This verse sounds like God is telling Moses to tell the Israelites what they should do, but from what needs to be done it sounds like he is really going to be telling the priests what God wants done. Therefore the question of who are the "sons of Israel.",

Numbers 28:1-3

1 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,

2 “Command the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘You shall [a]be careful to present My offering, My food for My offerings by fire, of a soothing aroma to Me, at their appointed time.’

3 You shall say to them, ‘This is the offering by fire which you shall offer to the Lord: two male lambs one year old without defect as a continual burnt offering every day.

  • "Sons of Israel" literally, are the 12 Sons of Jacob(Israel). The people in the wilderness Moses is leading are the decedents of Jacob's tweleve sons and are partakers of the Abrahamic covenant due to their sonship from the line of Jacob. This phrase occurs all throughout the Pentateuch. Nov 9, 2017 at 22:44
  • 1
    I think you should edit the question title to match what you are actually asking in the body Like are the words in numbers 28: 1-3 directed to all of Israel or to the priests?
    – Kris
    Nov 10, 2017 at 2:12

1 Answer 1


As has been said above, "Sons of Israel" refers to, literally, the 12 sons of the man Israel. However, It also refers to their children, etc. - and thus is another name for the Israelites. (Note that this manner of naming was a common practice - Jos 15:14 for example)

I did not search to determine what translation you are using, but in the KJV and NIV84 the verse definitely seems more clear than that which you are reading from - however, in answer to your question, from the context of the end of chapter 27 of the book, the phrase for children/sons of Israel, does seem to be referring to all of them. There is no indication of anything else occurring, and there is no theological nor practical prevention of this being the case. I understand why you ask the question, as it does seem like rather technical information being passed on here - but there's no reason to think that those to whom it is being spoken are only the levites, priests, or some specific group.

One could certainly speculate as to why God had this spoken to all of Israel, but I think in knowing the purpose of the law and commandments, the purpose of this telling-forth of the required sacrifices is more clear.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .