Numbers 1:50 Index
"But thou shalt appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of testimony, and over all the vessels thereof, and over all things that belong to it: they shall bear the tabernacle, and all the vessels thereof; and they shall minister unto it, and shall encamp round about the tabernacle."
Research Material

"...tabernacle of testimony..."

  • "Testimony" refers to the Ten Commandments. It is found 61 times in the OT. When it is used in connection with the ark, the veil, Aaron's rod, an individual, or the congregation as a whole, the emphasis and importance lie with the Ten Commandments (Exodus 25:16). The high honor of the ark was not due to anything inherent within the piece of furniture itself, but to the fact that it was the resting place of the two tables of stone inscribed with the Ten Commandments. The word "testimony" is occasionally translated "witness" (Numbers 17:7,8; 2 Chronicles 24:6) are suggestive of the fact that the Ten Commandments speak of the moral and ethical nature of Jehovah's character, and that He looks for the same characteristics to be manifested in His people. (1BC 827)

"...they shall minister unto it..."

  • The word thus translated is used in Numbers for the sacred service of the Levites only. The meaning of the word is always honorable, and refers also to the holy ministrations of angels (Hebrews 1:14). In its various forms it is used of certain kinds of secular service of special importance or responsibility,of Joshua the personal servant of Moses (Exodus 24:13; 33:11), and of the personal ministry of Elisha for Elijah (1 Kings 19:21). (1BC 827)