Life-Study of Numbers, by Witness Lee


The presenting of the Levites, the serving ones of the priesthood, took place in Numbers 8:5-26. Actually, the Levitical work should be one with the priesthood. Because of the Old Testament arrangement, God divided these into two sections. The priesthood was a divine service rendered directly to God, and the Levites served the priesthood. Things such as caring for the animals and carrying the furnishings of the tabernacle were Levitical works.

A. Cleansing the Levites

"Take the Levites from among the sons of Israel, and cleanse them" (v. 6). All the Levites had to be cleansed. Verses 7 and 8 speak of the cleansing of the Levites.

1. Sprinkling the Water of Purification upon Them

"Thus you shall do to them, to cleanse them: sprinkle the water for purification upon them" (v. 7a). Sprinkling the water of purification upon the Levites signifies the application of the effectiveness of the redemption of Christ upon the serving believers. Today, in principle it is the same with us. Every day, early in the morning, we are cleansed anew through the sprinkling, the applying, of the redeeming blood of Christ.

2. Shaving All Their Flesh

Concerning the cleansing of the Levites, Moses was commanded to "let them pass a razor over all their flesh" (v. 7b). This signifies the cutting off of all the natural strength. The hair on the body, signifying the natural strength, had to be shaved off. This indicates that in our service to God we should not depend on our natural strength.

3. Washing Their Clothes and
Cleansing Themselves

The Levites were also required to "wash their clothes and cleanse themselves" (v. 7c). This signifies dealing with their conduct and their person. Both the person and the conduct of the serving ones had to be dealt with.

4. Offering a Young Bull
for a Sin Offering and Another Young Bull
for a Burnt Offering and Its Meal Offering

"Then let them take a young bull and its meal offering of fine flour mingled with oil, and you shall take another young bull for a sin offering" (v. 8). The Levites offered a young bull (the fresh Christ) for a sin offering. This indicates that they were sinful. They also offered another young bull for a burnt offering. This indicates that they should live for God. The meal offering of fine flour mingled with oil indicates that they should live as Christ lived in His humanity.

What they offered of Christ indicates that they should be like their offering. However, they were not like that. Thus, they needed Christ to be their offerings and their replacement. They needed Christ as the sin offering, the burnt offering, and the meal offering.

(Life-Study of Numbers, Chapter 13, by Witness Lee)