Numbers 4: Cleaning Up Camp

“Clean up! Clean up! / Everybody everywhere / Clean up! Clean Up! / Everybody do your share” – Best. Song. Ever.

Life as an Israelite (I just realized I must have spelled that word wrong dozens of times while writing this blog. D’oh!) is always on the go. They entire community is mobile and needs to be ready to get up and move at the drop of a hat.

Or, at the word of the Lord.

And it seems, according to Numbers 4, that the procedure for taking the camp apart for transport is just as important as how it functions when it is set up.

So for all you Kohathites, Gershonites, and Merarites out there, I have created a handy dandy guide for cleaning up the camp. Follow these instructions and you should have no trouble at all.

And the added bonus is you won’t be smote in the process. Winning!

How To Clean Up Camp

Step 1: Have Aaron & Sons Moving Co. gather up all the holy items in the tent and wrap them up in blue and crimson cloth. Then wrap them in sea cow hides. Make sure that only Aaron & Sons do this. (This is the part where the risk of smotation is highest.)

Step 2: The Kohathites are to carry said items. DO NOT touch or look at the items you are carrying. The coverings on them are as much for your protection as for the items themselves.

Step 3: The Gershonites are to gather up and carry all the curtains, tent coverings, outer coverings, screens, hangings, and cords. Try to roll them up nicely. Nobody likes a wrinkled Tabernacle.

Step 4: The Merarites gather up all the frames, bars, pillars, bases, pegs and cords. Label them and assign them to the members of your team so they know what part goes where when they set it up again.

And that should do it. Enjoy your travels and lack of smiting!

A Brief Thought on Numbers So Far

Numbers contains a lot of repetition. A section will start with a description of what is about to happen. Then that thing will happen using the same words that were in the description. Then it will happen 2 or three more times using the exact same words. Finally, there will be a recap and conclusion using, you guessed it, the same words.


I mean, papyrus doesn’t grow on trees for crying out loud!

Why take up so much space saying things you already said before?

Numbers reads like an official government document. Or at the very least like a super fancy gas station bathroom chart so you know it was cleaned every hour. Whoever wrote this wanted the readers to know that things were done correctly. No detail was overlooked or disregarded.

Each tribe was counted in the same way. Each clan of the Levites was counted the same way with the same criteria.

No one should be able to walk away from this book thinking that the Israelites (spelled it right this time! Yes!) did a half-assed job.

What kind of work are you the most careful and disciplined in?

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