Levites sentence example
In the last stage (c) the exclusion of the ordinary Levites from all share in the priesthood of the sons of Aaron is looked upon as a matter of course, dating from the institution of priestly worship by Moses.
Some of the latter were either not conquered by the Israelites until long after the invasion, or, if conquered, were not held by Levites; and names are wanting of places in which priests are actually known to have lived.
This fluctuation finds a parallel in the age at which the Levites were to serve; for neither has any reasonable explanation been found on the traditional view.
The Septuagint translators did not read the clause which speaks of "priests and Levites," and 2 Chron.
The exact meaning of these features is not clear, but if it be remembered (a) that the Levites of post-exilic literature represent only the result of a long and intricate development, (b) that the name "Levite," in the later stages at least, was extended to include all priestly servants, and (c) that the priesthoods, in tending to become hereditary, included priests who were Levites by adoption and not by descent, it will be recognized that the examination of the evidence for the earlier stages cannot confine itself to those narratives where the specific term alone occurs.Advertisement
It is from a similar standpoint that Aaron is condemned for the manufacture of the golden calf, and a compiler (not the original writer) finds its sequel in the election of the faithful Levites.'
See further articles, Aaron; Decalogue; Hebrew Religion; Levites.
Levites, existed, to whom a higher professional prestige belonged.
The Levites, who formerly ministered in the high places, now discharge the subordinate offices of gate-keepers and slaughterers of the sacrificial victims.
The true inwardness of this movement, its extent and its history, can hardly be recovered at present, but it is noteworthy that the evidence generally involves the Levites, an ecclesiastical body which underwent an extremely intricate development.Advertisement
Moreover, the maintenance of the Temple servants called for supervision; the customary allowances had not been paid to the Levites who had come to Jerusalem after the smaller shrines had been put down, and they had now forsaken the city.
For this he was driven out, and, taking refuge with the Samaritans, founded a rival temple and priesthood upon Mt Gerizim, to which repaired other priests and Levites who had been guilty of mixed marriages.
It is related that Ezra, the scribe and priest, returned to Jerusalem with priests and Levites, lay exiles, and a store of vessels for the Temple.
With his priests and Levites, and with the chiefs and nobles of the Jewish families, the high priest directs this small state, and his death marks an epoch as truly as did that of the monarchs in the past.
Meanwhile Agrippa gave the Levites the right to wear the linen robe of the priests and sanctioned the use of the temple treasure to provide work - the paving of the city with white stones - for the workmen who had finished the Temple (64) and now stood idle.Advertisement
Jeremiah promised them as a reward of their obedience that they should never lack a man to represent them (as a priest) before Yahweh, whence perhaps the later Jewish tradition that the Rechabites intermarried with the Levites and so entered the temple service.
But when we look at the psalms themselves we see that they must originally have been a hymn-book, not for the Levites, but for the laity who carne up to Jerusalem at the great pilgrimage feasts, and who themselves remembered, or their fathers had told them, the days when, as we see in Ps.
A good deal is said about the musical services of the Levites in Chronicles, both in the account given of David's ordinances and in the descriptions of particular festival occasions.
Nevertheless 3000 of them fell at the hands of the Levites who, in answer to the summons of Moses, declared themselves on the side of Yahweh.
Malachi indeed assumes that the " whole tithe " - the Deuteronomic phrase for the tithe in which the Levites shared - is not stored in each township, but brought into the treasury at the Temple.Advertisement
The same linguistic criteria recur, and the interest in lists and genealogies, in priests and Levites, and in the temple service point unmistakably to the presence of the same hand (the so-called "chronicler") in ChroniclesEzra-Nehemiah.
I-4), 2 and of various priests and Levites, an account is given of the dedication of the walls (xii.
On this occasion he vindicated the sanctity of the temple by expelling Tobiah, reorganized the supplies for the Levites, took measures to uphold the observance of the Sabbath, and protested energetically against the foreign marriages.
Although some connexion with the name of Cain is probable, it is difficult, however, to explain the curse (for one view, see Levites).
The Levites, who were exempted from military duties, were separately enumerated from the age of thirty upwards, and a similar process was ordained subsequently by Solomon, in order to distribute amongst them the functions assigned to the priestly body in connexion with the temple.Advertisement
In connexion with the installation of the ark considerable space is devoted to the arrangements for the maintenance of the temple-service, upon which the earlier books are silent, and elaborate notices of the part played by the Levites and singers give expression to a view of the history of the monarchy which the book of Kings does not share.'
