Numbers 18International Standard Version (ISV)
Responsibilities for Priests and Descendants of Levi
18 Later, the Lord told Aaron, “You, your sons, and your father’s tribe with you are to bear the iniquity of the sanctuary. Also, you and your sons with you are to bear the iniquity of your priesthood. 2 Moreover, bring your brothers from your father’s tribe of Levi with you, so they may join you and minister to you while you and your sons with you stand in the presence of the Tent of Testimony. 3 They are to take care of your concerns and all the responsibilities involved with the tent. But they’re not to approach the holy vessels or the altar. That way, neither you nor they will die. 4 They are to join you to maintain services related to the Tent of Meeting, for all the responsibilities involved with the tent. But no unauthorized person[a] is to approach you. 5 Take care of the sanctuary and the services of the altar so that there won’t be any more wrath on the Israelis. 6 Notice that I’ve taken your brothers, the descendants of Levi, from among the Israelis, giving them to you as a gift from the Lord to perform the service of the Tent of Meeting. 7 Now you and your sons with you are to maintain your priestly duties and all matters that concern the altar and what is housed within the veil. You are to perform these services. I’m giving you the priesthood as a gift of service, but any unauthorized person[b] who approaches is to be put to death.”
Ownership for Offerings
8 Then the Lord told Aaron, “Look! I am indeed placing you in charge of my raised offerings and the holy things concerning the Israelis. Because of your anointing, I’m giving you and your sons a prescribed portion forever. 9 This is what is to belong to you from consecrated offerings spared[c] from the fire: all of their offerings, grain offerings, sin offerings, and trespass offerings that they render to me. They’re to be considered most sacred to you and your sons. 10 You may eat them as consecrated gifts. Every male may eat them. They’re sacred for you. 11 The raised offering and wave offerings presented by the Israelis are yours, too. I’ve given them to you, to your sons, and to your daughters as a prescribed apportionment forever. Everyone who is clean in your household may eat it. 12 All the best[d] oil, wine, grain, and first fruits that they give to the Lord are to belong to you. Everyone who is clean in your household may eat it.
13 “The first ripe fruits of everything that the land produces and that they bring to the Lord are yours, too. Everyone who is clean in your household may eat it. 14 Every devoted thing in Israel is yours, too. 15 Everything that opens the womb, any living thing that they bring to the Lord—whether from human beings or animals—are for you. Just be sure that you redeem the firstborn of people and the firstborn of unclean animals. 16 Those that can be redeemed, you are to redeem at the age of one month, based on your estimate—for five shekels of silver, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, that is, for 20 gerahs. 17 But you are not to redeem the firstborn of a cow, sheep, or a female goat. They are holy. You are to sprinkle their blood on the altar and burn their fat for an offering made by fire, a pleasing aroma to the Lord. 18 Their meat is to belong to you, just as the breast wave offering and the right thigh is yours. 19 I’m giving you, your sons, and your daughters as a prescribed portion forever all the raised offerings of the consecrated things that the Israelis offer to the Lord. It’s a salt covenant forever before the Lord with you and your descendants with you.”
Land Prohibited to Descendants of Levi
20 Then the Lord instructed Aaron, “You are not to have any inheritance in the land, nor are you to have any portion among the people.[e] I am your portion and your inheritance among the Israelis. 21 As to the descendants of Levi, certainly I’ve given all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for their services that they perform at the Tent of Meeting. 22 Therefore, the Israelis need no longer come to the Tent of Meeting, so they won’t suffer the consequences of their sin and die. 23 The descendants of Levi are to perform the service of the Tent of Meeting and they are to bear their iniquity. This is to be a statute forever, throughout your generations, that they are not to receive an inheritance among the Israelis, 24 because I’ve given to the descendants of Levi the tithes that the Israelis bring to the Lord as raised offering. Therefore I told them that, unlike the Israelis, they won’t receive an inheritance.”
Offerings Given to the Descendants of Levi
25 Then the Lord instructed Moses, 26 “Tell the descendants of Levi that when they receive tithes from the Israelis (the tithes that I’ve given you from them as an inheritance), you are to offer a tenth of it[f] as a raised offering for the Lord. 27 Your raised offerings are to be accounted for you as though it were grain from threshing floors and full produce from wine vats. 28 You are to offer a raised offering to the Lord from all your tithes that you receive from the Israelis. Give Aaron the priest the raised offering of the Lord 29 out of all the most consecrated offerings that you receive, that is, all the raised offerings of the Lord, with all its best and the most holy parts of it. 30 Tell them that when they bring the best from it, as far as the descendants of Levi are concerned, it is to be considered like produce from the threshing floors and wine vats. 31 You and your household may eat it anywhere, because it’s a reward to you in return for your services at the Tent of Meeting. 32 You won’t sin by offering the best of it, and you are not to profane the sacred things of the Israelis, so that you won’t die.”
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