Numbers 3

Numbers 3


This is the lineageI of AaronII and MosesIII at the timeIV

Notes on verse 1a

I “lineage” = toledoth. From yalad (to bear, bring forth; can mean to act as midwife or to show one’s lineage). This is generations descent, family, or history.
II “Aaron” = Aharon. Derivation uncertain. May mean “bearer of martyrs” OR be related to Ancient Egyptian ꜥḥꜣ rw (warrior lion) OR elevated, exalted, high mountain. This is Aaron. See
III “Moses” = Mosheh. From mashah (to pull out in a literal or figurative sense, to draw out) OR from Egyptian mes or mesu (child, son i.e. child of…). This is Moses – the one drawn out from the water, which is to say, rescued. If derived from the Egyptian, his name would share a root with Rameses and Thutmose.
IV “time” = yom. Root may mean being hot. This is the day in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean birth, age, daylight, continually or other references to time.

when the LordV spokeVI with Moses on MountVII Sinai.VIII 

Notes on verse 1b

V “Lord” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
VI “spoke” = dabar. This is generally to speak, answer, declare, or command. It might mean to arrange and so to speak in a figurative sense as arranging words.
VII “Mount” = har. From harar (hill or mountain). This is mountain, hill, hilly region.
VIII “Sinai” = Sinay. Probably from the same as Sin (Sin, a city meaning “clay” or “bush);{perhaps from asam (to gather, store) OR from seneh (thorn bush) OR related to Aramaic siyn (a god called Sin) OR perhaps Hebrew siyn (related to mud or clay)}. This is Sinai – a place whose name may mean “bush of the Lord” or “muddy.” See

These are the namesIX of the sonsX of Aaron: NadabXI the firstbornXII

Notes on verse 2a

IX “names” = shem. May be from sum (to put, place, set). This is name, fame, renown. A name was thought to indicate something essential about a person – something about their individuality. So, this word can also mean honor, authority, or character.
X “sons” = ben. From banah (to build or obtain children). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense.
XI “Nadab” = Nadab. From nadab (to offer voluntarily, incite, impel; to volunteer to be a soldier or offer freely). This is Nadab, a name meaning “liberal” or “willing” or “volunteer” or “generous” or “noble.” See
XII “firstborn” = bekor. From bakar (to bear fruit, be firstborn, firstling, that which opens the womb, give the birthright to). This is firstborn or chief.

and Abihu,XIII Eleazar,XIV and Ithamar;XV 

Notes on verse 2b

XIII “Abihu” = Abihu. 12x in OT. From ab (father in a literal or figurative sense – grandfather, chief, ancestor) + hu (third person pronoun – he, she, it). This is Abihu, a name meaning “he is father” or “worshipper of God.” See 
XIV “Eleazar” = Elazar. From El (God, a god) + azar (to help, protect, support, ally; properly, to surround so as to provide aid). This is Elezar or Elazar, meaning “God has helped” or “God is helper.”
XV “Ithamar” = Ithamar. From i (coastland, island, or region. It is a desirable place to live – dry land, coast); {perhaps from avah (to desire, crave, wish for, lust after)} + tamar (root may mean being erect; a date palm or other palm tree; the root of Tamar’s name); {from the same as tomer (palm tree, the trunk of that tree, a post)}. This is Ithamar, a name meaning “land of palms” or “coast of the palm tree” or “palm coast.” See

these are the names of the sons of Aaron, the anointedXVI priests,XVII whom he ordainedXVIII to serve as priests.XIX 

Notes on verse 3

XVI “anointed” = mashach. This is smear, paint, spread, or paint. It can also be to rub with oil or, otherwise stated, to anoint. This implies a consecration. This root verb is where the word “messiah” comes from.
XVII “priests” = kohen. This is literally the one who officiates i.e. the priest. This is where the Jewish last name “Cohen” (and its variants) comes from.
XVIII “ordained” = male + yad. Literally, “he filled with strength.” Male is fill, satisfy, replenish, accomplish, fulfill, confirm, or consecrate. It is fill in a literal or figurative sense. Yad is hand, ability, power. Hand in a literal sense, but also what one can do or the means by which one does it.
XIX “serve as priests” = kahan. Related to “priests” in v3. From kohen (see note XVII above). This is officiating as a priest does over religious service. It can also figuratively mean donning regalia or formal ornamentation/attire.

Nadab and Abihu diedXX beforeXXI the Lord when they offeredXXII unholyXXIII fireXXIV beforeXXV the Lord 

Notes on verse 4a

XX “died” = mut. This is to die in a literal or figurative sense. It can also refer to being a dead body.
XXI “before” = paneh. From panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.
XXII “offered” = qarab. This is to come near, offer, make ready, approach, take.
XXIII “unholy” = zur. This is to come from somewhere else – a stranger. It is to stop for lodging. Figuratively, it can also mean to profane or commit adultery.
XXIV “fire” = esh. This is fire, burning, flaming, hot. It is fire in a literal or figurative sense.
XXV “before” = paneh. Same as “before” in v4. See note XXI above.

in the wildernessXXVI of Sinai, and they hadXXVII no children.XXVIII Eleazar and Ithamar served as priests in the lifetimeXXIX of their fatherXXX Aaron.

