18:9 Of all the most holy offerings reserved 1 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.
18:12 “All the best of the olive oil and all the best of the wine and of the wheat, the first fruits of these things that they give to the Lord, I have given to you. 2 18:13 And whatever first ripe fruit in their land they bring to the Lord will be yours; everyone who is ceremonially clean in your household may eat of it.
18:14 “Everything devoted 3 in Israel will be yours. 18:15 The firstborn of every womb which they present to the Lord, whether human or animal, will be yours. Nevertheless, the firstborn sons you must redeem, 4 and the firstborn males of unclean animals you must redeem. 18:16 And those that must be redeemed you are to redeem when they are a month old, according to your estimation, for five shekels of silver according to the sanctuary shekel (which is twenty gerahs). 18:17 But you must not redeem the firstborn of a cow or a sheep or a goat; they are holy. You must splash 5 their blood on the altar and burn their fat for an offering made by fire for a pleasing aroma to the Lord. 18:18 And their meat will be yours, just as the breast and the right hip of the raised offering is yours. 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 6 forever before the Lord for you and for your descendants with you.”
18:20 The Lord spoke to Aaron, “You will have no inheritance in their land, nor will you have any portion of property 7 among them – I am your portion and your inheritance among the Israelites. 18:21 See, I have given the Levites all the tithes in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they perform – the service of the tent of meeting. 18:22 No longer may the Israelites approach the tent of meeting, or else they will bear their sin 8 and die. 18:23 But the Levites must perform the service 9 of the tent of meeting, and they must bear their iniquity. 10 It will be a perpetual ordinance throughout your generations that among the Israelites the Levites 11 have no inheritance. 12 18:24 But I have given 13 to the Levites for an inheritance the tithes of the Israelites that are offered 14 to the Lord as a raised offering. That is why I said to them that among the Israelites they are to have no inheritance.”
18:25 The Lord spoke to Moses: 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 15 from it as a raised offering to the Lord a tenth of the tithe. 18:27 And your raised offering will be credited 16 to you as though it were grain from the threshing floor or as new wine 17 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 18 the Lord, from all the best of it, and the holiest part of it.’ 19
18:30 “Therefore you will say to them, 20 ‘When you offer up 21 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 22 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.’” 23
1 tn Heb “from the fire.” It probably refers to those parts that were not burned.
2 tn This form may be classified as a perfect of resolve – he has decided to give them to them, even though this is a listing of what they will receive.
3 tn The “ban” (חֵרֶם, kherem) in Hebrew describes that which is exclusively the
4 tn The construction uses the infinitive absolute and the imperfect tense of the verb “to redeem” in order to stress the point – they were to be redeemed. N. H. Snaith suggests that the verb means to get by payment what was not originally yours, whereas the other root גָאַל (ga’al) means to get back what was originally yours (Leviticus and Numbers [NCB], 268).
5 tn Or “throw, toss.”
6 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.
7 tn The phrase “of property” is supplied as a clarification.
8 tn The Hebrew text uses the infinitive construct of the verb “to bear” with the lamed (ל) preposition to express the result of such an action. “To bear their sin” would mean that they would have to suffer the consequences of their sin.
9 tn The verse begins with the perfect tense of עָבַד (’avad) with vav (ו) consecutive, making the form equal to the instructions preceding it. As its object the verb has the cognate accusative “service.”
10 sn The Levites have the care of the tent of meeting, and so they are responsible for any transgressions against it.
11 tn Heb “they”; the referent (the Levites) has been supplied in the translation for clarity.
12 tn The Hebrew text uses both the verb and the object from the same root to stress the point: They will not inherit an inheritance. The inheritance refers to land.
13 tn The classification of the perfect tense here too could be the perfect of resolve, since this law is declaring what will be their portion – “I have decided to give.”
14 tn In the Hebrew text the verb has no expressed subject (although the “Israelites” is certainly intended), and so it can be rendered as a passive.
15 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.”
16 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.
17 tn Heb “fullness,” meaning the fullness of the harvest, i.e., a full harvest.
18 tn The construction is “every raised offering of the
19 tn Or “its hallowed thing.”
20 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.
21 tn The clause begins with the infinitive construct with its preposition and suffixed subject serving to indicate the temporal clause.
22 tn The verb is the perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive; it functions as the equivalent of the imperfect of permission.
23 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).