Numbers 8

Numbers 8


The LordI spokeII to Moses,III saying, 

Notes on verse 1

I “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.
II “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.
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.

“Speak to AaronIV and say to him: When you set upV the lamps,VI

Notes on verse 2a

IV “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
V “set up” = alah. This is to go up, approach, ascend, be high, be a priority; to arise in a literal or figurative sense.
VI “lamps” = ner. This is to glisten. It is used for a lamp, candle, or light in a literal or figurative sense.

the sevenVII lamps shall give lightVIII in front ofIX the lampstand.”X 

Notes on verse 2b

VII “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.
VIII “give light” = or. This is to light, shine, set on fire – to be luminous in a literal or figurative sense.
IX “in front of” = el + mul + paneh. Mul is perhaps from mul (to cut short, circumcise, blunt, destroy). This is in front of, opposite, with, abrupt. Literally, it refers to some kind of precipice. Paneh is 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.
X “lampstand” = menorah. Related to “lamps” in v2. From the same as ner (see note VI above). This is a lampstand or candlestick.

Aaron didXI so;XII he set up its lamps in front of the lampstand, as the Lord had commandedXIII Moses. 

Notes on verse 3

XI “did” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
XII “so” = ken.  Perhaps from kun (properly, in a perpendicular position; literally, to establish, fix, fasten, prepare; figuratively, it is certainty, to be firm, faithfulness, render sure or prosperous). This is to set upright. Generally used figuratively to mean thus, so, afterwards, rightly so.
XIII “commanded” = tsavah. This is to charge, command, order, appoint, or enjoin. This is the root that the Hebrew word for “commandment” comes from (mitsvah).

Now this was how the lampstand was made,XIV out of hammered workXV of gold.XVI

Notes on verse 4a

XIV “how…was made” = maaseh. Related to “did” in v3. From asah (see note XI above). This is a work – any action whether positive or negative. It can also be a transaction, construction, activity, property, or something that is produced.
XV “hammered work” = miqshah. 10x in OT. From the same as miqsheh (something round, a hairdo, curly hair); from qashah (to be fierce, cruel, dense, tough, severe). This is something that is made that is rounded, perhaps hammered from a single piece.
XVI “gold” = zahab. Root may mean to shimmer. This is gold or something that has the color of gold like oil. It can also refer to a clear sky – to good weather.

From its baseXVII to its flowers,XVIII it was hammered work; according to the patternXIX that the Lord had shownXX Moses, so he madeXXI the lampstand.

Notes on verse 4b

XVII “base” = yarek. Root may mean to be soft. This is thigh, side, body, shank. It can be used figuratively for genitalia.
XVIII “flowers” = perach. 17x in OT. From parach (to sprout, blossom, bloom, spread, flourish). This is a bud or blossom. It can refer to a real one or one artistically rendered.
XIX “pattern” = mareh. From raah (to see, show, stare, think, view; to see in a literal or figurative sense). This is sight, appearance, or vision. It can be a view, seeing itself, that which is seen, something real, or a vision one sees.
XX “shown” = raah. Related to “pattern” in v4. See note XIX above.
XXI “made” = asah. Same as “did” in v3. See note XI above.

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “TakeXXII the LevitesXXIII from amongXXIV the IsraelitesXXV and cleanseXXVI them. 

Notes on verses 5-6

XXII “take” = laqach. This is to take, accept, carry away, receive. It can also have the sense of take a wife or take in marriage.
XXIII “Levites” = Leviyyi. From Levi (Levi; perhaps meaning “attached”; Jacob’s son, his tribe, and descendants); perhaps from lavah (to join, twine, unite, remain, borrow, lend). This is Levite or levitical.
XXIV “among” = tavek. This is among, middle, in the midst, the center. Perhaps, properly, to sever.
XXV “Israelites” = ben + Yisrael. Literally, “children of Israel.” Ben is from banah (to build or obtain children). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense. Yisrael is from sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + el (God or god). 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.
XXVI “cleanse” = taher. This is properly being bright, which implies being pure or clean. This word can also mean purge, cleanse, or purify. It can be clean in a ritual sense or a moral one (i.e. moral or holy).

