Day 54 – The Tribe of Levi

Thoughts and Reflection

Today we learn that the tribe of Levi is set apart from the other tribes when they rose up to the other Israelites who worshipped the golden calf. Even though the tribe of Levi is set apart for service in the Tabernacle, that doesn’t mean that every Levite is a priest.

God gives the tribes of Ruben, Gad, and Manasseh the land that is called Transjordan. God tells them that this land will be theirs when they have helped the rest of Israel obtain their Promised Land. Moses asks the Lord to see the land beyond the Jordan but God doesn’t allow him to enter the Promised Land.

This highlights that even though we pray and ask God for many things, that doesn’t mean he will always say yes. Even though God doesn’t always say yes, he still loves and is faithful to us.

About This Project

For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!

Daily Readings

Numbers 3

1 These were the descendants of Aaron and Moses, at the time when Yahweh spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai.

2 These were the names of Aaron’s sons: Nadab the eldest, then Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.

3 Such were the names of Aaron’s sons, priests anointed and invested with the powers of the priesthood.

4 Nadab and Abihu died in Yahweh’s presence, in the desert of Sinai, when they offered unauthorised fire before Yahweh. They left no children and so it fell to Eleazar and Ithamar to exercise the priesthood under their father Aaron.

5 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said:

6 ‘Muster the tribe of Levi and put it at the disposal of the priest Aaron: they must be at his service.

7 They will undertake the duties incumbent on him and the whole community before the Tent of Meeting, in serving the Dwelling,

8 and they will be in charge of all the furnishings of the Tent of Meeting and undertake the duties incumbent on the Israelites in serving the Dwelling.

9 You will present the Levites to Aaron and his sons as men dedicated; they will be given to him by the Israelites.

10 ‘You will register Aaron and his sons, who will carry out their priestly duty. But any unauthorised person who comes near must be put to death.’

11 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said:

12 ‘Look, I myself have chosen the Levites from the Israelites instead of all the first-born, those who emerge first from the womb in Israel; the Levites therefore belong to me.

13 For every first-born belongs to me. On the day when I struck down all the first-born in Egypt, I consecrated all the first-born in Israel, human and animal, to be my own. They are mine, Yahweh’s.’

14 Yahweh spoke to Moses in the desert of Sinai and said:

15 ‘You must take a census of Levi’s descendants by families and clans; all the males of the age of one month and over will be counted.’

16 At Yahweh’s word Moses took a census of them, as Yahweh had ordered.

17 These were the names of Levi’s sons: Gershon, Kohath and Merari.

18 These were the names of Gershon’s sons by their clans: Libni and Shimei;

19 Kohath’s sons by their clans: Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel;

20 Merari’s sons by their clans: Mahli and Mushi. These were the clans of Levi, grouped by families.

21 From Gershon were descended the Libnite and Shimeite clans; these were the Gershonite clans.

22 Their full number, counting the males of one month and over, came to seven thousand five hundred.

23 The Gershonite clans pitched their camp behind the Dwelling, on the west side.

24 The leader of the House of Gershon was Eliasaph son of Lael.

25 As regards the Tent of Meeting, the Gershonites had charge of the Dwelling, the Tent and its covering, the screen for the entrance to the Tent of Meeting,

26 the curtaining of the court, the screen for the entrance to the court surrounding the Dwelling and the altar, and the cords required in dealing with all this.

27 From Kohath were descended the Amramite, Izharite, Hebronite and Uzzielite clans; these were the Kohathite clans.

28 Their full number, counting the males of one month and over, came to eight thousand three hundred. They were in charge of the sanctuary.

29 The Kohathite clans pitched their camp on the south side of the Dwelling.

30 The leader of the house of the Kohathite clans was Elizaphan son of Uzziel.

31 They were in charge of the ark, the table, the lamp-stand, the altars, the sacred vessels used in the liturgy, and the curtain with all its fittings.

32 The chief of the Levite leaders was Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest. He supervised the people responsible for the sanctuary.

33 From Merari were descended the Mahlite and Mushite clans; these were the Merarite clans.

34 Their full number, counting the males of one month and over, came to six thousand two hundred.

35 The leader of the House of the Merarite clans was Zuriel, son of Abihail. They pitched their camp on the north side of the Dwelling.

36 The Merarites were in charge of the framework of the Dwelling, with its crossbars, poles, sockets and all its accessories and fittings,

37 and also the poles round the court, with their sockets, pegs and cords.

38 Finally, on the east side, in front of the Dwelling, in front of the Tent of Meeting, towards the east, was the camp of Moses and Aaronand his sons, who had charge of the sanctuary on behalf of the Israelites. Any unauthorised person coming near was to be put to death.

39 The total number of male Levites of the age of one month and over, whom Moses counted by clans as Yahweh had ordered, came to twenty-two thousand.

40 Yahweh said to Moses: ‘Take a census of all the first-born of the Israelites, all the males from the age of one month and over; take a census of them by name.

41 You will then present the Levites to me, Yahweh, instead of Israel, and similarly the Levites’ cattle instead of the first-born cattle of the Israelites.’

42 As Yahweh ordered, Moses took a census of all the first-born of the Israelites.

43 The total count, by name, of the first-born from the age of one month and over came to twenty-two thousand two hundred and seventy-three.

44 Yahweh then spoke to Moses and said:

45 ‘Take the Levites instead of all the first-born of the Israelites, and the Levites’ cattle instead of their cattle; the Levites will be mine, Yahweh’s.

46 For the ransom of the two hundred and seventy-three first-born of the Israelites in excess of the number of Levites,

47 you will take five shekels for each, by the sanctuary shekel, at twenty gerah to the shekel;

48 you will then give this money to Aaron and his sons as the ransom for the extra number.’

49 Moses took the ransom money for the extra ones unransomed by the Levites;

50 he took the money for the first-born of the Israelites: one thousand three hundred and sixty-five shekels, by the sanctuary shekel;

51 and Moses then handed over their ransom money to Aaron and his sons, at Yahweh’s bidding, as Yahweh had ordered Moses.

Deuteranomy 3

1 ‘We then turned on Bashan and invaded that. And Og king of Bashan marched out against us, he and all his people, to give battle at Edrei.

2 Yahweh said to me, “Do not be afraid of him, for I have put him at your mercy, him, all his people and his country. You will treat him as you treated Sihon king of the Amorites who lived in Heshbon.”

3 So, Yahweh our God put Og king of Bashan at our mercy too, with all his people. We beat him so thoroughly that nobody was left.

4 That was when we captured all his towns; there was not a town of theirs we did not take: sixty towns, the whole confederation of Argob, Og’s kingdom in Bashan,

5 all of them fortresses defended by high walls and fortified with gates and bars, not to mention the Perizzite towns, which were very numerous.

6 We laid them under the curse of destruction as we had done Sihon king of Heshbon, laying all these towns under the curse of destruction: men, women and children-

7 but we seized the livestock and spoils of the towns as booty for ourselves.

8 ‘Thus, by then we had taken the country of the two Amorite kings beyond the Jordan, stretching from the Wadi Arnon to Mount Hermon

9 (the Sidonians call Hermon ‘Sirion’ and the Amorites call it ‘Senir’):

10 all the towns of the tableland, all Gilead, and all Bashan as far as Salecah and Edrei, the capital cities of Og in Bashan.

11 (Og king of Bashan was the last survivor of the Rephaim; his bed was the iron bed that can be seen at Rabbah-of-the-Ammonites, nine cubits long and four wide, according to the human cubit.)

12 ‘Then we took possession of this country, from Aroer on the Wadi Arnon. To the Reubenites and Gadites I gave half the highlands of Gilead with its towns.

13 To the half-tribe of Manasseh I gave the rest of Gilead and the whole of Bashan, Og’s kingdom. (The whole confederation of Argob and the whole of Bashan is called the country of the Rephaim.

14 Since Jair son of Manasseh occupied the whole confederation of Argob as far as the frontiers of the Geshurites and Maacathites, after him Bashan is called the Encampments of Jair even today.)

15 To Machir I gave Gilead.

16 To the Reubenites and the Gadites I gave the region from Gilead to the Wadi Arnon, the middle of the ravine marking the boundary, and up as far as the Jabbok, the ravine marking the frontier of the Ammonites.

17 The Arabah and the Jordan serve as frontiers from Chinnereth down to the Sea of the Arabah (the Salt Sea), at the foot of the slopes of Pisgah on the east.

18 ‘I then gave you this order: “Yahweh your God has given you this country to be yours. Armed, every one of you fit to fight must go ahead of your brothers the Israelites.

19 Only your wives, your children and your flocks (you have many flocks, I know) must stay behind in the towns which I have given you,

20 until Yahweh has brought your brothers to rest as he has already brought you, and they too possess the territory which Yahweh your God is giving them on the other side of the Jordan; after that, you can go home, each to the domain I have given you.”

21 I then gave Joshua this order, “You can see for yourself everything that Yahweh our God has done to these two kings; Yahweh will do the same to all the kingdoms through which you pass.

22 Do not be afraid of them: Yahweh your God himself is fighting for you.”

23 ‘I then pleaded with Yahweh.

24 “My Lord Yahweh,” I said, “now that you have begun to reveal your greatness and your power to your servant with works and mighty deeds no God in heaven or on earth can rival,

25 may I not go across and see this fine country on the other side of the Jordan, that fine upland country and the Lebanon?”

26 But, because of you, Yahweh was angry with me and would not listen. “Enough!” he said, “Do not mention this subject again!

27 Climb to the top of Pisgah; turn your eyes to the west, the north, the south, the east. Look well, for across this Jordan you shall not go.

28 Give Joshua your instructions; encourage him, strengthen him; for he will be the one to cross at the head of this people; he will be the one to bring them into possession of the country which you will see.”

29 ‘We then stayed in the valley, close to Beth-Peor.’

Psalm 87

1 [Of the sons of Korah Psalm Song] With its foundations on the holy mountains,

2 Yahweh loves his city, he prefers the gates of Zion to any dwelling-place in Jacob.

3 He speaks of glory for you, city of God,

4 ‘I number Rahab and Babylon among those that acknowledge me; look at Tyre, Philistia, Ethiopia, so and so was born there.’

5 But of Zion it will be said, ‘Every one was born there,’ her guarantee is the Most High.

6 Yahweh in his register of peoples will note against each, ‘Born there’,

7 princes no less than native-born; all make their home in you.

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