Posts Tagged ‘Levites’


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Deuteronomy 18 (HCSB) “The Levitical priests, the whole tribe of Levi, will have no portion or inheritance with Israel. They will eat the Lord’s fire offerings; that is their inheritance… This is the priests’ share from the people who offer a sacrifice, whether it is an ox, a sheep, or a goat; the priests are to be given the shoulder, jaws, and stomach. You are to give him the firstfruits of your grain, new wine, and oil, and the first sheared wool of your flock. For Yahweh your God has chosen him and his sons from all your tribes to stand and minister in His name from now on… “When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not imitate the detestable customs of those nations. No one among you is to make his son or daughter pass through the fire, practice divination, tell fortunes, interpret omens, practice sorcery, cast spells, consult a medium or a familiar spirit, or inquire of the dead… “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers… Then the Lord said to me, ‘They have spoken well. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. I will put My words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. I will hold accountable whoever does not listen to My words that he speaks in My name… You may say to yourself, ‘How can we recognize a message the Lord has not spoken?’ When a prophet speaks in the Lord’s name, and the message does not come true or is not fulfilled, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.

Moses continues to lay out expectations for Israel under God’s sovereign command and the first question that comes to mind is why do we need to know these laws when we are living under the new covenant and are not bound by Mosaic laws? (more…)


Deuteronomy 12 (NLT) When you drive out the nations that live there, you must destroy all the places where they worship their gods—high on the mountains, up on the hills, and under every green tree. Break down their altars and smash their sacred pillars. Burn their Asherah poles and cut down their carved idols. Completely erase the names of their gods! Do not worship the LORD your God in the way these pagan peoples worship their gods. Rather, you must seek the LORD your God at the place of worship he himself will choose from among all the tribes—the place where his name will be honored… Your pattern of worship will change. Today all of you are doing as you please, because you have not yet arrived at the place of rest, the land the LORD your God is giving you as your special possession… You must celebrate there in the presence of the LORD your God with your sons and daughters and all your servants. And remember to include the Levites who live in your towns, for they will receive no allotment of land among you… You must eat these in the presence of the LORD your God at the place he will choose. Eat them there with your children, your servants, and the Levites who live in your towns, celebrating in the presence of the LORD your God in all you do… When the LORD your God goes ahead of you and destroys the nations and you drive them out and live in their land, do not fall into the trap of following their customs and worshiping their gods. Do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How do these nations worship their gods? I want to follow their example.’ You must not worship the LORD your God the way the other nations worship their gods, for they perform for their gods every detestable act that the LORD hates. They even burn their sons and daughters as sacrifices to their gods.

I know the question you must ask as did I – Why would a God of love direct His people to cause such destruction to their enemy’s property and idols? Is there no room for secularism in God’s eyes? (more…)


Numbers 35 While Israel was camped beside the Jordan on the plains of Moab across from Jericho, the Lord said to Moses, “Command the people of Israel to give to the Levites from their property certain towns to live in, along with the surrounding pasturelands. These towns will be for the Levites to live in, and the surrounding lands will provide pasture for their cattle, flocks, and other livestock… “Six of the towns you give the Levites will be cities of refuge, where a person who has accidentally killed someone can flee for safety… “When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, designate cities of refuge to which people can flee if they have killed someone accidentally. These cities will be places of protection from a dead person’s relatives who want to avenge the death. The slayer must not be put to death before being tried by the community… These cities are for the protection of Israelites, foreigners living among you, and traveling merchants. Anyone who accidentally kills someone may flee there for safety… The community must protect the slayer from the avenger and must escort the slayer back to live in the city of refuge to which he fled. There he must remain until the death of the high priest, who was anointed with the sacred oil… “All murderers must be put to death, but only if evidence is presented by more than one witness. No one may be put to death on the testimony of only one witness. Also, you must never accept a ransom payment for the life of someone judged guilty of murder and subject to execution; murderers must always be put to death. And never accept a ransom payment from someone who has fled to a city of refuge, allowing a slayer to return to his property before the death of the high priest. This will ensure that the land where you live will not be polluted, for murder pollutes the land. And no sacrifice except the execution of the murderer can purify the land from murder. You must not defile the land where you live, for I live there myself. I am the Lord, who lives among the people of Israel.”

