BEMIḎBAR (NUMBERS) 1:1-4:20 – BEMIḎBAR– IN THE WILDERNESS

We now begin with the 4th book of the Torah – Bemiḏbar (Numbers). The Hebrew word for ‘in the wilderness’ is  בְּמִדְבַּר – ‘Bemiḏbar’, from the root word - מִדְבָּר miḏbar – Strong’s H4057 meaning, ‘wilderness, desert’ and can also mean ‘mouth’. This word comes from the primitive root - דָּבַר daḇar – Strong’s H1696 meaning, ‘to speak, command, counsel, declare, proclaimed, converse, warn, threaten, promise’ and a derivative of this word is also translated as ‘speech, word, commandment/s, message’.

The meaning of Bemiḏbar as mentioned means ‘in the wilderness’ and the literal meaning of this actually carries the concept of ‘The place of words’ or ‘The place of speaking’. What we learn straight away from the setting of this Book is this: ‘IT IS TIME TO LISTEN!’ It is here, in the wilderness, where Yisra’ĕl learnt to hear the ‘voice’ of יהוה and be in the necessary place to listen to what was spoken through Mosheh.

Often we find that many have the notion that the ‘Wilderness’ of Scripture is a vast expanse of nothing and is a desert wasteland; however this is not the case as there were various kinds of terrain that Yisra’ĕl had to travel through during their wilderness wanderings. What we do recognise is that the wilderness was more an uninhabited and more uncultivated land than just simply a desert. There were uninhabited plains, as well as forested areas, as well as desert areas and lush ‘wadis’ or places of refreshing springs and waterfalls. What the ‘wilderness journeys’ represent for us is ‘uncharted territory’ that we encounter on our way home from exile!

“What was the purpose of the wilderness?”, is a question that many often ask and we find the answer in: Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 8:15-16 “who led you through that great and awesome wilderness – fiery serpents and scorpions and thirst – where there was no water, who brought water for you out of the flinty rock, 16 who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, in order to humble you and to try you, to do you good in the end…

As we see from the above two verses, it was clear that there was a need to take Yisra’ĕl through the Wilderness:

1 – To feed them ‘food’ (manna) – which their fathers did not know!!!

It was during the Wilderness that יהוה let ‘manna’ be provision for food for Yisra’ĕl:

Shemoth/Exodus 16:14-15 “And the layer of dew went up, and see, on the surface of the wilderness, was a small round substance, as fine as frost on the ground. 15 And the children of Yisra’ĕl saw, and they said to each other, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Mosheh said to them, “It is the bread which יהוה has given you to eat.

Manna – from מָן  man – Strong’s H4478 literally means, ‘what or what is this’, and so the bread provided for them from Heaven became known as ‘manna’ – A bread that their father’s had not known.

Their fathers had not known this peculiar substance and this was totally knew for this nation who was led into the Wilderness and in need of food.  Each person was to gather their portion each day, except for the Sabbath day as they would gather twice as much on the 6th day for the provision on Sabbath.

As a people who had been enslaved and under great oppression in Mitsrayim, they had to learn very quickly the need to trust in יהוה for their every need as they walked in this new found ‘freedom’ from slavery, and even the food was different. Today it is the same with us who have come out of the enslavement to man-made dogmas and traditions and our exit from many systems of man-made worship has caused us to be taken into a wilderness journey of sorts and it is here where we begin to ‘eat’ bread that we never ate before – bread that our fathers never knew, as we begin to discover the wonder, joy and true nourishment that the Torah brings to our daily life, teaching us how we are to walk wholeheartedly in Messiah, The Living Torah!

יהושע tells us that He is the ‘Bread of Life’ and all who come to Him shall not go hungry! This ‘manna’ that their fathers knew not is what sustained them and preserved them. We have been given the True Manna from Heaven – and we know His Name! Our father’s may not have – but now we do, as we have opened our ears to hear the pure voice of truth in the wilderness!

2 – In order to humble you and try you!

A – humble you the word ‘humble’ in Hebrew is - עָנָה anah – Strong’s H6031 and means, ‘to be bowed down, afflicted, humbled’. This carries the understanding of being ‘grounded’ as well as the ability to ‘pay close attention’ and open one’s ears to hear! It carries the concept of denying oneself and submitting to Elohim as you understand and are aware of one’s status before an Almighty Elohim!

The wilderness is a place of being humbled and taught to listen carefully, as well as a place where Elohim shall:

B – Try you – the word used for ‘try’ is נָסָה nasah – Strong’s H5254 meaning, ‘to test, try, prove, put to the test’. Testing is a necessary part of being made into the One Bread of the body of Messiah, and this is done in the wilderness of uncharted territory where we are to absolutely rely on יהוה.

It is during the wilderness that we find ourselves in a place of being able to ‘hear’ the Word and be fed with the good ‘manna’ and recognise that we are to be a hearing and doing people. We see how it is יהוה who ‘lures’ us into the Wilderness so that He can speak to us tenderly and bring us to a place where we do not have the ‘noise’ of the world and man’s theologies drowning out the Truth!

Hoshěa/Hosea 2:14-16 “Therefore, see, I am alluring her, and shall lead her into the wilderness, and shall speak to her heart, 15 and give to her vineyards from there, and the Valley of Aḵor as a door of expectation. And there she shall respond as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Mitsrayim. 16 “And it shall be, in that day,” declares יהוה, “that you call Me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer call Me ‘My Ba’al.’”

You will call Me Husband…. And no longer My Ba’al!!!” This is clear – the word used here for ‘My Ba’al’ in Hebrew is בַּעְלִי Ba’ali – which means, my Master and comes from the word בַּעַל ba’al – Strong’s H1167 which means, owner, lord, master, land owner, and at its root form it means, to marry, rule over, husband, and from this we also see this word being the physical name of Ba’al - בַּעַל Strong’s H1168 and renders the name of the heathen deity in Hebrew being the term for ‘master, husband or landowner’ we are able to understand the common term for landowner in the old English as ‘lord’ and are therefore able to understand the English root of Ba’al rendering ‘The Lord’, and as a result of this knowledge we can see how the inherited lies of many years has blended the use of pagan deity titles into worshipping the True Creator; and we are to choose this day whom we serve.

This is the same things that Ěliyahu asked Yisra’ĕl on Mount Karmel:

Melaḵim Aleph/1 Kings 18:21 “And Ěliyahu came to all the people, and said, “How long would you keep hopping between two opinions? If יהוה is Elohim, follow Him; and if Baʽal, follow him.” But the people answered him not a word.

If we translate the Hebrew of the highlighted text correctly into English we would better have the following:

If יהוה is Elohim, follow Him; and if The Lord, follow him.

In looking at Hoshěa 2:14-16 we are also able to further understand what is happening in these last days, as יהוה is luring His Bride into the wilderness in order to speak to her heart and have Her return to Him and come back to Her ‘first love’, and those that respond to this call and come out of the lies and traditions of men, and guard the Sabbath and Feasts of יהוה, will learn to hear the voice of the Bridegroom and call on Him as Husband and no longer as Master, as total intimacy is lived out through loving obedience to His commands which had for far too long been cast aside! Messiah makes it clear that many will come in that day and say ‘Master, Master did we not…’:

Luqas/Luke 13:25-28 “When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Master, Master, open for us,’ and He shall answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’ 26 then you shall begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ 27 “But He shall say, ‘I say to you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of unrighteousness.’ 28 “There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Aḇraham and Yitsḥaq and Yaʽaqoḇ and all the prophets in the reign of Elohim, and yourselves thrown outside.

