Numbers 18:1
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
The LORD said to Aaron, "You, your sons and your family are to bear the responsibility for offenses connected with the sanctuary, and you and your sons alone are to bear the responsibility for offenses connected with the priesthood.

New Living Translation
Then the LORD said to Aaron: "You, your sons, and your relatives from the tribe of Levi will be held responsible for any offenses related to the sanctuary. But you and your sons alone will be held responsible for violations connected with the priesthood.

English Standard Version
So the LORD said to Aaron, “You and your sons and your father’s house with you shall bear iniquity connected with the sanctuary, and you and your sons with you shall bear iniquity connected with your priesthood.

New American Standard Bible
So the LORD said to Aaron, "You and your sons and your father's household with you shall bear the guilt in connection with the sanctuary, and you and your sons with you shall bear the guilt in connection with your priesthood.

King James Bible
And the LORD said unto Aaron, Thou and thy sons and thy father's house with thee shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary: and thou and thy sons with thee shall bear the iniquity of your priesthood.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The LORD said to Aaron, "You, your sons, and your ancestral house will be responsible for sin against the sanctuary. You and your sons will be responsible for sin involving your priesthood.

International Standard Version
Later, the LORD told Aaron, "You, your sons, and your father's tribe with you are to bear the iniquity of the sanctuary. Also, you and your sons with you are to bear the iniquity of your priesthood.

NET Bible
The LORD said to Aaron, "You and your sons and your tribe with you must bear the iniquity of the sanctuary, and you and your sons with you must bear the iniquity of your priesthood.

New Heart English Bible
The LORD said to Aaron, "You and your sons and your fathers' house with you shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary; and you and your sons with you shall bear the iniquity of your priesthood.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The LORD said to Aaron, "You, your sons, and your family will be responsible for any sins against the holy place. You and your sons will also be responsible for any sins you commit when you work as priests.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And the LORD said unto Aaron: 'Thou and thy sons and thy fathers' house with thee shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary; and thou and thy sons with thee shall bear the iniquity of your priesthood.

New American Standard 1977
So the LORD said to Aaron, “You and your sons and your father’s household with you shall bear the guilt in connection with the sanctuary; and you and your sons with you shall bear the guilt in connection with your priesthood.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And the LORD said unto Aaron, Thou and thy sons and thy father's house with thee shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary; and thou and thy sons with thee shall bear the iniquity of your priesthood.

King James 2000 Bible
And the LORD said unto Aaron, You and your sons and your father's house with you shall bear the iniquity in connection with the sanctuary: and you and your sons with you shall bear the iniquity in connection with your priesthood.

American King James Version
And the LORD said to Aaron, You and your sons and your father's house with you shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary: and you and your sons with you shall bear the iniquity of your priesthood.

American Standard Version
And Jehovah said unto Aaron, Thou and thy sons and thy fathers house with thee shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary; and thou and thy sons with thee shall bear the iniquity of your priesthood.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the Lord said to Aaron: Thou, and thy sons, and thy father's house with thee shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary: and thou and thy sons with thee shall bear the sins of your priesthood.

Darby Bible Translation
And Jehovah said to Aaron, Thou and thy sons and thy father's house with thee shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary; and thou and thy sons with thee shall bear the iniquity of your priesthood.

English Revised Version
And the LORD said unto Aaron, Thou and thy sons and thy fathers' house with thee shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary: and thou and thy sons with thee shall bear the iniquity of your priesthood.

Webster's Bible Translation
And the LORD said to Aaron, Thou and thy sons and thy father's house with thee shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary: and thou and thy sons with thee shall bear the iniquity of your priesthood.

World English Bible
Yahweh said to Aaron, "You and your sons and your fathers' house with you shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary; and you and your sons with you shall bear the iniquity of your priesthood.