Why would a good and just God provide refuge to murderers and have all of Israel know that He has provided such an accommodation? What is behind all this provision for such grievous sin and how does it related to us today? (more…)


Numbers 8:1-2,5-6,14,16,22 The Lord said to Moses, “Give Aaron the following instructions: When you set up the seven lamps in the lampstand, place them so their light shines forward in front of the lampstand”… Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now set the Levites apart from the rest of the people of Israel and make them ceremonially clean… In this way, you will set the Levites apart from the rest of the people of Israel, and the Levites will belong to me… “Of all the people of Israel, the Levites are reserved for me. I have claimed them for myself in place of all the firstborn sons of the Israelites; I have taken the Levites as their substitutes… After that the Levites went into the Tabernacle to perform their duties, assisting Aaron and his sons. So they carried out all the commands that the Lord gave Moses concerning the Levites.

It seems God was partial towards the Levites in that He chose them from among the many and gave them the princely task of interceding between Israel and God.

What is God speaking to us through this passage and is God’s service only for a few from the many? (more…)


Numbers 7:1-2,4-5,10-12,18,24,30,36,42,48,54,60,66,72,78,89 On the day Moses set up the Tabernacle, he anointed it and set it apart as holy. He also anointed and set apart all its furnishings and the altar with its utensils. Then the leaders of Israel—the tribal leaders who had registered the troops—came and brought their offerings… Then the Lord said to Moses, “Receive their gifts, and use these oxen and wagons for transporting the Tabernacle. Distribute them among the Levites according to the work they have to do”… The leaders also presented dedication gifts for the altar at the time it was anointed. They each placed their gifts before the altar. The Lord said to Moses, “Let one leader bring his gift each day for the dedication of the altar.” On the first day Nahshon son of Amminadab, leader of the tribe of Judah, presented his offering… On the second day Nethanel son of Zuar, leader of the tribe of Issachar, presented his offering… On the third day Eliab son of Helon, leader of the tribe of Zebulun, presented his offering… On the fourth day Elizur son of Shedeur, leader of the tribe of Reuben, presented his offering… On the fifth day Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai, leader of the tribe of Simeon, presented his offering… On the sixth day Eliasaph son of Deuel, leader of the tribe of Gad, presented his offering… On the seventh day Elishama son of Ammihud, leader of the tribe of Ephraim, presented his offering… On the eighth day Gamaliel son of Pedahzur, leader of the tribe of Manasseh, presented his offering… On the ninth day Abidan son of Gideoni, leader of the tribe of Benjamin, presented his offering… On the tenth day Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai, leader of the tribe of Dan, presented his offering… On the eleventh day Pagiel son of Ocran, leader of the tribe of Asher, presented his offering… On the twelfth day Ahira son of Enan, leader of the tribe of Naphtali, presented his offering… Whenever Moses went into the Tabernacle to speak with the Lord, he heard the voice speaking to him from between the two cherubim above the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement—that rests on the Ark of the Covenant. The Lord spoke to him from there.

The snippets of verses from Numbers 7 presented above were to give a flavor of the chapter and I encourage you to read the chapter before you begin.

It seems there was great religiosity among the Israelites and they were successful at doing that which was prescribed rather than act on their own faith. Is that what God calls us to do? (more…)


Numbers 4:1-4,21-22,24-25,29,31-32,46-48 (NLT) Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Record the names of the members of the clans and families of the Kohathite division of the tribe of Levi. List all the men between the ages of thirty and fifty who are eligible to serve in the Tabernacle. “The duties of the Kohathites at the Tabernacle will relate to the most sacred objects… And the Lord said to Moses, “Record the names of the members of the clans and families of the Gershonite division of the tribe of Levi… “These Gershonite clans will be responsible for general service and carrying loads. They must carry the curtains of the Tabernacle, the Tabernacle itself with its coverings, the outer covering of fine goatskin leather, and the curtain for the Tabernacle entrance… “Now record the names of the members of the clans and families of the Merarite division of the tribe of Levi… “Their only duty at the Tabernacle will be to carry loads. They will carry the frames of the Tabernacle, the crossbars, the posts, and the bases; also the posts for the courtyard walls with their bases, pegs, and ropes; and all the accessories and everything else related to their use. Assign the various loads to each man by name… So Moses, Aaron, and the leaders of Israel listed all the Levites by their clans and families. All the men between thirty and fifty years of age who were eligible for service in the Tabernacle and for its transportation numbered 8,580.

8,580 strong men were selected to carry the Tabernacle and it seems like a lot of talent wasted instead of using them to fight a war.

