25 On the third day, when they were still in pain, two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi,(A) Dinah’s brothers, took their swords, went into the unsuspecting city, and killed every male.

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30 Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have brought trouble on me,(A) making me odious to the inhabitants of the land,(B) the Canaanites and the Perizzites.(C) We are few in number; if they unite against me and attack me, I and my household will be destroyed.”(D)

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Simeon and Levi are brothers;
their knives are vicious weapons.(A)
May I never enter their council;
may I never join their assembly.
For in their anger they kill men,
and on a whim they hamstring oxen.
Their anger is cursed, for it is strong,
and their fury, for it is cruel!
I will disperse them throughout Jacob
and scatter them throughout Israel.(B)

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26 And Moses stood at the camp’s entrance and said, “Whoever is for the Lord, come to me.” And all the Levites gathered around him. 27 He told them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says, ‘Every man fasten his sword to his side; go back and forth through the camp from entrance to entrance, and each of you kill his brother, his friend, and his neighbor.’”(A) 28 The Levites did as Moses commanded, and about three thousand men fell dead that day among the people. 29 Afterward Moses said, “Today you have been dedicated[a] to the Lord, since each man went against his son and his brother. Therefore you have brought a blessing on yourselves today.”(B)

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Footnotes

  1. 32:29 Text emended; MT reads “Today dedicate yourselves; LXX, Vg read “Today you have dedicated yourselves

“Bring the tribe of Levi near and present them to the priest Aaron to assist him.

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12 “See, I have taken the Levites from the Israelites in place of every firstborn Israelite from the womb.(A) The Levites belong to me, 13 because every firstborn belongs to me. At the time I struck down every firstborn in the land of Egypt,(B) I consecrated every firstborn in Israel to myself, both man and animal. They are mine; I am the Lord.”(C)

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Redemption of the Firstborn

40 The Lord told Moses, “Register every firstborn male of the Israelites(A) one month old or more, and list their names. 41 You are to take the Levites for me—I am the Lord—in place of every firstborn among the Israelites, and the Levites’ cattle in place of every firstborn among the Israelites’ cattle.” 42 So Moses registered every firstborn among the Israelites, as the Lord commanded him. 43 The total number of the firstborn males one month old or more listed by name was 22,273.

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16 For they have been exclusively assigned to me from the Israelites.(A) I have taken them for myself in place of all who come first from the womb, every Israelite firstborn.(B) 17 For every firstborn among the Israelites is mine, both man and animal. I consecrated them to myself(C) on the day I struck down every firstborn in the land of Egypt. 18 But I have taken the Levites in place of every firstborn among the Israelites. 19 From the Israelites, I have given the Levites exclusively to Aaron and his sons to perform the work for the Israelites at the tent of meeting and to make atonement on their behalf, so that no plague will come against the Israelites when they approach the sanctuary.”(D)

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Provision for the Priesthood

18 The Lord said to Aaron, “You, your sons, and your ancestral family[a](A) will be responsible for iniquity against the sanctuary. You and your sons will be responsible for iniquity involving your priesthood.

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Footnotes

  1. 18:1 Lit the house of your father

“At that time the Lord set apart the tribe of Levi(A) to carry the ark of the Lord’s covenant, to stand before the Lord to serve him, and to pronounce blessings in his name, as it is today. For this reason, Levi does not have a portion or inheritance like his brothers; the Lord is his inheritance, as the Lord your God told him.(B)

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Provisions for the Levites

18 “The Levitical priests, the whole tribe of Levi, will have no portion or inheritance with Israel. They will eat the Lord’s food offerings; that is their[a][b] inheritance. Although Levi has no inheritance among his brothers, the Lord is his inheritance, as he promised him.(A)

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Footnotes

  1. 18:1 LXX; MT reads his
  2. 18:1 Or his

Then the priests, the sons of Levi, will come forward, for the Lord your God has chosen them to serve him and pronounce blessings in his name, and they are to give a ruling in[a] every dispute and case of assault.

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Footnotes

  1. 21:5 Lit and according to their mouth will be

14 He did not, however, give any inheritance to the tribe of Levi. This was their inheritance, just as he had promised: the food offerings made to the Lord, the God of Israel.(A)

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33 But Moses did not give a portion to the tribe of Levi. The Lord, the God of Israel, was their inheritance, just as he had promised them.(A)

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