christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

numbers 4:21-7:89, parashah naso (lift up)

I study the Torah every year using the teaching tools of Scripture. (Why?)

Today is the 33rd Sabbath of the annual Torah cycle. The Torah reading is NasoNum 4:21-7:89.

The paragraph divisions are as follows:

Num 4:21-49 p The duty of Gershon + Ithamar the priest + Merari + number of the Levites
— Num 4:21-28 s The duty of Gershon + Ithamar the priest
— Num 4:29-37 s The duty of Merari + Ithamar the priest + the number of Kohath
— Num 4:38-49 p The number of Gershon + the number of Merari + number of Levites
Num 5:1-4 p Put out of the camp the unclean and defiled
Num 5:5-10 p Making restitution when the LORD has been trespassed against
Num 5:11-31 p The law of a jealous husband and an unfaithful wife
Num 6:1-21 p The law concerning the Nazirite
Num 6:22-7:17 p The blessing of the high priest and the ruler of Judah
— Num 6:22-23 s Aaron and his sons to bless the children of Israel
— Num 6:24 s YHVH bless you and keep you
— Num 6:25 s YHVH make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you
— Num 6:26 s YHVH lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace
— Num 6:27 s The priests put YHVH’s name upon Israel and He will bless them
— Num 7:1-11 s The leaders’ offering for the Levites + the dedication of the altar
— Num 7:12-17 p 1st day offering: Nahshon leader of Judah
Num 7:18-23 p 2nd day offering: Nethanel leader of Issachar
Num 7:24-29 p 3rd day offering: Eliab leader of Zebulun
Num 7:30-35 p 4th day offering: Elizur leader of Reuben
Num 7:36-41 p 5th day offering: Shelumiel leader of Simeon
Num 7:42-47 p 6th day offering: Eliasaph leader of Gad
Num 7:48-53 p 7th day offering: Elishamah leader of Ephraim
Num 7:54-59 p 8th day offering: Gamaliel leader of Manasseh
Num 7:60-65 p 9th day offering: Abidan leader of Benjamin
Num 7:66-71 p 10th day offering: Ahiezer leader of Dan
Num 7:72-77 p 11th day offering: Pagiel leader of Asher
Num 7:78-83 p 12th day offering: Ahira leader of Naphtali
Num 7:84-89 p Dedication offering for the altar + the voice of YHVH above the mercy seat

I have not yet discovered a single chiastic structure that encompasses Naso. The chiastic structures within this parashah are many. The ones I have uncovered so far include:

Num 3:21-4:28
1a) Num 3:21-26 s, Gershon;
1b) Num 3:27-31, Kohath;
1c) Num 3:32, Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, chief over the leaders of the Levites;
1d) Num 3:33-37, The camp and duty of Merari of the family of the Levites;
1e) Num 3:38-39 s, The camp and duty of Aaron;
1f) Num 3:40-43 p, The number of the firstborn males (22,273) from among the children of Israel;
central axis) Num 3:44-45, Take the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel;
2f) Num 3:44-51 p The amount of redemption money for the firstborn (1,365) given to Aaron;
2e) Num 4:1-15a, The duty of Aaron in regard to the most holy things;
2d) Num 4:15b, The duty of Kohath of the family of the Levites;
2c) Num 4:16 p, The appointed duty of Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest;
2b) Num 4:17-20 p Kohath;
2a) Num 4:21-28 s, Gershon.

Num 4:1-49
1a) Num 4:1a, The Lord spoke unto Moses and Aaron, saying;
1b) Num 4:1b-33, Number Kohath, Gershon, and Merari from 30-50 years;
1c) Num 4:34a, Moses and Aaron and the princes of the congregation;
central axis) Num 4:34b-45, The number of Kohath, Gershon, and Merari from 30-50 years;
2c) Num 4:46, Moses and Aaron and the princes of Israel;
2b) Num 4:47-48, The total number of the Levites by their families from 30-50 years;
2a) Num 4:49 p, According to the commandment of the Lord they were numbered by the hand of Moses.

