3. a. Purpose of the census—
- To create a registry of the men who are able to go to war—Numbers 1:3
b. The Levites were not included in the military because of their priestly duties.—Numbers 1:47-53
- Be responsible for the Tabernacle of the Covenant, along with all its furnishings and equipment.
- Carry the Tabernacle and furnishings as they travel.
- Camp around it to protect it.
- Take it down when it’s time to move.
- Set it back up when they camp.
- Kill any unauthorized person who comes near it.
c. The total number of men age 20 and older counted in the census was 603,550.
d. My estimate of the total population at that time—3,966,875 or around 4 million
Given the Israeli population explosion in Egypt, I estimated a conservative birth-rate.
- The population of the Levite tribe = 22,000 men one month and older. This figure includes children. I assume an equal number of Levite women and girls.
- The number of adult women of non-Levite tribes is about the same as the number of adult men = 603,550
- Most were married by the age of 20. Some probably had no children yet. So I assumed the average number of children per non-Levite couples = 4 = 2,414,000
- The generation of non-Levite men age 50 and older is not given. Since the men age twenty to fifty are the sons of the older generation, that group is likely smaller. Probably 25%. = 150,888
- Total Levites = 44,000
- Total non-Levite men age 20-50 = 603,550
- Total non-Levite women age 20-50 = 603,550
- Total non-Levite children = 2,414,000
- Total non-Levites male and female age 50 and older = 301,775
I spent way too much time on this question, and likely miscalculated somewhere along the line. What number did you come up with?
e. The census revealed God’s faithfulness—
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty.’ Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life. I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to give you countless descendants.” Genesis 17:1-2 NLT
I will cause your descendants to become as numerous as the stars of the sky, and I will give them all these lands. And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed. Genesis 26:4 NLT
Your descendants will be as numerous as the dust of the earth! They will spread out in all directions—to the west and the east, to the north and the south. And all the families of the earth will be blessed through you and your descendants. What’s more, I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.”Genesis 28:14-15 NLT
4. a. The Tabernacle was set up in the center of the camp (Numbers 2:2)
with the Levites camped around it. (Numbers 1:53)
b. God instructed the people to make a holy sanctuary so He had a place to live among them. Exodus 25:8
c. Fulfilling the destiny for which I was created is the consuming desire of my heart.
My flesh wants to do its own thing.
My family isn’t always pleased with my attention to their desires and needs, but they do say things that shock me. I hear the word “saint” on occassion. One daughter-in-law who isn’t a believer, asked me if I was going for sainthood.
I miss the mark so often, those comments only give me a momentary distraction from the raging battle between my redeemed spirit and my flesh.
5. a. Number and names of the priests—
- Nadab (died in the Lord’s presence)
- Abihu (died in the Lord’s presence)
b. The other Levites served as assistants to Aaron and the entire community.
- Performed sacred duties in and around the Tabernacle
- Maintained the furnishings of the sacred tent
- The Kohathites were in charge of the most sacred objects—
- Take down the inner curtain and cover the Ark of the Covenant with it.
- Cover the inner curtain with fine goatskin leather and spread over that a single piece of blue cloth.
- Put the carrying poles of the Ark in place
- Spread the blue cloth over the Bread of the Presence table.
- On the cloth place the bowls, ladles, jars pitchers, and the special bread.
- Cover all that with a scarlet cloth.
- Then a covering of mine goatskin leather on top of the scarlet cloth.
- Put the carrying poles into the table.
- Cover the incense altar with blue cloth and goatskin, then attach the poles.
- Take the remaining furnishings, wrap them in blue cloth and goatskin, and place them on the carrying frame.
- Remove ashes from the bronze altar, spread a purple cloth over it, and place all the equipment on it. Spread a manatee skin over it and insert its poles.
- Aaron and his sons finished covering the holy objects and equipment.
- The Kohathites carried the holy objects.
- Eleazer was in charge of the lamp oil, incense, grain offering and anointing oil. He managed the entire tabernacle and its contents.
- Gershonites carried the curtains, coverings, screens, hangings, ropes and their equipment.
- Merarites carried the supports, crossbars, posts, bases, tent pegs, and ropes plus the related equipment.
c. Lessons I can learn from the priests’ helpers—
It took a lot of hands to set up, take down, and transport all of those items. Everyone’s assigned duty was essential to God and the entire community.
I find the New Testament more applicable. God no longer requires special buildings. We no longer have holy items.
Under the New Covenant, some of our instructions are—
- Serve one another 1 Peter 4:10-11
- Do good to everyone, and especially (but not limited to) those who are of the household of faith. from Galatians 6:10
- See http://www.openbible.info/topics/serving_the_church for more scriptures.
He also instructed us to “Go.” Don’t limit our activities to the inside of a special building among other believers. Those who teach and disciple are to equip others to do the same. “Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.” Ephesians 4:11-12 NLT
All true believers are deputized, authorized priests and carriers of the presence of God and the gospel of peace. The Holy Spirit lives in us and through us.
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These are MY answers to BSF study questions, not THE answers.