Knowing our Elohim as Husband and not only as Master, is brought forth as a result of a loving relationship that obeys the Master’s voice:

Luqas/Luke 6:46 “But why do you call Me ‘Master, Master,’ and do not do what I say?

We who guard the commands of Elohim are able to draw closer to Him and in keeping His Appointed Times and His commands we are able to learn and understand ‘His business’, no longer being called ‘slaves’ but friends:
Yoḥanan/John 15:15 “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, for all teachings which I heard from My Father I have made known to you.

Without a ‘wilderness journey’ we will not be able to recognise the true voice of our Husband and Saviour – and it is in the Wilderness that we get to know Him and understand who He is and all that His Name brings for us!

We also recognise that the timing of this account given here in chapter one carries a great significance too. It was in the first day of the second new moon in the second  year - that being the 13th month after coming out of Mitsrayim and so it was during the time between Pěsaḥ and Shaḇu’ot; and so we recognise that the Yisra’ĕlites were in the period of counting to 50; during a period that leads to Shaḇu’ot and has become known as the ‘counting of the omer’. This time of the year is very significant for us as we obey the command to ‘count’ 50 days; as it helps us reflect on how we are to be a set-apart people who has rid themselves of leaven/sin and are being permeated with the Besorah – the Good News of the Kingdom in order that we may be found to be a people that are presented as a pleasing wave offering before Elohim, in Messiah!

The 13th month – 13 being the numerical value for the term for ‘ONE’ in Hebrew and so we see a picture of unity being taken into account and now it was time to actually ‘count’ those who are part of Yisra’ĕl!

Verse 3-4 – take a census

The words used here in the Hebrew for ‘Take a census’ is  שְׂאוּ אֶת־רֹאשׁ  – ‘seu etrosh’ – which is literally a command to ‘lift up the heads’. The command to lift up – שְׂאוּ is in the ‘qal imperative’ which is from the root word -  נָשָׂא  nasa – Strong’s H5375 which means, ‘lift up, carry, take, exalt, count’. You will notice that the first letter ‘nun (נָ)’ falls away as it is in the qal imperative and the ‘weak nun (נָ)’ falls away and the emphasis is placed on the command to ‘lift up and count’. Why am I explaining this? To show how a word can change completely depending on the context and tense of the word and we can also learn from this that the root word to lift up is being clearly commanded here, which places the emphasis on the ‘sin (שְׂ).

The word translated as ‘census’ is ראֹשׁ rosh – Strong’s H7218 and means, ‘head, beginning, best thing, census, chief, first, top’.

A ‘count’ was to be made of every male ‘head by head’ from 20 years old and above – everyone going out to the army in Yisra’ĕl.

The word in Hebrew for the term ‘head by head’ is לְגֻלְגְּלֹתָם – ‘legulgolethim (of the heads) – and is the plural of the word גֻּלְגֹּלֶת gulgoleth – Strong’s H1538 and means, ‘a skull, head, poll, census’ and comes from the primitive root גָּלַל galal – Strong’s H1556 which means, ‘to roll, roll away, take away. The understanding of these words gives us a great picture of that which יהושע has done for us in taking away our sin, as he is our Head and we are counted as One in Him! It was at ‘Golgotha’ where was impaled:

Marqos/Mark 15:22-24 “And they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull. 23 And they were giving Him wine mixed with myrrh to drink, but He did not take it. 24 And when they impaled Him, they divided His garments, casting lots for them, what each one should take.

The Greek rendering of this hill near Yerushalayim is Γολγοθᾶ  Golgotha – Strong’s G1115 and is of Hebrew origin of the word גֻּלְגֹּלֶת  gulgoleth as described above and used in our Torah portion today in the command to take a census and lift up each head.

What we can clearly see from this account is that as we come into the ‘wilderness’, after having been bought at a price by the Blood of the Pěsaḥ (Passover) Lamb, we come to the mountain of יהוה where we enter into a Marriage Covenant with Him as we declare our ‘I DO’ as we learn to hear His clear voice and choose to walk in His commands as a faithful Bride who, now in Messiah who has renewed the Marriage Covenant in His Blood, are ‘counted’ in Him as He gave up His own life at the place of a skull and His ‘Head’ was lifted up and counted worthy to suffer for us and give us life in Him, that we could be numbered among the children of Yisra’ĕl.

What we also recognise here is that 20 years of age was the age when one was considered to be of fighting age and able to go out and fight in the army of Yisra’ĕl. This is a wonderful lesson for us in coming to the point of being counted – and by that I mean being able to stand up and fight the good fight, which today is not limited to one’s physical age of being 20 years old and above, as we are lifted up in Messiah; but rather it speaks of those who are willing to stand up and be counted. We have been dealing a lot with the concept of counting in light of the season of the counting of the omer and so when a census or count is taken up of the Bride of Messiah, we clearly see that those who sit idly by will not be counted among Yisra’ĕl! ‘Pew-warmers’ are not counted!!!

Sha’ul told Timotiyos in:

Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 4:12 “Let no one look down on your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in behaviour, in love, in spirit, in belief, in cleanliness.

Here we see that maturity in being able to be a good and faithful soldier in Messiah is not always linked to one’s physical age, as there are many people today who are well over 20 years of age, yet they are not mature in the word as they follow after the lusts of youth, which we are commanded to flee from:

Timotiyos Bĕt/2 Timothy 2:22And flee from the lusts of youth, but pursue righteousness, belief, love, peace with those calling on the Master out of a clean heart.

In Messiah we are to ‘fight the good fight of the belief’, and if we are not willing to stand up and fight then we cannot be counted!

Verse 5-15 – names of the men

As we look at the records of the heads that were counted and understand the meaning of their names we see some great messages coming through.

We will look at each tribe:

1 – Re’uḇĕn  - רְאוּבֵן  - Strong’s H7205 – ‘behold a son

  • - Elitsur - אֱלִיצוּר  - Strong’s H468 – ‘My Elohim is a Rock
  • - son of Sheḏĕy’ur - שְׁדֵיאוּר  - Strong’s H7707 – ‘darter of light’.

2 – Shim’on - שִׁמְעוֹן  - Strong’s H8095 – ‘heard

  • - Shelumi’ĕl -  שְׁלֻמִיאֵל  - Strong’s H8017 – ‘Ĕl is my peace
  • - son of Tsurishaddai - צוּרִישַׁדָּ֑י  - Strong’s H6701 – ‘The Almighty is my Rock

3 – Yehuḏah - יְהוּדָה  - Strong’s H3063 – ‘praised

  • - Naḥshon -  נַחְשׁוֹן  - Strong’s H5177 – ‘enchanter, wizard, whisperer
  • - son of AmmiNaḏaḇ - עַמִּינָדָב  - Strong’s H5992 – ‘my relatives are generous

4 – Yissasḵar - יִשָּׂשכָר  - Strong’s H3485 – ‘there is recompense

  • - Nethanĕ’l - נְתַנְאֵל  - Strong’s H5417 – ‘given by Ĕl
  • - son of Tsuʽar - צוּעָר  - Strong’s H6686 – ‘littleness

