Numbers 3:41
New International Version
Take the Levites for me in place of all the firstborn of the Israelites, and the livestock of the Levites in place of all the firstborn of the livestock of the Israelites. I am the LORD.”

New Living Translation
The Levites must be reserved for me as substitutes for the firstborn sons of Israel; I am the LORD. And the Levites’ livestock must be reserved for me as substitutes for the firstborn livestock of the whole nation of Israel.”

English Standard Version
And you shall take the Levites for me—I am the LORD—instead of all the firstborn among the people of Israel, and the cattle of the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the cattle of the people of Israel.”

Berean Study Bible
You are to take the Levites for Me—I am the LORD—in place of all the firstborn of Israel, and the livestock of the Levites in place of all the firstborn of the livestock of the Israelites.”

King James Bible
And thou shalt take the Levites for me (I am the LORD) instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel; and the cattle of the Levites instead of all the firstlings among the cattle of the children of Israel.

New King James Version
And you shall take the Levites for Me—I am the LORD—instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel, and the livestock of the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the livestock of the children of Israel.”

New American Standard Bible
And you shall take the Levites for Me—I am the LORD—instead of all the firstborn among the sons of Israel; and the cattle of the Levites in place of all the firstborn among the cattle of the sons of Israel.”

NASB 1995
“You shall take the Levites for Me, I am the LORD, instead of all the firstborn among the sons of Israel, and the cattle of the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the cattle of the sons of Israel.”

NASB 1977
“And you shall take the Levites for Me, I am the LORD, instead of all the first-born among the sons of Israel, and the cattle of the Levites instead of all the first-born among the cattle of the sons of Israel.”

Amplified Bible
You shall take the Levites for Me instead of and as a substitute for all the firstborn among the Israelites. I am the LORD; and you shall take the cattle of the Levites instead of and as a substitute for all the firstborn among the cattle of the Israelites.”

Christian Standard Bible
You are to take the Levites for me—I am the LORD—in place of every firstborn among the Israelites, and the Levites’ cattle in place of every firstborn among the Israelites’ cattle.”

Holman Christian Standard Bible
You are to take the Levites for Me—I am Yahweh—in place of every firstborn among the Israelites, and the Levites’ cattle in place of every firstborn among the Israelites’ cattle.”

American Standard Version
And thou shalt take the Levites for me (I am Jehovah) instead of all the first-born among the children of Israel; and the cattle of the Levites instead of all the firstlings among the cattle of the children of Israel:

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And you shall bring the Levites to me (I AM LORD JEHOVAH), in the place of all of the firstborn ones of the children of Israel, and the domestic animals of Levi in the place of all firstborn ones of the domestic animals of the children of Israel.”

Brenton Septuagint Translation
And thou shalt take the Levites for me - I am the Lord - instead of all the first-born of the sons of Israel, and the cattle of the Levites instead of all the first-born among the cattle of the children of Israel.

Contemporary English Version
They belong to me, but I will accept the Levites as substitutes for them, and I will accept the Levites' livestock as substitutes for the Israelites' first-born livestock."

Douay-Rheims Bible
And thou shalt take the Levites to me for all the firstborn of the children of Israel, I am the Lord: and their cattle for all the firstborn of the cattle of the children of Israel:

English Revised Version
And thou shalt take the Levites for me (I am the LORD) instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel; and the cattle of the Levites instead of all the firstlings among the cattle of the children of Israel.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I am the LORD. Take the Levites for me to be substitutes for all firstborn Israelites. Also take the animals of the Levites to be substitutes for all firstborn animals of the Israelites."

International Standard Version
Separate the descendants of Levi for me—since I am the LORD—in place of all the first-born sons of Israel. Also separate the livestock of the descendants of Levi in place of all the firstborn of the livestock of Israel."

JPS Tanakh 1917
And thou shalt take the Levites for Me, even the LORD, instead of all the first-born among the children of Israel; and the cattle of the Levites instead of all the firstlings among the cattle of the children of Israel.'

Literal Standard Version
and you have taken the Levites for Me (I [am] YHWH), instead of every firstborn among the sons of Israel, and the livestock of the Levites instead of every firstling among the livestock of the sons of Israel.”

NET Bible
And take the Levites for me--I am the LORD--instead of all the firstborn males among the Israelites, and the livestock of the Levites instead of all the firstborn of the livestock of the Israelites."

New Heart English Bible
You shall take the Levites for me (I am the LORD) instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel; and the livestock of the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the livestock of the children of Israel."

World English Bible
You shall take the Levites for me (I am Yahweh) instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel; and the livestock of the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the livestock of the children of Israel."