ThusXXVII you shall do to them, to cleanse them: sprinkleXXVIII the waterXXIX of purificationXXX on them;

Notes on verse 7a

XXVII “thus” = koh. Perhaps from ki (that, for when, certainly) + hu (he, she, it). This is like this, thus, here, now.
XXVIII “sprinkle” = nazah. This is to sprinkle, spurt, or leap. Sprinkling especially refers to rituals of expiation.
XXIX “water” = mayim. This is water, waters, or waterway in a general sense. Figuratively, it can also mean juice, urine, or semen.
XXX “purification” = chatta’ah. From chata’ (to miss or go wrong and so to sin, bear the blame; it can also include the sense of forfeiting or lacking). This is sin itself as well as punishment for sin. It is sometimes used specifically to refer to sin that is habitual.

have them shaveXXXI their wholeXXXII bodyXXXIII

Notes on verse 7b

XXXI “shave” = abar. This is to pass over or cross over. It is used for transitions, whether literal or figurative. It can also mean to escape, alienate, or fail. This is the root verb from which “Hebrew” is drawn.
XXXII “whole” = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.
XXXIII “body” = basar. From basar (being a messenger, publish, carry preach; properly, this is being fresh, rosy or cheerful as one bearing news). This is flesh, the body, fat, skin, self, nakedness, humankind, or kin. It can also refer to private parts.

with a razorXXXIV and washXXXV their clothesXXXVI and so cleanse themselves. 

Notes on verse 7c

XXXIV “razor” = taar. 13x in OT. From arah (to be bare, empty, raze, uncover, discover, demolish). This is a razor, knife, sheath.
XXXV “wash” = kabas. This is to trample – washing by stomping feet. It can be fulling in a literal or figurative sense.
XXXVI “clothes” = beged. From bagad (to cover or conceal; figuratively, to act in a covert or treacherous way, to transgress or pillage). This is clothing, garment, robe, or some other kind of clothing. Figuratively, it can be treachery or pillaging.

Then let them take a youngXXXVII bullXXXVIII and its grain offeringXXXIX of choice flourXL mixedXLI with oil,XLII and you shall take anotherXLIII young bull for a purification offering. 

Notes on verse 8

XXXVII “young” = ben + baqar. Literally, “a child of the herd.” Ben is the same as “Israelites” in v6. See note XXV above. Baqar is from baqar (to plow, break forth; figuratively, to inquire, inspect, consider). This is cattle – an animal used for plowing.
XXXVIII “bull” = par. Perhaps related to parar (to break, defeat, frustrate, caste off, clean, cease). This is a young bull or ox.
XXXIX “grain offering” = minchah. This is a gift or an offering, particularly a sacrificial one that is generally bloodless and given spontaneously (voluntarily).
XL “choice flour” = soleth. It may come from a word that means to strip. This is fine flour.
XLI “mixed” = balal. This is to anoint, mix, overflow. It can also be to fodder or temper.
XLII “oil” = shemen. From shamen (to shine, which implies being oily, growing fat). This is fat, oil, grease, olive oil – often with perfume. Used figuratively for fertile, lavish, rich.
XLIII “another” = sheni. From shanah (to fold, repeat, double, alter, or disguise). This is double, again, another, second.

