1 And Yahweh spake unto Moses [Moshe] and unto Aaron [Aharon], saying,

Each member of the ecclesia has his work to do in a co-operative effort for the general good. That principle is enforced in the early chapters of the Book of Numbers: the record of the ecclesia in the probation of the wilderness, and which establishes the numberings of the members of Israel: both at the beginning and the end. So Yahweh desires His people to work in His service. By this co-operation the tabernacle was set up from place to place, with the least trouble, and the means of general worship was made possible.


3 From 30 years old and upward even until 50 years old, all that enter into the host [tz'va (holy militia of Yahweh)], to do the work in the tabernacle [ohel - the tent OVER the tabernacle/ mishkan] of the congregation [Mo'ed]..

The Lord Yahoshua and John the baptizer commenced their service at '30 years old' (Lk 3:23). This also suggests a level of full maturity - man at the prime of his life physically and intellectually; the best of service when men are at their most capable.

[In the septuagint, this is given as 25 years of age, in conformity with Num 8: 24 - The Numbers Expositor]

This is it that belongeth unto the Levites: from twenty and five years old and upward they shall go in to wait upon the service of the tabernacle of the congregation: and 1 Chron 23:24

These were the sons of Levi after the house of their fathers; even the chief of the fathers, as they were counted by number of names by their polls, that did the work for the service of the house of the Lord, from the age of twenty years and upward.

So it appears that for 10 years Levites were in a preparation for the priesthood - which they commenced at 30 years of age.

This suggests to me that our Lord on reaching the age of 20 years began his formal preparation for priesthood, albeit as a private citizen. This preparation, whatever it entailed, was not apparent to those around him. 

Unseen by family and the local community he was being guided toward the perfection of Deity manifestation. At 20 years of age the process of growth in wisdom and grace took on an especial impetus. A new phase of dedication. At 12 years of age it was evident he was no mere man - Lk 2: 49 and already committed to the work of his Father in heaven.

7 And upon the table of shewbread [Shulchan HaPanim] they shall spread a cloth of blue [sky-blue], and put thereon the dishes, and the spoons, and the bowls, and covers to cover withal [kesot hanesekh (pitchers [cups] of the drink offering)]: and the continual bread [Lechem HaTamid (Perpetual Bread)] shall be thereon:

The Sabbath was, very appropriately, the day appointed for the renewal of the loaves upon the Table of Shewbread. "Every sabbath he shall set it in order before the Lord continually, being taken from the children of Israel by an everlasting covenant" (Lev. 24 : 5-8).

What the Daily Burnt Offering taught daily, the bread upon the Table taught weekly: as the one was the "continual Burnt Offering", so the other was "the continual bread" (Num. 4 : 7)-"continual" because the Table was never to be clear of the bread, not even when being transported from place to place as the Camp moved forward. That is, though the Sabbath (because it occurred only once in seven days) was a periodical event only, it nevertheless symbolized a spiritual state which was meant to characterize Israel continually and permanently...If only Israel could rise to its true destiny, not only one day in seven, but every day would be likewise holy.

Law and Grace Ch 10

30 From thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old shalt thou number them, every one that entereth into the service [tz'va (holy militia service of Hashem)], to do the work of the tabernacle [Ohel - tent covering the tabernacle] of the congregation [ Mo'ed.]

Service - mgn warfare -

Thus the priests were engaged in the warfare of faith in their service of the tabernacle. They were in the fight against Sin, and the power of victory was evident in the principle of the tabernacle and its furnishings. We continue that warfare, as we uphold the antitypical tabernacle: the Lord Yahshua Christ, in our daily labours for the righteousness of Yahweh. What a grand privilege, to prepare for the high honour of being "kings and priests" in the glorious kingdom, at the end of our wilderness wanderings.


The Hebrew interpolations are from the Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)