"7 On the day when Moses had finished setting up the tabernacle and had anointed and consecrated it with all its furnishings and had anointed and consecrated the altar with all its utensils, 2 the chiefs of Israel, heads of their fathers' houses, who were the chiefs of the tribes, who were over those who were listed, approached 3 and brought their offerings before the Lord, six wagons and twelve oxen, a wagon for every two of the chiefs, and for each one an ox. They brought them before the tabernacle. 4 Then the Lord said to Moses, 5 “Accept these from them, that they may be used in the service of the tent of meeting, and give them to the Levites, to each man according to his service.” 6 So Moses took the wagons and the oxen and gave them to the Levites. 7 Two wagons and four oxen he gave to the sons of Gershon, according to their service. 8 And four wagons and eight oxen he gave to the sons of Merari, according to their service, under the direction of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest. 9 But to the sons of Kohath he gave none, because they were charged with the service of the holy things that had to be carried on the shoulder. "
The offering of gifts by the princes of Israel recorded in this chapter took place on the completion by Moses of the erection of the Tabernacle at Sinai, and was one of the last events prior to the departure of the people of Israel from Sinai. It is an extremely long chapter, falling into two unequal parts, 19 and 1088, with a final sentence (89) describing Moses' fellowship and concourse with the Lord within the Tabernacle. The events recorded in it do not follow chronologically upon the previous chapters. The setting up of the Tabernacle took place on the first day of the first month of the second year (Exodus 40:17), and this date is already past, in Numbers 1:18. Historically, it should follow Leviticus 8:10,11. It is placed here, according to Delitzsch, 'at the head of the events which immediately preceded the departure of the people from Sinai, because these gifts consisted in part of materials, that were indispensably necessary for the transport of the Tabernacle during the march through the desert'. The princes, who are mentioned in the same order as in 2:329, make a sacred offering, each iden- tical to the other, consisting of six covered wagons and twelve oxen (3). These are received from them by Moses who gives them to the Gershonites and Merarites for use in connection with the service of the Tabernacle, and particularly for its imminent departure on its wilder- ness journeyings (49). The composition of the offerings in each case is a silver charger, a silver bowl, both filled with fine flour mingled with oil for a meat offering; a golden spoon full of incense; a bullock, a ram, a lamb for a burnt offering, a kid for a sin offering; and two oxen, five rams, five he-goats, five lambs for a peace offering. The offerings are formally presented by the princes on twelve successive days (1283). The total amount offered by them is finally recorded in 8488.