Chapter 17: Aharon’s Walking Stick Blooms and Produces Almonds
1 And Yah spoke to Moshe saying: 2 “Speak to the children of Ysrayl and get from them a rod from each father’s house, all their leaders according to their father’s houses–twelve rods. Write each man’s name of his rod. 3 And you shall write Aharon’s name on the rod of Levi. For there shall be one rod for the head of each father’s house. 4 Then you shall place them in the tabernacle of meeting before the Testimony, where I meet with you. 5 And it shall be that the rod of the man whom I choose will blossom. Thus, I will rid Myself of the complaints of the children of Ysrayl, which they make against you”. 6 So Moshe spoke to the children of Ysrayl and each of their leaders gave him a rod apiece, for each leader according to their father’s houses, twelve rods and the rod of Aharon was among their rods. 7 And Moshe placed the rods before Yah in the tabernacle of witness. 8 Now it came to pass on the next day that Moshe went into the tabernacle of witness and behold, the rod of Aharon, of the house of Levi, had sprouted and put forth buds, had produced blossoms and yielded ripe almonds. 9 Then Moshe brought out all the rods from before Yah to all the children of Ysrayl and they looked and each man took his rod. 10 And Yah said to Moshe, “Bring Aharon’s rod back before the Testimony to be kept as a sign against the rebels, that you may put their complaints away from Me, lest they die”. 11 Thus did Moshe, just as Yah had commanded him. So he did. 12 So the children of Ysrayl spoke to Moshe saying: “Surely we die, we perish, we all perish! 13 Whoever even comes near the tabernacle of Yah must die. Shall we all utterly die?” (Compare to Genesis 30:37-39, Genesis 43:11, Exodus 25:33-34, Ecclesisates 12:5, Yeremiyah 1:11 and Hebrews 9:4. Also milk can be made from almonds…the land of milk and honey.)
Chapter 18: The Duties of Priests and Levites
Then Yah said to Aharon: “You and your sons and your father’s house with you shall bear the iniquity related to the sanctuary and you and your sons with you shall bear the iniquity associated with your priesthood. 2 Also bring with you your brothers of the tribe of Levi, the tribe of your father, that they may be joined with you and serve you while you and your sons are with you before the tabernacle of witness. 3 They shall attend to your needs and all the needs of the tabernacle but they shall not come near the articles of the sanctuary and the altar, lest they die–they and you also. 4 They shall be joined with you and attend to the needs of the tabernacle of meeting, for all the work of the tabernacle but an outsider shall not come near you. 5 And you shall attend to the duties of the sanctuary and the duties of the altar, that there may be no more wrath on the children of Ysrayl. 6 Behold, I Myself have taken your brothers, the Levites from among the children of Ysrayl. They are a gift to you, given by Yah to do the work of the tabernacle of meeting. 7 Therefore, you and your sons with you shall attend to your priesthood for everything at the altar and behind the veil and you shall serve. I give your priesthood to you as a gift for service but the outsider who comes near shall be put to death”.
Offerings for Support of the Priests
8 And Yah spoke to Aharon: “Here, I Myself have also given you charge of My heave offerings, all the qodesh gifts of the children of Ysrayl. I have given them as a portion to you and your sons as an ordinance forever. 9 This shall be yours of the most qodesh things reserved from the fire. Every offering of theirs, every grain offering and every sin offering and every trespass offering which they render to Me shall be most qodesh for you and your sons. 10 In a most qodesh place you shall eat it. Every male shall eat it. It shall be qodesh to you. 11 This also is yours: the heave offering of their gift with all the wave offering of the children of Ysrayl. I have given them to you and your sons and daughters with you as an ordinance forever. Everyone who is clean in your house may eat it. 12 All the best of the oil, all the best of the new wine and the grain, their first fruits which they offer to Yah, I have given them to you. 13 Whatever first ripe fruit is in their land which they bring to Yah shall be yours. Everyone who is clean in your house may eat it. 14 Every devoted thin in Ysrayl shall be yours. 15 Everything that first opens the womb of all flesh which they bring to Yah, whether man or beast shall be yours. Nevertheless, the firstborn of man you shall surely redeem and the firstborn of unclean animals you shall redeem. 16 And those redeemed of the devoted things you shall redeem when one month old according to your valuation, for five shekels of silver according to the shekel of the sanctuary, which is twenty gerahs. 17 But the firstborn of a cow, the firstborn of a sheep or the firstborn of a goat, you shall not redeem. They are qodesh. You shall sprinkle their blood on the altar and burn their fat as an offering made by fire for a sweet aroma to Yah. 18 And their flesh shall be yours, just as the wave breast and the right thigh are yours. 19 All the heave offering of the qodesh things which the children of Ysrayl offer to Yah, I have given to you and your sons and daughters with you as an ordinance forever. It is a covenant of salt forever before Yah with you and your descendants with you”. 20 Then Yah said to Aharon: “You shall have no inheritance in their land nor shall you have any portion among them. I am your portion and your inheritance among the children of Ysrayl”.
Tithes for Support of the Levites (What Levites Receive)
21 “Behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tithes in Ysrayl as an inheritance in return for the work which they perform, the work of the tabernacle of meeting. 22 Hereafter, the children of Ysrayl shall not come near the tabernacle of meeting lest they bear sin and die. 23 But the Levites shall perform the work of the tabernacle of meeting and they shall bear their iniquity. It shall be a statute forever, throughout your generations that among the children of Ysrayl they shall have no inheritance. 24 For the tithes of the children of Ysrayl which they offer up as a heave offering to Yah, I have given to the Levites as an inheritance. Therefore, I have said to them, ‘among the children of Ysrayl they shall have no inheritance’.”
The Tithe of the Levites (What Levites Must Give)
25 Then Yah spoke to Moshe saying: 26 “Speak thus to the Levites and say to them: When you take from the children of Ysrayl the tithes which I have given you from them as your inheritance, then you shall offer up a heave offering of it to Yah, a tenth of the tithe. 27 And your heave offering shall be reckoned to you as though it were the grain of the threshing floor and as the fullness of the wine press. 28 Thus you shall also offer a heave offering to Yah from all your tithes which you receive from the children of Ysrayl and you shall give Yah’s heave offering from it to Aharon the priest. 29 Of all your gifts, you shall offer up every heave offering due to Yah, from all the best of them, the consecrated part of them. 30 Therefore, you shall say to them: When you have lifted up the best of it, then the rest shall be accounted to the Levites as the produce of the threshing floor and as the produce of the wine press. 31 You may eat it in any place, you and your households, for it is your reward for your work in the tabernacle of meeting. 32 And you shall bear no sin of it when you have lifted up the best of it. But you shall not profane the qodesh gifts of the children of Ysrayl lest you die”.