17 The Lord spoke to Moses: 2 “Speak to the Israelites, and receive from them a staff from each tribe, 2 one from every tribal leader, 3 twelve staffs; you must write each man’s name on his staff. 3 You must write Aaron’s name on the staff of Levi; for one staff is for the head of every tribe. 4 4 You must place them 5 in the tent of meeting before the ark of the covenant 6 where I meet with you. 5 And the staff of the man whom I choose will blossom; so I will rid myself of the complaints of the Israelites, which they murmur against you.”
6 So Moses spoke to the Israelites, and each of their leaders gave him a staff, one for each leader, 7 according to their tribes 8 – twelve staffs; the staff of Aaron was among their staffs. 7 Then Moses placed the staffs before the Lord in the tent of the testimony. 9
8 On the next day Moses went into the tent of the testimony – and 10 the staff of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted, and brought forth buds, and produced blossoms, and yielded almonds! 11 9 So Moses brought out all the staffs from before the Lord to all the Israelites. They looked at them, 12 and each man took his staff.
10 The Lord said to Moses, “Bring Aaron’s staff back before the testimony to be preserved for a sign to the rebels, so that you may bring their murmurings to an end 13 before me, that they will not die.” 14 11 So Moses did as the Lord commanded him – this is what he did.
12 The Israelites said to Moses, “We are bound to die! 15 We perish, we all perish! 13 16 Anyone who even comes close to the tabernacle of the Lord will die! Are we all to die?” 17
18 The Lord said to Aaron, “You and your sons and your tribe 2 with you must bear the iniquity of the sanctuary, 3 and you and your sons with you must bear the iniquity of your priesthood.
2 “Bring with you your brothers, the tribe of Levi, the tribe of your father, so that they may join 4 with you and minister to you while 5 you and your sons with you are before the tent of the testimony. 3 They must be responsible to care for you and to care for the entire tabernacle. However, they must not come near the furnishings of the sanctuary and the altar, or both they and you will die. 4 They must join 6 with you, and they will be responsible for the care of the tent of meeting, for all the service of the tent, but no unauthorized person 7 may approach you. 5 You will be responsible for the care of the sanctuary and the care of the altar, so that there will be 8 no more wrath on the Israelites. 6 I myself have chosen 9 your brothers the Levites from among the Israelites. They are given to you as a gift from the Lord, to perform the duties 10 of the tent of meeting. 7 But you and your sons with you are responsible for your priestly duties, for everything at the altar and within the curtain. And you must serve. I give you the priesthood as a gift for service; but the unauthorized person who approaches must be put to death.”
8 The Lord spoke to Aaron, “See, I have given you the responsibility for my raised offerings; I have given all the holy things of the Israelites to you as your priestly portion 11 and to your sons as a perpetual ordinance. 9 Of all the most holy offerings reserved 12 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. 10 You are to eat it as a most holy offering; every male may eat it. It will be holy to you.
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.
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. 13 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.
14 “Everything devoted 14 in Israel will be yours. 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, 15 and the firstborn males of unclean animals you must redeem. 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). 17 But you must not redeem the firstborn of a cow or a sheep or a goat; they are holy. You must splash 16 their blood on the altar and burn their fat for an offering made by fire for a pleasing aroma to the Lord. 18 And their meat will be yours, just as the breast and the right hip of the raised offering is yours. 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 17 forever before the Lord for you and for your descendants with you.”
20 The Lord spoke to Aaron, “You will have no inheritance in their land, nor will you have any portion of property 18 among them – I am your portion and your inheritance among the Israelites. 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. 22 No longer may the Israelites approach the tent of meeting, or else they will bear their sin 19 and die. 23 But the Levites must perform the service 20 of the tent of meeting, and they must bear their iniquity. 21 It will be a perpetual ordinance throughout your generations that among the Israelites the Levites 22 have no inheritance. 23 24 But I have given 24 to the Levites for an inheritance the tithes of the Israelites that are offered 25 to the Lord as a raised offering. That is why I said to them that among the Israelites they are to have no inheritance.”
25 The Lord spoke to Moses: 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 26 from it as a raised offering to the Lord a tenth of the tithe. 27 And your raised offering will be credited 27 to you as though it were grain from the threshing floor or as new wine 28 from the winepress. 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. 29 From all your gifts you must offer up every raised offering due 29 the Lord, from all the best of it, and the holiest part of it.’ 30
30 “Therefore you will say to them, 31 ‘When you offer up 32 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. 31 And you may 33 eat it in any place, you and your household, because it is your wages for your service in the tent of meeting. 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.’” 34