Devotional Readings, M'Cheyne Bible Reading Notes

Number 8 – Planned Retirement…..

Not a big theological thought, but I noticed this verse in today’s Numbers text:

Numbers 8:25  And from the age of fifty years they shall cease waiting upon the service thereof, and shall serve no more:

Also recalled that in Luke we read about Zacharias being an old man.

Luke 1:18  And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.

So is this a conflict? John Gill’s comment is useful to clarify.

Numbers 8:25

And from the age of fifty years they shall cease waiting upon the service thereof,…. The heavy service of it:

and shall serve no more; by bearing and carrying the vessels of the sanctuary upon their shoulders, as Jarchi interprets it; this, according to the Jewish writers, was only in force while the tabernacle was in the wilderness, and was moved from place to place: but when it had a fixed habitation, and that laborious service of bearing and carrying the vessels of it ceased, years made no difference in the Levites, or disqualified them for service; for it is said (x), that the Levites were not bound by this law, but in the time of the tabernacle; but when it was at Shiloh, and at Jerusalem, where there was no bearing and carrying upon the shoulder, the Levites were not rejected on account of years, only for their voice, when they had lost that, and could not sing.

(x) Maimon. & Bartenora in Misn. Cholin, c. 1. sect. 6.

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