The Book of Numbers 0001 - Lesson 5

Scripture Passage: 
Numbers 4:1-49

Chapter 4

The Work of Setting Forward

  1. THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE KOHATHITES (Numbers 4:4-20)
    1. The Command to Number (Numbers 4:1-3)
    2. The Work of Aaron (Numbers 4:4-15)
      1. The ark of the testimony (Numbers 4:5-6)
        1. Literal instructions
          1. Take down the covering veil and cover the ark of testimony with it.
          2. Put thereon a covering of badgers’ skins.
          3. Spread over it a cloth wholly of blue.
          4. Put in the staves thereof.
        2. Spiritual application
          1. The ark is a type of our Lord Jesus Christ and speaks specifically of the presence of God among His people.
            1. As such we see that the ark itself pictures the presence of God.
            2. The covering veil is typical of the body of flesh that our Saviour adorned while on this earth (Hebrews 10:20).
          2. The extra coverings also point to the dual nature of Jesus Christ.
            1. Humanity (badgers’ skins) - The badgers’ skins were not beautiful.  The color was drab and dull and more than likely the outside would show the wear and tear of the elements.
            2. Deity (cloth wholly of blue) – The color blue usually is typical of royalty or heaven.  As such it is symbolic of the heavenly nature of the God-man.  Notice that it says it was wholly of blue.  As such Jesus Christ was completely God and completely man.
      2. The table of shewbread (Numbers 4:7-8)
        1. Literal instructions
          1. Spread a cloth of blue.
          2. Put thereon
            1. Dishes
            2. Spoons
            3. Bowls
            4. Covers to cover withal
          3. The continual bread shall be thereon.
          4. Spread a cloth of scarlet.
          5. Cover the same with a covering of badgers’ skins.
        2. Spiritual application
          1. The table of shewbread is a type of the word of God.
            1. The word of God is compared to bread in scripture (Matthew 4:4).
            2. There were 12 loaves of bread on the table (1 for each tribe) or 2 rows of 6.  Our Bible is made up of 66 books.
          2. The covering of the table of shewbread bears much of the information concerning how we got our Bible.
            1. Inspiration - The cloth of blue shows that its origin and source are heavenly.  The instruments such as dishes, spoons, bowls, etc., demonstrate that God used instruments to bring us the word and those instruments were the human penmen. (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21).
            2. Preservation – Here the bread is said to be continual.  We know from studying the scriptures that God has promised a continual word.  Not a new word, but rather a preservation of the one He gave in the first place (Psalm 119:89; Psalm 12:6-7).
            3. The cloth of scarlet could be twofold.
              1. Sins are associated with scarlet in the Bible which demonstrates that the Bible is a book that condemns man by showing his sins.
              2. The blood can also be associated with scarlet and certainly the only thing that can cancel out the debt of sin is the blood.  The blood is a central message from the beginning of the Bible all the way through.
      3. The candlestick of the light (Numbers 4:9-10)
        1. Literal instructions
          1. Cover the following with a cloth of blue.
            1. The candlestick of the light
            2. His lamps
            3. His tongs
            4. His snuffdishes
            5. All the oil vessels thereof
          2. Put all of that within a covering of badgers’ skins.
          3. Put it upon a bar.
        2. Spiritual application
          1. The candlestick is a type of the Holy Spirit.
          2. It is He who illuminates us concerning the table of shewbread (the word of God).
          3. The candlestick here is wrapped up in a cloth of blue signifying it as deity and the presence of God.
          4. The candlestick is then placed inside a covering of badgers’ skins.  This pictures that the presence of God in the future would be that of the Holy Spirit residing on the inside of the believer (the badgers’ skins is typical of our body) (John 14:17; Romans 8:9).
      4. The golden altar (Numbers 4:11) – the altar of incense (Exodus 40:26)
        1. Literal instructions
          1. Spread a cloth of blue.
          2. Cover it with a covering of badgers’ skins.
          3. Put to the staves thereof.
        2. Spiritual application
          1. The altar of incense is a type of our prayers.  Notice the simplicity of the packing of the altar  (Revelation 8:4).
          2. This points to the ease by which believers will be able to come to God in the New Testament.  Notice that it is merely the coming together of blue (deity or God) and badgers’ skins (flesh or man).  Nothing is between.
