Numbers 18 – Reading Note

  • God gave Aaron, his sons and his father’s family the responsibility for offenses against the sanctuary and he gave Aaron and his sons alone the responsibility for offenses against the priesthood (18:1).
  • God said if the Levites went near the furnishings of the sanctuary (not just the sanctuary itself but the things in it), they wouldn’t just die, Aaron would die too (18:2, 3).
  • There’s that repetition again. Verse 2 says, “Bring your fellow Levites from your ancestral tribe to join you and assist you when you and your sons minister before the Tent of the Testimony.” Aaron’s fellow Levites were from the tribe of Levi – why repeat it? (18:2)
  • God gave Aaron and his sons the priesthood as a gift. Aaron was definitely a good enough man to receive it. He was not perfect, but neither was Moses. The priesthood was a position of great responsibility. There were lots of things that needed to be done in a certain way so no one would die. It was also a position of great power and wealth. Everything in Israel that was given to God belonged to the priest. A great part of the sacrifices that the Israelites brought belonged to the priest as did the firstfruits of the harvest and the firstborn of man and animals. The sons were to be redeemed as were the unclean animals. (18:7, 9, 11 – 19).
  • This is funny: The price for redemption for firstborn sons and animals was the same: 5 shekels (18:15, 16).
  • The Most holy offerings could be eaten by every male in the priest’s family but the other offerings (including the holy offerings) could be eaten by everyone, both male and female, as long as they were ceremonially clean. I wonder why (18: 11 – 19).
  • The firstborn of oxen, sheep and goats were not to be redeemed because they were holy. They were to be sacrificed (18: 17). Their necks were to be broken, if I remember correctly.
  • God said Aaron wouldn’t have any share inheritance among the Israelites because he (God) was Aaron’s share and inheritance (18: 20). Is that code for “I have blessed you so much you don’t need any more” or does it mean something else? I really should invest in a commentary.
  • Oh, and the Israelites were not to go near the Tent of Meeting or they would die (18:7, 22).
  • The Levites were the ones allowed to work near the tent of meeting and they bore the responsibility for offenses against the Tent of Meeting. God gave them things in return for the work – their inheritance. It was the tithe that the Israelites brought. They would get no other inheritance (18: 21 -24).
  • The Levites had to give their tithe from what they received too – 10% to Aaron, the priest. Their tithe had to be the best 10% of everything they were given. It was actually a tithe to God, but it was given to Aaron just as the Israelite’s tithe to God was given to the Levites. If they gave this 10%, they would not be guilty (in that matter) of defiling the offerings of the Israelites and they won’t die (18: 25 – 32).

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I’m Tracy

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