Young's Literal Translation
And Jehovah saith unto Aaron, 'Thou, and thy sons, and the house of thy father with thee, do bear the iniquity of the sanctuary; and thou, and thy sons with thee, do bear the iniquity of your priesthood;
Study Bible
Duties of Priests and Levites
1So the LORD said to Aaron, "You and your sons and your father's household with you shall bear the guilt in connection with the sanctuary, and you and your sons with you shall bear the guilt in connection with your priesthood. 2"But bring with you also your brothers, the tribe of Levi, the tribe of your father, that they may be joined with you and serve you, while you and your sons with you are before the tent of the testimony.…
Cross References
Exodus 28:38
"It shall be on Aaron's forehead, and Aaron shall take away the iniquity of the holy things which the sons of Israel consecrate, with regard to all their holy gifts; and it shall always be on his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD.

Leviticus 10:17
"Why did you not eat the sin offering at the holy place? For it is most holy, and He gave it to you to bear away the guilt of the congregation, to make atonement for them before the LORD.

Leviticus 22:16
and so cause them to bear punishment for guilt by eating their holy gifts; for I am the LORD who sanctifies them.'"

Numbers 3:6
"Bring the tribe of Levi near and set them before Aaron the priest, that they may serve him.

Numbers 16:10
and that He has brought you near, Korah, and all your brothers, sons of Levi, with you? And are you seeking for the priesthood also?

Numbers 18:11
"This also is yours, the offering of their gift, even all the wave offerings of the sons of Israel; I have given them to you and to your sons and daughters with you as a perpetual allotment. Everyone of your household who is clean may eat it.

Numbers 18:23
"Only the Levites shall perform the service of the tent of meeting, and they shall bear their iniquity; it shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations, and among the sons of Israel they shall have no inheritance.

Deuteronomy 10:8
At that time the LORD set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to serve Him and to bless in His name until this day.

Judges 17:12
So Micah consecrated the Levite, and the young man became his priest and lived in the house of Micah.

Ezekiel 4:4
"As for you, lie down on your left side and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel on it; you shall bear their iniquity for the number of days that you lie on it.
Treasury of Scripture

And the LORD said to Aaron, You and your sons and your father's house with you shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary: and you and your sons with you shall bear the iniquity of your priesthood.

Aaron, Thou.

Numbers 17:3,7,13 And you shall write Aaron's name on the rod of Levi: for one rod …

Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling …

shall bear. To counterbalance the high honour conferred on Aaron and his family, and to allay the fears and abate the envy of the people, it is here declared, that the priest must bear the blame of everything which was not properly conducted in the sanctuary.

Numbers 18:22 Neither must the children of Israel from now on come near the tabernacle …

Numbers 14:34 After the number of the days in which you searched the land, even …

Exodus 28:38 And it shall be on Aaron's forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity …

Leviticus 22:9 They shall therefore keep my ordinance, lest they bear sin for it, …

Isaiah 53:6,11 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his …

Ezekiel 3:18,19 When I say to the wicked, You shall surely die; and you give him …

Acts 20:26,27 Why I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men…

Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for …

1 Peter 2:24 Who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that …

XVIII.

(1) Shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary . . . --It must be remembered that the iniquity of the sanctuary, and the iniquity of the priesthood, extended not only to the defilement of the sanctuary by the transgressions of priests and people (Leviticus 16:11; Leviticus 16:15-16), but also to its defilement by the imperfections connected with the services of the priests and the offerings of the people (Exodus 28:38).