5 – Zeḇulun - זְבוּלוּן  - Strong’s H2074 – ‘exalted

  • - Eliyaḇ -  אֱלִיאָב  - Strong’s H446 – ‘My Elohim is Father
  • - son of Ḥĕlon - חֵלֹן  - Strong’s H2497 – ‘very capable

6 – 7 Yosĕph - יוֹסֵף  - Strong’s H3130 – ‘he adds, he increases

  • - Ephrayim  - אֶפְרַיִם  - Strong’s H669 – ‘doubly fruitful
  1. oElishama - אֱלִישָׁמָע  - Strong’s H446 – ‘Ĕl has heard
  2. oson of Ammihuḏ
  • - Menashsheh – מְנַשֶּׁה  - Strong’s H4519 – ‘causing to forget
  1. oGamli’ĕl - גַּמְלִיאֵל  - Strong’s H1583 – ‘Ĕl has dealt beautifully with me
  2. oson of Peḏahtsur - פְּדָהצוּר  - Strong’s H6301 – ‘The Rock has ransomed

8 – Binyamin - בִּנְיָמִין  - Strong’s H1144 – ‘son of the right hand

  • - Aḇiḏan - אֲבִידָן  - Strong’s H27 – ‘my father is judge
  • son of Giḏʽoni - גִּדְעֹנִי  - Strong’s H1441 – ‘my woodcutter

9 – Dan - דָּן  - Strong’s H1835 – ‘judge

  • - Aḥiʽezer - אֲחִיעֶזֶר  - Strong’s H295 – ‘my brother is help
  • - son of Ammishaddai - עַמִּישַׁדַּי  - Strong’s H5996 – ‘my kinsman is almighty, my kinsman is enough

10 – Ashĕr - אָשֵׁר  - Strong’s H836 – ‘happy one

  • - Paḡʽi’ĕl - פַּגְעִיאֵל  - Strong’s H6295 – ‘Ĕl has met me
  • - son of Oḵran - עָכְרָן  - Strong’s H5918 – ‘troubled

11 - Gaḏ - גָּד  - Strong’s H1410 – ‘troop

  • - Elyasaph -  אֶלְיָסָף  - Strong’s H460 – ‘Ĕl has added
  • - son of De‘u’ĕl - דְּעוּאֵל  - Strong’s H1845 – ‘known of Ĕl

12 – Naphtali - נַפְתָּלִי  - Strong’s H5321 – ‘wrestling

  • - Aḥira - אֲחִירַע  - Strong’s H299 – ‘my brother is evil
  • - son of Ěnan - עֵינָן  - Strong’s H5881 – ‘having eyes or having fountains

 

You will notice that Lĕwi is not listed here and Yosĕph is counted as 2 tribes!

Verse 17 – Mosheh and Aharon took these men who were called by name!

What we see here is that these men were hand-picked, chosen and called by name, and as we look at the picture of what is being presented here of those who are counted as leaders is that Mosheh (Torah) and Aharon (High Priest), together represent for us our High Priest, King and Saviour – יהושע Messiah – the True Living Torah, who has called us by name:

 

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 43:1 “But now, thus said יהוה, your Creator, O Ya’aqoḇ, and He who formed you, O Yisra’ĕl, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by your name, you are Mine.

 

Yoḥanan/John 15:16 “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in My Name He might give you.

 

Luqas/Luke 21:36 “Watch then at all times, and pray that you be counted worthy to escape all this about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Aḏam.

In taking careful heed to our Master’s words we are to be found to be a people who are called by His Name to a people who are counted worthy to escape the snares of gluttony, drunkenness and the worries of life which will weigh the hearts of many down in the last days – and we who have been ‘counted’ in Messiah must stand up and fight the good fight as we walk in the Spirit and not according to the flesh!

Verse 19-45 – Tribal numbers

Re’uḇĕn – 46 500

Shim’on – 59 300

Gaḏ - 45 600

Yehuḏah – 74 600

Yissasḵar – 54 400

Zeḇulun – 57 400

Ephrayim – 40 500

Menashsheh – 32 200

Binyamin – 35 400

Dan – 62 700

Ashĕr – 41 500

Naphtali – 53 400

 

TOTAL – 603 550

Lĕwi was not registered among the children of Yisra’ĕl, nor were they to be part of the census of Yisra’ĕl.

Instead they were appointed over the Dwelling Place – to attend to it and bear it and camp around the Dwelling Place.

They were the only ones who were permitted to take it down and set it up. This is a great lesson for us in that we cannot ‘play’ with the presence of יהוה, which the Dwelling Place represents for us. We are a royal priesthood, chosen in Messiah to tend to the Dwelling Place and all its furnishings.

We are the Dwelling Place of the Most High, who are being built up in Messiah as Living Stones and we have a critical role in making sure that the Dwelling Place (Body of Messiah) is carefully attended to and guarded at all times, as we bear each other’s burdens and so fulfil the Torah.

 

Verse 52 – each tribe is to camp according their divisions and everyone by his own banner.

What we can recognise is that every tribe had a different banner and what this pictures for us today is that while we may all be a part of the full body of Messiah, we ought to recognise that we may not all be the same in terms of our gifting’s and callings and we should each respect the other as we recognise that each part of the body needs the other as we cannot all be the foot or the hand or the eye etc.

 

Verse 53 – intercession is critical

The role of the Lěwites among other duties was to ensure that they camped around the Dwelling place so that the wrath of Elohim would not be unleashed upon Yisra’ĕl. This they had certainly learnt during the rebellion against Mosheh and Aharon and Lĕwi stood up for יהוה, and were then set-apart to  יהוה to take the place of the firstborn. What we must clearly see being pictured for us here is the necessity of praying for one another and this we ought to be doing daily, showing that  we are in fact ‘camped out’ around His Dwelling Place and not just paying a brief visit, but rather that our lives are filled with praying for the set-apart ones, never ceasing to pray but giving thanks in all of our petitions and praise unto יהוה.

 

Verse 54 – All Yisra’ĕl did as commanded!

This is a wonderful compliment we see being given here in Scripture – a time when all Yisra’ĕl actually obeyed all that יהוה commanded Mosheh. We will one day see this when the whole body will obey the commands of יהוה as given through the Torah (Mosheh) as we walk in Messiah.

The instructions (Torah) of יהוה for His set-apart people was given through Mosheh and revealed by the life, death and resurrection of Messiah. Messiah came to show us how we can fully walk in the Torah as we walk in Him and remain in Him, guarding the clear duty of securing the Dwelling Place and attending to all the duties required.

 

CHAPTER 2

The encampments of Yisra’ĕl:

Here in chapter 2 we are now given the order of encampment and we see how each side is grouped into 3 tribes under the head of one of the 3. The following is the order of encampments which you can see as laid out in the picture below, and when looking at the tribal encampments we are able to see the prophetic insight of the work of Messiah as we see the order of the listings, going from East – South – West – North:

 

1 - The East Side:

YehuḏahYissasḵarZeḇulun – Total for east side = 186 400

What is interesting to note is that the term for ‘east’ in the Hebrew is קֶדֶם  qeḏem – Strong’s H6924 and means, ‘east’ and is also understood to have the meaning of ‘former, ancient, before, old’ as well as carrying the meaning of ‘forward, everlasting’. The concept of ‘east’ in the Hebrew wind is that which is from ancient yet is also what is eternal and everlasting.

Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 33:27 “The Elohim of old is a refuge, and beneath are everlasting arms. And He drives out the enemy from before you and says, ‘Destroy!’”