Notes on verse 4b

XXVI “wilderness” = midbar. Related to “spoke” in v1. From dabar (see note VI above). This is mouth or speech. It can also be desert or wilderness. Additionally, it can be used for a pasture to which one drives cattle.
XXVII “had” = hayah. Related to “Lord” in v1. See note V above.
XXVIII “children” = ben. Same as “sons” in v2. See note X above.
XXIX “lifetime” = paneh. Same as “before” in v4. See note XXI above.
XXX “father” = ab. Related to “Abihu” in v2. See note XIII above.

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Bring the tribeXXXI of LeviXXXII nearXXXIII and setXXXIV them beforeXXXV Aaron the priest, so that they may assistXXXVI him. 

Notes on verses 5-6

XXXI “tribe” = matteh. From natah (to stretch or spread out, extend, bend). This is a staff, rod, branch, or tribe. It could be a rod for discipline or correction. It could be a scepter to indicate authority, a throwing lance, or a walking staff. Figuratively, it could also be something that supports life (like bread).
XXXII “Levi” = Levi. Perhaps from lavah (to join, twine, unite, remain, borrow, lend). This is Levi, perhaps meaning “attached.” It can refer to Jacob’s son, his tribe, and descendants.
XXXIII “bring…near” = qarab. Same as “offered” in v4. See note XXII above.
XXXIV “set” = amad. This is to stand up in a literal or figurative sense. So it can be establish, continue, endure, take a stand, act, be a servant, stand still, remain, stand against an enemy.
XXXV “before” = paneh. Same as “before” in v4. See note XXI above.
XXXVI “assist” = sharath. This is ministering, serving, or waiting on. It can refer to one offering service as a worshipper or one serving as a servant.

7 They shall performXXXVII dutiesXXXVIII for him and for the wholeXXXIX congregationXL in front ofXLI

Notes on verse 7a

XXXVII “perform” = shamar. This is to keep, watch, or preserve. It means to guard something or to protect it as a thorny hedge protects something.
XXXVIII “duties” = mishmereth. Related to “perform” in v7. From mishmar (jail, guard, watch, guard post); from shamar (see note XXXVII above). This is a guard or watch or guard post. It is used figuratively for obligation, duty, or observance, including religious observance.
XXXIX “whole” = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.
XL “congregation” = edah. From yaad (to appoint, assemble or gather selves, agree) OR from ed (witness, testimony, recorder); from ud (to admonish, repeat, duplicate, testify, restore, record, relieve). This is a congregation, assembly, or company. It could be a family, crowd, or fixture.
XLI “in front of” = paneh. Same as “before” in v4. See note XXI above.

the tentXLII of meeting,XLIII doingXLIV serviceXLV at the tabernacle;XLVI 

Notes on verse 7b

XLII “tent” = ohel. Perhaps from ahal (to shine, be clear). This is a tent, covering, home, or side pillar.
XLIII “meeting” = moed. Related to “congregation” in v7. From yaad (see note XL above). This is a meeting, assembly, fixed time. It can be used for a festival or feast. It can also refer to a meeting place.
XLIV “doing” = abad. This is to work, serve, or compel. It can describe any kind of work or service (including religious devotion).  Also, till or cultivate. Used causatively, it can mean to enslave or keep in bondage.
XLV “service” = abodah. Related to “doing” in v7. From abad (see note XLIV above). This is labor, service, bondage, job, servitude, worker. It can refer to any kind of work.
XLVI “tabernacle” = mishkan. From shakan (to settle down in the sense of residing somewhere or staying there permanently; to abide or continue). This is a place where one lives – a tabernacle, tent, or other kind of dwelling. It can also be a lair where animals live, the grave, the Temple, or the Tabernacle.

they shall be in charge ofXLVII allXLVIII the furnishingsXLIX of the tent of meeting and attend toL the duties for the IsraelitesLI as they do service at the tabernacle. 

Notes on verse 8

XLVII “be in charge of” = shamar. Same as “perform” in v7. See note XXXVII above.
XLVIII “all” = kol. Same as “whole” in v7. See note XXXIX above.
XLIX “furnishings” = keli. From kalah (to end, be finished, complete, prepare, consume, spent, or completely destroyed). This is something that was prepared – any implement, utensil, article, vessel, weapon, or instrument. Also includes jewels, weapons, bags, carriages, and furniture.
L “attend to” = abad. Same as “doing” in v7. See note XLIV above.
LI “Israelites” = ben + Yisrael. Literally, “children of Israel.” Ben is the same as “sons” in v2. See note X above. Yisrael is related to “Eleazar” in v2. From sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + el (see note XIV above). This is Israel, meaning God strives or one who strives with God; new name for Jacob and for his offspring. This refers to the people and to the land.

