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Numbers 18:1

Context
Responsibilities of the Priests

18:1 1 The Lord said to Aaron, “You and your sons and your tribe 2  with you must bear the iniquity of the sanctuary, 3  and you and your sons with you must bear the iniquity of your priesthood.

1 sn This chapter and the next may have been inserted here to explain how the priests are to function because in the preceding chapter Aaron’s position was affirmed. The chapter seems to fall into four units: responsibilities of priests (vv. 1-7), their portions (vv. 8-19), responsibilities of Levites (vv. 20-24), and instructions for Levites (vv. 25-32).

2 tn Heb “your father’s house.”

3 sn The responsibility for the sanctuary included obligations relating to any violation of the sanctuary. This was stated to forestall any further violations of the sanctuary. The priests were to pay for any ritual errors, primarily if any came too near. Since the priests and Levites come near all the time, they risk violating ritual laws more than any. So, with the great privileges come great responsibilities. The bottom line is that they were responsible for the sanctuary.



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