“These were the sons of Levi by their names: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. And these are the names of the sons of Gershon by their families: Libni and Shimei. And the sons of Kohath by their families: Amram, Izehar, Hebron, and Uzziel. And the sons of Merari by their families: Mahli and Mushi. These are the families of the Levites by their fathers’ houses.”-Numbers 3:17-20
Let’s begin to take a look at the listed genealogy in Numbers 3.
We’re not going to go into microscopic detail of each name listed but I do want to touch on some points of spiritual relevance and interest.
The first point of major spiritual relevance to modern day believers today is to note that the Levites were to be positioned between the HOLY Wilderness Tabernacle and the 12 Tribes of Israel.
They were to serve as an impenetrable barrier between HOLY ground and the common folks of Israel.
The spiritual principle being brought forth here is the importance of there being a MEDIATOR or an INTERCESSOR between God and the common citizens of Israel.
The common Israelite couldn’t just go up and enter into HOLY ground.
He or she had to go through God’s appointed servants.
A role that was ultimately fleshed out and fulfilled in the person of Yeshua.
This was not just a matter of protecting God’s holiness but also of protecting the very lives of the people from destruction because there is nothing more dangerous than to tread upon God’s holiness.
Another takeaway I can glean from this is that we also as believers are not only serving as witnesses to the Living God but also as guardians of His Holiness.
And no, don’t misunderstand me and think that believers today are replacements for the Levites.
They are absolutely NOT.
I’m just saying I can glean a similarity between their role and our role as believers today.
Let’s move on.
From verse 17, we are given the following names of the immediate sons of Levi (the son of Jacob and the founder of the tribe after his name):
GERSON, KOHATH, MERARI
These three men were all brothers.
However, there is another important name that has been excluded from this list because the person is a woman.
Keep in mind, ancient Israel was a paternalistic, male-dominated society.
The excluded name is JOCHOBED and she is the sister of Gerson, Kohath and Merari.
Does that name ring a bell?
It should because JOCHOBED was Moses and Aaron’s mother.
Now let’s take a look at the following verse:
“And the sons of Kohath by their families:
Amram, Izehar, Hebron, and Uzziel.”
Note the name colored red that I also bolded and underlined.
Amran just so happens to be the father of Moses and Aaron.
That’s right, Amran (the son of Kohath) married his father’s sister!!!
Cross reference this behavior with the stipulation from Leviticus 18 where God lays out in painstaking detail the do’s and don’ts of sexual behavior that His people are to adhere to.
“You are not to have sexual relations with your father’s sister,
because she is your father’s close relative.”
Well, here’s the thing.
What we have to understand is that Amram married his father Kohath’s sister Jochobed in Egypt BEFORE the Law was given.
This situation would have been ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN after Sinai.
But seriously, don’t you find this fascinating?
Think about it, the very appointed Lawgiver Moses Himself is the product of a relationship that would have been forbidden by the very Law He gave.
Talk about paradoxical man!
What lesson or takeaway can we get from this situation?
What I’m getting from this is that the unchangeable things you did that may not have been of the Lord before you came to the Lord can still be used by the Lord even if it wasn’t of the Lord.
Darn, that’s a mouthful.
But I think you got my point.
I also see here a reflection of God’s love and mercy.
He knows we’re not perfect and He knows the many sins we have committed BEFORE entering into a covenant relationship with Him.
He knows all of our imperfections but what’s awesome about the Lord is that He is a master at taking the lemons in our lives and transforming them into sweet and nourishing lemonade.
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
“I instruct married couples to stay together,
and this is exactly what the Lord himself taught.
A wife who leaves her husband
should either stay single
or go back to her husband.
And a husband should not leave his wife.”
1 Corinthians 7:10-11