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“Take the Levites from among the children of Israel and cleanse them ceremonially. Thus you shall do to them to cleanse them: Sprinkle (A)water of purification on them, and (B)let[a] them shave all their body, and let them wash their clothes, and so make themselves clean. Then let them take a young bull with (C)its grain offering of fine flour mixed with oil, and you shall take another young bull as a sin offering. (D)And you shall bring the Levites before the tabernacle of meeting, (E)and you shall gather together the whole congregation of the children of Israel. 10 So you shall bring the Levites before the Lord, and the children of Israel (F)shall lay their hands on the Levites; 11 and Aaron shall [b]offer the Levites before the Lord like a (G)wave offering from the children of Israel, that they may perform the work of the Lord. 12 (H)Then the Levites shall lay their hands on the heads of the young bulls, and you shall offer one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering to the Lord, to make atonement for the Levites.

13 “And you shall stand the Levites before Aaron and his sons, and then offer them like a wave offering to the Lord. 14 Thus you shall (I)separate the Levites from among the children of Israel, and the Levites shall be (J)Mine. 15 After that the Levites shall go in to service the tabernacle of meeting. So you shall cleanse them and (K)offer them like a wave offering. 16 For they are (L)wholly given to Me from among the children of Israel; I have taken them for Myself (M)instead of all who open the womb, the firstborn of all the children of Israel. 17 (N)For all the firstborn among the children of Israel are Mine, both man and beast; on the day that I struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I [c]sanctified them to Myself. 18 I have taken the Levites instead of all the firstborn of the children of Israel. 19 And (O)I have given the Levites as a gift to Aaron and his sons from among the children of Israel, to do the work for the children of Israel in the tabernacle of meeting, and to make atonement for the children of Israel, (P)that there be no plague among the children of Israel when the children of Israel come near the sanctuary.”

20 Thus Moses and Aaron and all the congregation of the children of Israel did to the Levites; according to all that the Lord commanded Moses concerning the Levites, so the children of Israel did to them. 21 (Q)And the Levites purified themselves and washed their clothes; then Aaron presented them like a wave offering before the Lord, and Aaron made atonement for them to cleanse them. 22 (R)After that the Levites went in to do their work in the tabernacle of meeting before Aaron and his sons; (S)as the Lord commanded Moses concerning the Levites, so they did to them.

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Footnotes

  1. Numbers 8:7 Heb. let them cause a razor to pass over
  2. Numbers 8:11 present
  3. Numbers 8:17 set them apart

Duties of Priests and Levites

18 Then the Lord said to Aaron: (A)“You and your sons and your father’s house with you shall (B)bear the [a]iniquity related to the sanctuary, and you and your sons with you shall bear the iniquity associated with your priesthood. Also bring with you your brethren of the (C)tribe of Levi, the tribe of your father, that they may be (D)joined with you and serve you while you and your sons are with you before the tabernacle of [b]witness. They shall attend to your [c]needs and (E)all the needs of the tabernacle; (F)but they shall not come near the articles of the sanctuary and the altar, (G)lest they die—they and you also. They shall be joined with you and attend to the needs of the tabernacle of meeting, for all the work of the tabernacle; (H)but an outsider shall not come near you. And you shall attend to (I)the duties of the sanctuary and the duties of the altar, (J)that there may be no more wrath on the children of Israel. Behold, I Myself have (K)taken your brethren the Levites from among the children of Israel; (L)they are a gift to you, given by the Lord, to do the work of the tabernacle of meeting. Therefore (M)you and your sons with you shall attend to your priesthood for everything at the altar and (N)behind the veil; and you shall serve. I give your priesthood to you as a (O)gift for service, but the outsider who comes near shall be put to death.”

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Footnotes

  1. Numbers 18:1 guilt
  2. Numbers 18:2 testimony
  3. Numbers 18:3 service

At that time (A)the Lord [a]separated the tribe of Levi (B)to bear the ark of the covenant of the Lord, (C)to stand before the Lord to minister to Him and (D)to bless in His name, to this day.

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Footnotes

  1. Deuteronomy 10:8 set apart

And of (A)Levi he said:

(B)Let Your [a]Thummim and Your Urim be with Your holy one,
(C)Whom You tested at Massah,
And with whom You contended at the waters of Meribah,
(D)Who says of his father and mother,
‘I have not (E)seen them’;
(F)Nor did he acknowledge his brothers,
Or know his own children;
For (G)they have observed Your word
And kept Your covenant.
10 (H)They shall teach Jacob Your judgments,
And Israel Your law.
They shall put incense before You,
(I)And a whole burnt sacrifice on Your altar.
11 Bless his substance, Lord,
And (J)accept the work of his hands;
Strike the loins of those who rise against him,
And of those who hate him, that they rise not again.”

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Footnotes

  1. Deuteronomy 33:8 Lit. Perfections and Your Lights