Numbers 18 Expanded Bible (EXB)
The Work of the Priests and Levites
18 The Lord said to Aaron, “You, your sons, and your ·family [father’s house] are now responsible for any wrongs done against the Holy Place; you and your sons are responsible for any wrongs done against the priests. 2 Bring with you your ·fellow [brother] Levites from your tribe, and they will ·help [join; C the name Levi means “joined”] you and your sons serve in the Tent of the ·Agreement [Testimony; Treaty; Covenant; Ex. 25:10]. 3 They are under your control, to do all the work that needs to be done in the Tent. But they must not go near the things in the Holy Place or near the altar. If they do, both you and they will die. 4 They will join you in taking care of the Meeting Tent. They must do the work at the Tent, and no ·one else [stranger; outsider] may come near you.
5 “You must take care of the Holy Place and the altar so that I won’t become angry with the ·Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel] again. 6 I myself chose your ·fellow [brother] Levites from among the ·Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel] as a gift given for you to the Lord, to work at the Meeting Tent. 7 But only you and your sons may ·serve as priests [L guard the priesthood]. Only you may serve at the altar or go behind the curtain. I am giving you this gift of serving as a priest, and ·anyone else [any stranger/outsider] who comes near the Holy Place will be put to death.”
8 Then the Lord said to Aaron, “I myself make you responsible for the offerings given to me. All the holy offerings that the ·Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel] give to me, I give to you and your sons as your share, your ·continual [perpetual] portion. 9 Your share of the ·holy offerings [L holy of the holy things] is that part which is not burned. When the people bring me gifts as ·most holy offerings [L holy of the holy things], whether they are ·grain [L gift; tribute; Lev. 2:1] or ·sin [or purification; Lev. 4:3] or ·penalty [guilt; reparation; Lev. 5:14—6:7] offerings, they will be set apart for you and your sons. 10 You must eat the offering in ·a most holy place [L the holy of holy places]. Any male may eat it, but you must respect it as holy.
11 “I also give you the offerings the ·Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel] present to me. I give these to you and your sons and daughters as your ·continual [perpetual] share. Anyone in your ·family [L house] who is clean [C in a ritual sense] may eat it.
12 “And I give you all the best olive oil and all the best new wine and grain. This is what ·the Israelites [L they] give to me, the Lord, from the first crops they harvest. 13 When they bring to the Lord all the first things they harvest, they will be yours. Anyone in your ·family [L house] who is clean [C in a ritual sense] may eat these things.
14 “Everything in Israel that is ·given to the Lord [devoted; C set aside for God] is yours. 15 The ·first one born [L one that opens the womb] to any family, whether people or animals, will be offered to the Lord. And that will be yours. But you must ·make a payment for [ransom; redeem] every firstborn child and every firstborn animal that is unclean [C in a ritual sense]. 16 When they are one month old, you ·must make a payment for [ransom; redeem] them of ·two ounces [L five shekels, that is twenty gerahs] of silver, as set by the Holy Place measure [3:40–50; Ex. 13:2, 11–16].
17 “But you must not ·make a payment for [ransom; redeem] the firstborn ox or sheep or goat. Those animals are holy. ·Sprinkle [Dash] their blood on the altar and ·burn [turn into smoke] their fat as an offering made by fire. The smell is pleasing to the Lord. 18 But the meat will be yours, just as the breast that is presented and the right thigh will be yours. 19 Anything the ·Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel] present as holy gifts I, the Lord, give to you, your sons and daughters as your ·continual [perpetual] portion. This is a lasting ·agreement [treaty; covenant] of salt [C representing perpetual agreement because salt can survive fire; Lev. 2:13] before the Lord for you and your children forever.”
20 The Lord also said to Aaron, “You will not inherit any of the land, and you will not own any land among the other people [Gen. 49:5–7]. I will be yours. Out of all the ·Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel], only you will inherit me.
21 “When the people of Israel give me a ·tenth [T tithe] of what they make, I will give that tenth to the ·Levites [L sons of Levi; Lev. 27:30–32; Deut. 12:17–19; 14:22–29]. This is their payment for the work they do serving at the Meeting Tent. 22 But the other ·Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel] must never go near the Meeting Tent, or they will die for their sin. 23 Only the Levites should work in the Meeting Tent and be responsible for any sins against it. This is a ·rule from now on [perpetual statute/ordinance/requirement throughout your generations]. The Levites will not inherit any land among the other ·Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel], 24 but when the ·Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel] give a ·tenth [T tithe] of everything they make to me, I will give that ·tenth [T tithe] to the Levites as a reward. That is why I said about the Levites: ‘They will not inherit any land among the ·Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel].’”
25 The Lord said to Moses, 26 “Speak to the Levites and tell them: ‘You will receive a ·tenth [T tithe] of everything the ·Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel] make, which I will give to you. But you must give a ·tenth of that [L tenth of a tenth; T tithe of a tithe] back to the Lord. 27 I will accept your offering just as much as I accept the offerings from others, who give ·new grain [L the grain of the threshing floor] or ·new wine [L the fullness of the winepress]. 28 In this way you will present an offering to the Lord as the other ·Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel] do. When you receive a ·tenth [T tithe] from the ·Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel], you will give a ·tenth [tithe] of that to Aaron, the priest, as the Lord’s share. 29 Choose the best and holiest part from what you are given as the portion you must give to the Lord.’
30 “Say to the Levites: ‘When you present the best, it will be accepted as much as the ·grain [L product of the threshing floor] and ·wine [L product of the wine press] from the other people. 31 You and your ·families [L house] may eat all that is left anywhere, because it is your pay for your work in the Meeting Tent. 32 And if you always give the best part to the Lord, you will never be guilty. If you do not ·sin against [profane] the holy offerings of the ·Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel], you will not die.’”
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