You shall giveLII the Levites to Aaron and his descendants;LIII they are unreservedly givenLIV to him from among the Israelites. 10 But you shall enrollLV Aaron and his descendants; it is they who shall attendLVI to the priesthood,LVII

Notes on verses 9-10a

LII “give” = natan. This is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively.
LIII “descendants” = ben. Same as “sons” in v2. See note X above.
LIV “unreservedly given” = natan + natan. Same as “give” in v9. See note LII above.
LV “enroll” = paqad. This is to attend to or visit – can be used for a friendly or violent encounter. So, it can be to oversee, care for, avenge, or charge.
LVI “attend” = shamar. Same as “perform” in v7. See note XXXVII above.
LVII “priesthood” = kehunnah. Related to “priests” and “serve as priests” in v3. 14x in OT. From the same as kohen (see note XVII above). This is priesthood or the duties of being a priest.

and any outsiderLVIII who comes nearLIX shall be put to death.”LX

11 Then the LordLXI spoke to Moses, saying, 12 “I herebyLXII takeLXIII the Levites

Notes on verses 10b-12a

LVIII “outsider” = zur. Same as “unholy” in v4. See note XXIII above.
LIX “comes near” = qarab. Same as “offered” in v4. See note XXII above.
LX “put to death” = mut. Same as “died” in v4. See note XX above.
LXI “Lord” = YHVH. Related to “Lord” in v1 & “had” in v4. From the same as YHVH (see note V above). It has a different vowel pointing, but the same meaning as “Lord.”
LXII “hereby” = hinneh. From hen (lo! Behold! If, though; an expression of surprise). This is to draw attention, show suddenness or surprise, or to emphasize the importance of the coming statement. See! Lo! Behold!
LXIII “take” = laqach. This is to take, accept, carry away, receive. It can also have the sense of take a wife or take in marriage.

from amongLXIV the Israelites as substitutes forLXV all the firstborn that openLXVI the wombLXVII among the Israelites. The Levites shall beLXVIII mine, 

Notes on verse 12b

LXIV “from among” = tavek. This is among, middle, in the midst, the center. Perhaps, properly, to sever.
LXV “for” = tachat. This is underneath, below, the bottom, instead of.
LXVI “open” = peter. 12x in OT. From patar (to separate, free, open, shoot out, emit, remove; this is to open up in a literal or figurative way). This is a firstling, firstborn, or opening. It is the thing that is the first to open.
LXVII “womb” = rechem. Related to racham (compassion, tender love, womb, compassion; the womb as that which cherishes the fetus). This is a womb.
LXVIII “be” = hayah. Same as “had” in v4. See note XXVII above.

13 for all the firstborn are mine; whenLXIX I killedLXX all the firstborn in the landLXXI of Egypt,LXXII

Notes on verse 13a

LXIX “when” = yom. Literally, “on the day.” Same as “time” in v1. See note IV above.
LXX “killed” = nakah. This is to hit whether lightly or severely. It can be used in a literal or figurative sense. So, this could be beat, punish, give wounds, kill, or slaughter.
LXXI “land” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.
LXXII “Egypt” = Mitsrayim. Perhaps from matsor (besieged or fortified place, bulwark, entrenchment; something hemmed in; a siege or distress or fastness); from tsur (to confine, besiege, to cramp). This is Egypt.

I consecratedLXXIII for my own all the firstborn in Israel, both humanLXXIV and animal;LXXV they shall be mine. I am the Lord.”LXXVI

Notes on verse 13b

LXXIII “consecrated” = qadash. From qodesh (set apart and so sacred; God is different from us and so God is holy/set apart; things we dedicate to God’s service are set apart for God and so they, too, are holy); related to qadash (set apart, consecrated, hallowed, sanctified; something or someone set apart for a holy purpose or use – ceremonially or morally clean). This is sacred or holy in a ritual or moral sense. As a noun, it refers to a holy one (like a saint or angel), a holy place (the sanctuary), or God (the Holy One).
LXXIV “human” = adam. Perhaps from adam (to be red, make ruddy); related to adamah (ground, dirt, earth). This is man, humankind, also Adam’s name. It refers to a human individual or humanity.
LXXV “animal” = behemah. This is animal or cattle. It is often used of large quadrupeds.
LXXVI “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note V above.

14 Then the LordLXXVII spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, saying, 15 “Enroll the LevitesLXXVIII by ancestralLXXIX housesLXXX and by clans.LXXXI

Notes on verses 14-15a

LXXVII “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note V above.
LXXVIII “Levites” = ben + Levi. Literally, “children of Levi.” Ben is the same as “sons” in v2. See note X above. Levi is the same as “Levi” in v6.  See note XXXII above.
LXXIX “ancestral” = ab. Same as “father” in v4. See note XXX above.
LXXX “houses” = bayit. Related to “sons” in v2. Probably from banah (see note X above). This is house, court, family, palace, temple.
LXXXI “clans” = mishpachah. From the same as shiphcah (maid, maidservant); root means to spread out. This is one’s circle of relatives – clan, family, kindred.

