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Numbers 8:14-16

8:14 And so 1  you are to separate the Levites from among the Israelites, and the Levites will be mine.

8:15 “After this, the Levites will go in 2  to do the work 3  of the tent of meeting. So you must cleanse them 4  and offer them like a wave offering. 5  8:16 For they are entirely given 6  to me from among the Israelites. I have taken them for myself instead of 7  all who open the womb, the firstborn sons of all the Israelites.

1 tn The vav (ו) consecutive on the perfect tense not only carries the nuance of instruction forward to this clause, but also marks this clause out as a summary of what has taken place, i.e., by doing all this ritual Moses will have separated the Levites from the people for God’s own possession.

2 tn The imperfect tense could also be given the nuance of the imperfect of permission: “the Levites may go in.”

3 tn Heb “to serve.”

4 tn The two verbs in the rest of this verse are perfect tenses with vav (ו) consecutive constructions, making them equal to the imperfect. Some commentators try to get around the difficulty of repetition by making these future perfects, “and you will have cleansed,” as opposed to a summary statement, “for thus you will cleanse….”

5 tc The Greek text adds “before the Lord.”

6 tn As before, the emphasis is obtained by repeating the passive participle: “given, given to me.”

7 tn Or “as substitutes” for all the firstborn of the Israelites.

TIP #08: Use the Strong Number links to learn about the original Hebrew and Greek text. [ALL]
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