The musicians, the descendants of Asaph, manned their posts, as prescribed by David, Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun the king’s prophet. 1 The guards at the various gates did not need to leave their posts, for their fellow Levites made preparations for them.
A Passover like this had not been observed in Israel since the days of Samuel the prophet. None of the kings of Israel had observed a Passover like the one celebrated by Josiah, the priests, the Levites, all the people of Judah and Israel who were there, and the residents of Jerusalem.
On the fourth day we weighed out the silver, the gold, and the vessels in the house of our God into the care 1 of Meremoth son of Uriah, the priest, and Eleazar son of Phinehas, who were accompanied by Jozabad son of Jeshua and Noadiah son of Binnui, who were Levites.
Now when these things had been completed, the leaders approached me and said, “The people of Israel, the priests, and the Levites have not separated themselves from the local residents 1 who practice detestable things similar to those of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites.
Then Nehemiah the governor, 1 Ezra the priestly scribe, 2 and the Levites who were imparting understanding to the people said to all of them, 3 “This day is holy to the LORD your God. Do not mourn or weep.” For all the people had been weeping when they heard the words of the law.
The Levites – Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah – said, “Stand up and bless the LORD your God!” “May you be blessed, O LORD our God, from age to age. 1 May your glorious name 2 be blessed; may it be lifted up above all blessing and praise.
“We – the priests, the Levites, and the people – have cast lots concerning the wood offerings, to bring them to the temple of our God according to our families 1 at the designated times year by year to burn on the altar of the LORD our God, as is written in the law.
“Alongside the border of the priests, the Levites will have an allotment eight and a quarter miles 1 in length and three and one-third miles 2 in width. The whole length will be eight and a quarter miles 3 and the width three and one-third miles. 4
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.
These are the families of the Levites: the family of the Libnites, the family of the Hebronites, the family of the Mahlites, the family of the Mushites, the family of the Korahites. Kohath became the father of Amram.
He built temples 1 on the high places and appointed as priests people who were not Levites.
I have given the Levites as a gift to Aaron and his sons from among the Israelites, to do the work for the Israelites in the tent of meeting, and to make atonement for the Israelites, so there will be no plague among the Israelites when the Israelites come near the sanctuary.” 1
The king went up to the Lord’s temple, accompanied by all the people of Judah, the residents of Jerusalem, the priests, and the Levites. All the people were there, from the oldest to the youngest. He read aloud all the words of the scroll of the covenant that had been discovered in the Lord’s temple.
“‘But the Levitical priests, the descendants of Zadok 1 who kept the charge of my sanctuary when the people of Israel went astray from me, will approach me to minister to me; they will stand before me to offer me the fat and the blood, declares the sovereign Lord.
David divided them into groups corresponding to the sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.
So if perfection had in fact been possible through the Levitical priesthood – for on that basis 1 the people received the law – what further need would there have been for another priest to arise, said to be in the order of Melchizedek and not in Aaron’s order?
All the people, 1 rulers, 2 leaders, and judges were standing on either side of the ark, in front of the Levitical priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord. Both resident foreigners and native Israelites were there. 3 Half the people stood in front of Mount Gerizim and the other half in front of Mount Ebal, as Moses the Lord’s servant had previously instructed to them to do for the formal blessing ceremony. 4