You shall enroll everyLXXXII maleLXXXIII from a monthLXXXIV oldLXXXV and up.”LXXXVI 

Notes on verse 15b

LXXXII “every” = kol. Same as “whole” in v7. See note XXXIX above.
LXXXIII “male” = zakar. From zakar (to remember, to mark something so that it can be recalled, to be mindful of, to mention). This is male. Properly, perhaps, it means one who is remembered, which is to say a male.
LXXXIV “month” = chodesh. From chadash (to renew, repair). This refers to a new moon. It can also mean monthly.
LXXXV “old” = ben. Same as “sons” in v2. See note X above.
LXXXVI “up” = maal. From alah (to go up, ascend, be high, be a priority; to arise in a literal or figurative sense). This is the upper part, forward, high above, upwards, greater, heaven, or exceedingly.

16 So Moses enrolled them according to the wordLXXXVII of the Lord,LXXXVIII as he was commanded.LXXXIX 17 These were the sons of Levi, by their names: Gershon,XC Kohath,XCI and Merari.XCII 

Notes on verses 16-17

LXXXVII “word” = peh. This is mouth in a literal or figurative sense. So, more literally, it can be beak or jaws. More figuratively, it refers to speech, commands, or promises.
LXXXVIII “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note V above.
LXXXIX “commanded” = tsavah. This is to charge, command, order, appoint, or enjoin. This is the root that the Hebrew word for “commandment” comes from (mitsvah).
XC “Gershon” = Gereshon. 17x in OT. From garash (to cast out or expel; to exile someone or to divorce them). Gerson is a personal name, meaning “refugee,” “exiled one.” See
XCI “Kohath” = Qehath. Perhaps from a root meaning to ally OR fromm yaqa (to obey, be pious) OR qavah (to wait, look, gather together, bind together, collect; figuratively, to expect). This is Kohath, perhaps meaning “allied,” “obedience,” “gathering,” or “congregation.” See
XCII “Merari” = Merari. From marar (to be bitter, embittered, weep, troubled). This is Merari, a name meaning “bitterness,” “bitter,” or “my strength.” See

18 These were the names of the sons of Gershon by their clans: LibniXCIII and Shimei.XCIV 19 The sons of Kohath by their clans: Amram,XCV

Notes on verses 18-19a

XCIII “Libni” = Libni. 5x in OT. From laben (to be or make white, to make bricks). This is Libni, a name meaning “white,” “pure,” or “my whiteness.” See
XCIV “Shimei” = Shimi. From shama (hear, call, consent, or consider; implies listening intelligently, giving attention; obedience and action are often implied). This is Shmei or Shimeah.
XCV “Amram” = Amram. 14x in OT. From the same as Omri (Omri, a name meaning “heaping”); {from amar (to bind sheaves, heap)} OR from am (people or nation; a tribe, troops or armies; figuratively, a flock of animals); {from amam (to darken, hide, associate; creating shadows by huddling together)} + rum (rise, bring up, being high, extol, exalt, haughty; to raise in a literal or figurative sense). This is Amram, a name meaning “high people” or “riveted” or “enthralled” or “people of exaltation” or “a people exalted” or “long lives” or “worshippings.” See

Izhar,XCVI Hebron,XCVII and Uzziel.XCVIII 

Notes on verse 19b

XCVI “Izhar” = Yitshar. 9x in OT. From tsohar (to press oil or glisten); from tsahar (pressing oil, glistening); perhaps from yitshar (fresh oil, anointed; oil as that which is burned to make light; used figuratively to talk about anointing). This is Izhar, a name meaning “he will be ripe” or “he will produce oil” or “shining” or “anointed.” See
XCVII “Hebron” = Chebron. From cheber (company, society, enchantment, wide); from chabar (to unite, ally, attach, touch; to join in a literal or figurative sense; also, specially, using magic knots or spells to fascinate or connect). This is Hebron, meaning “seat of association” or “league.”
XCVIII “Uzziel” = Uzziel. Related to “Eleazar” in v2 & “Israelites” in v8. 16x in OT. From oz (strength in the sense of force, majesty, praise, material and physical strength, the abstract notion of security; also social or political power); {from azaz (to be strong, become fixed, be bold, prevail, be impudent; it means to be stout literally or figuratively. A Late Hebrew word) + el (see note XIV above)}. This is Uzziel, a name meaning, “my strength is God” or “strength of God.” See

20 The sons of Merari by their clans: MahliXCIX and Mushi.C These were the clans of the Levites,CI by their ancestral houses.

