Numbers 17:1–18:24

Aaron’s Rod Buds

1 1Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,

2 “Speak to the sons of Israel, and get from them a rod for each father’s household: twelve rods, from all their leaders according to their fathers’ households. You shall write each name on his rod,

3 and write Aaron’s name on the rod of Levi; for there is one rod for the head of each of their fathers’ households.

4 “You shall then deposit them in the tent of meeting in front of athe testimony, where I meet with you.

5 “It will come about that the rod of athe man whom I choose will sprout. Thus I will lessen from upon Myself the grumblings of the sons of Israel, who are grumbling against you.”

6 Moses therefore spoke to the sons of Israel, and all their leaders gave him a rod apiece, for each leader according to their fathers’ households, twelve rods, with the rod of Aaron among their rods.

7 So Moses deposited the rods before the Lord in athe tent of the testimony.

8 Now on the next day Moses went into the tent of the testimony; and behold, athe rod of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted and put forth buds and produced blossoms, and it bore ripe almonds.

9 Moses then brought out all the rods from the presence of the Lord to all the sons of Israel; and they looked, and each man took his rod.

10 But the Lord said to Moses, “Put back the rod of Aaron abefore the testimony 1to be kept as a sign against the 2brebels, that you may put an end to their grumblings against Me, so that they will not die.”

11 Thus Moses did; just as the Lord had commanded him, so he did.

12 Then the sons of Israel spoke to Moses, saying, “aBehold, we perish, we are dying, we are all dying!

13 aEveryone who comes near, who comes near to the tabernacle of the Lord, must die. Are we to perish completely?”

Chapter 18

Duties of Levites

1 So the Lord said to Aaron, “You and your sons and your father’s household with you shall abear the guilt 1in connection with the sanctuary, and you and your sons with you shall bear the guilt 2in connection with your priesthood.

2 “But bring with you also your brothers, the tribe of Levi, the tribe of your father, that they may be ajoined with you and serve you, while you and your sons with you are before the tent of the testimony.

3 “And they shall thus attend to your obligation and the obligation of all the tent, but athey shall not come near to the furnishings of the sanctuary and bthe altar, or both they and you will die.

4 “They shall be joined with you and attend to the obligations of the tent of meeting, for all the service of the tent; but an 1outsider may not come near you.

5 “So you shall attend to the aobligations of the sanctuary and the obligations of the altar, bso that there will no longer be wrath on the sons of Israel.

6 “Behold, I Myself ahave taken your 1fellow Levites from among the sons of Israel; they are ba gift to you, 2dedicated to the Lord, to perform the service for the tent of meeting.

7 “But you and your sons with you shall aattend to your priesthood for everything concerning the altar and inside the veil, and you are to perform service. I am giving you the priesthood as ba 1bestowed service, but cthe 2outsider who comes near shall be put to death.”

The Priests’ Portion

8 Then the Lord spoke to Aaron, “Now behold, I Myself have given you charge of My 1aofferings, even all the holy gifts of the sons of Israel I have given them to you as a portion and to your sons as a perpetual allotment.

9 “This shall be yours from the most holy gifts reserved from the fire; every offering of theirs, even aevery grain offering and every bsin offering and every guilt offering, which they shall render to Me, shall be most holy for you and for your sons.

10 “As the most holy gifts you shall eat it; every male shall eat it. It shall be holy to you.

11 “This also is yours, athe offering of their gift, even all the wave offerings of the sons of Israel; I have bgiven them to you and to your sons and daughters with you as a perpetual allotment. Everyone of your household who is clean may eat it.

12 aAll the 1best of the fresh oil and all the 1best of the fresh wine and of the grain, the first fruits of those which they give to the Lord, I give them to you.

13 aThe first ripe fruits of all that is in their land, which they bring to the Lord, shall be yours; everyone of your household who is clean may eat it.

14 aEvery devoted thing in Israel shall be yours.

15 1aEvery first issue of the womb of all flesh, whether man or animal, which they offer to the Lord, shall be yours; nevertheless the firstborn of man you shall surely redeem, and the firstborn of unclean animals you shall redeem.

16 “As to their redemption price, from a month old you shall redeem them, by your valuation, five 1shekels in silver, according to the 1shekel of the sanctuary, which is twenty gerahs.

17 “But athe firstborn of an ox or the firstborn of a sheep or the firstborn of a goat, you shall not redeem; they are holy. bYou shall sprinkle their blood on the altar and shall offer up their fat in smoke as an offering by fire, for a soothing aroma to the Lord.

18 “Their 1meat shall be yours; it shall be yours like the abreast of a wave offering and like the right thigh.

19 aAll the offerings of the holy gifts, which the sons of Israel offer to the Lord, I have given to you and your sons and your daughters with you, as a perpetual allotment. It is ban everlasting covenant of salt before the Lord to you and your 1descendants with you.”

20 Then the Lord said to Aaron, “aYou shall have no inheritance in their land nor own any portion among them; bI am your portion and your inheritance among the sons of Israel.

21 “To the sons of Levi, behold, I have given all the atithe in Israel for an inheritance, in return for their service which they perform, the service of the tent of meeting.

22 aThe sons of Israel shall not come near the tent of meeting again, or they will bear sin and die.

23 “Only the Levites shall perform the service of the tent of meeting, and they shall abear their iniquity; it shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations, and among the sons of Israel bthey shall have no inheritance.

24 “For the tithe of the sons of Israel, which they offer as an offering to the Lord, I have given to the Levites for an inheritance; therefore I have said concerning them, ‘aThey shall have no inheritance among the sons of Israel.’ ”

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