Young's Literal Translation
and thou hast taken the Levites for Me (I am Jehovah), instead of every first-born among the sons of Israel, and the cattle of the Levites instead of every firstling among the cattle of the sons of Israel.'

Additional Translations ...
Context
The Redemption of the Firstborn
40Then the LORD said to Moses, “Number every firstborn male of the Israelites a month old or more, and list their names. 41You are to take the Levites for Me— I am the LORD— in place of all the firstborn of Israel, and the livestock of the Levites in place of all the firstborn of the livestock of the Israelites.” 42So Moses numbered all the firstborn of the Israelites, as the LORD had commanded him.…

Cross References
Numbers 3:12
"Behold, I have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel in place of every firstborn Israelite from the womb. The Levites belong to Me,

Numbers 3:42
So Moses numbered all the firstborn of the Israelites, as the LORD had commanded him.

Numbers 3:45
"Take the Levites in place of all the firstborn of Israel, and the livestock of the Levites in place of their livestock. The Levites belong to Me; I am the LORD.


Treasury of Scripture

And you shall take the Levites for me (I am the LORD) instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel; and the cattle of the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the cattle of the children of Israel.

Numbers 3:12,45
And I, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of all the firstborn that openeth the matrix among the children of Israel: therefore the Levites shall be mine; …

Numbers 8:16
For they are wholly given unto me from among the children of Israel; instead of such as open every womb, even instead of the firstborn of all the children of Israel, have I taken them unto me.

Numbers 18:15
Every thing that openeth the matrix in all flesh, which they bring unto the LORD, whether it be of men or beasts, shall be thine: nevertheless the firstborn of man shalt thou surely redeem, and the firstling of unclean beasts shalt thou redeem.









(41) And thou shalt take the Levites for me (I am the Lord) . . . --Or, And thou shalt take the Levites for Me--for Me, Jehovah. The assertions which have been frequently made respecting the transference of the priesthood of the firstborn to the Levites appear to be altogether without foundation. For (1) the priesthood which was exercised in patriarchal times was not restricted to the firstborn, but appears to have been common to the head of every family. (2) This priesthood was exercised previously to the exodus, and consequently previously to the command given to Moses to sanctify the firstborn. And (3) the priesthood, which belonged not to the firstborn exclusively, but to the Israelites at large, was thenceforth strictly confined to the family of Aaron, who inherited it not as the substitutes of the firstborn, but in the place of the whole nation.



Parallel Commentaries ...


Hebrew
You are to take
וְלָקַחְתָּ֨ (wə·lā·qaḥ·tā)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Conjunctive perfect - second person masculine singular
Strong's 3947: To take

the Levites
הַלְוִיִּ֥ם (hal·wî·yim)
Article | Noun - proper - masculine plural
Strong's 3881: Levites -- descendant of Levi

for Me—
לִי֙ (lî)
Preposition | first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew

I
אֲנִ֣י (’ă·nî)
Pronoun - first person common singular
Strong's 589: I

am the LORD—
יְהוָ֔ה (Yah·weh)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 3068: LORD -- the proper name of the God of Israel

in place of
תַּ֥חַת (ta·ḥaṯ)
Preposition
Strong's 8478: The bottom, below, in lieu of

all
כָּל־ (kāl-)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's 3605: The whole, all, any, every

the firstborn
בְּכֹ֖ר (bə·ḵōr)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 1060: Firstborn, chief

of Israel,
יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל (yiś·rā·’êl)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 3478: Israel -- 'God strives', another name of Jacob and his desc

and the livestock
בֶּהֱמַ֣ת (be·hĕ·maṯ)
Noun - feminine singular construct
Strong's 929: A dumb beast, any large quadruped, animal

of the Levites
הַלְוִיִּ֔ם (hal·wî·yim)
Article | Noun - proper - masculine plural
Strong's 3881: Levites -- descendant of Levi

in place of
תַּ֣חַת (ta·ḥaṯ)
Preposition
Strong's 8478: The bottom, below, in lieu of

all
כָּל־ (kāl-)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's 3605: The whole, all, any, every

the firstborn
בְּכ֔וֹר (bə·ḵō·wr)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 1060: Firstborn, chief

of the livestock
בְּבֶהֱמַ֖ת (bə·ḇe·hĕ·maṯ)
Preposition-b | Noun - feminine singular construct
Strong's 929: A dumb beast, any large quadruped, animal

of the Israelites.”
בְּנֵ֥י (bə·nê)
Noun - masculine plural construct
Strong's 1121: A son


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OT Law: Numbers 3:41 You shall take the Levites for me (Nu Num.)
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