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Numbers 18:8-11

Context
The Portion of the Priests

18:8 The Lord spoke to Aaron, “See, I have given you the responsibility for my raised offerings; I have given all the holy things of the Israelites to you as your priestly portion 1  and to your sons as a perpetual ordinance. 18:9 Of all the most holy offerings reserved 2  from the fire this will be yours: Every offering of theirs, whether from every grain offering or from every purification offering or from every reparation offering which they bring to me, will be most holy for you and for your sons. 18:10 You are to eat it as a most holy offering; every male may eat it. It will be holy to you.

18:11 “And this is yours: the raised offering of their gift, along with all the wave offerings of the Israelites. I have given them to you and to your sons and daughters with you as a perpetual ordinance. Everyone who is ceremonially clean in your household may eat of it.

Numbers 18:19

Context
18:19 All the raised offerings of the holy things that the Israelites offer to the Lord, I have given to you, and to your sons and daughters with you, as a perpetual ordinance. It is a covenant of salt 3  forever before the Lord for you and for your descendants with you.”

Numbers 18:26-32

Context
18:26 “You are to speak to the Levites, and you must tell them, ‘When you receive from the Israelites the tithe that I have given you from them as your inheritance, then you are to offer up 4  from it as a raised offering to the Lord a tenth of the tithe. 18:27 And your raised offering will be credited 5  to you as though it were grain from the threshing floor or as new wine 6  from the winepress. 18:28 Thus you are to offer up a raised offering to the Lord of all your tithes which you receive from the Israelites; and you must give the Lord’s raised offering from it to Aaron the priest. 18:29 From all your gifts you must offer up every raised offering due 7  the Lord, from all the best of it, and the holiest part of it.’ 8 

18:30 “Therefore you will say to them, 9  ‘When you offer up 10  the best of it, then it will be credited to the Levites as the product of the threshing floor and as the product of the winepress. 18:31 And you may 11  eat it in any place, you and your household, because it is your wages for your service in the tent of meeting. 18:32 And you will bear no sin concerning it when you offer up the best of it. And you must not profane the holy things of the Israelites, or else you will die.’” 12 

1 tn This is an uncommon root. It may be connected to the word “anoint” as here (see RSV). But it may also be seen as an intended parallel to “perpetual due” (see Gen 47:22; Exod 29:28; Lev 6:11 [HT]).

2 tn Heb “from the fire.” It probably refers to those parts that were not burned.

3 sn Salt was used in all the offerings; its importance as a preservative made it a natural symbol for the covenant which was established by sacrifice. Even general agreements were attested by sacrifice, and the phrase “covenant of salt” speaks of such agreements as binding and irrevocable. Note the expression in Ezra 4:14, “we have been salted with the salt of the palace.” See further J. F. Ross, IDB 4:167.

4 tn The verb in this clause is the Hiphil perfect with a vav (ו) consecutive; it has the same force as an imperfect of instruction: “when…then you are to offer up.”

5 tn The verb is חָשַׁב (khashav, “to reckon; to count; to think”); it is the same verb used for “crediting” Abram with righteousness. Here the tithe of the priests will be counted as if it were a regular tithe.

6 tn Heb “fullness,” meaning the fullness of the harvest, i.e., a full harvest.

7 tn The construction is “every raised offering of the Lord”; the genitive here is probably to be taken as a genitive of worth – the offering that is due the Lord.

8 tn Or “its hallowed thing.”

9 tn The wording of this verse is confusing; it may be that it is addressed to the priests, telling them how to deal with the offerings of the Levites.

10 tn The clause begins with the infinitive construct with its preposition and suffixed subject serving to indicate the temporal clause.

11 tn The verb is the perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive; it functions as the equivalent of the imperfect of permission.

12 tn The final clause could also be rendered “in order that you do not die.” The larger section can also be interpreted differently; rather than take it as a warning, it could be taken as an assurance that when they do all of this they will not be profaning it and so will not die (R. K. Harrison, Numbers [WEC], 253).



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