30 years old or 25?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by jonathan.borland, Feb 8, 2010.

  1. jonathan.borland

    jonathan.borland
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    Doing some reading before bed, and noticed something for which there must be an easy answer. In Numbers 4 it mentions several times that those who serve in the Tent of Meeting were to be aged 30 to 50, but in 8:24 it says those who serve were to be 25 to 30. How much time passed between chapters 4 and 8? I don't have my old Scofield handy with the dates at the top of each page. Why the difference? Anyone have a good commentary handy?
     
  2. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
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    "Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, "This is what pertains to the Levites: From twenty-five years old and above one may enter to perform service in the work of the tabernacle of meeting; and at the age of fifty years they must cease performing this work, and shall work no more. They may minister with their brethren in the tabernacle of meeting, to attend to needs, but they themselves shall do no work. Thus you shall do to the Levites regarding their duties."

    David Guzik, in his commentary, says that there was a 5-year apprenticeship before the 30-year-old mark.
     
    #2 Scarlett O., Feb 8, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2010
  3. jonathan.borland

    jonathan.borland
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    Great answer. Thanks!
     
  4. Deacon

    Deacon
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    #4 Deacon, Feb 8, 2010
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  5. Thermodynamics

    Thermodynamics
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    The chronology used by Scofield is wrong more often than it is right and where he is right it is more a case of a blind squirrel finding a acorn than sound historical scholarship on Mr. Scofield's part.
     
  6. jonathan.borland

    jonathan.borland
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    I meant that as a joke. Obviously you didn't think it was funny!
     
  7. Magnetic Poles

    Magnetic Poles
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    I got it. But I did go to a church years ago that seemed to place Scofield's notes and theology on par with scripture. One reason I didn't go there long.
     
  8. franklinmonroe

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    Gleason Archer in his Encylopedia of Bible Difficulties (page 135) finds Jamieson-Faucett-Brown's 5-year apprentice explanation reasonably inferred from "careful comparison" of the two passages.

    Norman Geisler in his Big Book of Bible Difficulties (page 98) has a somewhat different explanation. He suggests that there are "distinctions" in the described duties made by each passage: Numbers 4:3 uses the Hebrew word melakah (Strong's #4399, meaning occupation or business) of the tabernacle; while Numbers 8:24 uses a form of abodah (Strong's #5656, service or labor) of the tabernacle. He suggests that younger men were limited to the more physical work for at least 5 years before being ordained into administrative services. Unfortunately, I think his particular solution may suffer from the fact that latter verses (4:23, 30, 35, 39, 43, and 47) in Numbers use the word abodah with the 30-to-50 age group. Although there could be some other distinctions (for example, Numbers 4 seems to be only concerned with the tabernacle on the move, while Numbers 8 seems to be only about when it is erected).

    Both Archer and Geisler agree that the lowering of the age to 20 years in Ezra 3:8 was twofold: it was an appropriate adjustment resulting from a short supply of returning Levites out of captivity; and their service was primarly to oversee the restoration of a new temple, not the actual officiating of worship or sacrifices. Geisler acknowledges that David began a tradition of employing Levites from age 20 (Chronicles). Archer reminds us that a boyish Samuel was doing some ministry in the temple (1 Samuel 3:1). These all seem to speak to adjusted levels of authority or responsibility depending upon age.

    The Septuagint may give the age 25 at both Numbers passages.
     
    #8 franklinmonroe, Feb 9, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 9, 2010
  9. Deacon

    Deacon
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    I'm curious, we recently began Luke in SS

    We start chapter 4 Sunday ... that is if we have church...
    I've got almost 5 feet of snow on either side of my driveway.
    Probably the most snow I've ever seen. :eek:

    ANYWAY ....

    I'm reviewing last weeks notes and came to verse 23 of chapter 3.


    Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, ...
    Luke 3:23a ESV

    Could there be some relationship there???

    Rob
     
  10. jonathan.borland

    jonathan.borland
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    I thought the same thing when I read through that part!
     

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