You shall bringXLIV the Levites beforeXLV the tentXLVI of meetingXLVII

Notes on verse 9a

XLIV “bring” = qarab. This is to come near, offer, make ready, approach, take.
XLV “before” = paneh. Same as “in front of” in v2. See note IX above.
XLVI “tent” = ohel. Perhaps from ahal (to shine, be clear). This is a tent, covering, home, or side pillar.
XLVII “meeting” = moed. From yaad (to appoint, assemble or gather selves, agree). This is a meeting, assembly, fixed time. It can be used for a festival or feast. It can also refer to a meeting place.

and assembleXLVIII the whole congregationXLIX of the Israelites. 10 When you bring the Levites beforeL the Lord,LI the Israelites shall layLII their handsLIII on the Levites, 

Notes on verses 9b-10

XLVIII “assemble” = qahal. From qahal (assembly, congregation, multitude). This is to gather, convene, assemble like a congregation.
XLIX “congregation” = edah. Related to “meeting” in v9. From yaad (see note XLVII above) 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.
L “before” = paneh. Same as “in front of” in v2. See note IX above.
LI “Lord” = YHVH. Related to “Lord” in v1. From the same as YHVH (see note I above). It has a different vowel pointing, but the same meaning as “Lord.”
LII “lay” = samak. This is to lean, rest, support, brace, uphold, sustain, or establish. It is to lean on in a positive or negative sense.
LIII “hands” = yad. This is hand, ability, power. Hand in a literal sense, but also what one can do or the means by which one does it.

11 and Aaron shall presentLIV the Levites beforeLV the LordLVI as an elevation offeringLVII from the Israelites,

Notes on verse 11a

LIV “present” = nuph. This is to rock back and forth, wave, sprinkle, quiver, beckon, offer, present.
LV “before” = paneh. Same as “in front of” in v2. See note IX above.
LVI “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note I above.
LVII “elevation offering” = tenuphah. Related to “present” in v11. From nuph (see note LIV above). This is something that is waved or swung. So, it could be an elevation offering that is offered in that way. It can also refer to someone presenting a weapon in a threatening manner or to imply greater tumult.

thatLVIII they may doLIX the serviceLX of the Lord.LXI 

Notes on verse 11b

LVIII {untranslated} = hayah. Related to “Lord” in v1 & “Lord” in v10. See note I above.
LIX “do” = 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.
LX “service” = abodah. Related to “do” in v11. From abad (see note LIX above). This is labor, service, bondage, job, servitude, worker. It can refer to any kind of work.
LXI “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note I above.

12 The Levites shall lay their hands on the headsLXII of the bulls, and he shall offerLXIII the oneLXIV for a purification offering

Notes on verse 12a

LXII “heads” = rosh. This may come a word that means to shake. It is the head, captain, or chief. It can also be excellent or the forefront. It can be first in position or in statue or in time (i.e. the beginning).
LXIII “offer” = asah. Same as “did” in v3. See note XI above.
LXIV “one” = echad. Perhaps from achad (to unify, continue on a path; figuratively, to gather one’s thoughts). This is the number one, first, united. It can also be alone, altogether, a certain, a few.

and the otherLXV for a burnt offeringLXVI to the Lord,LXVII to make atonementLXVIII for the Levites. 

Notes on verse 12b

LXV “other” = echad. Same as “one” in v12. See note LXIV above.
LXVI “burnt offering” = olah. Related to “set up” in v2. From alah (see note V above). This is a step, stairs, or some kind of ascent. It is also used for whole burnt offerings, being the offering in which the whole things is burned and rises as smoke. Burnt offerings were the least common of the offerings: most were eaten, shared with the priest and the one bringing the offering.
LXVII “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note I above.
LXVIII “make atonement” = kaphar. This is to appease, cover, pacify, cancel, make atonement, placate. Specifically, it can mean to cover with bitumen.

13 Then you shall have the Levites standLXIX beforeLXX Aaron and his sons, and you shall present them as an elevation offering to the Lord.LXXI

14 “Thus you shall separateLXXII the Levites from among the other Israelites, and the Levites shall beLXXIII mine. 

Notes on verses 13-14

LXIX “stand” = 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.
LXX “before” = paneh. Same as “in front of” in v2. See note IX above.
LXXI “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note I above.
LXXII “separate” = badal. This is to divide, distinguish, select, differ, sever. It is to divine in a literal or figurative sense.
LXXIII “be” = hayah. Same as {untranslated} in v11. See note LVIII above.

