This chapter has to do with the vow of the nazarite, which is a vow of complete service to the Lord. This could have been for just a short period of time, or for life. It all depended on the person, male or female. When one makes this vow, they were to abstain from drinking alcohol of any kind, and even eating any part of a grape. The cutting of hair during the vow is forbidden, as it is a sign to people that that person is in service to the Lord. One could not go near any dead body, even that of direct family members. If someone suddenly dies right next to them, then they must wait seven days and then shave their heads. On the eighth day, they are to follow the law of consecration to become ritually clean. Afterward, the hair must grow once again and the vow must completely begin over again, since that person became unclean.

After the period of the vow is over, that person must bring to the entrance of the Tent a one year old lamb for a burnt offering, a one year old ewe for a sin offering, and a ram for a fellowship offering, all without defects. There shall be also be a basket of unleavened bread mingled with olive oil, both thick loaves and cakes, with also an offering of grain and wine. The priest shall present all these to the Lord and make the burnt and sin offering. At the entrance, the one who made the vow would have their head shaved and the hair would be burned in the fire. This is a fellowship offering.

After the shoulder of the ram is boiled, the priest shall put it in the hands of the nazarite, along with a loaf and cake of bread from the basket. Then the priest shall present them to the Lord, meaning they are only for the priest, as does the breast and leg of the ram. Afterward, the nazarite, meaning the one who made this vow, could drink wine.

The Lord then commanded Moses to tell Aaron and his sons to use the following blessing to the children of Israel:

May the Lord bless you and keep you
May the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you
May the Lord look favorably upon you and give you peace

God said that if Aaron and his sons put the name of the Lord into the children of Israel, He will bless their nation.



The Lord told Moses to command the Israelites to remove those who have leprosy (or any other dreaded skin diseases), bodily discharges, or anyone who was made unclean by touching a dead person or animal from the camp. God wanted them removed so He could live among the people. Once these people became clean, then they were allowed back in.

God gave Moses directions to give Israel over the payment of sin. When one sins against another, they must confess their sin, and pay the value of their sin plus an additional twenty percent. These sins are those that cause financial harm. If the person that was sinned against dies before confession and payment is made, and there are no near relatives, then the sinner must go to the priest and give him the payment. This is in addition to the ram as the sin offering.

If a man suspects his spouse of having an affair, but doesn’t have the proof, he shall bring her to the priest, and an offering of barley flour without any oil. The priest shall take some holy water in an clay vessel, and dust from the floor of the tabernacle and put it in the water. The priest shall uncover her head and have her hold the flour in her hands. The priest shall hold the bowl that brings about the curse. The priest shall make the woman take an oath, that if she is innocent, nothing will happen to her, but if she is guilty, then she shall be cursed and have her genitals shrink and stomach swell. She will then drink this water after the priest writes this curse down and use some of the water to wash it away. The priest shall then take the flour and burn it on the altar as an offering to the Lord. If the woman was guilty, she would feel pain after drinking the water, then she will also suffer the consequences. This sounds odd, but this is how it was when they had the presence of the Lord with them, and He wanted desperately to remove sin from the children of Israel before they entered the promised land. He knew He needed to remove the opening for Satan from the Israelites long enough so the Christ could be born to die as a living sacrifice for this creation. Everything depended on that. For more about that, read my lesson for Genesis chapter three.


God said to Moses and Aaron to take the sons of Kohath, one of the three sons of Levi, of which Moses and Aaron were part of, between the ages of thirty and fifty, to do the work in the Tent of His presence concerning the most holy things. When the camp goes on the journey, Aaron and his sons were to take down the vail and use it to cover the ark of the covenant. The Aaron and his sons would then use the cloth to cover the table for the shewbread, dishes, incense bowls, offering bowls, and glasses for the wine offering. There shall always be bread on the table. Over the cloth shall be a leather covering, then the carrying poles shall be inserted into the hoops of the ark. They shall take another blue cloth and cover lampstands, lamps, and all olive oil containers. Another leather cover shall be put on all these. Another blue cloth shall be put over the gold altar with a leather covering over that, then insert the poles into the hoops to carry the altar. All the utensils were to be covered in a blue cloth and a leather covering. The oily ashes from the altar shall be emptied, then a purple cloth shall cover it. The Kohathites would then carry these things as they travelled after Aaron and his sons covered these items. The Kohathites were not to touch any of the items directly or they will die. Eleazar, the son of Aaron would be responsible for the whole Tent and oil for lamps, incense, grain offerings, anointing oil, and everything else in the Tent. God instructed Moses and Aaron to make sure the Kohathites kept these rules and sacred instruments.

God told Moses and Aaron to number the sons of Gershon from thirty to fifty, as they did with the sons of Kohath. They shall bear the curtains of the tabernacle on the trip, the tabernacle of congregation and its covering, their cords, and all the instruments involved with those things. Ithamar, Aaron’s son shall be in charge of them.

Moses and Aaron were also to number the sons of Merari, of the same ages as Kohath and Gershon. They shall take the boards of the tabernacle, pillars, and sockets thereof. They were to also carry the pillars of the court that go by the tabernacle, their sockets, pins, cords, and all the pertaining instruments. Ithamar shall also oversee them.