Why was God so caught up about who would carry the Tabernacle and how does this relate to us today? (more…)


Leviticus 4:2-4,13,22,27,35 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. This is how you are to deal with those who sin unintentionally by doing anything that violates one of the Lord’s commands. “If the high priest sins, bringing guilt upon the entire community, he must give a sin offering for the sin he has committed. He must present to the Lord a young bull with no defects. He must bring the bull to the Lord at the entrance of the Tabernacle, lay his hand on the bull’s head, and slaughter it before the Lord… “If the entire Israelite community sins by violating one of the Lord’s commands, but the people don’t realize it, they are still guilty… “If one of Israel’s leaders sins by violating one of the commands of the Lord his God but doesn’t realize it, he is still guilty… “If any of the common people sin by violating one of the Lord’s commands, but they don’t realize it, they are still guilty… Then he must remove all the sheep’s fat, just as he does with the fat of a sheep presented as a peace offering. He will burn the fat on the altar on top of the special gifts presented to the Lord. Through this process, the priest will purify the people from their sin, making them right with the Lord, and they will be forgiven.

Another record of the seemingly senseless brutality of the Israelites is on display as God instructs them to make atonement for their unintentional sins by sacrificing animals.

We know today there is no blood shed for sins but why did God insist on such a gory sacrifice and is it relevant today? (more…)


Numbers 2:3-4,9-11,16-19,24-26,31,33-34 “The divisions of Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun are to camp toward the sunrise on the east side of the Tabernacle, beneath their family banners… So the total of all the troops on Judah’s side of the camp is 186,400. These three tribes are to lead the way whenever the Israelites travel to a new campsite. “The divisions of Reuben, Simeon, and Gad are to camp on the south side of the Tabernacle, beneath their family banners… So the total of all the troops on Reuben’s side of the camp is 151,450. These three tribes will be second in line whenever the Israelites travel. “Then the Tabernacle, carried by the Levites, will set out from the middle of the camp. All the tribes are to travel in the same order that they camp, each in position under the appropriate family banner. “The divisions of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin are to camp on the west side of the Tabernacle, beneath their family banners… So the total of all the troops on Ephraim’s side of the camp is 108,100. These three tribes will be third in line whenever the Israelites travel. “The divisions of Dan, Asher, and Naphtali are to camp on the north side of the Tabernacle, beneath their family banners… So the total of all the troops on Dan’s side of the camp is 157,600. These three tribes will be last, marching under their banners whenever the Israelites travel”… But as the Lord had commanded, the Levites were not included in this registration. So the people of Israel did everything as the Lord had commanded Moses. Each clan and family set up camp and marched under their banners exactly as the Lord had instructed them.

Two million slaves that were freed from exile are now being transformed into a nation that is on the move. How improbable that sounds just like how impossible it is to image the parting of the Red Sea or the daily portion of manna God provided them when they journeyed in the desert.

Is there any relevance to these stories in the Bible and if so, how do they relate to us today? (more…)


Numbers 1:2-4,16-19,45-50,54 “From the whole community of Israel, record the names of all the warriors by their clans and families. List all the men twenty years old or older who are able to go to war. You and Aaron must register the troops, and you will be assisted by one family leader from each tribe… These are the chosen leaders of the community, the leaders of their ancestral tribes, the heads of the clans of Israel.” So Moses and Aaron called together these chosen leaders, and they assembled the whole community of Israel on that very day. All the people were registered according to their ancestry by their clans and families. The men of Israel who were twenty years old or older were listed one by one, just as the Lord had commanded Moses. So Moses recorded their names in the wilderness of Sinai… They were registered by families—all the men of Israel who were twenty years old or older and able to go to war. The total number was 603,550. But this total did not include the Levites. For the Lord had said to Moses, “Do not include the tribe of Levi in the registration; do not count them with the rest of the Israelites. Put the Levites in charge of the Tabernacle of the Covenant, along with all its furnishings and equipment. They must carry the Tabernacle and all its furnishings as you travel, and they must take care of it and camp around it… So the Israelites did everything just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

Theocracy is the rule by people in positions of political authority all of whom share the same religious beliefs and preferences. Theocracy may manifest in a form of government in which a state is understood as governed by immediate divine guidance provided to ruling clergy or other ruling officials (Credit – Wikipedia).

As the fleeing Israelites are being shepherded by God into their own land, it seems God is raising a nation. How is that relevant to us today? (more…)