Offerings of the leaders

If you’ve ever heard someone vow, “If I were rich, I’d give away most of my money,” don’t bank on it. The stats show that people with higher incomes give away a smaller percentage of their wealth.A survey shows: Under $10,000 - 3.6%, $50,000 - 74,999 - 2.0%, and $75,000 … More


This chapter points back to a month earlier when the tabernacle had just been completed and dedicated. In preparation for the move from Sinai to the Promised Land the tribal leaders brought to the Lord gifts of six wagons and 12 oxen (vv. 1-3). These, they said, were to be at the disposal of the Levites to help them in their work of transporting the tabernacle and its contents (vv. 4-5). Moses therefore distributed the oxen and carts as follows: two carts and four oxen to the Gershonites (vv. 6-7), four carts and eight oxen to the Merarites (v. 8), but none to the Kohathites (v. 9) because they were to bear the sacred objects on their shoulders (4:15). Failure to do this later brought great grief to David and his servants when the ark was transported from the house of Abinadab to Jerusalem (2 Sam. 6:3, 7-8).

Each of the 12 tribal leaders (1:5-15) brought offerings for the dedication of the altar (vv. 10-17).  All the remaining tribal leaders brought identical gifts, each on consecutive days (vv 18-83). The 12 days spanned by these offerings most likely commenced with the first day of the first month of the second year since the Exodus (Ex. 40:17) and continued through the 12th day of that month. The order of  their gifts corresponds  with the arrangement of the tribes around the tabernacle (2:3-31).

The presentations of the 12 leaders (vv. 12-83) were summarized and totaled.

When the altar was dedicated to the LORD, these twelve leaders brought the following gifts: twelve silver bowls and twelve silver sprinkling bowls, weighing a total of about sixty pounds, according to the official standards; twelve gold dishes filled with incense and weighing about three pounds; twelve bulls, twelve full-grown rams, and twelve rams a year old as sacrifices to please the LORD, along with the proper grain sacrifices; twelve goats as sacrifices for sin. The pleasure of the Lord may be suggested by His communication to Moses (v. 89).


I need to do my giving while I’m living so I’ll know where it is going.

Numbers 7:1-89 (English Standard Version)

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