The number of the sons of Kohath who were within the years of service were two thousand, seven hundred and fifty. The number of the sons of Gershon were two thousand, six hundred and thirty. The number of the sons of Merari were thirty-two hundred. The total number for service among these three clans were eighty-five hundred and eighty.


The beginning of this chapter spoke of Aaron’s sons. Nadab and Abihu were killed for disobeying God and offering strange fire, and they had no sons. Aaron’s younger sons Eleazar and Ithamar then took over the duties, which would be perpetual throughout the generations from Aaron. God told Moses to bring the Levites close and present themselves to Aaron to help him with his duties, including the carrying and keeping charge of the tabernacle.

God wanted Moses to number the Levites, from one month old and up. From the family of Gershon was seven thousand and five hundred, and they were to be in charge of the tabernacle, tent, covering, door, hangings in the court, the curtain for the door of the court, and the cords. From the family of Kohath was eight thousand and six hundred, and their duties included the ark of the covenant, the table, candlestick, altars, vessels of the sanctuary, hanging, and the service thereof. From Merari was six thousand and two hundred, and their duties were the boards of the tabernacle, bars, pillars, sockets, and vessels thereof. Also the pillars of the court, and their sockets, vessels, and all services thereof. All of the families of the Levites were twenty-two thousand.

God decided to take the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the tribes of Israel. For the over two hundred thousand firstborn of Israel, they were to give five shekels to Aaron and his sons as a redemption for God choosing the Levites after changing His mind. Moses collected the money and gave it to Aaron.


God gave Moses and Aaron instructions over the arrangements of each tribe at the encampment. Each man was to camp around the banner of his division and tribe. The tribe of Judah was to march first from the east, leading also the tribes of Issachar and Zebulun on the east. The leaders of each tribe are listed in the previous chapter lesson. Reuben was to go next, with the tribes of Simeon and Gad on the south. The Levites would be between Judah’s group and Reuben’s group with the Tent of Meeting. The group of Ephraim was next, with Manasseh and Benjamin on the west. On the north was Dan, along with Asher and Naphtali. The Israelites gathered and marched under their banner just as God told them to do.

There were three tribes on each side, including the half tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim, while the Levites were not accounted for war because they were not to fight.


God had Moses on the first day of the second month of the second year after they left Egypt number all the men of Israel twenty years and older and were able to go for war. Each tribe was given a head. From Reuben- Elizur; from Simeon- Shelumiel; from Judah- Nahshon; from Issachar- Nethaneel; from Zebulun- Eliab; from Joseph through Ephraim- Elishama; from Joseph through Manasseh-Gamaliel; from Bemjamin-Abidan; from Dan-Ahiezer; from Asher-Pagiel; from Gad-Eliasaph; and from Naphtali- Ahira. Those numbered able for war from Reuben were forty-six thousand and five hundred. From the tribe of Simeon were fifty-nine thousand and three hundred. From the tribe of Gad were forty-five thousand and six hundred. From the tribe of Judah were seventy-four thousand and six hundred. From the tribe of Issachar were fifty-four thousand and four hundred. From the tribe of Zebulun were fifty-seven thousand and four hundred. From the half-tribe of Ephraim were forty thousand and five hundred. From the half-tribe of Manasseh were thirty-two thousand and two hundred. From the tribe of Benjamin were thirty-five thousand and four hundred. From the tribe of Dan were sixty-two thousand and seven hundred. From the tribe of Asher were forty-one thousand and five hundred. From the tribe of Naphtali were fifty-three thousand and four hundred. All of them numbered together were six hundred and three thousand and five hundred fifty. The Levites were not to ge numbered because they were to not serve for war. Instead they would minister over the tabernacle of testimony. Only the Levites could come to it. The Israelites did as commanded by Moses.


The Lord said through Moses that if any person is given to the Lord as part of a vow for servitude , then they can be freed with payment to the priests. These were the scales: adult male between 20-60 was fifty pieces of silver; adult female was thirty; young male between 5-20 was twenty; young female was ten; male under 5 was five; female under 5 was three; male above 60 was fifteen; and females above 60 was ten pieces of silver. If any makes a vow and are too poor to pay the standard price, then that person must bring in the person that was offered for the vow to the priests where they will then determine a price. If the vow concerns an animal, then it should be an animal acceptable to the Lord. If it is an animal that is determined to be unclean, then the priest shall determine its value. If that person wants to buy the animal back, they must pay the determined value and add a fifth to it.

If the offering is a house, the priest shall determine its value. If the person wants to buy back the house, then they must pay the value and add a fifth to it. If it is land that is offered, then the priest will determine its value by how much seed it takes to sow it. The rate is ten pieces of silver per bushel of barley. If the dedication is immediately after the year of jubilee (also known as year of restoration), then the full price applies. If it’s sometime after, then the priest will determine its value considering to the number of years until the next jubilee. If the land is sold to another before the year of jubilee, then they lose all right to buy it back. If it isn’t sold to another, then the land will be returned to the vowmaker at the next jubilee, or to his descendants.

All firstling animals already belong to the Lord, so it can’t be rededicated as an freewill offering. The best animals are to be offered and substitutions are not allowed. One tenth, or a tithe of the produce of the land belongs to the Lord.