Numbers 4:3
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Count all the men from thirty to fifty years of age who come to serve in the work at the tent of meeting.

King James Bible
From thirty years old and upward even until fifty years old, all that enter into the host, to do the work in the tabernacle of the congregation.

Darby Bible Translation
from thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old, all that enter into the service, to do the work in the tent of meeting.

World English Bible
from thirty years old and upward even until fifty years old, all who enter into the service, to do the work in the Tent of Meeting.

Young's Literal Translation
from a son of thirty years and upward, even till a son of fifty years, every one going in to the host, to do work in the tent of meeting.

Numbers 4:3 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

thirty years

Numbers 8:24-26 This is it that belongs to the Levites...

Genesis 41:46 And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh...

1 Chronicles 23:3,24-27 Now the Levites were numbered from the age of thirty years and upward: and their number by their polls, man by man...

1 Chronicles 28:12,13 And the pattern of all that he had by the spirit, of the courts of the house of the LORD, and of all the chambers round about...

Luke 3:23 And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,

1 Timothy 3:6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

enter

2 Kings 11:4-12 And the seventh year Jehoiada sent and fetched the rulers over hundreds, with the captains and the guard...

2 Chronicles 23:1-11 And in the seventh year Jehoiada strengthened himself, and took the captains of hundreds, Azariah the son of Jeroham...

2 Corinthians 10:3,4 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh...

Ephesians 6:10-18 Finally, my brothers, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might...

1 Timothy 1:18 This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on you...

to do

Numbers 3:7,8 And they shall keep his charge, and the charge of the whole congregation before the tabernacle of the congregation...

Numbers 16:9 Seems it but a small thing to you, that the God of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel...

1 Chronicles 6:48 Their brothers also the Levites were appointed to all manner of service of the tabernacle of the house of God.

1 Chronicles 23:4,5,28-32 Of which, twenty and four thousand were to set forward the work of the house of the LORD; and six thousand were officers and judges...

1 Timothy 3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desires a good work.

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 4:2
"Take a census of the Kohathite branch of the Levites by their clans and families.

Numbers 4:4
"This is the work of the Kohathites at the tent of meeting: the care of the most holy things.

Numbers 4:23
Count all the men from thirty to fifty years of age who come to serve in the work at the tent of meeting.

Numbers 4:30
Count all the men from thirty to fifty years of age who come to serve in the work at the tent of meeting.

Numbers 8:24
"This applies to the Levites: Men twenty-five years old or more shall come to take part in the work at the tent of meeting,

2 Samuel 5:4
David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years.

1 Chronicles 23:3
The Levites thirty years old or more were counted, and the total number of men was thirty-eight thousand.

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