Numbers 4:20
Parallel Verses
New International Version
But the Kohathites must not go in to look at the holy things, even for a moment, or they will die."

King James Bible
But they shall not go in to see when the holy things are covered, lest they die.

Darby Bible Translation
but they shall not go in and see for a moment the holy things, lest they die.

World English Bible
but they shall not go in to see the sanctuary even for a moment, lest they die."

Young's Literal Translation
and they go not in to see when the holy thing is swallowed, that they have died.'

Numbers 4:20 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

When the holy things are covered - Literally, כבלע keballa, when they are swallowed down; which shows the promptitude with which every thing belonging to the holy of holies was put out of sight, for these mysteries must ever be treated with the deepest reverence; and indeed without this they could not have been to them the representatives of heavenly realities. See the concluding note Numbers 4:36 (note).

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

they shall

Numbers 4:15,19 And when Aaron and his sons have made an end of covering the sanctuary, and all the vessels of the sanctuary...

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 10:2 And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.

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

Hebrews 10:19,20 Having therefore, brothers, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus...

Revelation 11:19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightning...

the holy things. Haakkodesh, 'the holy' or 'sanctuary' i.e. the ark, as the Jews generally understand it; and with good reason, as any one may be convinced, who compared

1 Kings 8:8 And they drew out the staves, that the ends of the staves were seen out in the holy place before the oracle...


2 Chronicles 5:9 And they drew out the staves of the ark, that the ends of the staves were seen from the ark before the oracle...

, where that which is called the holy in the former, is called the ark in the latter.

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
Exodus 19:21
and the LORD said to him, "Go down and warn the people so they do not force their way through to see the LORD and many of them perish.

Leviticus 16:13
He is to put the incense on the fire before the LORD, and the smoke of the incense will conceal the atonement cover above the tablets of the covenant law, so that he will not die.

Numbers 4:15
"After Aaron and his sons have finished covering the holy furnishings and all the holy articles, and when the camp is ready to move, only then are the Kohathites to come and do the carrying. But they must not touch the holy things or they will die. The Kohathites are to carry those things that are in the tent of meeting.

Numbers 4:21
The LORD said to Moses,

1 Samuel 6:19
But God struck down some of the inhabitants of Beth Shemesh, putting seventy of them to death because they looked into the ark of the LORD. The people mourned because of the heavy blow the LORD had dealt them.

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