Today we finish the book of Leviticus with the Lord’s instructions on redeeming gifts offered to Him. Part of the instructions include assigning values to a person based on their age and usefulness to society and to their property. This would be sort of like a modern day insurance plan. So in the book of Leviticus the Lord gives instructions and laws to the Israelites to teach them how to approach a holy God, how to live holy lives, and how to exist well in community with one another. The book also gives structure to the priesthood and establishes a relationship between the priests and the people. We end Leviticus with the Lord saying, “These are the commandments which the Lord commanded Moses for the children of Israel on Mount Sinai.”
The book of Numbers begins with Moses taking a census on the “first day of the second month, in the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt” of every male “from twenty years old and above – all who are able to go to war in Israel.” The census highlights God’s promise to Abraham, that He would make him a great nation. The seventy Israelites that came to Egypt during the famine have grown to what most scholars believe to be over two million Israelites. Today, Aaron and Moses take a head from each tribe and then count the men over twenty years old eligible for war. Judah, the tribe of the coming Messiah, is the largest tribe. Jacob’s blessing of Joseph’s younger son over the older son is displayed in the census as Ephraim, the youngest son, has a greater tribe than Manasseh, the older son. And we see that the Levites are not included in the census with the other tribes of Israel because they are to be set apart for the work of the tabernacle.
Tomorrow our orderly God further organizes His people for the wilderness journey, so keep reading. (Leviticus 27:1-34, Numbers 1:1-54)