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Jehovah’s Witnesses


Online Bible


Numbers 18:1-32


  • Duties of priests and Levites (1-7)

  • Priestly allowances (8-19)

    • Covenant of salt (19)

  • Levites to receive and to give a tenth (20-32)

18  Jehovah then said to Aaron: “You and your sons and your paternal house with you will be answerable for any error against the sanctuary,+ and you and your sons with you will be answerable for any error against your priesthood.+  Also bring near your brothers of the tribe of Leʹvi, your ancestral tribe, so that they may join you and minister to you+ and your sons before the tent of the Testimony.+  They are to fulfill their responsibilities to you and to the entire tent.+ However, they must not come near the utensils of the holy place and the altar, so that neither they nor you may die.+  They will join you and carry out their responsibilities regarding the tent of meeting and all the service of the tent, and no unauthorized person* may come near to you.+  You must carry out your responsibility toward the holy place+ and the altar,+ so that no further indignation+ may come against the people of Israel.  I myself have taken your brothers, the Levites, from among the Israelites as a gift for you.+ They are given to Jehovah to care for the service of the tent of meeting.+  You and your sons are responsible for your priestly duties pertaining to the altar and what is inside the curtain,+ and you are to render this service.+ I have given the service of the priesthood as a gift to you, and any unauthorized person* who approaches should be put to death.”+  Jehovah spoke further to Aaron: “I myself put you in charge of the contributions made to me.+ I have given to you and to your sons a portion of all the holy things contributed by the Israelites as a permanent allowance.+  This will be yours out of the most holy offerings made by fire: every offering they make, including their grain offerings+ and their sin offerings+ and their guilt offerings+ that they bring to me. It is something most holy for you and for your sons. 10  In a most holy place you should eat it.+ Every male may eat it. It will be something holy to you.+ 11  This also belongs to you: the gifts they contribute+ together with all the wave offerings+ of the Israelites. I have given them to you and your sons and your daughters with you as a permanent allowance.+ Everyone clean in your house may eat it.+ 12  “All the best of the oil and all the best of the new wine and the grain, their firstfruits,+ which they give to Jehovah, I give them to you.+ 13  The first ripe fruits of everything from their land, which they will bring to Jehovah, will become yours.+ Everyone clean in your house may eat it. 14  “Every devoted thing* in Israel should become yours.+ 15  “Every firstborn of all living things,*+ which they will present to Jehovah, whether man or animal, should become yours. However, you should without fail redeem the firstborn of mankind,+ and the firstborn of the unclean animals you should redeem.+ 16  You should redeem it with the redemption price when it is a month old and up, by the estimated value of five silver shekels,*+ according to the standard shekel of the holy place.* It is 20 geʹrahs.* 17  Only the firstborn bull or firstborn male lamb or firstborn goat you should not redeem.+ They are something holy. You should sprinkle their blood on the altar,+ and their fat you should make smoke as an offering made by fire for a pleasing* aroma to Jehovah.+ 18  And their flesh should become yours. Like the breast of the wave offering and like the right leg, it should become yours.+ 19  All the holy contributions that the Israelites will contribute to Jehovah,+ I have given to you and your sons and your daughters with you as a permanent allowance.+ It is a lasting covenant of salt* before Jehovah for you and your offspring with you.” 20  Jehovah went on to say to Aaron: “In their land you will not have an inheritance, and no portion of land among them will become yours.+ I am your portion and your inheritance in the midst of the Israelites.+ 21  “Now see that I have given to the sons of Leʹvi every tenth part+ in Israel as an inheritance in return for the service they are carrying out, the service of the tent of meeting. 22  No longer may the people of Israel approach the tent of meeting, or else they will incur sin and die. 23  The Levites themselves are to carry out the service of the tent of meeting, and they are the ones who will answer for their error.+ It is a lasting statute during all your generations that they should not take possession of an inheritance among the Israelites.+ 24  For I have given to the Levites as an inheritance the tenth part contributed by the people of Israel, which they will contribute to Jehovah. That is why I have said to them, ‘In the midst of the Israelites, they should not take possession of an inheritance.’”+ 25  Then Jehovah said to Moses: 26  “You should tell the Levites, ‘You will receive from the Israelites the tenth part that I have given to you from them for your inheritance,+ and you should contribute from it a tenth part of the tenth part as a contribution to Jehovah.+ 27  And it will be considered your contribution, as though it were the grain of the threshing floor+ or the full production of the winepress or oil press. 28  In this way you will also give a contribution to Jehovah from all the tenth parts that you receive from the Israelites, and from them you are to give the contribution for Jehovah to Aaron the priest. 29  You will make every sort of contribution to Jehovah from the very best of all the gifts given to you+ as something holy.’ 30  “And you must say to them, ‘When you contribute the best of them, then it will be considered for the Levites as the produce of the threshing floor and as the produce of the winepress or oil press. 31  You and your household may eat it in any place, because it is your wages in return for your service at the tent of meeting.+ 32  You will not incur sin in this as long as you contribute the best from them, and you must not profane the holy things of the Israelites, or you will die.’”+


Lit., “stranger,” that is, a man not of Aaron’s family.
Lit., “stranger,” that is, a man not of Aaron’s family.
That is, everything made sacred to God by being irrevocably and irredeemably devoted to God.
Lit., “of all flesh.”
A shekel equaled 11.4 g (0.367 oz t). See App. B14.
Or “the holy shekel.”
A gerah equaled 0.57 g (0.01835 oz t). See App. B14.
Or “appeasing; soothing.” Lit., “restful.”
That is, a permanent and unchanging covenant.