Numbers 4:18
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"See that the Kohathite tribal clans are not destroyed from among the Levites.

King James Bible
Cut ye not off the tribe of the families of the Kohathites from among the Levites:

Darby Bible Translation
Ye shall not cut off the families of the Kohathites from among the Levites,

World English Bible
"Don't cut off the tribe of the families of the Kohathites from among the Levites;

Young's Literal Translation
'Ye do not cut off the tribe of the families of the Kohathite from the midst of the Levites;

Numbers 4:18 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

From thirty years old - In Numbers 8:24, the Levites are ordered to enter on the service of the tabernacle at the age of twenty-five years; and in 1 Chronicles 23:24, they were ordered to commence that work at twenty years of age. How can these different times be reconciled?

1. At the time of which Moses speaks here, the Levitical service was exceedingly severe, and consequently required men full grown, strong, and stout, to perform it; the age therefore of thirty years was appointed as the period for commencing this service, the weightier part of which is probably here intended.

2. In Numbers 8:24, Moses seems to speak of the service in a general way; the severe, which was to be performed by the full-grown Levites, and the less laborious work which younger men might assist in: hence the age of twenty-five is fixed.

3. In David's time and afterwards, in the fixed tabernacle and temple, the laboriousness of the service no longer existed, and hence twenty years was the age fixed on for all Levites to enter into the work of the sanctuary. The rabbins say that the Levites began to learn to do the service at twenty-five, and that having been instructed five years, they began the public service at thirty, and thus they reconcile the two periods referred to above. We may well suppose that the sons of the prophets continued a considerable time under instructions before they were called fully to exercise themselves in the prophetic office.

Until fifty years old - This was allowing twenty years for public severe service; a very considerate and merciful ordinance. A preacher who devotes his whole time and strength to the service of the Church of God from twenty to fifty or sixty years of age, should be then excused from his severer labor, and maintained at the charge of the sanctuary. This would not only be a great comfort to a worn-out servant of God, but also of great use to the work of the ministry, which, to be faithfully and effectually performed, requires all the powers of the body and mind of man. Old faithful ministers are to be highly respected for their work's sake, and to be supplied with all the necessaries and comforts of life; but how little can they do in the public ministry of the word, however willing to work, when their eye waxes dim and their bodily strength fails! See Numbers 8:25. Both for their own sakes, and for the good of the Church, they should be excused from a labor to which they must be almost every way inadequate. But notwithstanding this comparative inactivity, their counsels, advice, and experience will always be considered as a treasure to the Church of Christ

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Eleazar and the priests would be chargeable with the death of the Kohathites, if they failed to give them proper cautions and directions; or permitted them to gaze with irreverence or curiosity upon the holy things, which they might carry, but not see.

Numbers 16:32 And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained to Korah...

Numbers 17:10 And the LORD said to Moses, Bring Aaron's rod again before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the rebels...

Numbers 18:5 And you shall keep the charge of the sanctuary, and the charge of the altar: that there be no wrath any more on the children of Israel.

Exodus 19:21 And the LORD said to Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through to the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish.

Leviticus 10:1,2 And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon...

1 Samuel 6:19 And he smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD...

2 Samuel 6:6,7 And when they came to Nachon's threshing floor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it...

Jeremiah 38:23 So they shall bring out all your wives and your children to the Chaldeans: and you shall not escape out of their hand...

Library
The Warfare of Christian Service
'All that enter in to perform the service, to do the work in the tabernacle.' NUM. iv. 23. These words occur in the series of regulations as to the functions of the Levites in the Tabernacle worship. The words 'to perform the service' are, as the margin tells us, literally, to 'war the warfare.' Although it may be difficult to say why such very prosaic and homely work as carrying the materials of the Tabernacle and the sacrificial vessels was designated by such a term, the underlying suggestion is
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Cross References
Numbers 3:27
To Kohath belonged the clans of the Amramites, Izharites, Hebronites and Uzzielites; these were the Kohathite clans.

Numbers 4:17
The LORD said to Moses and Aaron,

Numbers 4:19
So that they may live and not die when they come near the most holy things, do this for them: Aaron and his sons are to go into the sanctuary and assign to each man his work and what he is to carry.

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