With this side having Yehuḏah (praised) – Yissasḵar (there is recompense) – Zeḇulun (exalted) we can see the following:

Praised is the Exalted One from of Old and is Everlasting; in whom we have recompense

2 - The South Side:

Re’uḇĕn (behold a son) – Shim’on (heard) – Gaḏ (troop) – Total for south side = 151 450

The south side has the connection with ‘the right hand’ when facing ‘east’. The word used for south is:

בֵּימָן Tĕman – Strong’s H8486 and means, south and there is also a town called Tĕman to the south of Yerushalayim in the northern district of Eḏom. This word is from the same as יָמִין yamin – Strong’s H3225 which means, right hand. From this second listing we can see the following:

By His Right Hand, behold a Son, who has heard the cry of His people and comes to redeem and is coming again with a troop, as the Captain of the Host

3 - The West Side:

Ephrayim (doubly fruitful) – Menashsheh (causes to forget) – Binyamin (son of my right hand) – Total for west side = 108 100

The Hebrew word for ‘west’ is יָם yam – Strong’s H3220 meaning, sea, west, and in the Hebraic mind-set we are able to understand that the sea can also represent chaos or the abyss and disorder. On this ‘western side’ with these three tribes we can see the following:

We are brought out of the sea/chaos as Messiah, the son of the Right Hand, who cleanses us from all sin has brought us forth out of sin, in order for us to be doubly fruitful in righteousness, causing us to forget the hardships as He remembers our sin no more.

He who has called us out of the ‘miry clay’ (twisted and false teachings and doctrines of man), has cleansed us from all lawlessness so that we are able to bear abundant fruit! What is also interesting to note is how Ephrayim and Menashsheh represent a picture of the scattered northern 10 tribes who are called back and grafted in by Messiah, and we also take note of how important the tribe of Binyamin plays prophetically in calling many sons back to obedience! Sha’ul was from Binyamin and he is instrumental in having been called to the nations to seek out and call back the scattered sheep of Yisra’ĕl!

4 - The North Side:

Dan (judge) – Ashĕr (blessed) – Naphtali (wrestling) – Total for north side = 157 600

צָפוֹן  tsaphon – Strong’s H6828 meaning, north, northern and comes from the primitive root word צָפַן  tsaphan – Strong’s H6845 meaning, to hide, treasure up, ambush, conceal, treasured.

This 4th listing prophetically speaks of the day of יהוה from which we can see the following:

Blessed are those who are found to be hidden in יהוה the Judge, who wrestles for us! Blessed are they who overcome in the Judge and are Hidden in Him!

camp

Above you can see the camp layout for Yisra’ĕl as described in chapter 2 and 3.

When collectively looking at the order of these listings we see individually how each side points to Messiah as well as collectively declaring the Besorah: East – In the beginning was the Exalted Word who is to be praised, and South – The Word became flesh and dwelt among us (who has seen the Outstretched Arm and Hand of יהוה?

The Right Hand of Elohim came to seek and save and redeem what was lost and: West – The lost are called to bear the fruit of repentance, passing through the waters of deliverance, and North – the remnant who hear, guard and do righteousness shall be hidden in the day of the wrath of יהוה (Tsephanyah/Zephaniah 2:1-3)

The word for ‘camp’ in Chapter 2:2 in the Hebrew is חָנָה ḥanah – Strong’s H2583 which carries the meaning of, ‘to decline, bend down, encamp, pitched, remain camped, lay siege against’. What we understand from the root meaning of this word, which means in essence to incline, is that we are to be ‘firmly planted’ as a tent peg is firmly driven into the ground in order to secure the tent.

The picture of being ‘inclined like a tent peg’ shows us how, just as a tent peg is hammered into the ground at an angle to give the strongest support for the tent, ensuring that the wind or storms will not uproot the tent, so too are we to be firmly established in the word like driven down stakes, and being strengthened every week through the Torah as we come together to ‘camp out’ in His word, in order that we are not tossed about by every wind of teaching and erroneous doctrines of man!

In order for us to be like stakes firmly driven into the ground around the Tent of Appointment we must ensure that we have been uprooted from all foreign soil! We must pull up any stakes from wherever else we have been camped out; and that is not just physically, but also any possible ‘stakes’ that remain in our hearts and minds and is keeping us from camping around the Tent of Appointment. This speaks to me of making sure that we do not neglect the gathering of the set-apart ones as some are in the habit of doing. This means that we are to ensure that we ‘camp out’ and keep His Appointed Times, which includes every single Shabbat (Sabbath)!!! We must be camped together on His Set-Apart days, and so rooted in being camped around His Tent of Appointment on all of His Feasts and Sabbaths that nothing at all can or will pull up our firmly driven stake of commitment around His Dwelling Place! We need to see our weekly gathering as our true home and recognise that we are called to be a community, nailing down our stakes where we count, even if it is hard at first to settle in. We must not do as our forefathers did by looking at the nations around and following after their ways, but rather be firmly rooted in Messiah and keeping all His commands with great joy!

CHAPTER 3

We now come to the generations of Aharon and Mosheh; but what is very interesting here is that we do not see Mosheh’s generations being mentioned as we only see that Aharon’s is mentioned in this chapter.

We also take note that one of Mosheh’s sons in in fact never even mentioned in the Torah at all. We have to look to Diḇre haYamim Aleph/1 Chronicles 23:15 to see Eliʽezer being mentioned:

The sons of Mosheh: Gĕreshom and Eliʽezer.

Now as we look at this 3rd chapter of Bemiḏbar/Numbers, we may find ourselves asking why is this called the generations of Mosheh and Aharon and not just Aharon’s? Mosheh, as we all know and understand, is in Scripture a picture or reference to the Torah as we see that the ‘Torah’ was read every Sabbath, being described as Mosheh in:

Ma’asei/Acts 15:21 “For from ancient generations Mosheh has, in every city, those proclaiming him – being read in the congregations every Sabbath.

Mosheh here being the reference to the Torah (first 5 books of Scripture) which contain all that He wrote down.

So when we now read of Aharon’s sons, we know and understand that they were set-apart as being called to a great service in ministering the Torah to Yisra’ĕl and were commanded with the charge of guarding the duty of the Dwelling Place and were as a result called to give up everything to minister before יהוה, as they now belonged to יהוה and in effect became ‘sons of Torah’ and can therefore be considered to be ‘sons of Mosheh’ too. Although that Aharon was 3 years older than Mosheh, Mosheh was in one sense a ‘father’ to Aharon as Mosheh taught Him the Torah! This is a picture of Messiah, who being born in the flesh, made it clear to the Yehuḏim that before Aḇraham came to be He said “I AM”!!! Yeshayahu says that the CHILD to be born unto us shall be called EVERLASTING FATHER/FATHER OF CONTINUITY!

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 9:6 “For a Child shall be born unto us, a Son shall be given unto us, and the rule is on His shoulder. And His Name is called Wonder, Counsellor, Strong Ěl, Father of Continuity, Prince of Peace.

Sha’ul referred to Timotiyos as a son in the faith:

Timotiyos Bet/2 Timothy 2:1 “You then, my son, be strong in the favour that is in Messiah יהושע.

Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 4:14-17 “I do not write this to shame you, but to warn you as my beloved children. 15 For if you should have ten thousand instructors in Messiah, yet not many fathers, for in Messiah יהושע I have brought you forth through the Good News. 16 Therefore I appeal to you, to become imitators of me. 17 For this reason I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and trustworthy son in the Master, who shall remind you of my ways in Messiah, as I teach everywhere in every assembly.

