The total number of male Levites was “twenty-two thousand.” They were now ordained to oversee the Sanctuary. “Any layman who came near was to be put to death.” (Num. 3:38) Then, a census was done of the “first-born males” who numbered “twenty-two thousand two hundred and seventy-three.” Or, there were 273 more first-born males than the Levite tribe. Men between the ages of 30-50 years old of the Kohathite, Gershonite, and Merarite tribes will have assigned duties in the Tabernacle as well to assist the Levites, and under their supervision. The total number of registered men then was 8,580.
The Unclean Expelled:
Then the Lord told Moses to expel from the camp “every leper, and everyone suffering from discharge, and everyone who has become unclean by contact with a corpse.” (Num. 5:2) Nothing associated with a loss of life can be permitted into the presence of God, who is life itself.
Confession, Penance and Restitution:
Similarly, with moral offenses, oral confession and the idea of penance and restitution are commanded. “If a man (or woman) commits a fault against his fellow man and wrongs him, thus breaking faith with the Lord, he shall confess the wrong he has done, restore his ill-gotten goods in full, and in addition give one fifth of their value to the one he has wronged.” (Num. 5:6-7)
The Law of the Nazirites:
The Nazirites were men or women who took solemn vows “to dedicate himself to the Lord” by means of abstaining from wine and strong drink, and not shaving his head or hair, and not coming into the presence of a dead person. (Num. 6:1-6) “Nazir” meant to set apart as sacred, or dedicated. They could be temporary or permanent vows. Lifelong Nazirites included Samson, Samuel, and John the Baptist.
The Offerings from the Princes:
Then, each tribe had a “prince” from their tribe offer tribute to the Lord at His Dwelling. The offerings were done one per day for 12 days.
“When Moses entered the meeting tent to speak with him, he heard the voice addressing him from above the propitiatory on the ark of the commandments, from between the two cherubim; and it spoke to him.. ” (Num. 7:89) The Lord speaks from the Mercy Seat above the Ark of the Covenant. It is His “Throne Room” here on earth, inside the Tabernacle. The Heavenly Throne Room is temporarily stationed in the Tabernacle, the Meeting Tent. God is once again among His people.
The Fiery Cloud over the Dwelling:
“ On the day that the tabernacle was set up, the cloud covered the tabernacle, the tent of the testimony; and at evening it was over the tabernacle like the appearance of fire until morning. So it was continually; the cloud covered it by day and the appearance of fire by night. And whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tent, after that the people of Israel set out; and in the place where the cloud settled down, there the people of Israel encamped. At the command of the Lord the people of Israel set out, and at the command of the Lord they encamped; as long as the cloud rested over the tabernacle, they remained in camp.” (Num. 9:15-18)
Israelites Depart Mt. Sinai to the Desert of Paran:
“They move on from the mountain of the Lord, a three days journey, and the ark of the covenant of the Lord which was to seek out their resting place went the three days’ journey with them.” They moved on in stages, until the Cloud came to rest in the desert of Paran, on the plains of Moab. Two Silver Trumpets: The Lord instructs Moses to use “two trumpets of beaten silver” to announce the assembling of the community and the breaking of camp. Thus, when the Glory Cloud of the Lord lifts off the Dwelling Place (ie, the Tabernacle), the Levite priests blow the two silver trumpets, and then, all of Israel gets up to depart. Israel finally sets off in battle array from Mount Sinai on its journey to the Promised Land.