Jewish sages and commentators such as Rashi note that there is deep significance to why the leaders—the chief men over the twelve tribes—chose to assign a value to the offerings they presented at the tabernacle. Notice that the tribe of Judah gave the first offering, as this tribe would one day produce the kings of Judah and the future Messiah.
The Silver Charger (platter)—130 Shekels (7:13)
The first offering is a silver platter, called a “charger,” of 130 shekels. The number 130 is significant because Adam was 130 years old when he established the first family’s “righteous lineage” through Seth (see Gen. 5:3).
The Silver Bowl—Seventy Shekels (7:13)
The next offering is a silver sprinkling basin valued at seventy shekels. Its core significance is linked to the life of Noah. After the flood, his three sons—Shem, Ham, and Japheth—eventually formed seventy new nations and seventy souls came out of Jacob (see Exod. 1:5).
The Spoon (pan)—Ten Shekels with Incense (7:14)
According to Rashi, this offering of ten shekels is significant when compared to the Torah that Moses wrote in the wilderness. The Torah consists of five books and is viewed as one book, but it is divided into ten major command- ments containing 613 deeds and commands for the Jewish people to follow.
One Bull, One Ram, One Lamb (7:15)
The bull is for Abraham, the chief father of Israel. The ram is for Isaac, as it was a ram that enabled his life to be spared. The lamb is for Jacob, as the blood of a lamb would save his sons during the Passover in Egypt. These three patriarchs fathered all generations of Hebrews to this day.
The Sin Offering (7:16)
This atonement is believed to have been established for Joseph and for his brothers’ sin against him.
The Peace Offerings (7:17)
These offerings were for Moses, Aaron, the priest (Levites), and the Israelites.
All twelve chiefs of the tribes presented the same offerings, indicating that all the tribes were equal in the sight of God. The offering continued for twelve consecutive days. The number twelve speaks of government and divine order.
When we total the weights and values, we read:
• The silver vessels weighed 2,400 shekels after the weight of the sanctuary (7:85).
• The gold spoons (with incense) weighed 120 shekels (7:86). The shekel was a general measure of weight used for silver and gold. It is used of silver in Genesis 23:15 and of gold weight in Genesis 24:22. The weight here is the weight of the incense (ten shekels) on the gold spoon and is mentioned twelve times in Numbers 7:14- 7:80—thus ten shekels of incense on twelve different spoons (one from each tribe) is 120 shekels in incense.
• Sin offering: twelve bulls, twelve rams, twelve lambs, and twelve goats totaled forty-eight sin offerings (7:87)
• Peace offerings: twenty-four bulls, sixty rams, sixty goats, and sixty lambs totaled 204 offerings (7:88)