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Numbers 3:8-10 New English Translation (NET Bible)

And they are responsible for all the furnishings of the tent of meeting, and for the needs of the Israelites, as they serve[a] in the tabernacle. You are to assign[b] the Levites to Aaron and his sons; they will be assigned exclusively[c] to him out of all[d] the Israelites. 10 So you are to appoint Aaron and his sons, and they will be responsible for their priesthood,[e] but the unauthorized person[f] who comes near must be put to death.”

Footnotes:

  1. Numbers 3:8 tn The construction uses the infinitive construct (epexegetically) followed by its cognate accusative. It would convey “to serve the service of the tabernacle,” but more simply it may be rendered as “serving.” Their spiritual and practical service is to serve.sn The Levites had the duty of taking care of all the tabernacle and its furnishings, especially in times when it was to be moved. But they were also appointed to be gatekeepers (2 Kgs 22:4; 1 Chr 9:19) in order to safeguard the purity of the place and the activities that went on there. Their offices seem to have then become hereditary in time (1 Sam 1:3); they even took on more priestly functions, such as pronouncing the benediction (Deut 10:8). See further R. de Vaux, Ancient Israel, 348-49.
  2. Numbers 3:9 tn The verb וְנָתַתָּה (venatattah) is normally “give.” Here, though, the context refers to the assignment of the Levites to the priests for their duties. The form is the perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive, continuing the sequence for the imperfect of instruction.
  3. Numbers 3:9 tn This emphasis is derived from the simple repetition of the passive participle, נְתוּנִם נְתוּנִם (netunim netunim). See GKC 396 §123.e. The forms serve as the predicate with the subject pronoun.
  4. Numbers 3:9 tn The Hebrew text simply has the preposition, “from the Israelites.”
  5. Numbers 3:10 tc The LXX includes the following words here: “and all things pertaining to the altar and within the veil.” Cf. Num 18:7.
  6. Numbers 3:10 tn The word is זָר (zar), usually rendered “stranger, foreigner, pagan.” But in this context it simply refers to anyone who is not a Levite or a priest, an unauthorized person or intruder in the tabernacle. That person would be put to death.
New English Translation (NET)

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