Verse 1. - The Lord spake unto Aaron. This clear and comprehensive instruction as to the position and support of the sons of Aaron on the one hand, and of the Levites on the other, may very naturally have been given in connection with the events just narrated. There is, however, no direct reference to those events, and it is quite possible that the only connection was one of subject-matter in the mind of the writer. That the regulations which follow were addressed to Aaron directly is a thing unusual, and indeed unexampled. The ever-recurring statement elsewhere is, "the Lord spake unto Moses," varied occasionally by "the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron" (as in Numbers 2:1; Numbers 4:1; Numbers 19:1); but even where the communication refers to things wholly and peculiarly within the province of Aaron, it is usually made to Moses, and only through him to his brother (see e.g., Numbers 8:1-3). This change in the form of the message may point to a later date, i.e., to a time subsequent to the gainsaying of Korah, when the separate position of Aaron as the head of a priestly caste was more fully recognized than before, and he himself somewhat less under the shadow of his greater brother. Thou and thy sons and thy father's house with thee shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary. Aaron's father's house, according to the analogy of Numbers 17:2, 3, 6, was the sub-tribe of the Kohathites, and these had charge (to the exclusion of the other Levites) of the sanctuary, or rather sacred things (הַמִּקְדָּשׁ, as in Numbers 10:21. Septuagint, τῶν ἁγίων). See on Numbers 4:15. This mention of the Kohathites in connection with the sanctuary is an incidental proof that these instructions were given in view of the wanderings in the wilderness, for after the settlement in Canaan no Levites (as such) came into contact with the sacred furniture. It is not easy to define exactly the meaning of "shall bear the iniquity (תִּשְׂאוּ אֶת־עַון) of the sanctuary." The general sense of the phrase is, "to be responsible for the iniquity," i.e., for anything which caused displeasure in the eyes of God, "in connection with the sacred things and the service of them;" hence it meant either to be responsible for such iniquity, as being held accountable for it, and having to endure the penalty, or as being permitted and enabled to take such accountability on oneself, and so discharge it from others. This double sense is exactly reflected in the Greek word αἴρειν, as applied to our Lord (John 1:29). The priests, therefore (and the Kohathites, so far as they had anything to do with the sanctuary), were responsible for all the unholiness attaching or accruing to it, not only by reason of all offences committed by themselves, but by reason of that imperfection which clung to them at the best, and made them unworthy to handle the things of God. In a further and deeper sense they might be said to be vicariously responsible for all the iniquity of all Israel, so far as the taint of it affected the very sanctuary (see on Exodus 28:38; Leviticus 16:16). The iniquity of your priesthood. The responsibility not only for all sinful acts of omission and commission in Divine service (such as those of Nadab and Abihu, and of Korah), but for all the inevitable failure of personal holiness on the part of those who ministered unto the Lord. This responsibility was emphatically recognized and provided for in the rites of the great day of atonement. And the Lord spake unto Aaron,.... As the things spoken were such as concerned Aaron, he might be only and immediately spoken unto: thou,

and thy sons, and thy father's house with thee; meaning both priests and Levites, the priests by him and his sons, and the Levites by his father's house:

shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary; the blame of any evil committed there, the punishment of it; the priests, Aaron and his sons, if they did not perform the duty of their office aright, he in the most holy place, and they in the holy place, and at the altar of burnt offering in the court; and the Levites, if they did not take care to watch in the tabernacle, and keep out strangers and polluted persons:

and thou, and thy sons with thee, shall bear the iniquity of your priesthood; be answerable for my sins, errors, and mistakes that should be committed by them in the discharge of their office, through their own remissness, or not taking care that the Levites did their duty; this shows that the office of priesthood, though honourable, was burdensome, and not to be envied; and that the people needed not to be under such terrible apprehensions as they were, lest they should come too near the sanctuary, as to be in danger of death, since it lay upon the priests and Levites especially to take care thereof, and who, if negligent, would suffer. CHAPTER 18

Nu 18:1-7. The Charge of the Priests and Levites.

1. the Lord said unto Aaron, Thou and thy sons and thy father's house with thee shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary—Security is here given to the people from the fears expressed (Nu 17:12), by the responsibility of attending to all sacred things being devolved upon the priesthood, together with the penalties incurred through neglect; and thus the solemn responsibilities annexed to their high dignity, of having to answer not only for their own sins, but also for the sins of the people, were calculated in a great measure to remove all feeling of envy at the elevation of Aaron's family, when the honor was weighed in the balance with its burdens and dangers.18:1-7 The people complained of their difficulty and peril in drawing near to God. God here gives them to understand, that the priests should come near for them. Aaron would see reason not to be proud of his preferment, when he considered the great care and charge upon him. Be not high-minded, but fear. The greater the trust of work and power that is committed to us, the greater danger there is of betraying that trust. This is a good reason why we should neither envy others' honours, nor desire high places.
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