21 To Gershon belonged the clan of the LibnitesCII and the clan of the Shimeites;CIII these were the clans of the Gershonites.CIV 

Notes on verses 20-21

XCIX “Mahli” = Machli. 12x in OT. Perhaps from chalah (properly, this is to be worn; hence, being weak, sick, or afflicted; it can also mean to grieve or, positively, to flatter or entreat). This is Mahli, a name meaning “sick” or “sickness” or “entreaty” or “weak” or “silly.” See
C “Mushi” = Mushi. 8x in OT. From mush (to touch, handle). This is Mushi or Mushshi, a name meaning “sensitive” or “touchy” or “drawn out” or “proved of the Lord” or “ambulant.” See
CI “Levites” = Levi. Same as “Levi” in v6. See note XXXII above.
CII “Libnites” = Libniy. Related to “Libni” in v18. 2x in OT. From Libni (see note XCIII above). This is Libnite.
CIII “Shimeites” = Shimi. Related to “Shimei” in v18. 2x in OT. From Shimei (see note XCIV above). This is Shimeites.
CIV “Gershonites” = Gereshunni. Related to “Gershon” in v17. 13x in OT. From Gereshon (see note XC above). This is Gershonites.

22 Their enrollment, countingCV all the males from a month old and up, was sevenCVI thousandCVII fiveCVIII hundred.CIX 

Notes on verse 22

CV “counting” = mispar. From the same as sepher (writing itself or something that is written like a document, book, letter, evidence, bill, scroll, or register); from saphar (to tally or record something; to enumerate, recount, number, celebrate, or declare). This is a number, whether definite or symbolic – could be innumerable, few, abundance. It can also be a tally or account – or a narration.
CVI “seven” = sheba. This is seven or by sevenfold. It can also be used to imply a week or an indefinite number. Symbolically, this is the number of fullness, sacredness, perfection.
CVII “thousand” = eleph. Perhaps from the same as eleph (herd, cattle); from alaph (to learn, speak, associate with). This is thousand.
CVIII “five” = chamesh. This is five.
CIX “hundred” = meah. This is hundred or some number times one hundred (i.e. hundredfold or the base of two hundred, three hundred, etc.).

23 The clans of the Gershonites were to campCX behindCXI the tabernacle on the west,CXII 

Notes on verse 23

CX “camp” = chanah. This is decline, bending down, or living in tents. It can be camping to create a home or camping as a part of battle.
CXI “behind” = achar. From achar (to remain behind, linger, continue, be behind, or delay; can also imply procrastination). This is after or the last part, following.
CXII “west” = yam. Root may mean to roar. This is the sea, often referring to the Mediterranean. It comes from the root in the sense of the roar of crashing surf. This word is sometimes used for rivers or other sources of water. It can mean to the west or to the south.

24 with EliasaphCXIII son of LaelCXIV as headCXV of the ancestral house of the Gershonites. 

Notes on verse 24

CXIII “Eliasaph” = Eliasaph. Related to “Eleazar” in v2 & “Israelites” in v8 & “Uzziel” in v19. 6x in OT. From El (see note XIV above) + yasaph (to add, increase, continue, exceed). This is Eliasaph, meaning “God has added” or “God is gatherer.”
CXIV “Lael” = Lael. Related to “Eleazar” in v2 & “Israelites” in v8 & “Uzziel” in v19 & “Eliasaph” in v24. 1x in OT. From El (see note XIV above). This is Lael, meaning “belonging to God.”
CXV “head” = nasi. From nasa (to lift in a broad sense, literally and figuratively; to carry, take, or arise; to bring forth, advance, accept). This is one lifted up or exalter. So, it could be prince, chief, ruler, captain, king, or vapor.

25 The responsibilityCXVI of the sons of Gershon in the tent of meeting was the tabernacle, the tent with its covering,CXVII the screenCXVIII for the entranceCXIX of the tent of meeting, 

Notes on verse 25

CXVI “responsibility” = mishmereth. Same as “duties” in v7. See note XXXVIII above.
CXVII “covering” = mikseh. 16x in OT. From kasah (to cover, conceal, overwhelm; to cover as clothes do or to hide a secret). This is a covering.
CXVIII “screen” = masak. From sakak (to cover or overshadow; to hedge or fence in; figuratively, to defend, protect, or join together). This is a covering, screen, or curtain. It could also refer to some kind of defense.
CXIX “entrance” = pethach. From pathach (to open wide in a literal or figurative sense; to open, draw out, let something go free, break forth, to plow, engrave, or carve). This is any kind of opening – a door, entrance, gate.

26 the hangingsCXX of the court,CXXI the screen for the entrance of the court that is aroundCXXII the tabernacle and the altar,CXXIII and its cordsCXXIV—all the service pertaining to these.

Notes on verse 26

CXX “hangings” = qela. From qala (to sling, carve). This is something that hangs like a door screen, a door, a leaf or a sling.
CXXI “court” = chatser. From chatsar (to blow a trumpet, trumpeter, to surround); from chatsotsrah (trumpet). This is an enclosure or court – a yard that is fenced in. It could also be a village or hamlet that is walled in.
CXXII “around” = sabib. From sabab (turning around, going around; to surround, cast, walk, fetch; to revolve or border in a literal or figurative sense). This is a circuit or a circle. It could refer to an environment, one’s neighbors, or a circular path round about.
CXXIII “altar” = mizbeach. From zabach (to kill, slay, offer; slaughtering an animal to offer as a sacrifice). This is an altar.
CXXIV “cords” = methar. 9x in OT. From yathar (to jut over, remain behind, preserve, to excel). This is a cord as part of a tent or a string belonging to a bow.

