New International Version
"I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the tent of meeting.
King James Bible
And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.
Darby Bible Translation
And to the children of Levi, behold, I have given all the tithes in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they perform, the service of the tent of meeting.
World English Bible
"To the children of Levi, behold, I have given all the tithe in Israel for an inheritance, in return for their service which they serve, even the service of the Tent of Meeting.
Young's Literal Translation
and to the sons of Levi, lo, I have given all the tenth in Israel for inheritance in exchange for their service which they are serving -- the service of the tent of meeting.
Numbers 18:21 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
Behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth -
1. The Levites had the tenth of all the productions of the land.
2. They had forty-eight cities, each forming a square of 4,000 cubits.
3. They had 2,000 cubits of ground round each city. Total of the land they possessed, 53,000 acres.
4. They had the first-fruits and certain parts of all the animals killed in the land.
Canaan contained about 11,264,000 acres; therefore the portion possessed by the Levites was rather less than as one to two hundred and twelve; for 11,264,000 divided by 53,000, quotes only 212 28/53 - See Lowman, Dodd, etc. But though this was a very small proportion for a whole tribe that had consented to annihilate its political existence, that it might wait upon the service of God, and labor for the people's souls; yet let it be considered that what they possessed was the best of the land: and while it was a slender remuneration for their services, yet their portion was such as rendered them independent, and kept them comfortable; so that they could wait on the Lord's work without distraction. This is a proper pattern for the maintenance of the ministers of God: let them have a sufficiency for themselves and families, that there may be no distracting cares; and let them not be encumbered with riches or worldly possessions, that they may not be prevented from taking care of souls.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
even the service
LibraryService a Gift
... I have given your priest's office unto you as a service of gift.'--NUM. xviii. 7. All Christians are priests--to offer sacrifices, alms, especially prayers; to make God known to men. I. Our priesthood is a gift of God's love. We are apt to think of our duties as burdensome. They are an honour and a mark of God's grace. 1. They are His gift-- (a) The power to do. All capacities and possessions from Him. (b) The wish to do. 'Worketh in you to will.' (c) The right to do, through Christ. 2. …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
Now the law requires the descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the people--that is, from their fellow Israelites--even though they also are descended from Abraham.
"'A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD.
"Speak to the Levites and say to them: 'When you receive from the Israelites the tithe I give you as your inheritance, you must present a tenth of that tithe as the LORD's offering.
From the soldiers who fought in the battle, set apart as tribute for the LORD one out of every five hundred, whether people, cattle, donkeys or sheep.
Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year.
He is to share equally in their benefits, even though he has received money from the sale of family possessions.
"Moreover, we will bring to the storerooms of the house of our God, to the priests, the first of our ground meal, of our grain offerings, of the fruit of all our trees and of our new wine and olive oil. And we will bring a tithe of our crops to the Levites, for it is the Levites who collect the tithes in all the towns where we work.
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