The “Little Passover” — Numbers 7-9

Wow, if you add up all the gifts that were brought to the Tabernacle by the leaders of the tribes of Israel, it’s enormous! Eighty-nine verses dedicated to offerings which were — unless I missed some detail — exactly the same every time. But whenever I see apparent redundancy I’m moved to wonder why. The Bible is usually very efficient in its verbiage. So why is chapter 7 so long-winded? I don’t know for sure, but perhaps it was to insure that no tribe would be able to boast more of an investment in the Tabernacle, and thereby have a greater claim on the Tabernacle, than another. Maybe it was simply to demonstrate the generosity of the people toward the Lord’s sanctuary — which was impressive and substantial. Maybe it was both. Maybe it was something that I’m missing altogether. What are your thoughts?

In chapter 9 there is an interesting ordinance for those who could not observe the Passover feast due to some sort of uncleanness (e.g., burying a relative) or being away on a journey; it is known as “The Little Passover”. It underscores the importance of the Passover celebration to God. But there’s also something interesting in 9:13 in relation to the observation of the “Little Passover” — you can’t choose to postpone celebrating Passover because of negligence or inconvenience. In a bulletin article I read years ago, a parallel between this principle and Sunday morning church attendance was made. Sometimes folks find worshipping with the whole church on Sunday morning inconvenient — they’d rather sleep in and just go to church at the evening service, when the Lord’s Supper will be offered again. I’ve always thought that the writer — whoever he may be — had a point. Laziness, especially in connection with the practice of faith or religion,  is never countenanced in Scripture; we ought to take warning.

See you tomorrow, Lord willing

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About parklinscomb

I'm a minister for the church of Christ in Manchester NH where I've worked since the 1970's. I'm a big fan of my family, archaeology, the Bible, the Lord's church, and Gander Brook Christian Camp.
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