A A A A A
Bible Book List

Numbers 18GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

The Duties of the Levites and Priests

18 The Lord said to Aaron, “You, your sons, and your family will be responsible for any sins against the holy place. You and your sons will also be responsible for any sins you commit when you work as priests. Bring the other Levites from your ancestor’s tribe to join you and help you and your sons serve in front of the tent of the words of my promise. They will work for you, doing whatever work is necessary for the whole tent. But they must not come near the altar or the furnishings in the holy place, or they will die, and you will die, too. They will join you and do whatever work is necessary for the tent of meeting, including all the maintenance work for the tent. But no one else may come near you.

“You must be in charge of the work done at the holy place and at the altar. Then I won’t show my anger against the Israelites again. I have chosen the other Levites from among the Israelites to help you. They are a gift given to the Lord to do whatever work is necessary at the tent of meeting. Only you and your sons may do the work of priests—everything done at the altar and under the canopy. This is my gift to you: You may serve me as priests. Anyone else who comes near the holy place to do this work must die.”

Contributions for the Levites and Priests

The Lord said to Aaron, “I am putting you in charge of all the contributions given to me. I am giving you and your descendants all the holy gifts from the Israelites as your share. These contributions will always be yours. That part of the most holy offerings which is not burned belongs to you. It may come from a grain offering, an offering for sin, or a guilt offering. Whatever is brought to me as a most holy offering will belong to you and your sons. 10 Eat it in a most holy place. Any male may eat it. You must consider it holy.

11 “The contributions that come as gifts taken from the offerings presented by the Israelites are also yours. I am giving these to you, your sons, and your daughters. They will always be yours. Anyone in your household who is clean[a] may eat them.

12 “I am also giving you the first of the produce they give the Lord: the best of all the olive oil and the best of the new wine and fresh grain. 13 The first of all produce harvested in their land that they bring to the Lord is yours. Anyone in your household who is clean may eat it.

14 “Anything in Israel that is claimed by the Lord is yours. 15 Every firstborn male, human or animal, that is brought to the Lord is yours. But you must buy back every firstborn son and the firstborn male of any unclean animal. 16 When they are one month old, you must buy them back at the fixed price of two ounces of silver, using the standard weight of the holy place.

17 “But you must never buy back a firstborn ox, sheep, or goat. They are holy. Throw the blood from these animals against the altar, and burn the fat as an offering by fire, a soothing aroma to the Lord. 18 But the meat is yours, like the breast and the right thigh that are presented. 19 I am giving you, your sons, and your daughters all the holy contributions the Israelites bring to the Lord. These contributions will always be yours. It is an everlasting promise of salt in the Lord’s presence for you and your descendants.”

20 The Lord said to Aaron, “You will have no land or property of your own as the other Israelites will have. I am your possession and your property among the Israelites.

21 “I am giving the Levites one-tenth of every Israelite’s income. This is in return for the work they do at the tent of meeting. 22 The other Israelites must never again come near the tent of meeting. Otherwise, they’ll suffer the consequences of their sin and die. 23 Only the Levites will do the work at the tent of meeting. They will be responsible for their own sins. This is a permanent law for future generations. They will own no property as the other Israelites will. 24 Instead, I will give the Levites what the Israelites contribute to the Lord—one-tenth of the Israelites’ income. This is why I said about them, ‘They will own no property as the other Israelites do.’”

25 The Lord said to Moses, 26 “Speak to the Levites and say to them: You will take one-tenth of the Israelites’ income which I’m giving you as your property. When you do, you must contribute one-tenth of that income as your contribution to the Lord. 27 Your contribution will be considered to be grain from the threshing floor[b] or juice from the winepress. 28 So you, too, will contribute one-tenth of your income to the Lord out of all that you receive from the Israelites’ income. You will give the Lord’s contribution to the priest Aaron. 29 Out of all the gifts you receive, you must contribute the best and holiest parts to the Lord.

