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Numbers 3:1-13 (New International Version)

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The Levites

1 This is the account of the family of Aaron and Moses1 at the time the LORD talked with Moses on Mount Sinai.2 2 The names of the sons of Aaron were Nadab the firstborn3 and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.4 3 Those were the names of Aaron's sons, the anointed priests,5 who were ordained to serve as priests. 4 Nadab and Abihu, however, fell dead before the LORD 6 when they made an offering with unauthorized fire before him in the Desert of Sinai.7 They had no sons; so only Eleazar and Ithamar8 served as priests during the lifetime of their father Aaron.9 5 The LORD said to Moses, 6 "Bring the tribe of Levi10 and present them to Aaron the priest to assist him.11 7 They are to perform duties for him and for the whole community12 at the Tent of Meeting by doing the work13 of the tabernacle. 8 They are to take care of all the furnishings of the Tent of Meeting, fulfilling the obligations of the Israelites by doing the work of the tabernacle. 9 Give the Levites to Aaron and his sons;14 they are the Israelites who are to be given wholly to him.a 10 Appoint Aaron15 and his sons to serve as priests;16 anyone else who approaches the sanctuary must be put to death."17 11 The LORD also said to Moses, 12 "I have taken the Levites18 from among the Israelites in place of the first male offspring19 of every Israelite woman. The Levites are mine,20 13 for all the firstborn are mine.21 When I struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, I set apart for myself every firstborn in Israel, whether man or animal. They are to be mine. I am the LORD."22
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