Scripture Notes.


Numbers 1 - 6.

The order of these chapters is exceedingly beautiful. In Numbers 1 the people, save the tribe of Levi who were to be appointed over the tabernacle of testimony, are numbered, brought thus individually under the eye of God, and recognized after their families by the house of their fathers. In Numbers 2 the encampments and order of march, together with their respective captains, are prescribed. All was divinely ordered, and ordered in relation to the tabernacle in which Jehovah dwelt. We read in Psalm 80:2, "Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh stir up thy strength, and come and save us" - a prayer clearly explained by Numbers 2:17-24. In Numbers 3 we find that the Levites were taken by the Lord instead of the first-born of Israel, whom He hallowed for Himself on the day He smote the first-born of Egypt (v. 13); and they (the Levites) were to be presented before Aaron the priest, that they may minister unto him - typical of the church being given to Christ for service. (vv. 5-10.) Each of the three families, into which the Levites were divided, had both their position and service assigned to them according to the sovereign grace of God. Not one could choose for himself where he should encamp or what he should undertake. There were "distinctions of service," but the same Lord. He commanded, and they obeyed. Numbers 4 gives the provision for the transport of the sacred vessels of the tabernacle through the wilderness. (Note that the laver is not mentioned, not being a manifestation of God in Christ.) The various coverings are all typical, and prefigure the walk of Christ through the world, and hence, too, that of His people, inasmuch as He is our example. The account in detail of the burdens of the Levites follows. In Numbers 5 God requires discipline to be administered according to His own nature. Holiness must be insisted upon if He dwells in their midst. Sins between brother and brother, and the sins of Israel against Jehovah (for He in His grace had married Israel), are then dealt with. Lastly, in Numbers 6, we have the law of the Nazarite, concluding with the full divine blessing, administered by the priest, resting on the people. Thus the whole camp had been numbered and arranged according to God. Corporately and individually all were in the positions to which they had been assigned. Holiness was secured by godly discipline, and they were (typically) in a state of Nazarite separation; and the consequence was that God was able to bless His people according to the thoughts of His own heart. The lesson for ourselves is obvious.


1 Peter 2:2.

This scripture means, we apprehend, that just as new-born babes desire their suited nourishment, milk, believers should desire theirs, i.e. the word of God. The word translated "milk of the word" is admittedly difficult, but the sense is, doubtless, that which we have given. The addition is made in most versions, and rightly, "up to salvation" - whereby ye may grow up to salvation. The Word is thus pointed out as the means of our sustenance and growth while passing through the wilderness, and until the coming of the Lord; and it is a simple consequence that the more we feed upon it the more we grow.

E. Dennett.