27 To Kohath belonged the clan of the Amramites,CXXV the clan of the Izharites,CXXVI the clan of the Hebronites,CXXVII and the clan of the Uzzielites;CXXVIII these were the clans of the Kohathites.CXXIX 

Notes on verse 27

CXXV “Amramites” = Amrami. Related to “Amram” in v19. 2x in OT. From Amram (see note XCV above). This is Amramites.
CXXVI “Izharites” = Yitshari. Related to “Izhar” in v19. 4x in OT. From Yitshar (see note XCVI above). This is Izharite.
CXXVII “Hebronites” = Chebroni. Related to “Hebron” in v19. 6x in OT. From Chebron (see note XCVII above). This is Hebronite.
CXXVIII “Uzzielites” = Ozzieli. Related to “Eleazar” in v2 & “Israelites” in v8 & “Uzziel” in v19 & “Eliasaph” and “Lael” in v24. 2x in OT. From Uzziel (see note XCVIII above). This is Uzzielite.
CXXIX “Kohathites” = Qehathi. Related to “Kohath” in v17. 15x in OT. From Qehath (see note XCI above). This is Kohathites.

28 Counting all the males, from a month old and up, there were eightCXXX thousand sixCXXXI hundred performing the duties of the sanctuary.CXXXII 29 The clans of the KohathitesCXXXIII were to camp on the southCXXXIV sideCXXXV of the tabernacle, 

Notes on verses 28-29

CXXX “eight” = shemoneh. Perhaps from shamen (to shine, which implies being oily, growing fat); from shaman (to grow fat, shine, be oily). This is eight or eighth. It can refer to abundance as being more than 7, the number of sacred fullness.
CXXXI “six” = shesh. This is six. Figuratively, it can be a surplus since it is one more than the number of fingers on the hand.
CXXXII “sanctuary” = qodesh. Related to “consecrated” in v13. See note LXXIII above.
CXXXIII “Kohathites” = ben + Qehath. Literally, “children of Kohath.” Ben is the sameas “sons” in v2. See note X above. Qehath is the same as “Kohath” in v17. See note XCI above.
CXXXIV “south” = teman. From the same as yamin (right hand or side; that which is stronger or more agile; the south); {perhaps yamam (to go or choose the right, use the right hand; to be physically fit or firm)}. This is south, towards the south, wind from the south.
CXXXV “side” = yarek. Root may mean to be soft. This is thigh, side, body, shank. It can be used figuratively for genitalia.

30 with ElizaphanCXXXVI son of Uzziel as head of the ancestral house of the clans of the Kohathites.CXXXVII 31 Their responsibility was the ark,CXXXVIII the table,CXXXIX the lampstand,CXL the altars, the vesselsCXLI of the sanctuary with which the priests minister,CXLII and the screen—all the service pertaining to these. 

Notes on verses 30-31

CXXXVI “Elizaphan” = Elitsaphan. Related to “Eleazar” in v2 & “Israelites” in v8 & “Uzziel” in v19 & “Eliasaph” and “Lael” in v24 & “Uzzielites” in v27. 6x in OT. From El (see note XIV above) + tsaphan (to hide, hoard, reserve; to cover over or figuratively to deny; also to lurk). This is Elizaphan, meaning “God has protected” or “God of treasure.”
CXXXVII “Kohathites” = Qehath. Same as “Kohath” in v17. See note XCI above.
CXXXVIII “ark” = aron. Perhaps from arah (to gather or pluck). This is a chest, box, or coffin. It is used for the Ark of the Covenant.
CXXXIX “table” = shulchan. Perhaps from shalach (to send, send for, forsake). This is a table or meal.
CXL “lampstand” = menorah. From the same as ner (properly, to glisten; a lamp, light, burner, candle; light literal or figurative). This is a lampstand or candlestick.
CXLI “vessels” = keli. Same as “furnishings” in v8. See note XLIX above.
CXLII “priests minister” = sharath. Same as “assist” in v6. See note XXXVI above.

32 Eleazar son of Aaron the priest was to be chiefCXLIII over the leadersCXLIV of the LevitesCXLV and to have oversightCXLVI of those who performed the duties of the sanctuary.

33 To Merari belonged the clan of the MahlitesCXLVII and the clan of the Mushites;CXLVIII these were the clans of Merari. 34 Their enrollment, counting all the males from a month old and up, was six thousand two hundred. 

Notes on verses 32-34

CXLIII “chief” = nasi. Same as “head” in v24. See note CXV above.
CXLIV “leaders” = nasi. Same as “head” in v24. See note CXV above.
CXLV “Levites” = Levi Same as “Levi” in v6. See note XXXII above.
CXLVI “oversight” = pequddah. Relate to “enroll” in v10. From paqad (see note LV above). This is oversight, visitation, office, responsibility, official charge.
CXLVII “Mahlites” = Machli. Related to “Mahli” in v20. 2x in OT. From Machli (see note XCIX above). This is Mahlites.
CXLVIII “Mushites” = Mushi. Related to “Mushi” in v20. 2x in OT. From Mushi (see note C above). This is Mushites.

