Numbers 18

Listen to Numbers 18
1 Yahweh said to Aaron, You and your sons and your fathers' house with you shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary; and you and your sons with you shall bear the iniquity of your priesthood.
2 Your brothers also, the tribe of Levi, the tribe of your father, bring you near with you, that they may be joined to you, and minister to you: but you and your sons with you shall be before the tent of the testimony.
3 They shall keep your charge, and the charge of all the Tent: only they shall not come near to the vessels of the sanctuary and to the altar, that they not die, neither they, nor you.
4 They shall be joined to you, and keep the charge of the tent of meeting, for all the service of the Tent: and a stranger shall not come near to you.
5 You shall keep the charge of the sanctuary, and the charge of the altar; that there be wrath no more on the children of Israel.
6 I, behold, I have taken your brothers the Levites from among the children of Israel: to you they are a gift, given to Yahweh, to do the service of the tent of meeting.
7 You and your sons with you shall keep your priesthood for everything of the altar, and for that within the veil; and you shall serve: I give you the priesthood as a service of gift: and the stranger who comes near shall be put to death.
8 Yahweh spoke to Aaron, I, behold, I have given you the charge of my heave-offerings, even all the holy things of the children of Israel; to you have I given them by reason of the anointing, and to your sons, as a portion forever.
9 This shall be your of the most holy things, [reserved] from the fire: every offering of theirs, even every meal-offering of theirs, and every sin-offering of theirs, and every trespass-offering of theirs, which they shall render to me, shall be most holy for you and for your sons.
10 As the most holy things shall you eat of it; every male shall eat of it: it shall be holy to you.
11 This is your: the heave-offering of their gift, even all the wave-offerings of the children of Israel; I have given them to you, and to your sons and to your daughters with you, as a portion forever; everyone who is clean in your house shall eat of it.
12 All the best of the oil, and all the best of the vintage, and of the grain, the first fruits of them which they give to Yahweh, to you have I given them.
13 The first-ripe fruits of all that is in their land, which they bring to Yahweh, shall be your; everyone who is clean in your house shall eat of it.
14 Everything devoted in Israel shall be your.
15 Everything that opens the womb, of all flesh which they offer to Yahweh, both of man and animal shall be your: nevertheless the firstborn of man shall you surely redeem, and the firstborn of unclean animals shall you redeem.
16 Those who are to be redeemed of them from a month old shall you redeem, according to your estimation, for the money of five shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary (the same is twenty gerahs).
17 But the firstborn of a cow, or the firstborn of a sheep, or the firstborn of a goat, you shall not redeem; they are holy: you shall sprinkle their blood on the altar, and shall burn their fat for an offering made by fire, for a sweet savor to Yahweh.
18 The flesh of them shall be your, as the wave-breast and as the right thigh, it shall be your.
19 All the heave-offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer to Yahweh, have I given you, and your sons and your daughters with you, as a portion forever: it is a covenant of salt forever before Yahweh to you and to your seed with you.
20 Yahweh said to Aaron, You shall have no inheritance in their land, neither shall you have any portion among them: I am your portion and your inheritance among the children of Israel.
21 To the children of Levi, behold, I have given all the tithe in Israel for an inheritance, in return for their service which they serve, even the service of the tent of meeting.
22 Henceforth the children of Israel shall not come near the tent of meeting, lest they bear sin, and die.
23 But the Levites shall do the service of the tent of meeting, and they shall bear their iniquity: it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations; and among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.
24 For the tithe of the children of Israel, which they offer as a heave-offering to Yahweh, I have given to the Levites for an inheritance: therefore I have said to them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.
25 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
26 Moreover you shall speak to the Levites, and tell them, When you take of the children of Israel the tithe which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then you shall offer up a heave-offering of it for Yahweh, a tithe of the tithe.
27 Your heave-offering shall be reckoned to you, as though it were the grain of the threshing floor, and as the fullness of the winepress.
28 Thus you also shall offer a heave-offering to Yahweh of all your tithes, which you receive of the children of Israel; and of it you shall give Yahweh's heave-offering to Aaron the priest.
29 Out of all your gifts you shall offer every heave-offering of Yahweh, of all the best of it, even the holy part of it out of it.
30 Therefore you shall tell them, When you heave the best of it from it, then it shall be reckoned to the Levites as the increase of the threshing floor, and as the increase of the wine-press.
31 You shall eat it in every place, you and your households: for it is your reward in return for your service in the tent of meeting.
32 You shall bear no sin by reason of it, when you have heaved from it the best of it: and you shall not profane the holy things of the children of Israel, that you not die.

Numbers 18 Commentary

Chapter 18

The charge of the priests and Levites. (1-7) The priests' portion. (8-19) The Levites' portion. (20-32)

Verses 1-7 The people complained of their difficulty and peril in drawing near to God. God here gives them to understand, that the priests should come near for them. Aaron would see reason not to be proud of his preferment, when he considered the great care and charge upon him. Be not high-minded, but fear. The greater the trust of work and power that is committed to us, the greater danger there is of betraying that trust. This is a good reason why we should neither envy others' honours, nor desire high places.

Verses 8-19 All believers are spiritual priests, and God has promised to take care of them. Godliness has the promise of the life that now is. And from the provision here made for the priests, the apostle shows that it is the duty of christian churches to maintain their ministers. Scandalous maintenance makes scandalous ministers. The priests were to be wholly devoted to their ministry, not diverted from it, or disturbed in it, by worldly care or business. Also, that they might be examples of living by faith, not only in God's providence, but in his ordinances. The best should be offered for the first-fruits unto the Lord. Those who think to save, by putting God off with the refuse, deceive themselves, for God is not mocked.

Verses 20-32 As Israel was a people not to be numbered among the nations, so Levi was a tribe to be distinguished from the rest. Those who have God for their Inheritance and their Portion for ever, ought to look with holy contempt and indifference upon the possessions of this world. The Levites were to give God his dues out of their tithes, as well as the Israelites out of their increase. See, in ver. ( 31 ) , the way to have comfort in all our worldly possessions, so as to bear no sin by reason of them. 1. We must be sure that what we have is got honestly and in the service of God. That meat is best eaten which is first earned; ( 2 Thessalonians. 3:10 ) We must be sure that God has his dues out of it. We have the comfort of our substance, when we have honoured the Lord with it. Ye shall bear no sin by reason of it, when ye have heaved the best from it. We should give alms of such things as we have, that all may be holy and comfortable to us.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO NUMBERS 18

This chapter gives an account of the distinct work and service of the priests and Levites, Nu 18:1-7; and of several things given to the priests for their maintenance, Nu 18:8-19; and of the tithes the Levites should have to live upon, since they were to have no inheritance in the land of Israel, Nu 18:20-24; and of the tenth out of those tithes they were to give to the high priest, Nu 18:25-32.

Numbers 18 Commentaries