1 The LordI said to Aaron,II “You and your sonsIII and your ancestralIV houseV with you
shall bear responsibilityVI for offensesVII connected with the sanctuary,VIII while you and your sons aloneIX shall bear responsibility for offenses connected with the priesthood.X
2 SoXI bringXII with you also your brothersXIII
of the tribeXIV of Levi,XV your ancestral tribe,XVI
in order that they may be joinedXVII to you and serveXVIII you while you and your sons with you are in front ofXIX the tentXX of the covenant.XXI
3 They shall performXXII dutiesXXIII for you andXXIV for the wholeXXV tent.
ButXXVI they must not approachXXVII either the utensilsXXVIII of the sanctuaryXXIX
or the altar,XXX or else bothXXXI they andXXXII you will die.XXXIII
4 They are attachedXXXIV to you in order to perform the duties of the tent of meeting,XXXV for allXXXVI the serviceXXXVII of the tent; no outsiderXXXVIII shall approach you.
5 You yourselves shall perform the duties of the sanctuaryXXXIX and the duties of the altar, so that wrathXL may never againXLI comeXLII upon the Israelites.XLIII
6 It is I who nowXLIV takeXLV your brother LevitesXLVI from amongXLVII the Israelites; they are now yours as a gift,XLVIII dedicatedXLIX to the Lord, to performL the service of the tent of meeting.
7 But you and your sons with you shall diligently performLI your priestly dutiesLII in all that concernsLIII the altar
and the areaLIV behind the curtain.LV, LVI I giveLVII your priesthood as a gift; any outsider who approaches shall be put to death.”LVIII
8 The Lord spokeLIX to Aaron, “ILX have given you chargeLXI of the offeringsLXII made to me,
all the holy giftsLXIII of the Israelites; I have given them to you and your sons as a priestly portionLXIV dueLXV you in perpetuity.LXVI
9 This shall beLXVII yours from the most holy things,LXVIII reserved from the fire:LXIX everyLXX offeringLXXI of theirs that they renderLXXII to me as a most holy thing,
whetherLXXIII grain offering,LXXIV LXXVpurification offering,LXXVI orLXXVII guilt offering,LXXVIII shall belong to you and your sons.
10 As a most holy thing you shall eatLXXIX it; every maleLXXX may eat it; it shall be holyLXXXI to you. 11 This also is yours: I have given to you, together with your sons and daughters,LXXXII as a perpetualLXXXIII due,
whatever is set asideLXXXIV from the giftsLXXXV of all the elevation offeringsLXXXVI of the Israelites; everyoneLXXXVII who is cleanLXXXVIII in your house may eat them.
12 All the bestLXXXIX of the oilXC and all the best of the wineXCI and of the grain,XCII the choice produceXCIII that they give to the Lord, I have given to you.
13 The first fruitsXCIV of all that is in their landXCV that they bringXCVI to the Lord shall be yours; everyone who is clean in your house may eat of it. 14 Every devoted thingXCVII in Israel shall be yours.
15 XCVIIIThe first issueXCIX of the wombC of all creatures,CI
humanCII and animal,CIII that is offeredCIV to the Lord shall be yours,
but the firstbornCV of human beingsCVI you shall redeem,CVII and the firstborn of uncleanCVIII animals you shall redeem.
16 Their redemption price, reckoned from one month of age,CIX you shall fixCX at fiveCXI
shekelsCXII of silver,CXIII according to the shekel of the sanctuaryCXIV (that is, twentyCXV gerahs).CXVI
17 But the firstborn of a cowCXVII or the firstborn of a sheepCXVIII or the firstborn of a goatCXIX you shall not redeem; they are holy. You shall dashCXX their bloodCXXI on the altar
and turn their fatCXXII into smokeCXXIII as an offering by fireCXXIV for a pleasingCXXV odorCXXVI to the Lord,
18 but their fleshCXXVII shall be yours, just as the breastCXXVIII that is elevatedCXXIX and as the rightCXXX thighCXXXI are yours.
19 All the holy offeringsCXXXII that the Israelites presentCXXXIII to the Lord I have given to you, together with your sons and daughters, as a perpetual due; it is a covenantCXXXIV of saltCXXXV
foreverCXXXVI beforeCXXXVII the Lord for you and your descendantsCXXXVIII as well.”CXXXIX
20 Then the Lord said to Aaron, “You shall have no allotmentCXL in their land, nor shall you haveCXLI any shareCXLII amongCXLIII them; I am your share and your possessionCXLIV amongCXLV the Israelites.
21 “To the LevitesCXLVI, CXLVII I have given every titheCXLVIII in Israel for a possession in returnCXLIX for the service that they perform,CL the service in the tent of meeting.
22 From now on the Israelites shall no longerCLI approach the tent of meeting, or else they will incurCLII guiltCLIII and die. 23 But the LevitesCLIV shall performCLV the service of the tent of meeting, and they shall bear responsibility for their own offenses;
it shall be a perpetual statuteCLVI throughout your generations.CLVII But amongCLVIII the Israelites they shall haveCLIX no allotment,CLX
24 because I have given to the LevitesCLXI as their portionCLXII the tithe of the Israelites, which they set apartCLXIII as an offeringCLXIV to the Lord.
ThereforeCLXV I have said of them that they shall haveCLXVI no allotmentCLXVII amongCLXVIII the Israelites.”
25 The Lord spoke to Moses,CLXIX saying, 26 “You shall sayCLXX to the Levites:CLXXI When you receiveCLXXII from the Israelites the tithe that I have given you from them for your portion, you shall set apartCLXXIII an offeringCLXXIV from it to the Lord, a tithe of the tithe.
27 It shall be reckonedCLXXV to you as your gift,CLXXVI the same as the grainCLXXVII
of the threshing floorCLXXVIII and the fullnessCLXXIX of the winepress.CLXXX
28 ThusCLXXXI you also shall set apartCLXXXII an offeringCLXXXIII to the Lord from all the tithes that you receive from the Israelites, and from them you shall give the Lord’s offeringCLXXXIV to the priestCLXXXV Aaron.
29 Out of all the giftsCLXXXVI to you, you shall set apartCLXXXVII every offeringCLXXXVIII due to the Lord; the best of all of them is the part to be consecrated.CLXXXIX
30 Say also to them: When you have set apartCXC the best of it, then the rest shall be reckonedCXCI to the LevitesCXCII as produceCXCIII of the threshing floor and as produce of the winepress.
31 You may eat it in anyCXCIV place,CXCV you and your households,CXCVI for it is your paymentCXCVII forCXCVIII your service in the tent of meeting.
32 You shall incur no guilt by reason of it, when you have offeredCXCIX the best of it. But you shall not profaneCC the holy gifts of the Israelites, on pain of death.”CCI
Image credit: “Kievan Psalter” – artist unknown, 1397.