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1 And the LORD said unto Aaron, Thou and thy sons and thy father's house with thee shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary: and thou and thy sons with thee shall bear the iniquity of your priesthood.

2 And thy brethren also of the tribe of Levi, the tribe of thy father, bring thou with thee, that they may be joined unto thee, and minister unto thee: but thou and thy sons with thee shall minister before the tabernacle of witness.

3 And they shall keep thy charge, and the charge of all the tabernacle: only they shall not come nigh the vessels of the sanctuary and the altar, that neither they, nor ye also, die.

4 And they shall be joined unto thee, and keep the charge of the tabernacle of the congregation, for all the service of the tabernacle: and a stranger shall not come nigh unto you.

5 And ye shall keep the charge of the sanctuary, and the charge of the altar: that there be no wrath any more upon the children of Israel.

6 And I, behold, I have taken your brethren the Levites from among the children of Israel: to you they are given as a gift for the LORD, to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.

7 Therefore thou and thy sons with thee shall keep your priest's office for every thing of the altar, and within the vail; and ye shall serve: I have given your priest's office unto you as a service of gift: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.

8 And the LORD spake unto Aaron, Behold, I also have given thee the charge of mine heave offerings of all the hallowed things of the children of Israel; unto thee have I given them by reason of the anointing, and to thy sons, by an ordinance for ever.

9 This shall be thine of the most holy things, reserved from the fire: every oblation of theirs, every meat offering of theirs, and every sin offering of theirs, and every trespass offering of theirs, which they shall render unto me, shall be most holy for thee and for thy sons.

10 In the most holy place shalt thou eat it; every male shall eat it: it shall be holy unto thee.

11 And this is thine; the heave offering of their gift, with all the wave offerings of the children of Israel: I have given them unto thee, and to thy sons and to thy daughters with thee, by a statute for ever: every one that is clean in thy house shall eat of it.

12 All the best of the oil, and all the best of the wine, and of the wheat, the firstfruits of them which they shall offer unto the LORD, them have I given thee.

13 And whatsoever is first ripe in the land, which they shall bring unto the LORD, shall be thine; every one that is clean in thine house shall eat of it.

14 Every thing devoted in Israel shall be thine.

15 Every thing that openeth the matrix in all flesh, which they bring unto the LORD, whether it be of men or beasts, shall be thine: nevertheless the firstborn of man shalt thou surely redeem, and the firstling of unclean beasts shalt thou redeem.

16 And those that are to be redeemed from a month old shalt thou redeem, according to thine estimation, for the money of five shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, which is twenty gerahs.

17 But the firstling of a cow, or the firstling of a sheep, or the firstling of a goat, thou shalt not redeem; they are holy: thou shalt sprinkle their blood upon the altar, and shalt burn their fat for an offering made by fire, for a sweet savour unto the LORD.

18 And the flesh of them shall be thine, as the wave breast and as the right shoulder are thine.

19 All the heave offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer unto the LORD, have I given thee, and thy sons and thy daughters with thee, by a statute for ever: it is a covenant of salt for ever before the LORD unto thee and to thy seed with thee.

20 And the LORD spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel.

21 And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.

22 Neither must the children of Israel henceforth come nigh the tabernacle of the congregation, lest they bear sin, and die.

23 But the Levites shall do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they shall bear their iniquity: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they have no inheritance.

24 But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the LORD, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.

25 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

26 Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it for the LORD, even a tenth part of the tithe.

27 And this your heave offering shall be reckoned unto you, as though it were the corn of the threshingfloor, and as the fulness of the winepress.

28 Thus ye also shall offer an heave offering unto the LORD of all your tithes, which ye receive of the children of Israel; and ye shall give thereof the LORD'S heave offering to Aaron the priest.

29 Out of all your gifts ye shall offer every heave offering of the LORD, of all the best thereof, even the hallowed part thereof out of it.

30 Therefore thou shalt say unto them, When ye have heaved the best thereof from it, then it shall be counted unto the Levites as the increase of the threshingfloor, and as the increase of the winepress.