Num 5:1-4 p i.e., Death defiles the camp where the presence of the Lord dwells
1a) Num 5:1, And the Lord spoke to Moses;
1b) Num5:2, Command the children of Israel that they put out of the camp lepers, unclean, and defiled;
central axis) Num 5:3, That they may not defile their camp in the midst of which I dwell;
2b) Num 5:4a, And the children of Israel did so, and put them outside the camp;
2a) Num 5:4b, As the Lord spoke to Moses, so the children of Israel did.

Num 5:5-31 p+p
1a) Num 5:5-7a, Anyone who commits sin in unfaithfulness against the Lord, if they are guilty, they shall confess their sin;
1b) Num 5:7b-8a, They shall make restitution, but if there is no kinsman redeemer, then it shall go to the Lord for the priest;
central axis) Num 5:8b, In addition to the ram of the atonement with which atonement is made for him;
2b) Num 5:9-10 p, Every offering of the holy things of the children of Israel shall be the priest’s;
2a) Num 5:11-31 p, A wife who commits unfaithfulness against her husband and does not confess her sin.

Num 5:11-31 p
1a) Num 5:11-16, The law of jealousy:
— a) Num 5:11-13, If a man’s wife behaves unfaithfully and defiles herself;
— b) Num 5:14, And if the spirit of jealousy comes upon her husband whether or not she has defiled herself;
— c) Num 5:15-16, He shall bring her to the priest;
1b) Num 5:17-18, The bitter water that brings a curse;
central axis) Num 5:19-22, The oath and the curse;
2b) Num 5:23-28, The bitter water that brings a curse;
2a) Num 5:29-31, The law of jealousy:
— a) Num 5:29, If a wife while under her husband’s authority, defiles herself with unfaithfulness;
— b)Num 5:30a, Or when a spirit of jealousy comes upon a man;
— c) Num 5:30b-31, He shall bring her before the priest to do this law upon her.

Num 6:1-21 p The law concerning the Nazirite
1a) Num 6:1-2, When anyone consecrates an offering to take the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself to the Lord;
1b) Num 6:3-4, He shall separate himself from wine;
1c) Num 6:5, All the days of his separation he shall let the hair of his head grow;
1d) Num 6:6-12, The Nazirite shall not defile the days of his separation to the Lord with death;
central axis) Num 6:13, Now this is the law of the Nazirite, he shall be brought to the door of the tabernacle of meeting;
2d) Num 6:13b-17, When the days of his separation to the Lord are fulfilled, he shall offer his offerings;
2c) Num 6:18-20a, He shall shave his consecrated head at the door of the tent of meeting when his vow is completed;
2b) Num 6:20b, After that the Nazirite may drink wine;
2a) Num 6:21, This is the law of the Nazirite who vows to the Lord the offering for his separation.

Num 6:22-27 s+s+s+s+s The Aaronic blessing
1a) Num 6:22-23, This is the way Aaron and his sons shall bless the children of Israel, they shall say;
1b) Num 6:24, May Yehovah bless you and keep you;
1c) Num 6:25a, May Yehovah make His face shine upon you;
central axis) Num 6:25b, May Yehovah be gracious to you;
2c) Num 6:26a, May Yehovah lift up His countenance upon you;
2b) Num 6:26b, May Yehovah give you peace;
2a) Num 6:27, So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them.

Num 7:1-11 s
1a) Num 7:1-3, The leaders of Israel brought an offering for the dedication of the altar;
1b) Num 7:4-5, You shall give them to the Levites, to every man according to his service;
central axis) Num 7:6-8, He gave them to Gershon and Merari, under the authority of Ithamar the son of Aaron;
2b) Num 7:9, He did not give them to Kohath, because theirs was the service of the holy things;
2a) Num 7:10-11, Now the leaders offered the dedication offering for the altar when it was anointed.

Num 7:12-17 p
1a) Num 7:12, Nahshon the son of Amminadab the leader of the tribe of Judah offered his offering on the first day;
central axis) Num 7:13-17a, His offering was silver, gold, incense, grain, burnt, sin, and peace offerings;
2a) Num 7:17b, This was the offering of Nahshon the son of Amminadab.

The same chiastic structure can be made for Num 7:18-83, the 2nd through 12th day offerings.

What is the significance of these structures? I believe most of them are Messianic prophecies, and foreshadows of the gospel of grace preached from Torah. Perhaps I will have grown in wisdom enough by next year so that I can post how this is so.


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