Numbers 3-4 Service of the Firstborn and Priest

From Numbers 3-4

04 NumbersThere is a lot of record keeping in the Old Testament. And it is important to the Hebrews . Imagine later generations of the Hebrews hearing these accounts and knowing that some of these names were of their own families and descendants. Of note in these chapters I struck on this;

This post is part of my bible in a year series.

Passage and Comments

[11] And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, [12] “Behold, I have taken the Levites from among the people of Israel instead of every firstborn who opens the womb among the people of Israel. The Levites shall be mine, [13] for all the firstborn are mine. On the day that I struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, I consecrated for my own all the firstborn in Israel, both of man and of beast. They shall be mine: I am the LORD.” (Nu 3:11-13)

We see here there was a practical use to the LORD claiming the firstborn as his and requiring a redemption price for it. The continued upkeep for the Priestly service and Temple / Tabernacle depended on it. Obviously being the firstborn and dedicated to the LORD is significant. Consider Samuel and his dedication to the Priestly service by Hannah. Israel is God’s firstborn son (Ex 4.22). Our reading ends with this;

[46] All those who were listed of the Levites, whom Moses and Aaron and the chiefs of Israel listed, by their clans and their fathers’ houses, [47] from thirty years old up to fifty years old, everyone who could come to do the service of ministry and the service of bearing burdens in the tent of meeting, [48] those listed were 8,580. [49] According to the commandment of the LORD through Moses they were listed, each one with his task of serving or carrying. Thus they were listed by him, as the LORD commanded Moses. (Nu 4:46-49)

Its a summary statement that ends the record keeping.

Story of Israel

Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.
If people in Israel wanted to learn more about God, they would go to the priests. It was part of their role to teach the Torah to Israel. This function continued right up to Jesus’ time.

Story of Jesus

I’ve referred in part to the commands associated with the firstborn and priests. Jesus is the firstborn over all creation (Col 1). Another is his priestly service. Hebrews describes Jesus as the faithful high priest;

[17] Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. (Heb 2:17)

Jesus is the ultimate firstborn and high priest. Let us learn about the Father by drawing near to him.

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