15 ThereafterLXXIV the Levites may go inLXXV to do serviceLXXVI at the tent of meeting, once you have cleansed them and presented them as an elevation offering. 16 For they are unreservedly givenLXXVII to me from among the Israelites;

Notes on verses 15-16a

LXXIV “thereafter” = achar + ken. Achar is from achar (to remain behind, linger, continue, be behind, or delay; can also imply procrastination). This is after or the last part, following. Ken is the same as “so” in v3. See note XII above.
LXXV “go in” = bo. This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.
LXXVI “do service” = abad. Same as “do” in v11. See note LIX above.
LXXVII “unreservedly given” = natan + natan. This is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively.

I have taken them for myself, in place ofLXXVIII all that openLXXIX the womb,LXXX the firstbornLXXXI of allLXXXII the Israelites. 

Notes on verse 16b

LXXVIII “in place of” = tachat. This is underneath, below, the bottom, instead of.
LXXIX “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.
LXXX “womb” = rechem. Related to racham (compassion, tender love, womb, compassion; the womb as that which cherishes the fetus). This is a womb.
LXXXI “firstborn” = bekor. From bakar (to bear fruit, be firstborn, firstling, that which opens the womb, give the birthright to). This is firstborn or chief.
LXXXII “all” = kol. Same as “whole” in v7. See note XXXII above.

17 For all the firstborn among the Israelites are mine, both humanLXXXIII and animal.LXXXIV On the dayLXXXV that I struckLXXXVI down

Notes on verse 17a

LXXXIII “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.
LXXXIV “animal” = behemah. This is animal or cattle. It is often used of large quadrupeds.
LXXXV “day” = 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.
LXXXVI “struck” = 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.

all the firstborn in the landLXXXVII of EgyptLXXXVIII I consecratedLXXXIX them for myself, 18 but I have taken the Levites in place of all the firstborn among the Israelites. 

Notes on verses 17b-18

LXXXVII “land” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.
LXXXVIII “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.
LXXXIX “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). This is set apart, consecrated, hallowed, sanctified. This is something or someone that is set apart for a holy purpose or use – ceremonially or morally clean.

19 Moreover, I have given the Levites as a giftXC to Aaron and his sonsXCI from among the Israelites, to doXCII the service for the Israelites at the tent of meeting and to make atonement for the Israelites, in order that there may be no plagueXCIII among the Israelites for coming too closeXCIV to the sanctuary.”XCV

Notes on verse 19

XC “gift” = natan. Same as “unreservedly given” in v16. See note LXXVII above.
XCI “sons” = ben. Same as “Israelites” in v6. See note XXV above.
XCII “do” = abad. Same as “do” in v11. See note LIX above.
XCIII “plague” = negeph. 7x in OT. From nagaph (to strike, beat, hurt, stumble, defeat, inflict disease). This is stumbling or any kind of blow. Figuratively, it can also refer to a disease or plague.
XCIV “coming too close” = nagash. This is to draw, bring, or come near. It is approaching for any reason – as an attack on an enemy, in order to worship, to make an argument. It can also be used as a euphemism for sex.
XCV “sanctuary” = qodesh. Related to “consecrated” in v17. See note LXXXIX above.

20 Moses and Aaron and the whole congregation of the Israelites didXCVI with the Levites accordingly;XCVII the Israelites didXCVIII with the Levites justXCIX as the LordC had commanded Moses concerning them. 

Notes on verse 20

XCVI “did” = asah. Same as “did” in v3. See note XI above.
XCVII {untranslated} = ken. Same as “so” in v3. See note XII above.
XCVIII “did” = asah. Same as “did” in v3. See note XI above.
XCIX “just” = kol. Same as “whole” in v7. See note XXXII above.
C “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note I above.

