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Numbers 7:18-23 meaning

On the second day, the tribe of Issachar brought offerings to the tabernacle. Their offerings were the same as all the other tribes.

Starting with the day of the dedication of the tabernacle (the tent of meeting), each of the 12 tribes would bring gifts to the Levites over the following 12 days—one tribe per day, amounting to a 12-day dedication ceremony.

The next day, the second day (v. 18), Nethanel the son of Zuar, leader of Issachar, presented an offering. "Nethanel" ("given to God") was mentioned in Numbers 1:8 as the leader of the tribe of Issachar.

It is interesting to note that the phrase presented an offering along with the phrase presented as his offering only occurs in the offering of Issachar. The term "presentation" also appears in the offering of Judah, but not in the case of the other ten tribes. Jewish tradition states that Issachar was honored out of order, ahead of Reuben the firstborn, because they had wise men who were studious in the "understanding of the times" (1 Chronicles 12:32). The offering of the tribe of Issachar was identical to the other tribes and consisted of the following items:

  • One silver dish whose weight was one hundred and thirty shekels (v. 19). This made the dish about 3.3 pounds (1.5 kilograms) of silver.
  • One silver bowl of seventy shekels. This made the bowl about 1.75 pounds (or 0.8 kilograms) of silver. The standard weight of the "shekel" was based according to the shekel of the sanctuary, making it around 0.4 ounces.
  • The silver dish and silver bowl were full of fine flour mixed with oil. The "flour" was to be used for a grain offering.
  • One gold pan of ten shekels (v. 20), or about 0.24 pounds (110 grams) of gold. The "pan" was presented full of incense.
  • One bull, one ram, one male lamb one year old, for a burnt offering (v. 21).
  • One male goat for a sin offering (v. 22).
  • The next items were to be used for the sacrifice of peace offerings (v. 23), and they consisted of two oxen, five rams, five male goats, five male lambs one year old.

All of the items above comprised the offering of Nethanel the son of Zuar.


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