Numbers 3:10

10 Appoint Aaron and his sons to minister as priests; anyone else who tries to elbow his way in will be put to death."

Numbers 3:10 Meaning and Commentary

Numbers 3:10

And thou shalt appoint Aaron and his sons
To the priestly office; this was done before, but is renewed for the confirmation of it, and repeated to put them in mind of it, that they be careful to execute it, as follows:

and they shall wait on their priest's office,
to do what was peculiar to it, both in the holy and in the most holy place, at the altar, and within, the vail, where the Levites had nothing to do; and this is observed that the priests might take notice, that by the gift of the Levites to them, they were not excused from doing any part of service which was proper to them as priests; for they were given them that they might more readily attend their office, and be wholly employed in it; just as, under the Gospel dispensation, deacons were appointed to take care of the secular affairs of the church, that the apostles might give up themselves to the word of God and prayer, ( Acts 6:2-4 ) ;

and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death;
that comes nigh to perform any part of the priest's office peculiar to him as to offer sacrifice, burn incense whether he be a common Israelite, or even a Levite, as Korah was; any that was not a priest was reckoned a stranger, and so to be put to death for intruding into the office, as the above mentioned person was: so Aben Ezra interprets it of anyone that came nigh to a priest, to be with him or join with him in the execution of his office, whether an Israelite or a Levite, he shall die: the Targum of Jonathan adds, by flaming fire before the Lord.

Numbers 3:10 In-Context

8 Their job is to be responsible for all the furnishings of The Dwelling, ministering to the affairs of The Dwelling as the People of Israel come to perform their duties.
9 Turn the Levites over to Aaron and his sons; they are the ones assigned to work full time for him.
10 Appoint Aaron and his sons to minister as priests; anyone else who tries to elbow his way in will be put to death."
11 God spoke to Moses:
12 "I have taken the Levites from among the People of Israel as a stand-in for every Israelite mother's firstborn son. The Levites belong to me.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved.