Gaebelein's Annotated 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.8. Priesthood and Iniquity and the Recompense of the Priesthood
1. The iniquity borne by the priesthood (Numbers 18:1-7)
2. The recompense of the priests (Numbers 18:8-19)
3. The inheritance of the priests (Numbers 18:20-32)
“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.” This is evidently in answer to the question, “Shall we be consumed with dying?” (Numbers 17:13) The ministry of the priests and the Levites keeping the charge of the tabernacle and the charge of the altar “that there be no wrath any more upon the children of Israel” (verse 5). The priesthood which had been the object of rebellion was to be their security. If it had not been for the priestly service they would have all been consumed by the wrath of God. Christ is again here in view, He who ever liveth and intercedeth for His own people; Jesus Christ the righteous, who is the propitiation for our sins. He bore the iniquity and the wrath Himself.
The recompense of the priests is fully described in the second section of this chapter. In conclusion of it we read, “It is a covenant of salt forever before the Lord unto thee and to thy seed with thee.” It is an indissoluble and inviolable covenant. The recompense of the priest and his house must be applied to the reward which Christ has, the joy which is His and His people, His house, sharing it with Him. The two sections harmonize beautifully. Aaron had no inheritance in the land. His inheritance is the Lord. “I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel.” The Levites had no inheritance in the land, but received tithes. Aaron’s was the better portion, and such is ours in Christ.