35 The head of the ancestral house of the clans of Merari was ZurielCXLIX son of Abihail;CL they were to camp on the northCLI side of the tabernacle. 36 The responsibility assignedCLII to the sons of Merari was the framesCLIII of the tabernacle,

Notes on verses 35-36a

CXLIX “Zuriel” = Tsuriel. Related to “Eleazar” in v2 & “Israelites” in v8 & “Uzziel” in v19 & “Eliasaph” and “Lael” in v24 & “Uzzielites” in v27 & “Elizaphan” in v30. 1x in OT. From tsur (rock, stone, cliff, boulder, rocky; a refuge, a way to refer to God); {from tsur (to confine, cramp, or bind in a literal or figurative sense; to besiege, assault, or distress)} + El (see note XIV above). This is Zuriel or Tsuriel, meaning “my rock is El” or “rock of God.”
CL “Abihail” = Abihayil. Related to “Abihu” in v2 & “father” in v4. 6x in OT. From ab (see note XIII above) + chayil (strength, wealth, ability, activity; a soldier or a company of soldiers; goods; a force of people, means, or goods; valor, virtue, or strength); {from chul (to be firm, strong, prosperous; to endure)}. This is Abihail, meaning “my father is might” or “possessor of might.”
CLI “north” = tsaphon. Related to “Elizaphan” in v30. From tsaphan (see note CXXXVI above). This is properly hidden, dark, or gloomy. It can also be used to refer to the north.
CLII “assigned” = pequddah. Same as “oversight” in v32. See note CXLVI above.
CLIII “frames” = qeresh. This may come from a word that means to split off. So, it is a plank or board. It can also refer to a ship’s deck.

the bars,CLIV the pillars,CLV the bases,CLVI and all their accessoriesCLVII—all the service pertaining to these, 37 also the pillars of the court all around, with their bases and pegsCLVIII and cords.

Notes on verses 36b-37

CLIV “bars” = beriach. From barach (to flee, drive away, hurry, to bolt). This is a bar or a bolt. It can also be used for a fugitive.
CLV “pillars” = ammud. Related to “set” in v6. From amad (see note XXXIV above). This is a pillar, stand, or platform.
CLVI “bases” = eden. From the same as adon (lord, master, owner); root means to rule or be sovereign. This is a base, pedestal, or foundation.
CLVII “accessories” = keli. Same as “furnishings” in v8. See note XLIX above.
CLVIII “pegs” = yathed. This may come from a word that means to pin securely. This is a peg, a tent peg, a pin.

38 Those who were to camp in front of the tabernacle on the eastCLIX—in front of the tent of meeting toward the sunriseCLX—were Moses and Aaron and Aaron’s sons, who were to perform the duties of the sanctuary,CLXI whatever had to be doneCLXII for the Israelites, and any outsider who came near was to be put to death. 

Notes on verse 38

CLIX “east” = qedem. Perhaps from qadam (to come in front or be in front; to meet, anticipate, confront, receive, or rise; sometimes to meet for help). This is front, formerly, before, east, eternal, everlasting, antiquity.
CLX “sunrise” = mizrach. From zarach (to rise, shine, or dawn; can also describe symptoms of leprosy). This is the east as the place where the sun rises. It can also refer to the sunrise itself.
CLXI “sanctuary” = miqdash. Related to “consecrated” in v13 & “sanctuary” in v28. From the same as qodesh (see note LXXIII above). This is a sacred place, sanctuary, holy place. It is something or somewhere that is consecrated, whether to God or to another.
CLXII “whatever had to be done” = mishmereth. Same as “duties” in v7. See note XXXVIII above.

39 The totalCLXIII enrollment of the LevitesCLXIV whom Moses and Aaron enrolled at the commandmentCLXV of the Lord,CLXVI by their clans, all the males from a month old and up, was twentyCLXVII-twoCLXVIII thousand.

Notes on verse 39

CLXIII “total” = kol. Same as “whole” in v7. See note XXXIX above.
CLXIV “Levites” = Levi. Same as “Levi” in v6. See note XXXII above.
CLXV “commandment” = peh. Same as “word” in v16. See note LXXXVII above.
CLXVI “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note V above.
CLXVII “twenty” = esrim. From the same as eser (ten, tenth). This is twenty or twentieth.
CLXVIII “two” = shenayim. From sheni (double, again, another, second); from shanah (to fold, repeat, double, alter, or disguise). This is two, both, second, couple.

40 Then the LordCLXIX said to Moses, “Enroll all the firstborn males of the Israelites, from a month old and up, and countCLXX their names. 41 But you shall take the LevitesCLXXI for me—I am the LordCLXXII—as substitutes forCLXXIII all the firstborn among the Israelites and the livestock of the LevitesCLXXIV as substitutes for all the firstborn among the livestock of the Israelites.” 

