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Friday, December 6 2013

Numbers 18: The Inheritance Of The Levites

"But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the LORD, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance"

The English word "priest" originated from a Latin word, presbyter, which became a term used for a religious functionary of the Church of Rome. English-language renderings of the Holy Scriptures typically use the word "priest" to translate the actual Hebrew word of the Bible, pronounced koh-hane, which is based upon a Hebrew root word that means a mediator, as in someone who serves as the means of communication between two separated people. In its present-day usage, religious or political, "minister" comes closer to expressing the meaning of the Hebrew word.

The LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ; see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) established the Levite "priesthood" as a prophetic portrayal of Christianity and the Messiah (see Leviticus 9: The Beginning Of The Levite Ministry and Leviticus 8: The Prophecy Of The Blood Upon The Anointed One). The "priesthood" was set apart in order to be a mediator, between God and man, and between man and God (see the Fact Finder question below). If the Levites were not set apart, they would merely be of one of the sides, rather than the way between both sides. It's the same reason that the area of the Tabernacle was "set apart."

The Tabernacle

"18:1 And the LORD 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. 18:2 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 of witness. 18:3 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. 18:4 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.

18:5 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. 18:6 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 the LORD, to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation. 18:7 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." (Numbers 18:1-7 KJV)

The offerings made by the people were "delivered" by the priests, most-particularly the High Priest i.e. the leading mediator - who represented Jesus Christ (see the Fact Finder question below and What Happened When The Messiah Arrived In Heaven?).

"18:8 And the LORD 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. 18:9 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. 18:10 In the most holy place shalt thou eat it; every male shall eat it: it shall be holy unto thee.

18:11 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.

18:12 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 the LORD, them have I given thee. 18:13 And whatsoever is first ripe in the land, which they shall bring unto the LORD, shall be thine; every one that is clean in thine house shall eat of it.

The High Priest 18:14 Every thing devoted in Israel shall be thine. 18:15 Every thing that openeth the matrix in all flesh, which they bring unto the LORD, 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. 18:16 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.

18:17 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 the LORD. 18:18 And the flesh of them shall be thine, as the wave breast and as the right shoulder are thine. 18:19 All the heave offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer unto the LORD, 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 the LORD unto thee and to thy seed with thee." (Numbers 18:8-19 KJV)

When the Israelites entered the promised land, each tribe was given an inheritance, except for the Levites who lived throughout the other tribes. The "inheritance" of the Levites were the tithes that the other tribes paid to the LORD, not to the priests directly, Who then gave it to the "priests" as a living means to enable them to do their service to both sides. The people paid the tithes to the LORD, after which the LORD paid the tithes to the Levites: "the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the LORD, I have given to the Levites to inherit." The Levites were supported by both sides of their mediation.

"18:20 And the LORD 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.

18:21 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. 18:22 Neither must the children of Israel henceforth come nigh the tabernacle of the congregation, lest they bear sin, and die. 18:23 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. 18:24 But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the LORD, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance." (Numbers 18:20-24 KJV)

The Levites then paid a tithe of the tithe. Why? To account for their own humanity:

"18:25 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 18:26 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 the LORD, even a tenth part of the tithe. 18:27 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. 18:28 Thus ye also shall offer an heave offering unto the LORD of all your tithes, which ye receive of the children of Israel; and ye shall give thereof the LORD'S heave offering to Aaron the priest. 18:29 Out of all your gifts ye shall offer every heave offering of the LORD, of all the best thereof, even the hallowed part thereof out of it.

18:30 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. 18:31 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. 18:32 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." (Numbers 18:25-32 KJV)

Fact Finder: Is Jesus Christ the Mediator between God and humanity? When did it begin?
See The Forerunner Of Man and Of God


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This Day In History, December 6

343: "Saint Nicholas" of Turkey died (see Could Santa Claus Have Become The Pope?; listen also to our Sermon The Ho-Ho Hoax).

1240: During the Mongol invasion of Russia, Kiev under Danylo of Halych and Voivode Dmytro fell to the Mongols under Batu Khan (see also Gog and Magog).

1421: Henry VI, the last Lancastrian king of England, was born. He was crowned king at the age of 8 months.

Encyclopedia Britannica 1492: Christopher Columbus "discovered" Hispaniola (it wasn't a discovery for the people who were already living there); the island is now divided between Haiti and the Dominican Republic (for a map of all four of the voyages of Columbus, see Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy).

1534: Quito, Ecuador was founded by Spanish explorers.

1768: The first edition of Encyclopedia Britannica (Latin for "British Encyclopaedia") was published. The Britannica is the oldest English-language encyclopaedia still being produced.

1792: During the French Revolution, the Girondists decided to put King Louis XVI on trial.

1862: U.S. President Abraham Lincoln ordered the hanging of 39 native Americans for the "Sioux Uprising" in Minnesota.

1865: The Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. It banned slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime (e.g. "chain gangs").

1907: A coal mine explosion at Monongah, West Virginia killed 362 workers.

1917: Over 1,600 people were killed, 9,000 injured, and an estimated $35 million damage from an explosion in the harbor at Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The Mont Blanc, a French munitions ship, collided with the Belgian relief ship Imo. Sparks from the collision ignited almost 3,000 tons of explosives aboard the French ship.

1917: British troops under General Allenby entered Hebron on their way to taking Jerusalem from the Ottomans during the First World War (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Balfour Declaration).

1921: The Anglo-Irish Treaty ended the Anglo-Irish War and gave Ireland dominion status in the British Empire as the Irish Free State, but provided for the separate status for the 6 northern counties (Northern Ireland), thus partitioning the country.

1938: Germany and France signed a "treaty of friendship." Germany invaded France a year later.

1941: Franklin Roosevelt approved funds for the development of a weapon of mass destruction, which later became known as the "atomic bomb."

1973: Gerald Ford was sworn in as U.S. Vice-President following Spiro Agnew's resignation for tax evasion. With the later resignation of Richard Nixon because of the Watergate burglary and obstruction of justice cover-up, Ford became the only man to serve as U.S. President and Vice-President without ever being elected to either office.

1975: A $2.3 billion emergency loan to save New York from bankruptcy was authorized.

1989: The Ecole Polytechnique Massacre, also known as the Montreal Massacre. Marc Lepine murdered 14 female students at the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal.

2006: NASA announced that photographs taken by the Mars Global Surveyor suggested the presence of liquid water on Mars.





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