31 And ye shall eat it in every place, ye and your households: for it is your reward for your service in the tabernacle of the congregation.

32 And ye shall bear no sin by reason of it, when ye have heaved from it the best of it: neither shall ye pollute the holy things of the children of Israel, lest ye die.

Commentary for Numbers 18

The charge of the priests and Levites. (1-7) The priests' portion. (8-19) The Levites' portion. (20-32)1-7 The people complained of their difficulty and peril in drawing near to God. God here gives them to understand, that the priests should come near for them. Aaron would see reason not to be proud of his preferment, when he considered the great care and charge upon him. Be not high-minded, but fear. The greater the trust of work and power that is committed to us, the greater danger there is of betraying that trust. This is a good reason why we should neither envy others' honours, nor desire high places.

8-19 All believers are spiritual priests, and God has promised to take care of them. Godliness has the promise of the life that now is. And from the provision here made for the priests, the apostle shows that it is the duty of christian churches to maintain their ministers. Scandalous maintenance makes scandalous ministers. The priests were to be wholly devoted to their ministry, not diverted from it, or disturbed in it, by worldly care or business. Also, that they might be examples of living by faith, not only in God's providence, but in his ordinances. The best should be offered for the first-fruits unto the Lord. Those who think to save, by putting God off with the refuse, deceive themselves, for God is not mocked.

20-32 As Israel was a people not to be numbered among the nations, so Levi was a tribe to be distinguished from the rest. Those who have God for their Inheritance and their Portion for ever, ought to look with holy contempt and indifference upon the possessions of this world. The Levites were to give God his dues out of their tithes, as well as the Israelites out of their increase. See, in ver. #31|, the way to have comfort in all our worldly possessions, so as to bear no sin by reason of them. 1. We must be sure that what we have is got honestly and in the service of God. That meat is best eaten which is first earned; but if any will not work, neither shall he eat, #2Th 3:10|. 2. We must be sure that God has his dues out of it. We have the comfort of our substance, when we have honoured the Lord with it. Ye shall bear no sin by reason of it, when ye have heaved the best from it. We should give alms of such things as we have, that all may be holy and comfortable to us.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Numbers 18

  • Christ Magnified Glorifying Jesus on Numbers 18
    End of Bible in a Year Reading for day 32. Playing catchup again, but what a thrill to read this. How forgiving my God is to me. I have often been like the people that trust not, live selfishly, and jealous of others. Dear Lord thank you for your mercy and for the prayers of others for your mercy, care and provision for me. Holy Spirit bring forth the Christ Life in me. I yield to my God.
  • Irene123 on Numbers 18
    To Rev. on Num.18:21 (3 yrs. ago) - I don't know if you remember your commentary, but it was truly beautiful.
  • Yvette mc bean on Numbers 18:6
    The Levites are those who have been hand picked by God as a gift to the priests to do service not only within the walls of the church but, to everyone near and far.
  • _Rosalina_Sayson_Ko_Tapay_ on Numbers 18
    EVERY ONE THAT IS CLEAN shall eat the HOLY OFFERINGS (Numbers 18:11). But for THOSE WHO ARE NOT CLEAN Jesus said, "WOE UNTO YOU, scribes and Pharisees, HYPOCRITES! for YE PAY TITHE of mint and anise and cummin, and have OMITTED THE "WEIGHTIER" MATTERS OF THE LAW, judgment, mercy, and faith: these OUGHT YE TO HAVE DONE, and not to leave the other undone" (Matthew 23:23). MEANING: Even you give tithes and yet inside of you is FULL OF DEAD MEN'S BONES AND ALL UNCLEANNESS you are nothing but a CURSED, "WOE UNTO YOU, scribes and Pharisees, HYPOCRITES! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear BEAUTIFUL OUTWARD, but are WITHIN FULL OF DEAD MEN'S BONES, AND OF ALL UNCLEANNESS" (Matthew 23:27). Therefore, IN HOLINESS AND RIGHTEOUSNESS BEFORE HIM is what matters most than any other offerings. Most especially AFTER BEING REDEEMED AND DELIVERED: "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for HE hath visited and REDEEMED his people (Luke 1:68), That HE would grant unto us, that WE BEING DELIVERED out of the hand of our enemies might SERVE HIM WITHOUT FEAR (Luke 1:74), IN HOLINESS AND RIGHTEOUSNESS BEFORE HIM, "all the days" of our life (Luke 1:75). AMEN!
  • _Rosalina_Sayson_Ko_Tapay_ on Numbers 18
    God is a just God indeed! Because Aaron was WORTHY in the sight of God being a RIGHTEOUS man therefore God gave him the PRIESTHOOD as a service gift (Numbers 18:7). Even the most holy offerings of the children of Israel were given unto Aaron and to EVERY ONE THAT IS CLEAN in his household (Numbers 18:11). EXCEPT for the LAND of the Children of Israel because God was Aaron's part of inheritance already, because he inherited the offerings of the children of Israel (Numbers 18:20). But for the children of Levi, God gave them the tenth in Israel's land for an inheritance for their service which they serve (Numbers 18:21). GOD is FAIR! GOD is JUST! God is ever GOOD to all HIS WORTHY people. TO EVERY ONE THAT IS CLEAN IN HIS SIGHT. AMEN!
  • Rev. Autrey on Numbers 18:21
    (Verse 21) "As for the tribe of Levi, your relatives, I will pay them for their services in the Tabernacle with the tithes (10% of your income) from the entire land of Israel."