30 “Also tell them: When you contribute the best part, your contribution will be considered to be produce from the threshing floor or winepress. 31 So you and your households may eat it anywhere, because it’s the wages you receive for your work at the tent of meeting. 32 When you contribute the best part, you won’t suffer the consequences of any sin. You won’t be dishonoring the holy offerings given by the Israelites, and you won’t die.”

Footnotes:

  1. Numbers 18:11 “Clean” refers to anything that is presentable to God.
  2. Numbers 18:27 A threshing floor is an outdoor area where grain is separated from its husks.
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group

Numbers 18New International Version (NIV)

Duties of Priests and Levites

18 The Lord said to Aaron, “You, your sons and your family are to bear the responsibility for offenses connected with the sanctuary, and you and your sons alone are to bear the responsibility for offenses connected with the priesthood. Bring your fellow Levites from your ancestral tribe to join you and assist you when you and your sons minister before the tent of the covenant law. They are to be responsible to you and are to perform all the duties of the tent, but they must not go near the furnishings of the sanctuary or the altar. Otherwise both they and you will die. 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.

“You are to be responsible for the care of the sanctuary and the altar, so that my wrath will not fall on the Israelites again. I myself have selected your fellow Levites from among the Israelites as a gift to you, dedicated to the Lord to do the work at the tent of meeting. But only you and your sons may serve as priests in connection with everything at the altar and inside the curtain. I am giving you the service of the priesthood as a gift. Anyone else who comes near the sanctuary is to be put to death.

Offerings for Priests and Levites

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 portion, your perpetual share. You are to have the part of the most holy offerings that is kept from the fire. From all the gifts they bring me as most holy offerings, whether grain or sin[a] or guilt offerings, that part belongs to you and your sons. 10 Eat it as something most holy; every male shall eat it. You must regard it as holy.

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

12 “I give you all the finest olive oil and all the finest new wine and grain they give the Lord as the firstfruits of their harvest. 13 All the land’s firstfruits that they bring to the Lord will be yours. Everyone in your household who is ceremonially clean may eat it.

14 “Everything in Israel that is devoted[b] to the Lord is yours. 15 The first offspring of every womb, both human and animal, that is offered to the Lord is yours. But you must redeem every firstborn son and every firstborn male of unclean animals. 16 When they are a month old, you must redeem them at the redemption price set at five shekels[c] of silver, according to the sanctuary shekel, which weighs twenty gerahs.

17 “But you must not redeem the firstborn of a cow, a sheep or a goat; they are holy. Splash their blood against the altar and burn their fat as a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord. 18 Their meat is to be yours, just as the breast of the wave offering and the right thigh are yours. 19 Whatever is set aside from the holy offerings the Israelites present to the Lord I give to you and your sons and daughters as your perpetual share. It is an everlasting covenant of salt before the Lord for both you and your offspring.”

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

21 “I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the tent of meeting. 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. 23 It is the Levites who are to do the work at the tent of meeting and bear the responsibility for any offenses they commit against it. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. They will receive no inheritance among the Israelites. 24 Instead, I give to the Levites as their inheritance the tithes that the Israelites present as an offering to the Lord. That is why I said concerning them: ‘They will have no inheritance among the Israelites.’”

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 you as your inheritance, you must present a tenth of that tithe as the Lord’s offering. 27 Your offering will be reckoned to you as grain from the threshing floor or juice from the winepress. 28 In this way you also will present an offering to the Lord from all the tithes you receive from the Israelites. From these tithes you must give the Lord’s portion to Aaron the priest. 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. 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. 32 By presenting the best part of it you will not be guilty in this matter; then you will not defile the holy offerings of the Israelites, and you will not die.’”

Footnotes:

  1. Numbers 18:9 Or purification
  2. Numbers 18:14 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord.
  3. Numbers 18:16 That is, about 2 ounces or about 58 grams
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Viewing of
Cross references
Footnotes