PARASHAT NASSO (LIFT UP)
BAMIDBAR (NUMBERS) 4:21 – 7:89
In our weekly Scripture reading, we find one of the most well known blessings in all of Scripture, which is the “Priestly Blessing”. I devoted an entire blog to this topic, which I recommend you to read here. This week, I would like to focus on a different issue in this parasha, which I find has particular interest to us followers of Messiah.
But first, a little background on the Levites would prove helpful. Our portion this week is a direct continuation of last week’s parasha (Parashat Bamidbar), which speaks of the roles of the Levites regarding their service of God’s dwelling place, the Tabernacle, and the manner in which they are to treat the items in it, including the Ark of the Covenant. It also explained the way in which they were to build, dismantle, and the carry the Tent of the Meeting when the camp would move to a new location. In short, the Levites were required to do a lot of work!
As I re-read our portion for this week, I noticed something very interesting. The age of the men that were called to serve as Levites was between 30 to 50 years old. The few commentaries that I consulted on this issue speculate that this is the age when the men were best fit and therefore better able to serve as priests. This doesn’t seem to be a satisfactory answer. Being on the closer side of 50 years old myself, I can say that I in no way feel more equipped to do physical labor than I did when I was closer to 30! In fact, I believe that men aged between 20-40 would be better able to do the intense physical work that the Levites were required to do. There must be another explanation.
While there is no clear explanation in the Scriptures, I see a strong connection to Messiah Yeshua in this. The fact that the age requirement is mentioned 7 times in the text means that it is clearly important! The key here is that a Levi could only begin serving in the Tabernacle at the age of 30. In the Book of Luke, we find an interesting fact about the age that Yeshua Himself began His ministry on earth:
And when He began His ministry, Yeshua Himself was about thirty years of age, being supposedly the son of Joseph, the son of Eli…
I don’t know about you, but I don’t believe anything in the Word of God is a product of coincidence. The fact that the Levites began their service for the LORD at the age of thirty has a direct connection to the age that Yeshua – our High Priest- began His ministry on earth, preparing the way for God’s Spirit to dwell with His Bride. Again, I am amazed at the continuity in God’s Word, and in His plan of salvation, which was there from the beginning of time.
This article originally appeared on Hope for Israel and is reposted with permission.
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Moran is the Founder and Executive Director of Hope for Israel, which is a service and resource-providing ministry that aims to bring the hope of the Messiah back to Israel. It is also a resource center for current and timely news updates concerning Israel that provides daily prayer alerts, Bible teachings, and weekly blogs in order to help believers across the world understand what God is doing in the Land, how to pray for Israel and filter everything through the Word of God.