Notes on verses 40-41

CLXIX “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note V above.
CLXX “count” = nasa + et + mispar. Literally, “lift up the number.” Nasa is related to “head” in v24. See note CXV above. Mispar is the same as “counting” in v22. See note CV above.
CLXXI “Levites” = Levi. Same as “Levi” in v6. See note XXXII above.
CLXXII “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note V above.
CLXXIII “as substitutes for” = tachat. Same as “for” in v12. See note LXV above.
CLXXIV “Levites” = Levi. Same as “Levi” in v6. See note XXXII above.

42 So Moses enrolled all the firstborn among the Israelites, as the LordCLXXV commanded him. 43 CLXXVIThe total enrollment, all the firstborn males from a month old and up, counting the numberCLXXVII of names, was twenty-two thousand two hundred seventyCLXXVIII-three.CLXXIX

Notes on verses 42-43

CLXXV “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note V above.
CLXXVI {untranslated} = hayah. Same as “had” in v4. See note XXVII above.
CLXXVII “number” = mispar. Same as “counting” in v22. See note CV above.
CLXXVIII “seventy” = shibim. Related to “seven” in v22. From sheba (see note CVI above). This is seventy.
CLXXIX “three” = shalosh. This is three, fork, three times.

44 Then the LordCLXXX spoke to Moses, saying, 45 “Take the LevitesCLXXXI as substitutes for all the firstborn among the Israelites and the livestock of the LevitesCLXXXII as substitutes for their livestock, and the Levites shall be mine. I am the Lord.CLXXXIII 46 As the price of redemptionCLXXXIV of the two hundred seventy-three of the firstborn of the Israelites, over and above the numberCLXXXV of the Levites,CLXXXVI 

Notes on verses 44-46

CLXXX “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note V above.
CLXXXI “Levites” = Lev. Same as “Levi” in v6. See note XXXII above.
CLXXXII “Levites” = Levi. Same as “Levi” in v6. See note XXXII above.
CLXXXIII “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note V above.
CLXXXIV “price of redemption” = paduy. 4x in OT – all in this chapter. From padah (to sever, to ransom; to secure someone’s release by paying their debt freeing them from slavery); to redeem, rescue, deliver, preserve; the redemption price). This is ransomed or redeemed.
CLXXXV “number” = adaph. 9x in OT. This is to have excess, be left over, remain.
CLXXXVI “Levites” = Levi. Same as “Levi” in v6. See note XXXII above.

47 you shall take five shekelsCLXXXVII apiece,CLXXXVIII reckoning by the shekel of the sanctuary,CLXXXIX a shekel of twenty gerahs.CXC 

Notes on verse 47

CLXXXVII “shekels” = sheqel. From shaqal (to weigh, spend, trade). This is shekel or sheqel. It is a unit of weight, generally used in trade.
CLXXXVIII “apiece” = gulgoleth. 12x in OT. From galal (to roll in a literal or figurative sense, roll away, roll down, wallow, remove, trust). This is skull or head. It is a census or poll that counts people by head. It is also where “Golgotha” takes its name from.
CLXXXIX “sanctuary” = qodesh. Same as “sanctuary” in v28. See note CXXXII above.
CXC “gerahs” = gerah. 5x in OT. From garar (to drag or drag off in a rough fashion, chew, sweep, destroy; to chew the cud). This is a gerah – a twentieth part of a shekel. It may come from the sense of a kernel for its roundness. A gerah could be a unit of weight or a coin of that weight.

48 Give to Aaron and his sons the moneyCXCI by which the excess numberCXCII of them is redeemed.”CXCIII 

Notes on verse 48

CXCI “money” = keseph. From kasaph (to long for, be greedy; to become pale). This is silver or money.
CXCII “excess number” = adaph. Same as “number” in v46. See note CLXXXV above.
CXCIII “redeemed” = paduy. Same as “price of redemption” in v46. See note CLXXXIV above.

49 So Moses took the redemptionCXCIV money from those who were overCXCV and above those redeemed by the Levites;CXCVI 50 from the firstborn of the Israelites he took the money, one thousand three hundred sixtyCXCVII-five shekels, reckoned by the shekel of the sanctuary,CXCVIII 51 and Moses gave the redemption money to Aaron and his sons, according to the word of the Lord,CXCIX as the Lord had commanded Moses.

Notes on verses 49-51

CXCIV “redemption” = pidyom. Related to “price of redemption” in v46. 3x in OT. From padah (see note CLXXXIV above).
CXCV “were over” = adaph. Same as “number” in v46. See note CLXXXV above.
CXCVI “Levites” = Levi. Same as “Levi” in v6. See note XXXII above.
CXCVII “sixty” = shishshim. Related to “six” in v28. From shesh (see note CXXXI above). This is sixty.
CXCVIII “sanctuary” = qodesh. Same as “sanctuary” in v28. See note CXXXII above.
CXCIX “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note V above.

Image credit: “BelAir X 6-12 Musfer Sinkhole With Liam and Aaron” by Sam Agnew, 2013.

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