Under the Covers
Bamidbar "In the wilderness" Numbers 1:1-4:20
An excerpt from CGWKBK5 Vol4 Bamidbar

The Levitical camps prophesy of Messiah.  Each son of Levi pictures a work of Messiah on behalf of the Tabernacle, or Body of Messiah.  In redeeming, atoning, indwelling, directing, guarding, assembling, etc., the Levites point toward the works of Yeshua as a spirit-filled man.  In Yeshua's Way the assembly of Israel must walk as a nation of priests.  In the same direction Yeshua directed his service, we, too, must face in service.[1] 

The holy assembly is called to do the work of maintaining and moving the Tabernacle and guarding it from contamination.  Disciples of Yeshua understand that Adonai never intended for them to shake off the Levitical assignments, but to continue to learn from them.

In fact, it is only in studying the detailed duties of the priests and Levites surrounding the Tabernacle that the nature of Messiah's work is more perfectly revealed.  Israel is yet called to maintain, move, and protect the Body of Messiah.  In the work of clan of Merari, the bitter herbs of affliction and the bread of the poor sojourner, Messiah is lifted up and we with him.  In the work of Kohath, the assembly who works under cover, the assembly is covered by the Ruach HaKodesh and the authority of the Father. Gershon opens the veils to the righteous strangers and exiles who return to the covenant, and he teaches them the need to be clothed with Yeshua's righteousness.  What happens under all these covers is critical to Israel's movement and ability to stand upright as the Body of Messiah.

Clan of Merari

Merari (my bitterness, grief) fathered the family of the Machlites (my sickness; sick/fatally wounded/defiled/polluted/become weak) and the family of the Mushites (yield; feel or handle; depart/remove/take away/recede by contact); these were the families of Merari.

These were to camp on the north ( tzaphon) side of the tabernacle. Tzaphon means "hidden."  The appointed duty of the children of Merari included the boards of the tabernacle, its bars, its pillars, its sockets, its utensils, all the work relating to them, and the pillars of the court all around, with their sockets, their pegs, and their cords.

The duties of Merari included the prophetic service of Pesach, which was consumed with bitter herbs, Unleavened Bread, and Firstfruits of the Barley.  This presents the tribulation and suffering servanthood of Yeshua's Spring appearance as the Bread of Affliction and the Poor Man's Bread.

The leader of Merari was Tzuriel (My Rock is El) the son of Abihail (My Father is Might).

In Merari, or Passover, the Feast of Sukkot is hidden.  Sukkot is represented by the clan of Gershon (stranger, exile) where the mixed multitude of the exiles is hidden.  Merari camped to the north, tzaphon, which means "hidden." The blessing of increase and ingathering of the Sukkot exiles is hidden in the bitterness and grief of Passover.  Passover is the Spirit of Wisdom (see CGWKBK1).  Yeshua teaches the work of the Merarites who erect the physical structure of the Tabernacle, or the Father's House:

'Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.  Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell-- and great was its fall.'  When Yeshua had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having  authority, and not as their scribes. (Matthew 7:24- 29)

Yeshua describes the work of Merari in erecting the House as Tzuriel and Abihail, and he teaches them as Eleazar, God-sent Help from the Light-bearer, one having authority over the House! Eleazar, the Son of Aaron was to supervise the coverings and movements of the Tabernacle.  Aaron means "Light-bringer," so in Eleazer is the prophecy of the menorah, the work of the Ruach HaKodesh pictured with spiritual authority over those who worked on behalf of the tribes.

A foolish man means believes that the Mishkan (Tabernacle) in the wilderness was built on the sand of antiquated words; a wise man builds his very house on the eternal rock of the Word that was spoken in the wilderness.

Merari's Passover Picture

There are two families descended from Merari. In the root of Merari is the maror, bitter herbs.  Machli means "my sickness; sick/fatally wounded/defiled/polluted/become weak." The family of the Mushites means "to yield; feel or handle; depart/remove/take away/recede by contact."  Put the two names together, and it paints a picture of a sick, fatally wounded people removed and taken away, receding from the Presence because of their contact with uncleanness.

As Merari who eats bitter herbs with the death of the Lamb, Yeshua came to redeem the sons Machli and Mushi, those yielded to sin and tamei (uncleanness) by contact, receding from the Presence of Adonai.  Yeshua came to heal the sickness of the fatal wound and the weakness caused by sin with his death. 

Passover, Unleavened Bread, and Firstfruits are the beginning of the House, and it is the most basic structures of the house that Merari carries, especially the wooden beams and nails.  This is why Yeshua had to be bound with cords for his trial and nailed to a wooden beam.  He had to carry the people of the Mishkan with the bitterness and grief of service like a Levite.  He felt as though the Presence of Adonai had receded as he was lifted up like the physical House of the Tabernacle in the wilderness (Matthew 27:46).

Weaving Together the Coverings

Whether Merari's Passover prophecy or Gershon's obligation to care for the weavings, coverings, and veils of the Tabernacle, all the clans of the Levites and priests were knit together to teach the Torah to the Assembly of Israel. The Torah was given to the assembly.  The assembly is being woven and braided together like the coverings of the Tabernacle, and this ability to be woven together is critical to the restoration, movement, and useful function of the House of Israel. 

Gershon's exile will end when he returns from the West as pure threads disentangled from the strange idolatry of the nations.  The legend is that the Western Lamp of the menorah never went out.  The Ruach HaKodesh never gave up on the exiles of Israel, and those who had become strangers and exiles are coming back to the Light of Yeshua.

Clean, pure threads are redeemed by Yeshua, and they are called to return as the Amramites (exalted people), an exalted people being raised in the wilderness.  The Mishkan is being built on the Mighty Rock, and the wilderness sand will lead to a permanent House on its foundation in Jerusalem.

[1] Each tribe was commanded to face its tents toward the Mishkan.  There are vestiges of this respect in Jewish worship today.  When a Torah scroll representing the Word of Adonai is removed from its aron, the worshippers do not turn their backs, symbolically facing the holiest place of the Mishkan where the tablets of the Word were housed.  At the Temple Mount's Western Wall, after concluding their prayers, worshipers do not simply turn their backs and walk away.  They back up respectfully a few steps before doing so. Such customs are a wonderful way of remembering and guarding this simple commandment for Israel to face the Mishkan.

If you enjoyed this excerpt, you can purchase the entire Bamidbar workbook by clicking HERE or on the image below:

Quotable Quote:

 "Man can only 'be' but never 'have' anything in a desert.  There is no food to be eaten but the manna, the soul food, and one can easily walk in the same shoes for 40 years because authenticity does not wear out." -
Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardoza
LaMalah Children's Centre
Orphanage Update
Special thanks to our donor of the solar lights, the donor who paid the postage, and those of you who pitched in for children's clothes through your monthly donation. The Kenyan LaMalah Children's Centre is growing with your help.

We mailed two more boxes full of solar lights, children's clothes, and books to the Centre. Brother Ndungu has acknowledged receipt of the goods. Baruch HaShem! The postal service seems to have improved its service to Kenya dramatically lately.

If you have children's clothes or children's books (in English) to send, you can mail them to:

Peter W Ndungu
P.O.Box 724
Limuru 00217
East Africa

If you can help toward this goal, as always, we welcome your assistance.  For those of you who send monthly support to the orphanage, we can't thank you enough for fulfilling Messiah's commission.