      5. The instruments of ministry (Numbers 4:12)
        1. Literal instructions
          1. Put them in a cloth of blue.
          2. Cover them with a covering of badgers’ skins.
        2. Spiritual application
          1. This could be a type of the fruit of the spirit being placed within a man who is walking in the spirit.
      6. The altar (Numbers 4:13-14)
        1. Literal instructions
          1. Take away the ashes.
          2. Spread a cloth of purple.
          3. Put upon it all the vessels.
            1. The censers
            2. The fleshhooks
            3. The shovels
            4. The basins
            5. All the vessels of the altar
          4. Spread upon it a covering of badgers’ skins.
          5. Put to the staves.
        2. Spiritual application
          1. The altar points to a place of sacrifice.
          2. Taking away the ashes may be symbolic of the fact that bulls and goats cannot satisfy God.
          3. The spreading of the purple cloth once again points to the deity of Christ coming to take the place of the bulls, goats and other sacrifices.
          4. The tools of sacrifice were then laid on the purple cloth, much like the cruelty of crucifixion and judgment of our sins was laid on Him.
          5. The covering of badgers’ skins could once again point to the fact that He (Jesus) was a man.
    3. The Burden of the Kohathites (Numbers 4:15)
      1. Do not touch (Numbers 4:15).
      2. Bear (Numbers 4:15)
        1. The ark of the testimony
        2. The table of shewbread
        3. The candlestick of the light
        4. The golden altar
    4. The Office of Eleazar (Numbers 4:16)
      1. The oil for the light
      2. The sweet incense
      3. The daily meat offering
      4. The anointing oil
      5. The oversight of
        1. All the tabernacle
        2. All that is therein
        3. The sanctuary
        4. The vessels thereof
    5. The Protection of the Kohathites (Numbers 4:17-20)
      1. Do not cut them off (Numbers 4:18).
      2. Can not see the holy things uncovered (Numbers 4:20)
      3. Lest they die (Numbers 4:20)
  2. THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE GERSHONITES (Numbers 4:21-28)
    1. The Command to Number (Numbers 4:21-23)
    2. The Burden of the Gershonites (Numbers 4:24-27)
      1. Bear the curtains of the tabernacle (Numbers 4:25).
      2. The tabernacle of the congregation (Numbers 4:25)
      3. His covering (Numbers 4:25)
      4. The covering of badgers’ skins (Numbers 4:25)
      5. The hanging for the door of the tabernacle of the congregation (Numbers 4:25)
      6. The hangings of the court (Numbers 4:26)
      7. The hanging for the door of the gate of the court (Numbers 4:26)
      8. Their cords (Numbers 4:26)
      9. All the instruments of their service (Numbers 4:26)
      10. All that is made for them (Numbers 4:26)
    3. Under the Hand of Ithamar (Numbers 4:28)
  3. THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE MERARITES (Numbers 4:29-33)
    1. The Command to Number (Numbers 4:29-30)
    2. The Burden of the Merarites (Numbers 4:31-32)
      1. The boards of the tabernacle (Numbers 4:31)
        1. The bars thereof
        2. The pillars thereof
        3. The sockets thereof
      2. Pillars of the court round about (Numbers 4:32)
        1. Their sockets
        2. Their pins
        3. Their cords
        4. Their instruments
    3. Under the Hand of Ithamar (Numbers 4:33)
  4. THE NUMBERING OF THE KOHATHITES (Numbers 4:34-37)
    1. After Their Families (Numbers 4:34)
    2. After the House of Their Fathers (Numbers 4:34)
    3. From 30 Years Old and Upward Even to 50 (Numbers 4:35)
    4. Every One That Entereth into the Service (Numbers 4:35)
    5. Total Number = 2,750 (Numbers 4:36)
  5. THE NUMBERING OF THE GERSHONITES (Numbers 4:38-41)
    1. Throughout Their Families (Numbers 4:38)
    2. By the House of Their Fathers (Numbers 4:38)
    3. From 30 Years Old and Upward Even to 50 (Numbers 4:39)
    4. Every One That Entereth into the Service (Numbers 4:39)
    5. Total Number = 2,630 (Numbers 4:40)
  6. THE NUMBERING OF THE MERARITES (Numbers 4:42-45)
    1. Throughout Their Families (Numbers 4:42)
    2. By the House of Their Fathers (Numbers 4:42)
    3. From 30 Years Old and Upward Even to 50 (Numbers 4:43)
    4. Every One That Entereth into the Service (Numbers 4:43)
    5. Total Number = 3,200 (Numbers 4:44)
  7. THE CONCLUSION OF THE NUMBERING (Numbers 4:46-49)
    1. Numbered According to the Word of the LORD (Numbers 4:49)
    2. By the Hand of Moses (Numbers 4:49)
      1. Aaron (Numbers 4:1, 34, 37, 41, 45)
      2. Chiefs  (Numbers 4:34)
    3. Total Number = 8,580 (Numbers 4:48)
Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 21:30

There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD.
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