70 shekels, both filled with fine flour. They each also brought 1 gold spoon of 10 shekels (full of incense), 1 bull, 1 ram, 1 lamb of the first year (for a burnt offering), and 1 kid of the goats (for a sin offering). For a peace offering, each prince brought 2 oxen, 5 rams, 5 male goats, and 5 lambs of the first year. Together, the princes bring offerings for the Levites: 12 oxen and 6 wagons. Each wagon was pulled by 2 oxen. 2 of the wagons and 4 oxen are given to the sons of Gershon, while the other 4 wagons and 8 oxen are given to the sons of Merari. The sons of Kohath are not given any wagons or oxen because their services to sanctuary was to be borne on their shoulders.
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Importance

Numbers 7 is 89 verses long, but it merely repeats the identical items offered by each prince of Israel. Essentially we have the same paragraph 12 times, followed by a summation of those paragraphs. Why did God tell Moses to write all of that down? It doesn't seem that we need so much detail, from a surface level, yet as we think about what we are being told, it becomes obvious why God bragged on the gifts His servants bestowed upon His tabernacle. It shows the amount of wealth these former slaves had amassed by His hand. Think about it, this takes place only 1 year after they fled captivity. Most American slaves didn't even know they were free one year after they had been emancipated, let alone could they amass this type of wealth.

This passage is not to flaunt the wealth of the Israelites per se, but to flaunt the power of God. God kept His promise to raise up a prosperous nation from Abraham's seed, and He didn't hold back. From the moment the Israelites took that first step in sacrificing the passover lamb before the 10th plague of Egypt, God took care of them. Similarly, today, from the moment we take that first step to believe in our eternal Passover Lamb, Jesus, God is taking care of us.
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References

  1. Thomas Nelson Publishers. KJV Study Bible. 1988

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Author Image Author Image I love reading the Word of God. With prayer God's Word reveals so much: from comfort to temperance, from perspective to affirmation. Digging into the depths of the Word, cross-referencing history, language and time differences, is a passion of mine. In March of 2015 I decided to go back through the Bible doing an in depth study on each section I read. Eventually I decided to share my journal of notes as I partake in this journey. I hope you are blessed by God and inspired to pursue a deeper relationship with Him. I love reading and learning about God, nature, and science. I am interested in how it all connects. The Creator's fingerprints are all over his creation. We can learn so much about Him and how we came to be by exploring the world around us. Join me as I explore the world and draw closer to the One who created it all.
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