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Numbers 3:41

41 Take the Levites for me in place of all the firstborn of the Israelites, and the livestock of the Levites in place of all the firstborn of the livestock of the Israelites. I am the LORD.”

Read Numbers 3:41 Using Other Translations

And thou shalt take the Levites for me (I am the LORD) instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel; and the cattle of the Levites instead of all the firstlings among the cattle of the children of Israel.
And you shall take the Levites for me--I am the LORD--instead of all the firstborn among the people of Israel, and the cattle of the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the cattle of the people of Israel."
The Levites must be reserved for me as substitutes for the firstborn sons of Israel; I am the LORD . And the Levites’ livestock must be reserved for me as substitutes for the firstborn livestock of the whole nation of Israel.”

What does Numbers 3:41 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Numbers 3:41

And thou shall take the Levites for me
For his service, to minister to his priests, and serve in his tabernacle:

I [am] the Lord;
who has a right to all, and can claim who he pleases for himself in a special manner, and therefore could and did take the Levites to himself:

instead of the firstborn among the children of Israel;
these he had taken to him before, and ordered to be sanctified unto him, and for whom a redemption price was paid to his priests for the support of them, and the tabernacle service, and now it was his will to make an exchange of these for the Levites:

and the cattle of the Levites, instead of all the firstling among the
cattle of the children of Israel:
every firstling of clean cattle was the Lord's, and given to his priests, and the firstlings of unclean cattle were redeemed with a lamb, and which were given to the same; and now instead of these he requires the cattle of the Levites; not that they should be deprived of their use of them, or that they should be taken and sacrificed, but that they should be with them devoted to him, and they should possess them in his right.

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