We switched voices again. Earlier, everything was spoken by God, but we’re back to a narrator for Numbers 7:1-5. It begins with Moses having finally set up the tabernacle. I’m sorry? Who setup the tabernacle? We were just told that all of the tasks necessary to tear-down, transport, and setup the tabernacle was in the hands of the families of all the Levites except for Moses’ family!
After Moses anoints and sanctifies the tent, its slaughtering devices, and various implements of destruction, each of the leaders of the twelve other tribes shows up with twelve oxen and six covered wagons in tow. The bible says that each tribe has brought an ox, and every other tribe brought a wagon. Thus, it’s not possible that this tribute could have been made fairly.
Anyway, the twelve tribes give up their possessions, we’re to believe of their own volition, to Moses so that he may distribute them among the Levites who have been charged with transporting the tabernacle.
Excuse me? We just learned that, even when you exclude all the women, infants, and Moses and Aaron’s lazy offspring, there are 17,450 Levites available to do this job! Certainly, among all those families a spare ox or two could be found? But even without beasts of burden, there are ample men to carry the various tabernacle parts by hand if they evenly distributed the work.
How could the Levites possibly need more help transporting the tabernacle, and why would the leaders of the other tribes ever think would? It seems more like the we’re meant to believe that the Levites are in some way superior to others, and worthy of tribute.