Numbers 3:5-9,12-13,17,39,43,45-48 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Call forward the tribe of Levi, and present them to Aaron the priest to serve as his assistants. They will serve Aaron and the whole community, performing their sacred duties in and around the Tabernacle. They will also maintain all the furnishings of the sacred tent, serving in the Tabernacle on behalf of all the Israelites. Assign the Levites to Aaron and his sons. They have been given from among all the people of Israel to serve as their assistants… “Look, I have chosen the Levites from among the Israelites to serve as substitutes for all the firstborn sons of the people of Israel. The Levites belong to me, for all the firstborn males are mine. On the day I struck down all the firstborn sons of the Egyptians, I set apart for myself all the firstborn in Israel, both of people and of animals. They are mine; I am the Lord.”… Levi had three sons, whose names were Gershon, Kohath, and Merari… When Moses and Aaron counted the Levite clans at the Lord’s command, the total number was 22,000 males one month old or older… The number of firstborn sons who were one month old or older was 22,273… “Take the Levites as substitutes for the firstborn sons of the people of Israel. And take the livestock of the Levites as substitutes for the firstborn livestock of the people of Israel. The Levites belong to me; I am the Lord. There are 273 more firstborn sons of Israel than there are Levites. To redeem these extra firstborn sons, collect five pieces of silver for each of them (each piece weighing the same as the sanctuary shekel, which equals twenty gerahs). Give the silver to Aaron and his sons as the redemption price for the extra firstborn sons.”

Genealogies were always the most boring part of any chapter of the Bible for me and glossing over them was my natural attitude.

Why does God stress on genealogy so much when what really seems important is His son, Jesus Christ?

We know for a fact that the Bible is not simply a record of all humanity but is really the story of Jesus Christ. The beginning is inferred but not detailed but what is detailed is the origins of God’s chosen people, their lives as led by God, the fall, the law, the redemption and the hope that humanity lives with because of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.

Nadab and Abihu’s death due to their sin of burning the wrong fire before God resulted in Aaron having limited support from his remaining two sons, Eleazar and Ithamar.

God recognized this problem knowing the task at hand for Aaron in being the priest of Israel and therefore provided the clan of Levi to assist him.

The Levites were distributed by the families of the three sons of Levi, Gershon, Kohath and Merari. In totality, there were 22,000 sons from the descendants of the 3 sons and each family was dedicated to a specific role with regards to maintaining the tabernacle.

God provided perfectly the needs of His own and was in total control of humanity regardless of it’s own frailty.

The passage then goes on to explain that the 22,000 were not just merely help to Aaron but were also considered the firstborn of Israel and were chosen by God to serve Him from all of God’s people.

The firstborn of the other 12 tribes of Israel totaled 22,273, nearly the exact number and the difference was just 273 firstborn. To compensate, Aaron was given five pieces of silver for each of the firstborn and therefore all of Israel was provided for through the Levites.

Back in Egypt when the Israelites were enslaved, we remember the killing of the Egyptians firstborn while the Israelite firstborn living in Goshen were spared.

God clearly chose the firstborn to redeem the rest of the people and that saved Israel. What about us today who might not be of Jewish descent? Are we not redeemed and do we have no hope?

Jesus Christ, the only Son of God is the firstborn of all humanity. Even though he genealogically seemed to come into the picture 14 generations after King David, He was already in existence before man was even created as He explained in John 8:57-58.

The people said, “You aren’t even fifty years old. How can you say you have seen Abraham?” Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I Am!” John 8:57-58

When Jesus voluntarily gave up His life for us, His shed blood paid for the sins of all humanity and He therefore redeemed us from the depths of hell.

Through His resurrection, we live with the confirmed hope of being raised with Him and living in God’s mercy than being condemned.

Have you been redeemed by Jesus’ blood and living as a new creation in Him or are you still trying to navigate life with blinders on heedlessly wandering onwards?

In His Loving Service,

If you would like to know about Jesus, then please click here.

  1. Ann says:

    Thanks for sharing, Vineet

    I tend to find the genealogies quite a hard read. I remember how eye opening it was the first time we saw how Jesus lineage traced back to Ruth…. All these names may not mean much to us but knowing the make up of the big picture makes such a difference.


  2. Debbie says:

    Thank you so much, Vineet, for showing us about the role of the firstborn of the Israelites . . .and the role of Jesus as God’s firstborn redeeming us. You always bless me. I never know how you are going to navigate through a section of scripture, but you do it beautifully and we always end up back at His feet. love it!
    God bless you and your dear family as you glorify and serve Him today!

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