 

Verse 2: Aharon’s sons:

Naḏaḇ - נָדָב  - Strong’s H5070 – ‘generous

Aḇihu - אֲבִיהוּא  - Strong’s H30 – ‘he is my father

El’azar - אֶלְעָזָר  - Strong’s H499 – ‘El has helped/assisted

Ithamar - אִיתָמָר  - Strong’s H385 – ‘land/coast of palms (oasis)

Verse 3 – anointed and ordained!

The sons of Aharon were anointed and ordained to be priests unto Elohim: let us look at these two terms and understand what it means to be a set-apart and chosen priesthood unto יהוה:

In the Hebrew we see the term of them being the anointed as - הַמְּשֻׁחִים  - ‘ha-mashachim’ (the anointed (plural) and comes from the primitive root - מָשַׁח  mashach – Strong’s H4886 and means, ‘smear, anoint, spread a liquid, consecrate, to be anointed’. The sons of Aharon were anointed with oil for service in the Tabernacle and were given set-apart garments that were also anointed, to wear in order to do their duty as a priesthood. The oil for anointing, as we have come to recognise through our understanding of the Tabernacle and all its furnishings, represents and is symbolic of the presence and anointing of His Spirit.

Anointing was required before any priest was able to serve before יהוה, as the Tent of Appointment, The Ark of The Witness, The Table and all the utensils, The Lampstand and its utensils, The Slaughter Place of Incense, The Slaughter Place of ascending offering, the Bronze Basin and its stand as well as Aharon and his sons were all to be anointed with the set-apart anointing oil!

To be set-apart is the Hebrew word קָדַשׁ qaash – Strong’s H6942 and means ‘to be set-apart, consecrated, purified, dedicated’ and It carries the understanding of two concepts: one is to be separated from the world and thoughts thereof, and secondly has the implication of being separated from the world as the giving of total devotion to יהוה, leaving the worldly things behind and completely dedicating oneself to Him.

For a more in-depth look at the ‘anointing oil’ that was used and what it teaches us today please see the Torah portion notes from Shemoth/Exodus 30:11-34:35, as well as Wayyiqra/Leviticus 6:8-8:36. His sons were anointed to serve, having had their right ear, thumb and big toe anointed by oil, after having had the blood of the second ram being applied to their right ear, thumb and toe. This is a wonderful picture of our being set-apart and anointed: we first accept and receive cleansing from sin by the Blood of Messiah that is applied to the doorposts of our hearts and we choose to become His bondservant forever having our ears ‘pierced’ to hear all His commands and guard to walk in them and do them always; and through the immersion/baptism in the Name of יהושע we are then ‘filled’ with the Spirit of Elohim having His work sealed in our lives, as we recognise the need to walk according to all He commands. His ‘Blood’ and His ‘Oil’ is applied to us in order to anoint us and set us apart for a set-apart walk and service unto Him and Him alone!

Then the sons of Aharon were also ‘ordained’. The wording in the Hebrew used here for ordained is –  מִלֵּא יָדָם – ‘male’ yaḏam’; and as we look at these two individual words we get a clear meaning of what the ordination entails:

1 - מָלֵא male’(maw-lay) – Strong’s H4390 and carries the meaning, to be full, to fill, complete, covered, dedicate, fulfil, ordain and the second word:

2 - יָד  yaḏ – Strong’s H3027 and is a primitive root which is translated as, hand, command, authority, power, tenon, side, and the primary meaning of this noun is “the terminal part of the arm used to perform functions of man’s will. This term is employed literally of man’s hand which does normal work functions, good or bad; and what we see here in this account is the hands being employed to do what is required in the service of the set-apart priesthood before יהוה. When combining these two words into understanding the concept of what it means to be ordained is simply this: “to fill the hands”; and so when the priests hands are filled with that which is required of them – then there is no place for their hands to be engaged in any other matter that is not of Elohim! What is also a clear picture that we are to see in this process is that it was Aharon, the high priest, who ordained or rather “filled their hands” his sons; and this in itself is a great picture of how we have been anointed and ordained by our Perfect High Priest, יהושע Messiah – and he is the only One who is able to ‘fill our hands’ with that which he calls us to do!!! What is also worthy of noting is that there hands were filled, and when understanding the concept of the hands representing that which we do or that which we work, we see here that יהושע having ‘filled our hands’ must make us see that we are not to come up with our own innovative ideas on how to serve and worship, but rather we must follows that with which He has filled our hands with – and that is His Torah. When we put our hand to the plough in service to our King as a set-apart priesthood then we must not look back, else we will be found to be unfit for the kingdom!

Luqas/Luke 9:62 “But יהושע said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the reign of Elohim.

What we also recognise in the process of being anointed and ordained we see that Mosheh was the one who anointed Aharon and his sons, while Aharon was the one who ordained his sons and ‘filled their hands’. This is a great picture of just what Messiah has done for us in that both Mosheh and Aharon shadow picture his full work in us in that יהושע being the Living Torah has anointed us and He has, through His life, death and resurrection has ordained us as sons of Elohim into an everlasting priesthood! It is now time for the true worshippers to worship in Spirit and Truth! We need the Torah (Mosheh) and we need the filling of our hands through the empowerment of the Spirit which teaches us how to live the Torah as we walk fully in The Living Torah, יהושע Messiah! The torah alone may only anoint you, but it is through the filling of our hands by our High Priest, that we are able to guard to do all the He commands for His anointed!

By filling the priests hands, Aharon was imparting to them authority that יהוה had given Him; which is another wonderful picture of what יהושע has done for us; as he received authority as High Priest and imparted that authority to do the work of the priesthood unto us:

Mattithyahu/Matthew 28:18 “And יהושע came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

Mattithyahu/Matthew 10:12 “And having called His twelve taught ones near, He gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every bodily weakness.

 

Today, as a chosen, set-apart nation and royal priesthood we have a great responsibility to make sure our hands are continually filled with that which our High Priest and King has ordained for each of us. It is He who gives each one His duty and His calling – just as we see how the sons of Aharon each had their unique roles in the service of the tabernacle and all its furnishings.

What we also must realise is that in being ordained and anointed as a priesthood, we must realise that this places us in a greater place of servanthood as opposed to a place of ‘telling others what to do’!

Matthew/Mattithyahu 23:11 “But the greatest among you shall be your servant.

So many today claim to be ‘walking in the anointing’ yet they do not serve or are unwilling to humble themselves and serve the body. Here in this Torah portion we see that anointing without ordination does not equip one to ‘walk in the anointing’. Anointing without the filling of the hands to service is a dangerous things that opens the door for pride and arrogance to set in and look down upon others instead of putting others ahead of self!

Mosheh and Aharon represent the dual work of our being anointed and set-apart for service by יהושע, the Living Torah and our High Priest and so we also recognise that we cannot claim to be ordained and serving the body if we have not the ‘anointing’ or the Truth of Torah so to speak; and what we see today is a great number of false teachers who claim to be ordained of Elohim, yet the anointing of the Torah and its understanding they have brought to nought in declaring it null and void, and in the process are in fact leading people away from the Torah instead of back to the Torah!

