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1The LORD said to Aaron: “You and your sons, together with the members of your father's tribe, are to be fully answerable for the sanctuary. You and your sons alone will be answerable for your priestly office;

2but admit your kinsmen of Levi, your father's tribe, to be attached to you and assist you while you and your sons are before the Tent of the Testimony.

3Let them be in attendance on you and fulfil all the duties of the Tent, but they must not go near the sacred vessels or the altar, otherwise they will die and you with them.

4They will be attached to you and be responsible for the maintenance of the Tent of Meeting in every detail. No lay person is to come near you,

5for you by yourselves will be responsible for the duties of the sanctuary and the altar, so that wrath may not fall again on the Israelites.

6It is I who have selected the Levites your kinsmen out of all the Israelites as a gift for you, made over to the LORD for the maintenance of the Tent of Meeting.

7But only you and your sons may fulfil the duties of your priestly office that concern the altar or lie within the curtain. This duty is yours; I bestow on you this gift of priestly service. Any person who is not a priest and who usurps it must be put to death.”

8The LORD said to Aaron: “I, the LORD, commit to your control the contributions made to me, that is all the holy-gifts of the Israelites. I give them to you and to your sons for your allotted portion due to you for all time.

9Out of the most holy gifts kept back from the altar-fire this part is to belong to you: every offering, whether grain-offering, purification-offering, or reparation-offering, rendered to me as a most holy gift, belongs to you and to your sons.

10You must eat it in a most holy place; every male may eat it. You are to regard it as holy.

11“This also is yours: the contribution from all such of their gifts as are presented as offerings dedicated by the Israelites. I give it to you and to your sons and daughters with you as a due for all time. Every person in your household who is ritually clean may eat it.

12“I give you all the choicest of the oil, the choicest of the new wine and the corn, the firstfruits which are given to the LORD.

13The first-ripe fruits of all produce in the land which are brought to the LORD are to be yours. Everyone in your household who is ritually clean may eat them.

14“Everything in Israel which has been devoted to God is to be yours.

15“All the firstborn of man or animal which are brought to the LORD are to be yours. Notwithstanding, you must accept payment in redemption of every firstborn of man and of unclean beasts:

16at the end of one month you may redeem it at the fixed price of five shekels of silver by the sacred standard, at the rate of twenty gerahs to the shekel.

17You must not, however, allow the redemption of the firstborn of a cow, sheep, or goat; they are holy. You must fling their blood against the altar and burn their fat in sacrifice as a food-offering of soothing odour to the LORD;

18their flesh is yours, as are the breast of the dedicated portion and the right leg.

19“All the dedicated portions, which the Israelites set aside for the LORD, I give to you and to your sons and daughters with you as a due for all time. This is a perpetual covenant of salt before the LORD with you and your descendants also.”

20The LORD said to Aaron: “You are to have no holding in Israel, no share of land among them; I am your holding in Israel, I am your share.

21“To the Levites I give every tithe in Israel to be their share, in return for the service they render in maintaining the Tent of Meeting.

22In order that the Israelites may not henceforth approach the Tent and thus incur the penalty of death,

23the Levites alone are to perform the service of the Tent and accept full responsibility for it. This rule is binding on your descendants for all time. They are to have no share of land among the Israelites,

24because as their holding I give them the tithe which the Israelites set aside as a contribution to the LORD. Therefore I say concerning them: They are to have no holding among the Israelites.”

25The LORD told Moses

26to say to the Levites: “When you receive from the Israelites the tithe which I give you from them as your share, you are to set aside from it the contribution to the LORD, a tithe of the tithe.

27Your contribution will count for you as if it were corn from the threshing-floor and juice from the wine vat.

28In this way you too will set aside the contribution due to the LORD out of all tithes which you receive from the Israelites, and you will give the LORD's contribution to Aaron the priest.

29Out of all the gifts you receive you are to set aside the contribution due to the LORD; and the gift which you consecrate must be taken from the choicest of them.

30“Say to them also: When you have set aside the choicest part of your portion, what remains will count for you as the produce of the threshing-floor and the wine vat,

31and you may eat it anywhere, you and your households. It is your payment for service in the Tent of Meeting.

32When you have set aside its choicest part, you will incur no penalty in respect of it, and you will not be profaning the holy-gifts of the Israelites; so you will escape death.”

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