The Bible in Its Traditions

Numbers 17:27–18:7

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And YHWH said unto Aaron: 'Thou and thy sons and thy fathers' house with thee shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary; and thou and thy sons with thee shall bear the iniquity of your priesthood.

And the Lord spoke to Aaron, saying, Thou and thy sons and thy father’s house shall bear the sins of the holy things, and thou and thy sons shall bear the iniquity of your priesthood.

And the Lord said to Aaron: “You, and your sons, and the house of your father with you, shall carry the iniquity of the Sanctuary. And you and your sons together shall bear the sins of your priesthood.

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And thy brethren also, the tribe of Levi, the tribe of thy father, bring thou near with thee, that they may be joined unto thee, and minister unto thee, thou and thy sons with thee being before the tent of the testimony.

But take to yourselves also your brothers from the tribe of Levi, and the scepter of your father, and may they be prepared, and may they minister to you. Then you and your sons shall minister in the tabernacle of the testimony.

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And they shall keep thy charge, and the charge of all the Tent; only they shall not come nigh unto the holy furniture and unto the altar, that they die not, neither they, nor ye.

And the Levites shall stand watch by your precepts, and for all the works of the tabernacle; yet in such a manner that they shall not approach the vessels of the Sanctuary and of the altar, lest both they die, and you perish, at the same time.

And they shall keep your charge and the charge of all the tabernacle; but they shall not come near the vessels of the sanctuary and the vessels of the altar, that neither they, nor you also, die.

And they shall be joined unto thee, and keep the charge of the tent of meeting, whatsoever the service of the Tent may be; but a common man shall not draw nigh unto you.

But they may be with you, and they may watch over the care of the tabernacle and all its ceremonies. A foreigner shall not be mixed with you.

And they shall accompany you, and keep the charge of the tabernacle of the congregation for all the service of the tabernacle; and a stranger shall not come near you.

And ye shall keep the charge of the holy things, and the charge of the altar, that there be wrath no more upon the children of Israel.

Watch over the care of the Sanctuary, and over the ministry of the altar, lest an indignation may rise over the sons of Israel.

And you shall have charge of the sanctuary, and charge of the altar, that there be no wrath any more upon the children of Israel.

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And I, behold, I have taken your brethren the Levites from among the children of Israel; for you they are given as a gift unto YHWH, to do the service of the tent of meeting.

I have given your brothers, the Levites, to you from the midst of the sons of Israel, and I have delivered them as a gift to the Lord, in order to serve in the ministries of his tabernacle.

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And thou and thy sons with thee shall keep your priesthood in everything that pertaineth to the altar, and to that within the veil; and ye shall serve; I give you the priesthood as a service of gift; and the common man that draweth nigh shall be put to death.'

But as for you and your sons: guard the priesthood. For all that pertains to the service of the altar and of what is beyond the veil shall be exercised by the priests. If any outsider will approach, he shall be killed.”

Therefore you and your sons with you shall keep your priest's office for everything of the altar and within the veil; and you shall serve; I have given your priest's office as a gift; and the stranger who comes near shall be put to death.