The Bible Slam: Numbers Chapter 07

Being a priest was profitable. The leaders — now called princes — of all the other tribes gave lavish donations to the priesthood and tabernacle.

The tabernacle altar is dedicated in this chapter.  A dozen wagons and oxen are contributed for the transportation of the tabernacle (which weighed at least 11 tons).  It should be no surprise that a whole bunch of animals were delivered for sacrifice.  As to the other offerings, such as silver platters, you'll hear (or read) that all of the offerings were exactly the same and are repeated for each particular person making the offering.

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Discussion Points.

Chelev is right … this chapter is boring. Surely, the leaders of the twelve tribes agreed beforehand about what their offerings were going to be since they are all exactly the same. Given Yahweh and Moses' behavior in the previous chapters, if someone gave less than everyone else, he'd probably be burned alive or killed by some other method.

Considering that the people of Israel were purportedly a nomadic tribe, wandering around in the desert for 40 years and living on manna, the offerings of gold, silver, wagons, oxen and foods is remarkable indeed.

Steve over at Skeptics Annotated counted up the numbers of animals slaughtered as offerings for the dedication ceremony in Numbers 7:

When Moses set up the tabernacle, each of the twelve tribes kills a bullock, lamb, ram, and a kid, two oxen, and five rams, goats, and lambs for God, for a grand total of 240 animal sacrifices.

At the very end of the chapter, we are told:

And when Moses was gone into the tabernacle of the congregation to speak with him, then he heard the voice of one speaking unto him from off the mercy seat that was upon the ark of testimony, from between the two cherubims: and he spake unto him.

However, there is no explanation of who "the voice of one" belonged to, or what the voice said.

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