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Numbers Chapter 18 | Parsha: Korah

1The Lord said to Aaron: You and your sons and the ancestral house under your charge shall bear any guilt connected with the sanctuary; you and your sons alone shall bear any guilt connected with your priesthood. 2You shall also associate with yourself your kinsmen the tribe of Levi, your ancestral tribe, to be attached to you and to minister to you, while you and your sons under your charge are before the Tent of the Pact. 3They shall discharge their duties to you and to the Tent as a whole, but they must not have any contact with the furnishings of the Shrine or with the altar, lest both they and you die. 4They shall be attached to you and discharge the duties of the Tent of Meeting, all the service of the Tent; but no outsider shall intrude upon you 5as you discharge the duties connected with the Shrine and the altar, that wrath may not again strike the Israelites.

6I hereby take your fellow Levites from among the Israelites; they are assigned to you in dedication to the Lord, to do the work of the Tent of Meeting; 7while you and your sons shall be careful to perform your priestly duties in everything pertaining to the altar and to what is behind the curtain. I make your priesthood a service of dedication; any outsider who encroaches shall be put to death.

8The Lord spoke further to Aaron: I hereby give you charge of My gifts, all the sacred donations of the Israelites; I grant them to you and to your sons as a perquisite, a due for all time. 9This shall be yours from the most holy sacrifices, the offerings by fire: every such offering that they render to Me as most holy sacrifices, namely, every meal offering, sin offering, and guilt offering of theirs, shall belong to you and your sons. 10You shall partake of them as most sacred donations: only males may eat them; you shall treat them as consecrated.

11This, too, shall be yours: the gift offerings of their contributions, all the elevation offerings of the Israelites, I give to you, to your sons, and to the daughters that are with you, as a due for all time; everyone of your household who is clean may eat it.

12All the best of the new oil, wine, and grain—the choice parts that they present to the Lord—I give to you. 13The first fruits of everything in their land, that they bring to the Lord, shall be yours; everyone of your household who is clean may eat them. 14Everything that has been proscribed in Israel shall be yours. 15The first issue of the womb of every being, man or beast, that is offered to the Lord, shall be yours; but you shall have the first-born of man redeemed, and you shall also have the firstling of unclean animals redeemed. 16Take as their redemption price, from the age of one month up, the money equivalent of five shekels by the sanctuary weight, which is twenty gerahs. 17But the firstlings of cattle, sheep, or goats may not be redeemed; they are consecrated. You shall dash their blood against the altar, and turn their fat into smoke as an offering by fire for a pleasing odor to the Lord. 18But their meat shall be yours: it shall be yours like the breast of elevation offering and like the right thigh.

19All the sacred gifts that the Israelites set aside for the Lord I give to you, to your sons, and to the daughters that are with you, as a due for all time. It shall be an everlasting covenant of salt before the Lord for you and for your offspring as well. 20And the Lord said to Aaron: You shall, however, have no territorial share among them or own any portion in their midst; I am your portion and your share among the Israelites.

21And to the Levites I hereby give all the tithes in Israel as their share in return for the services that they perform, the services of the Tent of Meeting. 22Henceforth, Israelites shall not trespass on the Tent of Meeting, and thus incur guilt and die: 23only Levites shall perform the services of the Tent of Meeting; others would incur guilt. It is the law for all time throughout the ages. But they shall have no territorial share among the Israelites; 24for it is the tithes set aside by the Israelites as a gift to the Lord that I give to the Levites as their share. Therefore I have said concerning them: They shall have no territorial share among the Israelites.

25The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 26Speak to the Levites and say to them: When you receive from the Israelites their tithes, which I have assigned to you as your share, you shall set aside from them one-tenth of the tithe as a gift to the Lord. 27This shall be accounted to you as your gift. As with the new grain from the threshing floor or the flow from the vat, 28so shall you on your part set aside a gift for the Lord from all the tithes that you receive from the Israelites; and from them you shall bring the gift for the Lord to Aaron the priest. 29You shall set aside all gifts due to the Lord from everything that is donated to you, from each thing its best portion, the part thereof that is to be consecrated.

30Say to them further: When you have removed the best part from it, you Levites may consider it the same as the yield of threshing floor or vat. 31You and your households may eat it anywhere, for it is your recompense for your services in the Tent of Meeting. 32You will incur no guilt through it, once you have removed the best part from it; but you must not profane the sacred donations of the Israelites, lest you die.

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