Levites
    Footnotes

    Levites

    Descendants of Levi. The work of ministering in the sanctuary was assigned to this tribe. The Levites are sometimes spoken of as distinct from the priests (1 Kgs. 8:4; Ezra 2:70; John 1:19); sometimes as though all Levites were also priests, “the priests, the Levites” (Deut. 18:1; Josh. 3:3). The work of the Levites was to assist the priests (Num. 3:5–10; 18:1–7). They acted as musicians (1 Chr. 6:16, 31; 15:16; Neh. 11:17, 22); slaughtered the sacrifices (2 Chr. 29:34; 35:11; Ezra 6:20); and generally assisted in the temple (Neh. 11:16, 19). The Levites were themselves offered as a wave-offering on behalf of the children of Israel (Num. 8:11–15); they thus became God’s peculiar property, given to Him in place of the firstborn (8:16). They were cleansed for their office (8:7–16). They had no inheritance in Canaan (18:23–24); but they had the tithe (18:21), 48 cities (35:6), and a claim on the alms of the people at feast times (Deut. 12:18–19; 14:27–29).