Messengers 1 came and told David what had happened to the men, so he summoned them, for the men were thoroughly humiliated. The king said, “Stay in Jericho 2 until your beards grow again; then you may come back.”
Their job was to help Aaron’s descendants in the service of the Lord’s temple. They were to take care of the courtyards, the rooms, ceremonial purification of all holy items, and other jobs related to the service of God’s temple. 1
Hezekiah expressed his appreciation to all the Levites, 1 who demonstrated great skill in serving the Lord. 2 They feasted for the seven days of the festival, 3 and were making peace offerings and giving thanks to the Lord God of their ancestors.
Hezekiah appointed the divisions of the priests and Levites to do their assigned tasks 1 – to offer burnt sacrifices and present offerings and to serve, give thanks, and offer praise in the gates of the Lord’s sanctuary. 2
On that day men were appointed over the storerooms for the contributions, first fruits, and tithes, to gather into them from 1 the fields of the cities the portions prescribed by the law for the priests and the Levites, for the people of Judah 2 took delight in the priests and Levites who were ministering. 3
you whom I am bringing back 1 from the earth’s extremities, and have summoned from the remote regions – I told you, “You are my servant.” I have chosen you and not rejected you.
The first of all the first fruits and all contributions of any kind 1 will be for the priests; you will also give to the priest the first portion of your dough, so that a blessing may rest on your house.
So the king assigned them a daily ration 1 from his royal delicacies 2 and from the wine he himself drank. They were to be trained 3 for the next three years. At the end of that time they were to enter the king’s service. 4
But get up and stand on your feet, for I have appeared to you for this reason, to designate you in advance 1 as a servant and witness 2 to the things 3 you have seen 4 and to the things in which I will appear to you.
Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. For although all things are clean, 1 it is wrong to cause anyone to stumble by what you eat.
Are they servants of Christ? (I am talking like I am out of my mind!) I am even more so: with much greater labors, with far more imprisonments, with more severe beatings, facing death many times.
For we too were once foolish, disobedient, misled, enslaved to various passions and desires, spending our lives in evil and envy, hateful and hating one another.
1 Then Saul said to David, “Here’s my oldest daughter, Merab. I want to give her to you in marriage. Only be a brave warrior 2 for me and fight the battles of the Lord.” For Saul thought, “There’s no need for me to raise my hand against him. Let it be the hand of the Philistines!”
“Son of man, King Nebuchadrezzar 1 of Babylon made his army labor hard against Tyre. 2 Every head was rubbed bald and every shoulder rubbed bare; yet he and his army received no wages from Tyre for the work he carried out against it.
“‘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.