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Deuteronomy 10:6-9

Context
Conclusion of the Historical Resume

10:6 “During those days the Israelites traveled from Beeroth Bene-Yaaqan 1  to Moserah. 2  There Aaron died and was buried, and his son Eleazar became priest in his place. 10:7 From there they traveled to Gudgodah, 3  and from Gudgodah to Jotbathah, 4  a place of flowing streams. 10:8 At that time the Lord set apart the tribe of Levi 5  to carry the ark of the Lord’s covenant, to stand before the Lord to serve him, and to formulate blessings 6  in his name, as they do to this very day. 10:9 Therefore Levi has no allotment or inheritance 7  among his brothers; 8  the Lord is his inheritance just as the Lord your God told him.

1 sn Beeroth Bene-Yaaqan. This Hebrew name could be translated “the wells of Bene-Yaaqan” or “the wells of the sons of Yaaqan,” a site whose location cannot be determined (cf. Num 33:31-32; 1 Chr 1:42).

2 sn Moserah. Since Aaron in other texts (Num 20:28; 33:38) is said to have died on Mount Hor, this must be the Arabah region in which Hor was located.

3 sn Gudgodah. This is probably the same as Haggidgad, which is also associated with Jotbathah (Num 33:33).

4 sn Jotbathah. This place, whose Hebrew name can be translated “place of wadis,” is possibly modern Ain Tabah, just north of Eilat, or Tabah, 6.5 mi (11 km) south of Eilat on the west shore of the Gulf of Aqaba.

5 sn The Lord set apart the tribe of Levi. This was not the initial commissioning of the tribe of Levi to this ministry (cf. Num 3:11-13; 8:12-26), but with Aaron’s death it seemed appropriate to Moses to reiterate Levi’s responsibilities. There is no reference in the Book of Numbers to this having been done, but the account of Eleazar’s succession to the priesthood there (Num 20:25-28) would provide a setting for this to have occurred.

6 sn To formulate blessings. The most famous example of this is the priestly “blessing formula” of Num 6:24-26.

7 sn Levi has no allotment or inheritance. As the priestly tribe, Levi would have no land allotment except for forty-eight towns set apart for their use (Num 35:1-8; Josh 21:1-42). But theirs was a far greater inheritance, for the Lord himself was their apportionment, that is, service to him would be their full-time and lifelong privilege (Num 18:20-24; Deut 18:2; Josh 13:33).

8 tn That is, among the other Israelite tribes.



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