21 The Levites purified themselves from sinCI and washed their clothes; then Aaron presented them as an elevation offering beforeCII the Lord,CIII and Aaron made atonement for them to cleanse them. 22 Thereafter the Levites went in to doCIV their service in the tent of meeting in attendance onCV Aaron and his sons. As the Lord had commanded Moses concerning the Levites, so they didCVI with them.

Notes on verses 21-22

CI “purified…from sin” = chata. Related to “purification” in v7. See note XXX above.
CII “before” = paneh. Same as “in front of” in v2. See note IX above.
CIII “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note I above.
CIV “do” = abad. Same as “do” in v11. See note LIX above.
CV “in attendance on” = paneh. Same as “in front of” in v2. See note IX above.
CVI “did” = asah. Same as “did” in v3. See note XI above.

23 The LordCVII spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “This applies to the Levites: from twentyCVIII-fiveCIX yearsCX oldCXI

Notes on verses 23-24a

CVII “Lord” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note I above.
CVIII “twenty” = esrim. From the same as eser (ten, tenth). This is twenty or twentieth.
CIX “five” = chamesh. This is five.
CX “years” = shanah. From shana (to change, alter). This is a year, age, old. It can also mean yearly.
CXI “old” = ben. Same as “Israelites” in v6. See note XXV above.

and upCXII they shall beginCXIII to doCXIV dutyCXV in the service of the tent of meeting; 

Notes on verse 24b

CXII “up” = maal. Related to “set up” in v2 & “burnt offering” in v12. From alah (see note V above). This is the upper part, forward, high above, upwards, greater, heaven, or exceedingly.
CXIII “begin” = bo. Same as “go in” in v15. See note LXXV above.
CXIV “do” = tsaba. 14x in OT. This is to wage war, serve, assemble, fight, perform, muster, wait on.
CXV “duty” = tsbaa. Related to “do” in v24. From tsaba (see note CXIV above). This is a large group of persons (used figuratively for a group of things). It implies a campaign literally as with army, war, warfare, battle, company, soldiers. Can also be used figuratively for hardship or for worship.

25 and from the ageCXVI of fiftyCXVII years they shall retireCXVIII from the duty of the service and serveCXIX no more.CXX 

Notes on verse 25

CXVI “age” = ben. Same as “Israelites” in v6. See note XXV above.
CXVII “fifty” = chamishshim. Related to “five” in v24. From chamesh (see note CIX above). This is fifty.
CXVIII “retire” = shub. To turn back, return, turn away – literally or figuratively. Doesn’t necessarily imply going back to where you started from. This is also the root verb for the Hebrew word for repentance “teshubah.”
CXIX “serve” = abad. Same as “do” in v11. See note LIX above.
CXX “more” = od. Related to “congregation” in v9. From ud (see note XLIX above). This is still, yet, again, more.

26 They may assistCXXI their brothersCXXII in the tent of meeting in carrying outCXXIII their duties,CXXIV

Notes on verse 26a

CXXI “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.
CXXII “brothers” = ach. This is brother, kindred, another, other, like. It is literally brother, but it can also be someone who is similar, resembling, or related to.
CXXIII “carrying out” = shamar. This is to keep, watch, or preserve. It means to guard something or to protect it as a thorny hedge protects something.*
CXXIV “duties” = mishmereth. Related to “carrying out” in v26. From mishmar (jail, guard, watch, guard post); from shamar (see note CXXIII above). This is a guard or watch or guard post. It is used figuratively for obligation, duty, or observance, including religious observance.

but they shall performCXXV no service. ThusCXXVI you shall doCXXVII with the Levites in assigning their duties.”CXXVIII

Notes on verse 26b

CXXV “perform” = abad. Same as “do” in v11. See note LIX above.
CXXVI “thus” = kakah. Related to “thus” in v7. From koh (see note XXVII above) + k (see note XXVII above) + hu (see note XXVII above). This is even so, like this, thus.
CXXVII “do” = asah. Same as “did” in v3. See note XI above.
CXXVIII “duties” = mishmereth. Same as “duties” in v26. See note CXXIV above.

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