The duties of the priests and Levites
1 Yahweh said to Aaron, “You and your sons and the other members of your father's family are the ones ◄who will be punished/whom I will punish► if anything bad happens to the things inside the Sacred Tent. But only you and your sons will be punished if the priests do something bad.
2 Require that those who belong to your tribe, the tribe of Levi, must assist you and your sons while you perform your work at the Sacred Tent.
3 But while they do that work, they must not go near the sacred items inside the tent or near the altar. If they do that, they will die, and you will die, too!
4 They may assist you in doing all the work to take care of the Sacred Tent, but no one else is permitted to come near the place where you are working.
5 You are the ones who will do the sacred work inside the Sacred Tent and at the altar. If you obey these instructions, I will not become very angry with the Israeli people again.
6 I myself have chosen the descendants of Levi from the other Israelis in order that they may be your special helpers. They are like a gift that I have given you to work at the Sacred Tent.
7 But it is you and your sons, who are the priests, who must perform all the rituals concerning the altar and with what happens inside the Very Holy Place. I am giving to you this work of serving as priests. So anyone else who tries to do that work must be executed.”
The offerings for the priests and Levites
8 Yahweh also said to Aaron, “I myself have appointed you to take care of all the sacred offerings that the Israeli people bring to me. I have given all these sacred offerings to you and to your sons. You and your descendants will get a share of these offerings permanently.
9 The parts of the offerings that are not completely burned on the altar belong to you. Those parts of the sacred offerings, including the offerings of grain, the offerings for sins and for the people to be forgiven for not giving me what they are required to give, are set apart, and are to be given to you and your sons.
10 You must eat those offerings in a sacred place, near the Sacred Tent. You and all of the other males in your clan may eat them, but you must consider those offerings to be holy/dedicated to me.
11 The priests lift up high the sacred offerings while they are standing in front of the altar. All of those offerings that the Israelis offer to me belong to you and your sons and daughters. They will always be your share. All the members of your family who have performed the rituals to cause them to be acceptable to me are permitted to eat from these offerings.
12 I am also giving to you the first food that people harvest each year and bring to me—the best olive oil and new wine and grain.
13 All of the first crops that people harvest and bring to me belong to you. Anyone in your family who has performed the ritual to become acceptable to me is permitted to eat that food.
14 Everything in Israel that is set apart to belong to me also belongs to you.
15 The firstborn males, both humans and domestic animals, that are offered to me, will be yours. But people must buy back their firstborn sons and the firstborn animals that may not be used for sacrifices.
16 They must buy them back when they are one month old. The price that they must pay for each one is five pieces of silver. They must weigh the silver on the scales that are in the Sacred Tent.
17 But they are not permitted to buy back the firstborn cattle or sheep or goats. They are holy and have been set apart for me. Slaughter them and sprinkle their blood on the altar. Then completely burn the fat of those animals on the altar to be an offering to me. The smell as they burn will be very pleasing to me.
18 The meat from those offerings will be yours, just like the breast and right thigh of animals that are presented to me to maintain fellowship with me as the priest lifts them up high in front of the altar are yours.
19 Anything that the Israeli people present to me as holy/sacred gifts, I am giving to you. They are for you and your sons and daughters to eat. They will always be your share. This is an agreement that I am making with you, an agreement that will ◄last forever/never be changed►. I am also making this agreement with your descendants.”
20 Yahweh also said to Aaron, “You priests will not receive any of the land or the property like the other Israeli people will receive. I am what you will receive.
21 When the Israeli people bring to me a tenth of all the crops and of their newborn animals, I will give that to you descendants of Levi. That will be your payment for the work you do at the Sacred Tent.
22 The other Israelis must not go near that tent. If they go near it, I will consider that their doing that is a sin, and they will die for committing that sin.
23 Only the descendants of Levi are permitted to work at the Sacred Tent, and they will be punished if anything bad happens to it. That is a law that will never be changed. You descendants of Levi will not receive any land among the other Israeli people,
24 because I will give you one tenth of all the crops and animals that the Israelis bring to be offerings to me. That is why I said that you will not receive any land like the other Israelis will receive.”
25 Yahweh said to Moses/me,
26 “Tell this to the descendants of Levi: ‘When you receive one tenth of all the crops and animals from the Israeli people, you must give one tenth of all that to me to be a sacred offering.
27 Just like the other Israelis give one tenth of the grain and wine that they produce,
28 you must give to me one tenth of all that you receive from them. That will be your sacred offering to me. You must present it to Aaron.
29 Select the best parts of the things that are given to you to give them to me.’
30 Also, tell this to the descendants of Levi: ‘When you present those best portions of grain and wine as your offering to me, I will consider that those gifts are as though they came from your own grain fields and vineyards.
31 You descendants of Levi and your families are permitted to eat the rest of that food, and you may eat it wherever you want to, because it is your payment for the work that you do at the Sacred Tent.
32 If you give to the priests the best portions of what you receive, you will not be punished by me for accepting one tenth of the gifts that the people bring to me. But you must consider those gifts to be sacred/holy. If you sin by eating those things in ways that are contrary to these regulations that I have given to you, you will be executed.’ ”