Numbers 18:2
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
And with you bring your brothers also, the tribe of Levi, the tribe of your father, that they may join you and minister to you while you and your sons with you are before the tent of the testimony.

King James Bible
And thy brethren also of the tribe of Levi, the tribe of thy father, bring thou with thee, that they may be joined unto thee, and minister unto thee: but thou and thy sons with thee shall minister before the tabernacle of witness.

American Standard Version
And thy brethren also, the tribe of Levi, the tribe of thy father, bring thou near with thee, that they may be joined unto thee, and minister unto thee: but thou and thy sons with thee shall be before the tent of the testimony.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And take with thee thy brethren also of the tribe of Levi, and the sceptre of thy father, and let them be ready in hand, and minister to thee: but thou and thy sons shall minister in the tabernacle of the testimony.

English Revised Version
And thy brethren also, the tribe of Levi, the tribe of thy father, bring thou near with thee, that they may be joined unto thee, and minister unto thee: but thou and thy sons with thee shall be before the tent of the testimony.

Webster's Bible Translation
And thy brethren also of the tribe of Levi, the tribe of thy father, bring thou with thee, that they may be joined to thee, and minister to thee: but thou and thy sons with thee shall minister before the tabernacle of witness.

Numbers 18:2 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

Moses carried out this command. And when he went into the tabernacle the following morning, behold Aaron's rod of the house of Levi had sprouted, and put forth shoots, and had borne blossoms and matured almonds. And Moses brought all the rods out of the sanctuary, and gave every man his own; the rest, as we may gather from the context, being all unchanged, so that the whole nation could satisfy itself that God had chosen Aaron. Thus was the word fulfilled which Moses had spoken at the commencement of the rebellion of the company of Korah (Numbers 16:5), and that in a way which could not fail to accredit him before the whole congregation as sent of God.

So far as the occurrence itself is concerned, there can hardly be any need to remark, that the natural interpretation which has lately been attempted by Ewald, viz., that Moses had laid several almond rods in the holy place, which had just been freshly cut off, that he might see the next day which of them would flower the best during the night, is directly at variance with the words of the text, and also with the fact, that a rod even freshly cut off, when laid in a dry place, would not bear ripe fruit in a single night. The miracle which God wrought here as the Creator of nature, was at the same time a significant symbol of the nature and meaning of the priesthood. The choice of the rods had also a bearing upon the object in question. A man's rod was the sign of his position as ruler in the house and congregation; with a prince the rod becomes a sceptre, the insignia of rule (Genesis 49:10). As a severed branch, the rod could not put forth shoots and blossom in a natural way. But God could impart new vital powers even to the dry rod. And so Aaron had naturally no pre-eminence above the heads of the other tribes. But the priesthood was founded not upon natural qualifications and gifts, but upon the power of the Spirit, which God communicates according to the choice of His wisdom, and which He had imparted to Aaron through his consecration with holy anointing oil. It was this which the Lord intended to show to the people, by causing Aaron's rod to put forth branches, blossom, and fruit, through a miracle of His omnipotence; whereas the rods of the other heads of the tribes remained as barren as before. In this way, therefore, it was not without deep significance that Aaron's rod not only put forth shoots, by which the divine election might be recognised, but bore even blossom and ripe fruit. This showed that Aaron was not only qualified for his calling, but administered his office in the full power of the Spirit, and bore the fruit expected of him. The almond rod was especially adapted to exhibit this, as an almond-tree flowers and bears fruit the earliest of all the trees, and has received its name of שׁקד, "awake," from this very fact (cf. Jeremiah 1:11).

God then commanded (Numbers 17:10, Numbers 17:11) that Aaron's rod should be taken back into the sanctuary, and preserved before the testimony, "for a sign for the rebellious, that thou puttest an end to their murmuring, and they die not." The preservation of the rod before the ark of the covenant, in the immediate presence of the Lord, was a pledge to Aaron of the continuance of his election, and the permanent duration of his priesthood; though we have no need to assume, that through a perpetual miracle the staff continued green and blossoming. In this way the staff became a sign to the rebellious, which could not fail to stop their murmuring.

Numbers 18:2 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

joined unto thee. There is a fine paronomasia in the original. Levi is desired from lawah, to join, couple, associate; hence Moses says, the Levites yillawoo, `shall be joined,' or associated, with the priest: they shall conjointly perform the sacred office, but the priest shall be principal, the Levites their associates or assistants.

Numbers 18:4 And they shall be joined to you, and keep the charge of the tabernacle of the congregation, for all the service of the tabernacle...

Genesis 29:34 And she conceived again, and bore a son; and said, Now this time will my husband be joined to me, because I have born him three sons...

minister

Numbers 3:6-9 Bring the tribe of Levi near, and present them before Aaron the priest, that they may minister to him...

Numbers 8:19,22 And I have given the Levites as a gift to Aaron and to his sons from among the children of Israel...

but thou

Numbers 3:10 And you shall appoint Aaron and his sons, and they shall wait on their priest's office...

Numbers 4:15 And when Aaron and his sons have made an end of covering the sanctuary, and all the vessels of the sanctuary...

Numbers 16:40 To be a memorial to the children of Israel, that no stranger, which is not of the seed of Aaron...

Numbers 17:7 And Moses laid up the rods before the LORD in the tabernacle of witness.

1 Chronicles 16:39,40 And Zadok the priest, and his brothers the priests, before the tabernacle of the LORD in the high place that was at Gibeon...

2 Chronicles 30:16 And they stood in their place after their manner, according to the law of Moses the man of God: the priests sprinkled the blood...

Ezekiel 44:15 But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me...

Cross References
Hebrews 9:6
These preparations having thus been made, the priests go regularly into the first section, performing their ritual duties,

Numbers 1:53
But the Levites shall camp around the tabernacle of the testimony, so that there may be no wrath on the congregation of the people of Israel. And the Levites shall keep guard over the tabernacle of the testimony."

Numbers 3:5
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,

Ezekiel 44:11
They shall be ministers in my sanctuary, having oversight at the gates of the temple and ministering in the temple. They shall slaughter the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they shall stand before the people, to minister to them.

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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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