The Offerings of the Tribal Leaders

Numbers 7:1-89

At this point, the Torah tells us the tribal princes bring six covered wagons and twelve oxen as a contribution to the Tabernacle. Moses divides them between the families of Gershon and Merari for their use in transporting the structure of the Tabernacle.


The portion ends with a lengthy list of the offerings brought to the Tabernacle for the dedication of the altar. The princes of each of the twelve tribes are moved to bring offerings for the occasion. Although each offering is identical, it is listed in detail for each prince.


The offerings each consist of one silver bowl, one silver basin, each filled with fine flour mixed with oil; one gold ladle filled with incense; one young bull, one ram and one sheep as an elevation offering;a he-goat as a sin offering; and two cattle, five rams, five he-goats and five sheep for a peace offering. This makes a total of 12 bowls, 12 basins, 12 ladles, 36 bulls, 72 rams, 72 sheep, and 72 he-goats. Each prince brings his offering on a different day.


The Israel Bible says the princes were moved by their initial contribution of wagons and oxen to participate in the dedication of the altar. Following their lead, both the First and Second Temples were inaugurated with abundant sacrifices.


Virtual Classroom Discussion

Why do you think each of the identical offerings was listed in such great detail?

Comments ( 6 )

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  • Lizelle Rajkumar

    Did the 12 tribes have to offer the daily offerings individually as well?

  • Herman Arentsen

    I think that through these extended decribed yet equal offerings each group did know that the other had to bring the same as they themselves had to do. No difference between the offering. Yes, difference in task. but all will bring the same for the throne of HaShem.. No envie, we are all Aharon's descents in His service.

  • Ken

    The order of the tribes and their prince presented in this chapter is the same order that describes the placement of the 12 tribes around the Tabernacle. Though these are 12 individual tribes and unique in someway in their assignments, characters and positions, they have a collective purpose as the representatives of God. This arrangement is a microcosm of God’s order, purpose and expectation of responsibility of everyone involved.

  • Danielle Reisman

    Every one of the 12 tribes has its specific job in this world. Their dedication offerings are repeated twelve times with the same offerings to emphasize the twelve unique paths.

  • Orli

    Perhaps it is to make it very clear that all the tribes are equal, the offerings are identical, no tribe is to be exalted above another.
    Perhaps also, there may be a lot of meaning in the numbers and paleo letters meanings involved that would give more insight. Not at all sure but I do know that letters and numbers can reveal a great deal in the Torah.

  • Diana Brown

    Possibly to prove to HaShem that the Twelve Tribes were moving closer to relationship with HaShem. They remembered with awe and fear how mighty HaShem was while delivering them from Egypt. They trembled when they sinned against HaShem and saw His Grace when they repented. So they know by now, HaShem is for them. They want Him to know they are with Him and will tell of His Power and Might and Glory to the Nations. Would this be right?

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