Numbers 18 NIV

Duties of Priests and Levites

1 The LORD said to Aaron, "You, your sons and your father's family are to bear the responsibility for offenses against the sanctuary,1 and you and your sons alone are to bear the responsibility for offenses against the priesthood.

References for Numbers 18:1

2 Bring your fellow Levites from your ancestral tribe to join you and assist you when you and your sons minister2 before the Tent of the Testimony.

References for Numbers 18:2

3 They are to be responsible to you3 and are to perform all the duties of the Tent,4 but they must not go near the furnishings of the sanctuary or the altar, or both they and you will die.5

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4 They are to join you and be responsible for the care of the Tent of Meeting--all the work at the Tent--and no one else may come near where you are.6

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5 "You are to be responsible for the care of the sanctuary and the altar,7 so that wrath will not fall on the Israelites again.

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6 I myself have selected your fellow Levites from among the Israelites as a gift to you,8 dedicated to the LORD to do the work at the Tent of Meeting.9

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7 But only you and your sons may serve as priests in connection with everything at the altar and inside the curtain.10 I am giving you the service of the priesthood as a gift.11 Anyone else who comes near the sanctuary must be put to death.12"

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      Offerings for Priests and Levites

      8 Then the LORD said to Aaron, "I myself have put you in charge of the offerings presented to me; all the holy offerings the Israelites give me I give to you and your sons as your portion13 and regular share.14

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      9 You are to have the part of the most holy offerings15 that is kept from the fire. From all the gifts they bring me as most holy offerings, whether grain16 or sin17 or guilt offerings,18 that part belongs to you and your sons.

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      10 Eat it as something most holy; every male shall eat it.19 You must regard it as holy.20

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      11 "This also is yours: whatever is set aside from the gifts of all the wave offerings21 of the Israelites. I give this to you and your sons and daughters as your regular share.22 Everyone in your household who is ceremonially clean23 may eat it.

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      12 "I give you all the finest olive oil and all the finest new wine and grain24 they give the LORD 25 as the firstfruits of their harvest.26
      13 All the land's firstfruits that they bring to the LORD will be yours.27 Everyone in your household who is ceremonially clean may eat it.28

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      14 "Everything in Israel that is devoteda to the LORD 29 is yours.

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        • a 18:14 - The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord.
          15 The first offspring of every womb, both man and animal, that is offered to the LORD is yours.30 But you must redeem31 every firstborn32 son and every firstborn male of unclean animals.33

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          16 When they are a month old,34 you must redeem them at the redemption price set at five shekelsb35 of silver, according to the sanctuary shekel,36 which weighs twenty gerahs.37

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            • b 18:16 - That is, about 2 ounces (about 55 grams)
              17 "But you must not redeem the firstborn of an ox, a sheep or a goat; they are holy.38 Sprinkle their blood39 on the altar and burn their fat40 as an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the LORD.41

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              18 Their meat is to be yours, just as the breast of the wave offering42 and the right thigh are yours.43

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              19 Whatever is set aside from the holy44 offerings the Israelites present to the LORD I give to you and your sons and daughters as your regular share. It is an everlasting covenant of salt45 before the LORD for both you and your offspring."

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              20 The LORD said to Aaron, "You will have no inheritance in their land, nor will you have any share among them;46 I am your share and your inheritance47 among the Israelites.

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              21 "I give to the Levites all the tithes48 in Israel as their inheritance49 in return for the work they do while serving at the Tent of Meeting.50

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              22 From now on the Israelites must not go near the Tent of Meeting, or they will bear the consequences of their sin and will die.51

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              23 It is the Levites who are to do the work at the Tent of Meeting and bear the responsibility for offenses against it. This is a lasting ordinance52 for the generations to come.53 They will receive no inheritance54 among the Israelites.55

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              24 Instead, I give to the Levites as their inheritance the tithes that the Israelites present as an offering to the LORD.56 That is why I said concerning them: 'They will have no inheritance among the Israelites.' "

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              25 The LORD said to Moses,
              26 "Speak to the Levites and say to them: 'When you receive from the Israelites the tithe I give you57 as your inheritance, you must present a tenth of that tithe as the LORD's offering.58

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                  27 Your offering will be reckoned59 to you as grain from the threshing floor60 or juice from the winepress.61

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                  28 In this way you also will present an offering to the LORD from all the tithes62 you receive from the Israelites. From these tithes you must give the LORD's portion to Aaron the priest.

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                  29 You must present as the LORD's portion the best and holiest part of everything given to you.'
                  30 "Say to the Levites: 'When you present the best part, it will be reckoned to you as the product of the threshing floor or the winepress.63

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                      31 You and your households may eat the rest of it anywhere, for it is your wages for your work at the Tent of Meeting.64

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                          32 By presenting the best part65 of it you will not be guilty in this matter;66 then you will not defile the holy offerings67 of the Israelites, and you will not die.' "

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