    This is a part of the Law of Moses under the old covenant. And as Galatians 3:24 explains, it was given to point us to our coming Savior: "Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian and teacher to lead us until Christ came. So now, through faith in Christ, we are made right with God." What I am saying is, when the Jews gave 10% of their income to support their priesthood, they were supposed to see this as a picture of Christ giving himself to God to support his work. That is, Jesus gave himself to God as as atoning sacrifice to pay for the sins of the world. This was his work for God.

    Let me put it this way. God divided the dollar into two parts: 10% and 90%. The 10% pictures Christ giving himself to God to redeem the 90%, the world. It can be no other way, because if Jesus did not die for our sins, it makes no difference what we do. We are still lost in our sins.

    This is a hard concept for most people to understand because we are too steeped in pride and self-righteousness to allow our minds to think along these lines. We want to think that we are good, and that we can save ourselves by paying money, or that we donít need any saving at all.

    Just think of it: All because of the lawís demand, nearly 2,000 years ago, a poor, helpless man in His early 30ís was executed by crucifixion like a common criminal. He never wrote a book, never pastured a mega-church, never traveled on an airplane, and never was awarded man-of-the-year. Furthermore, He never took a wife, and never had the pleasure of eating a meal in a fine restaurant. Yet, His death saved us all.

    Why? Because His death was a substitutional atonement; that is, the law recognized it as a legal replacement for all mankind, and at the same time the only means by which man could be reconciled to God. Thatís why the cross is the symbol of the Christian faith and the crux of human history.

    The first two verses and refrain of the old hymn, ďAt the Cross,Ē express this view:
    Alas, and did my Savior bleed
    And did my Sovíreign die?
    Would He devote ... [such a] sacred head
    For such a worm ... [am] I?
    Was it for crimes that I had done?
    He groaned upon the tree
    Amazing pity! Grace unknown!
    And love beyond degree!
    At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light
    And the burden of my heart rolled away,
    It was there by faith I received my sight,
    And now I am happy all the day!

    God bless you!
  • Stanjett - in Reply on Numbers 18
    I disagree with one thing you said. Jesus is not a helpless man.
  • Job - in Reply on Numbers 18
    Yes. When they took him in the garden and one of His followers cut off ones ear with a sword, He said put up the sword, know yea not that I can call a legion of angels but, that the will of God may be done. He was not helpless at all.
  • Ronald david boyer on Numbers 18
    it's nice that God wanted the lLevites. For service to him. and the Israel. For personal service for God.


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