The parsha in Chumash which we are learning now goes back to tell us what happened on Rosh Chodesh Nissan, the day the Mishkan was put up.
For seven days, Moshe Rabbeinu put up the Mishkan and took it down every day. On this day, Moshe puts up the Mishkan one last time. (Now it will stay built until the Yidden have to travel. Then the kohanim will take it down, and they will carry it to the next place Hashem wants them to be. They put it up again to use in the place where they stop.)
Last time, when Moshe asked for people to bring gold and other things to make the Mishkan, the Nesiim waited. Now they saw they made a mistake, and so they brought their presents now FIRST.
The Nesiim joined together and brought 6 covered wagons and 12 oxen to be used to carry the Mishkan from place to place. At first Moshe wasn’t sure he should take them, but Hashem told him to give these wagons to the Leviim.
Moshe gave 2 wagons to the family of Gershon to carry the curtains, and the other 4 wagons to the family of Merari, since the boards of the Mishkan, carried by Merari, were much heavier. He didn’t give any to the family of Kehos, because they were in charge of the parts of the Mishkan that had to be carried by hand, like the Aron and the Menorah.
The Nesiim also wanted to bring korbanos for their whole Shevet. Hashem told Moshe that they should bring them one day at a time, in the order they camp in the Midbar.
The first one to bring his korban was Nachshon ben Aminadav, from Shevet Yehudah. He paid for the whole thing himself, even though it was a korban from his whole Shevet.
There were five parts of his korban. They were:
1) A silver bowl (that weighs 130 shekel) and one silver sprinkling bowl (that weighs 70 shekel), full of flour mixed with oil (for a Korban Mincha)
The Gematrias of these bowls hint to Adam and Noach.
2) A gold spoon (that weighs 10 shekel) full of Ketores
This hints to the Torah and Mitzvos.
3) His nicest bull, ram, and lamb (for a Korban Olah)
These hint to Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov.
4) One young goat for a Korban Chatas (in case someone became tomei by mistake and then came into the Mishkan)
This hints to Yosef.
5) 2 oxen, 5 rams, 5 goats, and 5 lambs for a Korban Shelamim.
These hint to the Kohanim, Leviim, and Yisraelim; and also to Torah, Neviim and Kesuvim.
All of the Nesiim brought the same Korbanos, because they all wanted to show how special it is that we got the Torah and can bring korbanos to Hashem!
But they also each were thinking about different kavanos when they brought their Korbanos. That’s why the Torah says EACH Nasi’s present again, even though they are all the same!
Here is the order they brought their korbanos:
Alef Nisan — Nasi of Shevet Yehudah: Nachshon ben Aminadav
Beis Nisan — Nasi of Shevet Yissachar: Nesanel ben Tzuar
Gimmel Nisan — Nasi of Shevet Zevulun: Eliav ben Chelon
Daled Nisan — Nasi of Shevet Reuven: Elitzur ben Shedeiur
Hey Nisan — Nasi of Shevet Shimon: Shlumiel ben Tzurishadai
We learn the rest of the Nesiim’s presents tomorrow.