Verse 4

This verse is a reminder of a very sobering lesson and a wake-up call for all of us who have been ‘anointed’ and ‘ordained’ in Messiah; as we clearly see how 2 of Aharon’s sons did not live up to their calling and did while they had great names (generous and he is my father) did not live up to them; while the other two did.

The two that died, died as a result of bringing  strange fire before; and they also had no descendants! The meaning of their names can help us to continually assess how we are ‘drawing near’ to יהוה. With Naḏaḇ meaning ‘generous/ generosity’ and Aḇihu meaning ‘he is my father’; we must do a self-check and ask ourselves what are the reasons we are drawing near to יהוה for? Or what are our motives for seeking generosity or for calling יהוה our Father? Is He just the one who pays our bills or do we truly recognise Our Father as our True Provider and Help and Joy? El’azar means ‘El has helped’ and with Ithamar meaning ‘the place of palms’ we can get a clear picture of two sons who walked in righteousness and lived upright before Elohim their Father. Palms represent fruitfulness and nourishment and praise and those who are ‘planted’ in Truth and stay in it will flourish:

Tehillah/Psalm 92:12 “The righteous one flourishes like a palm tree, He grows like a cedar in Leḇanon.

Let us learn from the record of Aharon’s 4 sons that we must always guard ourselves from taking the set-apart matters of Elohim and making them as common!

Verse 6 – bring them near and they shall serve

The Lěwites were to be ‘brought near’ to יהוה and set before Aharon, whom they would serve.

The Hebrew word for ‘bring near’ is the root word קָרַב qaraḇ – Strong’s H7126 which is properly a sacrificial word and signifies the presenting of a sacrifice or offering to יהוה. As an offering, the tribe of Lĕwi was entirely given up to the service of the Tabernacle, to be no longer their own, but יהוה's. This was that their whole lives were now totally dedicated to service and would help others be able to draw near.

They were then to be ‘set’ before Aharon – and this word for ‘set’ is the primitive root - עָמַד amaḏ – Strong’s H5975 which carries the meaning, to take one’s stand, abide, appoint, arise, stay, remain’. This is a powerful picture of how we draw near to יהושע our High Priest and He will draw near to us; and then we are to take our rightful stand in Him and abide in His presence and ‘remain/stay’ in Him! We are to stay in the one to which we are now able to draw near to, through His Blood, and stay in Him.

Yoḥanan/John 15: 1-10 on the Parable of the Vine and the Gardener we see how we are clearly instructed to ‘stay’ in Him for then He will ‘stay’ in us and we are to stay in His love and guard His commands!

The Greek word used in Yoḥanan/John 15 is μένω menō – Strong’s G3306 and means, to stay, abide, remain, stand, and so we see that the emphasis here in the Greek bears witness to the necessity of ‘staying’ in the calling we have received and enabled to draw near to by the Blood of the Lamb. So we see by the instructions of

יהושע, he was in effect echoing the clear call for us as a priesthood to be set before Him as High Priest and remain in that calling! Messiah was teaching the Torah of the priesthood here!!!

The Lěwites were ‘brought near’ and ‘set’ before Aharon – for one purpose and one purpose only: to serve Him and guard the duty and service of the Dwelling Place!

The word used for ‘serve’ is שָׁרַת  sharath – Strong’s H8334 meaning, to minister, serve, assist, attend, servant. This service speaks of accommodating the needs of another and putting oneself in a lower position that the other and it can also carry the understanding of contributing to; and when we recognise that we are all to be contributing to the service of the body; anything less than our best would not be true worship unto Elohim!

Verse 7 – Guard the duty

‘Guard’ - שָׁמַר  shamar – Strong’s H8104 means, ‘keep, watch, present, attend to, pay close attention, guard’ and the basic idea of the root of this word is ‘to exercise great care over’.  We are to exercise great care over His Torah! When used in combination with other verbs the meaning is ‘do carefully or diligently’, i.e. perform carefully by paying strict attention as to what must be done as it expresses the careful attention to be paid to the obligations of a covenant, to laws, statutes, etc.  Another aspect of this word carries the meaning of having to guard carefully and tend to or ‘take care of’. When one takes care of a valued possession then the utmost diligence is exercised in ensuring that it is protected at all costs and it is taken care of through the correct maintenance and observance of its functional requirements to keep it in tact; and as it is with the Torah – we must guard it in our hearts and exercise it diligently, keeping ourselves free from the clutter or weeds of wickedness. Aḏam was commanded to ‘guard’ (Shamar) the garden which carried with it great responsibility and the need to be watchful and at work; and we are to guard the good deposit in the soil of our hearts as we do all that we are commanded, nurturing the very growth that the Good Seed of His Living Word produces in our lives!

‘Duty’ - מִשְׁמֶרֶת  mishmereth – Strong’s H4931watch, charge, function, allegiance, duty, guard, keep, obligation.

We are to keep watch over and pay close attention to our duty and function in the body of Messiah as we diligently guard His charge over His House!

Verse 10 reiterates our need to guard the duty of the priesthood and anyone who walk not according to the Torah and tries to draw near in any other manner than that which has been given through Mosheh and revealed through the life, death and resurrection of Messiah will be put to death and exposed as being a stranger whom He did not know!

Those who draw near as strangers will be cast away:

Luqas/Luke 13:25-27 “When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Master, Master, open for us,’ and He shall answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’ 26 then you shall begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ 27 “But He shall say, ‘I say to you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of unrighteousness.’

Workers of unrighteousness (the lawless who disregard the Torah) are strangers and not part of the called out, set-apart and royal priesthood!

Verse 12-13 – reminds us how יהוה chose the Lěwites instead of the firstborn of all Yisra’ĕl, which He had originally set-apart unto Himself on the day He struck all the firstborn in Mitsrayim.

Verse 15 – register the Lěwites

The rest of Yisra’ĕl was registered from 20 years old and above; and now we see that Lěwites were to registered separately, but from 1 month old and above (that is almost from birth) and represents and total separation unto יהוה, after having only gone through 1 ‘renewal’ (1 month) of life.

The root words used here for ‘one month old’ in the Hebrew are:

1 - בֵּן  ben – Strong’s H1121 meaning, son and 2 - חֹדֶשׁ ḥoḏesh – Strong’s H2320month, new moon, renewal.

So all male from one month old and above would be ‘sons of a renewal’ – they were now sons of that which had been renewed by יהוה, when He took the Lěwites over the rest of Yisra’ĕl and so too do we see how through the renewal of His Covenant in the Blood of Messiah we have become – ‘sons of the renewal’ and are now His, set-apart unto Him!

Aharon’s sons:

 

Gĕreshonגֵּרְשׁוֹן  - Strong’s H1648 – ‘exile

  • Liḇni - לִבְנִי  - Strong’s H3845 – ‘white
  • Shimʽi - שִׁמְעִי  - Strong’s H8096 – ‘renowned

 

Qehath - קְהָת  - Strong’s H6955 – ‘assembly

  • Amram - עַמְרָם  - Strong’s H6019 – ‘exalted people
  • Yitshar - יִצְהָר  - Strong’s H3324 – ‘shining oil
  • Ḥeḇron - חֶבְרוֹן  - Strong’s H2275 – ‘association
  • Uzzi’ĕl - עֻזִּיאֵל  - Strong’s H5816 – ‘my strength is El / El is my strength

 

Merari - מְרָרִי  - Strong’s H4847 – ‘bitter

  • Maḥli - מַחְלִי  - Strong’s H4249 – ‘sick
  • Mushi - מוּשִׁי  - Strong’s H4817 – ‘yielding

As we look at these names we see how we as a royal priesthood are set-apart unto Elohim as we render the following from the above names:

In exile we are made as white as snow and become a renowned assembly, an exalted people, with shining oil associating ourselves with El who is our strength, as the bitter and sick come yielding to Him!

 

The purpose of our exile is to be washed and made a renowned people; and we are to assemble together and not neglect the gathering of the set-apart ones as we continue to shine our light and be a people who exalt His Name as we yield all our sickness and bitterness before Him!

Gĕreshonites –  camped westward behind the dwelling place (see diagram above)

7500 (males 1 month old and above) and their leader:

Elyasaph - אֶלְיָסָף  - Strong’s H460 – ‘El has added

son of La’ĕl - לָאֵל  - Strong’s H3815 – ‘belonging to El

Their duty was the Dwelling Place and its coverings, and all the screens of the courtyard with their chords.

Qehathites – camped on the south side of the Dwelling Place

8600 (males 1 month old and above) and their leader:

Elitsaphan -  אֱלִיצָפָן  - Strong’s H469 – ‘El has protected

son of Uzzi’ĕl - עֻזִּיאֵל  - Strong’s H5816 – ‘my strength is El

Their duty was the Ark and the Table and the Lampstand, and the Slaughter Place with it all its utensils, as well as the utensils of the Set-Apart Place with its covering.

The south side has the connection with ‘the right hand’ when facing ‘east’. The word used for south is:

בֵּימָן Tĕman – Strong’s H8486 and means, south and there is also a town called Tĕman to the south of Yerushalayim in the northern district of Edom. This word is from the same as יָמִין yamin – Strong’s H3225 which means, right hand.  The leading tribe of the south was Re’uḇĕn whose name means ‘behold a son’ and as we know that it is at the right hand of the Greatness on high where  יהושע sat down:

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 1:3 “who being the brightness of the esteem and the exact representation of His substance, and sustaining all by the word of His power, having made a cleansing of our sins through Himself, sat down at the right hand of the Greatness on high

All the names of the clans of the Qehathites reflect the true characteristics of the Kingdom of elohim and so is a great picture for us of symbolising the Kingdom of Messiah!

Merari – camped on the north side of the Dwelling Place

6200 (males 1 month old and above) and their leader:

Tsuri’ĕl  - צוּרִיאֵל  - Strong’s H6700 – ‘my Rock is El

son of Aḇiḥayil - אֲבִיחַיִל  - Strong’s H32 – ‘my Father is might

Their duty was the boards of the dwelling Place, its bars, columns, sockets, utensils and all its service, as well as the columns of the courtyard with their sockets and pegs and chords.

The ‘bitter’ clans are given the job of taking care of that which holds everything together as this was the kind of work that would heal their bitterness. Their part had to be in place first when setting up a new camp, before anyone else could do his work. We can learn from this that when we take on the much needed responsibility for one another, we must recognise that there can be no room left for bitterness or sickliness in our walk or else we may cause the building of the body to be halted; so if you ever find yourself becoming depressed and see that the danger of bitterness is about to set in due to chaotic circumstances, then realise that a good remedy is to find someone to serve and build up with the very pillars and pegs of pure and sound love in Messiah!

The East Side of the Dwelling Place: Mosheh and Aharon

As we have already seen that Mosheh and Aharon represent collectively the very work and person of יהושע, and this being the ‘gateway’ or ‘door’ to the Tent of Appointment, we know that יהושע is The Door and the Good Shepherd who protects and guards our coming in and going out!

With Mosheh being a symbol of the Torah and the lead tribe on the East being Yehuḏah we see how the task of Yehuḏah as ‘lawgiver’ rings true according to the camp layout:

Tehillah/Psalm 60:7 “Gilʽaḏ is Mine and Menashsheh is Mine, And Ephrayim is the defence of My head, Yehuḏah is My lawgiver.

The allocation of tribes on the East carries great prophetic insight that while Yehuḏah would be the ones who ‘guarded’ the torah while the rest of us were in exile; we also see that the other two tribes on this side have great significance too as we know that in Diḇre haYamim Aleph/1 Chronicles 12:22 that Yissasḵar are described as being those who had understanding of the times, to know what Yisra’ĕl should do and Zeḇulun is described by Deḇorah in Shophetim/Judges 5:14 as those who handle the scribes reed; and so we can clearly see the significance of their encampment allocation around the Tent!

Verse 39-51  – number of registered ones of the Lěwites and Yisra’ĕl

When you add up the 3 clans of the Lěwites (7500 + 8600 + 6200) you come to 22 300; yet we see here the registered number being recorded as 22 000, which at first glance can seem a little strange, however we must remember that the difference of 300 is most likely due to the number of the first born among the Lěwites was 300 and firstborn Lěwites could not redeem/replace other firstborn Yisra’ĕlites. When the number of the firstborn of Yisra’ĕl was numbered the total came to 22 273, being 273 more than that which was registered among the Lěwites.

In Bemiḏbar/Numbers 3:12 the firstborn male Yisra’ĕlites became unfit to be יהוה’s priesthood due to their participation in building and worshipping the golden calf. In their place, יהוה chose Lěwites who had not participated in that sin to stand in the place of the firstborn males. To redeem the firstborn, the Lěwites were counted (22,000), then the firstborn males, one-month-old and up were counted (22,273). With 273 more firstborn males than Lěwites, the firstborn males paid a redemption price of five shekels each to Aharon.

What we also see here is that the full redemption price has been paid and all the redeemed have been ‘given’ to יהושע the High Priest.

CHAPTER 4

Verse 1-20 – Census of Qehath and their service

What we notice here in the census of the priesthood being counted for service is that the age of those being counted was from 30 to 50 years old and not from 20 years. 30 years old was the age of priesthood and we also know that it was in Messiah’s 30 year that He performed His duty as High Priest when He was ‘anointed’ and ‘ordained’ to duty.

Luqas/Luke 3:23 “And when יהושע Himself began, He was about thirty years of age, being, as reckoned by law, son of Yosĕph, of Ĕli

The Hebrew letter ‘lamed’ – ‘ל’ has the numerical value of 30 and its name – lamed – is based on the word לָמַד  lamad – Strong’s H3925 which carries the meaning, ‘to exercise in, learn, instruct, teach, train’; and so we see that by the age of 30 a priest should have been trained and instructed in the ways of Torah and learned all that they can and be ready to now do the work of service. The ancient script symbol for the letter ‘lamed’ is a shepherd’s staff and is another clear picture in its meaning to be instructed and led by the Shepherd and The Good Shepherd – Messiah – was 30 years old when He began His duty of the priesthood, as reckoned by Torah!

Dawiḏ began to rule at 30 years old and Yosĕph too was given rule over Mitsrayim at 30 years of age – all shadow pictures of Our King and High Priest!

The moving of the Camp:

Verse 5-6 – The veil of the Most Set-Apart place doubled as a cover for the Ark, bringing more efficiency in the packing up. Then the Ark was covered over with fine leather and over that an all blue wrapper. The veil had Keruḇim embroidered on them and this was the first layer that would cover the Ark of Witness, and is a picture of the throne of Elohim having the Keruḇim continually around His throne and represents our true intimacy with Elohim and how we are veiled in Him like a Bride. The leather covering would be a great waterproofing for the Ark and then the Ark of the Witness was the only piece that had as its outer cover a covering of blue.

