Numbers 3:1-10 :
Now this is the history of the generations of Aaron and Moses in the day that Yahweh spoke with Moses in Mount Sinai.
These are the names of the sons of Aaron: Nadab the firstborn, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.
These are the names of the sons of Aaron, the priests who were anointed, whom he consecrated to minister in the priest’s office.
Nadab and Abihu died before Yahweh, when they offered strange fire before Yahweh, in the wilderness of Sinai, and they had no children.
Eleazar and Ithamar ministered in the priest’s office in the presence of Aaron their father.
Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, “Bring the tribe of Levi near, and set them before Aaron the priest, that they may minister to him.
They shall keep his requirements, and the requirements of the whole congregation before the Tent of Meeting, to do the service of the tabernacle.
They shall keep all the furnishings of the Tent of Meeting, and the obligations of the children of Israel, to do the service of the tabernacle.
You shall give the Levites to Aaron and to his sons. They are wholly given to him on the behalf of the children of Israel.
You shall appoint Aaron and his sons, and they shall keep their priesthood. The stranger who comes near shall be put to death.”
God told Israel that the Levites were not to be a part of the regular Israeli army. We find out here that they were to be considered a gift from the people of
Israel for the service of the priests. The entire tribe was dedicated as a gift.
We are also reminded of what we learned back Leviticus 10:1-3 about Nadab and Abihu; how they directly disobeyed God and were burned up by Him in the tabernacle.
Levites will be mentioned many more times in the Bible from this point on. They even play a role in Jesus' parables, so it's good to commit this to memory. An
important thing to understand is that although the priests were Levites, the Levites weren't necessarily priests. Only the branch of Levites who were sons of
Aaron were to be priests. The rest of the Levites were servants of those priests.
We are going to find out some of the things that they were supposed to be doing for the priests here Numbers, but there were other things that had to be done
on behalf of the daily business of the tabernacle, and later, the temple. Think about how many animals were being brought for sacrifice. They had to be treated well and
after they were killed, there was a lot to clean up.
One thing we see about God as we go through the Bible is how significant every little detail is to Him. There is not a person or even an animal that He doesn't pay
attention to, and it makes sense. He is the One who made them all.