I’ve been reading and digesting the book of Numbers for the
last couple of weeks, making notes on the pages, and had gotten a little distracted last Sabbath by snow, Jeeps, hot chili, and friends. In fact, I forgot much of what I had made notes on until today. I re-started my studies by looking at the guys charged with making offerings at the dedication of the altar in the Tabernacle.
It’s been quite a while since I’ve looked at a list of names that are provided in scripture and the list of people who gave an offering at the dedication of the altar caught my attention. Actually, I thought that I might have already translated this list of names, but upon searching my posts I realized I had done this for Numbers chapter 12.
So, when I translated the names listed in Numbers 7 of those who were making offerings, and the names of their fathers, here is what it looked like:
As I’ve done in the past, I’ve added punctuation, and the occasional verb, preposition, or conjunction so that the translated phrases and words form complete sentences. Those added items are in parenthesis so you can see what I’ve done.
(To the) enchanter (and the) people of liberality, God has given very little. God the Father (is) strong. God the Rock, (the) shedder of light, (brings) peace with God. (Through the) Almighty Rock, God has added (to the) knowledge of God. God has heard (His) people of praise. (They are) the recompense of God, (whom) the Rock has ransomed. (The) Father is judge, hewing down. (Their) brother is help (for the) people of the Almighty (through the) event of God (which brings) trouble; The brother of purpose, the Fountain.
In thousands of years, I truly can’t be the first person who has done this. Many a learned scribe of Israel should have considered this and recognized that each list of names translates into a testimony of our Messiah and God’s plan for deliverance. It breaks my heart to know that the answer was there all along.
Let’s take a look at the offerings that were made by each leader. It’s the same offering for each of them in the English translation. Maybe I’ll get ambitious enough to look at the original Hebrew to see if there are any differences in the characters, or character size.
12 And he that offered his offering the first day was Nahshon the son of Amminadab, of the tribe of Judah:
13 And his offering was one silver charger, the weight thereof was an hundred and thirty shekels, one silver bowl of seventy shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary; both of them were full of fine flour mingled with oil for a meat offering:
14 One spoon of ten shekels of gold, full of incense:
15 One young bullock, one ram, one lamb of the first year, for a burnt offering:
16 One kid of the goats for a sin offering:
17 And for a sacrifice of peace offerings, two oxen, five rams, five he goats, five lambs of the first year: this was the offering of Nahshon the son of Amminadab.
Let’s start with the charger (or plate) in verse 13. The Hebrew word is used a total of 17 times, with three times before the book of Numbers, and 14 times within Numbers. Thereafter, it’s not used. The weight of this plate is 130 shekels, which is a number associated with imperfection.
It’s interesting to note that the next vessel mentioned, is a bowl (or basin) of seventy shekels, which is a number that represents the nations. I suspect that since the diaspora, many tribes of Israel are hidden among these nations – very likely for their own protection and preservation. This Hebrew word, too, is used three times before Numbers, 14 times within Numbers, but is also used another 28 times, all within the description of Solomon’s temple.
You may have read another post of mine that compares the building of Solomon’s temple with the church, making the omission of the original vessel, a plate, being absent. That would certainly point to the rejection of Jesus as Messiah, wouldn’t it?
Also, take note that a plate can’t possibly retain as much
fine flour as a bowl. Imagine carrying a plate of flour when a brisk wind comes
along, versus carrying the same flour in a bowl. I can't even pour it out of a bag without spilling it everywhere.
The third vessel mentioned is a spoon weighing ten shekels, but this vessel carries incense. The Hebrew word is used an amazing 195 times in 180 verses, and also means palm, hand, hollow, or sole. The Gematria value of this Hebrew word is 100.
In verse 15, we have an offering consisting of a bull, a ram, and a lamb of the first year. The easy part is deciphering the lamb of the first year, which is the same terminology as a Passover lamb. A ram seems to symbolize some kind of leadership rather than a young lamb. A ram had its horns caught in a thicket, which became Abraham’s sacrifice instead of Isaac. By the same token, a bull is also a leader. I’m not sure what these other animals signify, but I have a suspicion there’s more to that offering, which is burnt. The total burnt offering is three animals, a significant number.
In verse sixteen, there’s one animal sacrificed…a goat for sin. We can guess who that will be.
And finally, you’ve got to love that the first peace offering sacrifice made for the dedication of the Altar, offered by the tribe of Judah, lists 17 items (the number representing victory) and is located in Numbers 7:17. If you’re a watchman, you know the significance of 717 and the tribe of Judah.
Pretty cool stuff.
Twelve bulls, rams, and lambs comprised the burnt offering, and twelve is a number that usually symbolizes God’s perfect foundation, structure, and completion.
Sixty more of each of these comprised the peace offering for a total of 72 of these animals. But only sixty goats were offered as a sin offering. Sixty is used as a number that specifies a threshold of age or stage of life. Isaac became a father at 60 years old (Gen 25:26). You can bet that changed his life.
Paul indicated the church should financially support widows beginning at sixty years old because they were considered too old to support themselves or remarry.
A sixty year old male could redeem himself from a vow of serving God by paying 15 shekels to the temple, and a woman of the same age could do the same ten shekels (Lev 27:1 - 2, 7). Adult males who were younger had to pay fifty shekels while younger women paid only thirty (verses 3 - 4).
Look at that. The Senior Discount started in Leviticus. Apparently the Glass Ceiling did, too but it looks like it was a good thing, then.
So after these sixty creatures were offered, the altar was
considered dedicated. And the very next thing that happened was…
Moses entering the tent of meeting, and hearing God’s voice from above the mercy seat, telling Moses to give instructions to Aaron about setting up the lampstand, with its seven lamps.
And then the Levites are separated and purified.
The Torah portion in which the dedication starts (Nasso translated as “elevate”) is set for June 10-11, 2022. The verses that describe the lampstand in the tent of meeting (Beha’alotchah translated as “In your making go up,”) is set for June 17-18. Our chapter 8, spiritually speaking, is right around the corner. We can all feel it.