English Standard Version
And you shall set the Levites before Aaron and his sons, and shall offer them as a wave offering to the LORD.
King James Bible
And thou shalt set the Levites before Aaron, and before his sons, and offer them for an offering unto the LORD.
American Standard Version
And thou shalt set the Levites before Aaron, and before his sons, and offer them for a wave-offering unto Jehovah.
And thou shalt set the Levites in the sight of Aaron and of his sons, and shalt consecrate them being offered to the Lord,
English Revised Version
And thou shalt set the Levites before Aaron, and before his sons, and offer them for a wave offering unto the LORD.
Webster's Bible Translation
And thou shalt set the Levites before Aaron, and before his sons, and offer them for an offering to the LORD.
Numbers 8:13 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
Consecration of the Levites for their service in the sanctuary. - The choice of the Levites for service in the sanctuary, in the place of the first-born of the people generally, has been already noticed in Numbers 3:5., and the duties binding upon them in Numbers 4:4. But before entering upon their duties they were to be consecrated to the work, and then formally handed over to the priests. This consecration is commanded in Numbers 8:7., and is not called קדּשׁ, like the consecration of the priests (Exodus 29:1; Leviticus 8:11), but טהר to cleanse. It consisted in sprinkling them with sin-water, shaving off the whole of the hair from their bodies, and washing their clothes, accompanied by a sacrificial ceremony, by which they were presented symbolically to the Lord as a sacrifice for His service. The first part of this ceremony had reference to outward purification, and represented cleansing from the defilement of sin; hence the performance of it is called התחטּא (to cleanse from sin) in Numbers 8:21. "Sprinkle sin-water upon them." The words are addressed to Moses, who had to officiate at the inauguration of the Levites, as he had already done at that of the priests. "Water of sin" is water having reference to sin, designed to remove it, just as the sacrifice offered for the expiation of sin is called חטּאת (sin) in Leviticus 4:14, etc.; whilst the "water of uncleanness" in Numbers 19:9, Numbers 19:13, signifies water by which uncleanness was removed or wiped away. The nature of this purifying water is not explained, and cannot be determined with any certainty. We find directions for preparing sprinkling water in a peculiar manner, for the purpose of cleansing persons who were cured of leprosy, in Leviticus 14:5., 50ff.; and also for cleansing both persons and houses that had been defiled by a corpse, in Numbers 19:9. Neither of these, however, was applicable to the cleansing of the Levites, as they were both of them composed of significant ingredients, which stood in the closest relation to the special cleansing to be effected by them, and had evidently no adaptation to the purification of the Levites. At the same time, the expression "sin-water" precludes our understanding it to mean simply clean water. So that nothing remains but to regard it as referring to the water in the laver of the sanctuary, which was provided for the purpose of cleansing the priests for the performance of their duties (Exodus 30:18.), and might therefore be regarded by virtue of this as cleansing from sin, and be called "sin-water" in consequence. "And they shall cause the razor to pass over their whole body," i.e., shave off all the hair upon their body, "and wash their clothes, and so cleanse themselves." תּער העביר is to be distinguished from גּלּח. The latter signifies to make balk or shave the hair entirely off, which was required of the leper when he was cleansed (Leviticus 14:8-9); the former signifies merely cutting the hair, which was part of the regular mode of adorning the body. The Levites also were not required to bathe their bodies, as lepers were (Leviticus 13:8-9), and also the priests at their consecration (Leviticus 8:6), because they were not affected with any special uncleanness, and their duties did not require them to touch the most holy instruments of worship. The washing of the clothes, on the other hand, was a thing generally required as a preparation for acts of worship (Genesis 35:2; Exodus 19:10), and was omitted in the case of the consecration of the priests, simply because they received a holy official dress. הטּהרוּ for הטּהרוּ, as in 2 Chronicles 30:18.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
offer them. and thou shalt wave them for a wave-offering; manifestly in allusion to the ancient sacrificial rite of waving the sacrifices before the Lord; and it is probable, that some significant action, analogous to the waving of the sacrifice, was employed on this occasion; for the Levites were considered as an offering to the Lord, to whose service they were wholly dedicated. To this the apostle Paul manifestly alludes, when, in writing to the Romans, he says, I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Then the Levites shall lay their hands on the heads of the bulls, and you shall offer the one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering to the LORD to make atonement for the Levites.
"Thus you shall separate the Levites from among the people of Israel, and the Levites shall be mine.
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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.