Blue Material - תְּכֵלֶתteḵeleth’ – Strong’s H8504. The blue represents His Torah (Instructions) and would also remind them of the heavens above which יהוה dwells and from where this word comes from! The blue would also remind us of His commands as we find blue on the fringes of the curtains of the Dwelling Place and shows how the instruction we too are to have in wearing blue on the fringes of our garments, as we are the dwelling place of His Spirit and the blue on our ‘tzitzit’ would continually remind us of Him and His instructions for His Dwelling Place and How we are to be a Set-Apart people – just as His presence would dwell in the Set-Apart Place in the Tabernacle:

Bemiḏbar/Numbers 15:38-40Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, and you shall say to them to make tzitziyot on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a blue cord in the tzitzit of the corners. 39 “And it shall be to you for a tzitzit, and you shall see it, and shall remember all the commands of יהוה and shall do them, and not search after your own heart and your own eyes after which you went whoring, 40 so that you remember, and shall do all My commands, and be set-apart unto your Elohim.

When the woman who had the issue of blood touched the tzitzit of the garments of יהושע, she was healed and so was fulfilled the prophecy that He would come with healing in His wings (tzitzit) and it carries a wonderful picture for us of our obedience to His commands; for when we walk in obedience to His commands He makes His dwelling with us and we walk in the blessings as described in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy and find healing in walking in and holding on to His Torah (Instructions) and guarding the Ketuḇah (Marriage Covenant which is now on our hearts.

Verse 7-8 – The table of showbread was covered with a blue wrapper and all it utensils put on it as well as the showbread and then it was covered with a scarlet wrapper and then with a covering of fine leather:

Scarlet Material - תּוֹלַעַת tola‘ath – Strong’s H8439 and שָׁנִיshani’ – Strong’s H8144 – ‘tola‘ath’ being ‘worm’ and ‘shani’ being ‘scarlet/crimson’. This scarlet (red) colour came from the crushed body of an insect (worm) that attaches itself to a tree, lays eggs on it, puts a sack of red juice around the eggs to protect them, then dies, having emptied itself out for them--a wonderful picture of יהושע. Scarlet speaks of sacrifice and typifies Messiah in His sufferings and His giving of Himself to be crushed for our iniquities:

Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:2 “And walk in love, as Messiah also has loved us, and gave Himself for us, a gift and an offering to Elohim for a sweet-smelling fragrance.

We see the showbread table being covered in blue, which represent His commands and then utensils and the actual showbread which represents the 12 tribes (whole body of Messiah) was placed on top of the blue wrapper – picturing for us the need to have His commands – His Torah  - His Word as our foundation. These were then wrapped in a scarlet material which speaks of the Blood of Messiah that covers us and then the leather covering is a protective layer against the elements and pictures for us that while we are ‘moving home’ we are in the world but not of the world and in Messiah we are sealed!

Verse 9-10 – the lampstand and its utensils were covered with blue and then with leather. We cannot be a light to the world as we sojourn here if we are not clothed in Him in garments of righteousness, which is to do all He has commanded us

Fine leather - תַּחַשׁtaḥash’ – Strong’s H8476. Some believe it was a badger, others a porpoise or sea elephant. This skin would be used as the outer covering of the Dwelling Place that everyone saw. They were tough skins and course and very plain in their appearance. But how does this speak of יהושע? It speaks of what יהושע was to man. There was no outward beauty to the tabernacle proper, so it was with יהושע when He came to earth when He pitched His tabernacle among men. As the prophet foretold:

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 53:1-2 “Who has believed our report? And to whom was the arm of יהוה revealed? 2 For He grew up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or splendour that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should desire Him.

What was יהושע to the Yehuḏim when He came – nothing but a tough badger skin? What is He to the world today? Nothing but a rough and tough badger skin! But to those of us who have opened up our hearts to Him He is so much more. He is our full covering and altogether lovely! The wrapping of this fine leather on these articles reminds us of how Messiah, came and dwelt among us and took on the form of flesh and showed us how to live according to the Torah and so when we are fully clothed in Him we are able to guard His Word and carry it with joy!

Verse 11 – The golden slaughter place was covered with blue and then leather. This was the incense altar and represents our prayers and intercession, who through the Living Torah – יהושע – we can come boldly to the throne and offer up our prayers and petitions with thanksgiving!

Verse 13 – the ashes were removed from the bronze slaughter place and a purple wrapper was to be put over it.

Purple Material - אַרְגָּמָןargaman’ – Strong’s H713. This speaks of Royalty as kings would wear robes of purple. This identifies יהושע as the True King of kings and purple is a mixture of blue and scarlet showing us that He that is from Heaven above (blue) came down and shed His blood (scarlet) and took on the flesh and paid the price and is now exalted on high seated on His Throne. The enemies attempt at counterfeiting the kinship also wears purple (think of Rome and the garments of the Pope and the bishops) while they have no blue in their apparel – the enemy has tried to assume the position with rule and law and imposes his own laws upon those who take up his mark and worship his image! When the Romans mocked יהושע, they put a purple robe on Him and then took it back off; and this pictures how Messiah met all the requirements of the Torah in becoming the perfect sacrifice able to be offered up as the purple wrapper was removed so that He could lay His life down on the Slaughter Place for our sins, and now in Him we are covered and we ‘carry’ in our lives his completed work as He was sacrificed once for all and His work we are able to carry with joy as we count the cost of becoming a daily living sacrifice when we walk according to His commands and put to death the works of the flesh.

 

Verse 15 – only the sons of Qehath were to come and lift up the set-apart objects, once Aharon and his sons had finished covering them. They were not allowed to touch that which was set-apart lest they die and this lesson was quickly learnt by Uzza as we see being recorded in Diḇre haYamim Aleph/1 Chronicles 13:9-10:

And when they came to the threshing-floor of Kiḏon, Uzza put out his hand to hold the ark, for the oxen stumbled. 10 Then the wrath of יהוה burned against Uzza, and He smote him because he put his hand to the ark. And he died there before Elohim.

 

Verse 16-20

El’azar, the son of Aaron, was in charge over the entire tabernacle and given the responsibility for keeping and caring for the lampstand/menorah oil, the incense for the Golden Altar, the grain offering and anointing oil, especially when journeying in the wilderness. These elements are all symbols of our set-apart walk today in יהושע, because without set-apartness no one will see the Master.

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:24 “Pursue peace with all, and pursue apartness without which no one shall see the Master.

Verse 20 – do not go in and watch

Only Aharon and his sons would cover the set-apart objects and then the Qehathites would come and lift them up, for they were not allowed to go in and watch the covering take place. This has a great shadow picture of how the work of יהושע in making Atonement for us in the Most Set-Apart Place and becoming the covering and cleansing for our sins, none of us were allowed to go in and watch:

Yoḥanan/John 13:36 “Shim‘on Kěpha said to Him, “Master, where are You going?” יהושע answered him, “Where I am going you are unable to follow Me now, but afterwards you shall follow Me.

We praise our Master and King יהושע Messiah who has gone and ‘covered’ the lid of Atonement with His Blood that we may enter in with boldness to His Throne of grace, now may we continually guard our charge as a set-apart priesthood in shining His bright Light of His Word in a dark world as we sojourn in the wilderness and learn to hear His voice, until He comes again and comes to dwell with us forever!

Shalom!