New Defender's Study Bible Notes
8:2 the seven lamps. See Exodus 25:37. The “candlestick,” or lampstand, was of beautiful construction, providing support for seven lamps, to be lit only by the high priest (Aaron in this case). Some fifteen centuries later, this same system was shown to the Apostle John in symbolic representation of Christ (as high priest) in their midst like the lampstand yielding up oil to its seven lamps–which in turn depicted seven typical churches. (Revelation 1:12,13,20).
8:11 offer the Levites. The Levites, after being cleansed, were offered as an offering to the Lord by the whole nation in gratitude to God for their deliverance from Egypt, and as a substitute for their firstborn sons (Numbers 8:16-18; also Numbers 3:9). Four times it is stressed that they have been offered as an offering to God (Numbers 8:11,13,15,21). Then two bullocks were offered in substitution for the Levites–one as a sin offering, the other as a burnt offering (Numbers 8:12), so that the Levites could then be given to Aaron and the priests for the service of the tabernacle (Numbers 8:19). The theme of substitution and blood redemption pervaded the whole dedication and installation ceremony, all foreshadowing the future substitutionary and redemptive work by our greater High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ (see Hebrews 9:11-12).
8:24 Twenty and five years old. The sons of Kohath (a family of the Levites) should serve in the work of the tabernacle during the period of their lives between ages thirty and fifty (compare Numbers 4:3). The same was true of the Gershonites (Numbers 4:23) and the sons of Merari (Numbers 4:30). Evidently the young Levites began a sort of apprenticeship at age twenty-five, then entered the full responsibilities of service at age thirty, retiring from active tabernacle service at age fifty. Many years later, after the temple had replaced the tabernacle, David changed the entrance age to age twenty (I Chronicles 23:24-27).