NUMBERS 18
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Aaron being now fully established in the priesthood abundantly to his own satisfaction, and to the satisfaction of the people (which was the good that God brought out of the evil opposition made to him), receives full instructions concerning his office, repeating those which he had before given him. It states: [1] Yahweh tells him as to his work and the care and charge committed to him; what assistance the Levites should have in that work; and what should be his and the Levites' wages for this work: vv. 1-7. [2] The benefits peculiar to the priests were listed: vv. 8-19. [3] The settled maintenance of the Levites: vv. 20-24. [4] The portion which must be paid to the priests out of the Levites' maintenance: vv. 25-32. Thus everyone knew what he had to do, and with what he had to live. The offerings had to be given with "a Covenant of Salt" (v. 19). The word covenant means 'to cut,' therefore to divide so as to eat. It was performed with a sacrifice and the shedding of blood, for a covenant brings into bold relief the life of those being committed. It was a solemn injunction based upon the life of those entering it. As salt was scarce and therefore precious, and used with eating, so it was put for eating with the offerings (cp. Lev. 2:13). A saying today is a man should be "worth his salt" which is derived from the principle of a sacrifice. - Logos.



1 And Yahweh 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 (ohel/ tent) 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.

v 1-5 The priests alone were to offer the sacrifices of the‭ ‬people, (sin, burnt, peace) and then only after washing of hands and feet, lest. they die (Exo 30:17-21). So we must be washed and sanctified by the washing of the word, if the sacrifice of Christ is to be efficaceous for us, with a clear conscience in full assurance of faith.(Hb.l0.21). RL



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 Yahweh, 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 Yahweh 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 Yahweh, them have I given thee.

13 And whatsoever is first ripe in the land, which they shall bring unto Yahweh, 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 Yahweh, 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 Yahweh.

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 Yahweh, 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 Yahweh unto thee and to thy seed with thee.

20 And Yahweh 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.

THE TITHES

The Levites did the Israelites' work for them in the service of the Sanctuary. So the rule was,

"Behold, I have given the children of Le vi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for the service which they serve" (Num. 18: 21).

It is reasonable to suppose that this toll upon the resources and income of the people was an annual levy, but they had to attend the Sanctuary to present it no more than once every three years (Deut. 14: 28; 26: 12).

It was surrendered as "a heave offering" (i.e., as something made over to God as His own (Num. 18 : 24). They were therefore not to begrudge the loss of it, but to see in the surrender of it a symbolic surrender of themselves to God.

"All the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or ofthe fruit of the tree, is the Lord's: it is holy unto the Lord" (Lev. 27: 30).

So also with a man's cattle:

"Concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord" (Lev. 27: 31-33).

To cater for problems of distance and transport (and, no doubt, also to some extent of preserving perishable produce), provision was made for the redemption of the tithe in the case of both field-produce and animals. But to stress the absoluteness of God's claim, and the fact that that claim was really upon the tithe itself and not upon its cash value, redemption could only be effected by the payment of the actual cash value, plus a fifth. *

Such an arrangement would act as a deterrent on the materially minded who would tend altogether to overlook the didactic purpose of the tithe laws; and to penalize those who might wish to discriminate against God by exchanging inferior animals for good when the count was made, it was decreed that both animals would then. be forfeit and the right to redeem revoked-

"If he change it at all, then both it and the change thereof shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed".

Thus God brought home to the deceitful that He would not be deprived of what was rightfully His, and insisted for those who were reluctant to acknowledge it that

"the tenth is holy unto the Lord".

Once again the part typified the whole. The fact that this sample portion of his material wealth was to be automatically surrendered to God as holy, taught the Israelite to consider it his duty to dedicate the whole of his spiritual resources as likewise "holy to the Lord". Nothing was to be withheld. Every third year without fail was to be an occasion for reminding him of his duty.

"At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates: and the Levite (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee) and the stranger and the fatherless and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come and eat and be satisfied that the Lord thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest" (Deut. 14 : 28-29).

The nation's attitude to the Levite (and so, by natural association of thought, to all others in the same defenceless and precarious position) would thus reveal what was its attitude to God Himself - hence the law,

"Take heed to thyself that thou forsake not the Levite as long as thou livest upon the earth" 

(Deut. 12: 19)'

Law and Grace Ch 11




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 Yahweh, 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 Yahweh 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 Yahweh, 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 Yahweh of all your tithes, which ye receive of the children of Israel; and ye shall give thereof Yahweh'S heave offering to Aaron the priest.

29 Out of all your gifts ye shall offer every heave offering of Yahweh, 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.