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Deuteronomy 17:20--18:1

Context
17:20 Then he will not exalt himself above his fellow citizens or turn from the commandments to the right or left, and he and his descendants will enjoy many years ruling over his kingdom 1  in Israel.

Provision for Priests and Levites

18:1 The Levitical priests 2  – indeed, the entire tribe of Levi – will have no allotment or inheritance with Israel; they may eat the burnt offerings of the Lord and of his inheritance. 3 

1 tc Heb “upon his kingship.” Smr supplies כִּסֵא (kise’, “throne”) so as to read “upon the throne of his kingship.” This overliteralizes what is a clearly understood figure of speech.

2 tn The MT places the terms “priests” and “Levites” in apposition, thus creating an epexegetical construction in which the second term qualifies the first, i.e., “Levitical priests.” This is a way of asserting their legitimacy as true priests. The Syriac renders “to the priest and to the Levite,” making a distinction between the two, but one that is out of place here.

3 sn Of his inheritance. This is a figurative way of speaking of the produce of the land the Lord will give to his people. It is the Lord’s inheritance, but the Levites are allowed to eat it since they themselves have no inheritance among the other tribes of Israel.



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