Ultimately, indeed, as sanctuaries were multiplied and the priests all over the land came to form one well-marked class, " Levite and legitimate priest became equivalent expressions, as is explained in the article Levites.
But between the priesthood of Eli at Shiloh or of Jonathan at Dan and the priesthood of the Levites as described in Deut.
In all, 612 Nethinim came back from the Exile and were lodged near the "House of the Nethinim" at Ophel, towards the east wall of Jerusalem so as to be near the Temple, where they served under the Levites and were free of all tolls, from which they must have been supported.
The orderliness of Old Testament worship bears a like witness; everything is duly fixed by God; high priests, priests and Levites, and the people in the people's place.Advertisement
The priests of the sanctuaries had of old a share in the sacrificial feasts,' and among those who are to share in the triennial tithe Deuteronomy includes the Levites, i.e.
As Malachi speaks in Deuteronomic phrase of the "whole tithe," the payment to the Levites (now subordinate ministers of the Temple) was perhaps still only triennial; and if even this was difficult to collect, we may be sure that the minor sacrificial tithe had very nearly disappeared.
See Genesis, Levites, and Jews, § 20.
For the literature and a general account of the Jewish priesthood, see the articles LEVITES and PRIEST.
As a descriptive title Leviticus, " the Levitical book," is not inappropriate to the contents of the book, which exhibits an elaborate system of sacrificial worship. In this connexion, however, the term " Levitical " is used in a perfectly general sense, since there is no reference in the book itself to the Levites themselves.Advertisement
Korah and his associates maintained that the other tribes, belonging as they did to a holy people, had as much right as the Levites to approach Yahweh directly, without the mediation of any Levite, and offer sacrifices and even incense to Yahweh.
The third narrative is P 2, which relates how Korah at the head of 250 Levites protested against the priestly privileges of Aaron, claiming that all the Levites had as much right to sacrifice and offer incense to Yahweh as Aaron and his sons had.
Especially significant, too, is the interest in traditions which affected the South of Palestine, that district which is of importance for the history of Israel in the wilderness and of the Levites.
In verses 1-2 the people bless the priests and Levites, and in the verse 3 the latter reply.
Certain priests of idolatrous Judean shrines (distinguished by him as " Levites ") he deprives of priestly functions, degrading them to the rank of temple menials; and he takes from the civil ruler all authority over public religion, permitting him merely to furnish material for sacrifices.Advertisement
All are "Levites" by descent, and are thus correlated in the genealogical and other lists, but the true priesthood is confined to the sons of Aaron, while the mass of the Levites are subordinate servants who are not entitled to approach the altar or to perform any strictly priestly function.
Baxter, Sanctuary and Sacrifice (2895)' it existed in the post-exilic age was really the work of Moses, it is inexplicable that all trace of it was so completely lost that the degradation of the non-Zadokites in Ezekiel was a new feature and a punishment, whereas in the Mosaic law the ordinary Levites, on the traditional view, was already forbidden priestly rights under penalty of death.
There is in fact no clear evidence of the existence of a distinction between priests and Levites in any Hebrew writing demonstrably earlier than the Deuteronomic stage, although, even as the Pentateuch contains ordinances which have been carried back by means of a "legal convention" to the days of Moses, writers have occasionally altered earlier records of the history to agree with later standpoints.'
There are links, also, which unite Moses with Kenite, Rechabite, Calebite and Edomite families, and the Levitical names themselves are equally connected with the southern tribes - of Judah and Simeon and with the Edomites.4 It is to be inferred, therefore, that some relationship subsisted, or was thought to subsist, among (i) the Levites, (2) clans actually located in the south of Palestine, and (3) families whose names and traditions point to a southern origin.
There are vicissitudes and varying standpoints which point to a complicated literary history and require some historical background, and, apart from actual changes in the history of the Levites, some allowance must be made for the real character of the circles where the diverse records originated or through which they passed.Advertisement
As it was impossible to find a place for the officiating priests of the high places, non-levitical as well as levitical, in the single sanctuary, it became necessary to restrict the functions of sacrifice to the Levites only as well as to the existing official priesthood of the Jerusalem temple (see Priest).
Moreover, with the emphasis which is laid upon the Jerusalem Temple is to be associated the new superiority of Zadok, the traditional ancestor of the Zadokites, the Jerusalem priests, whose supremacy over the other Levitical families only enters into the history of a much later age (see Levites).
This was the scene of the rape of Dinah and of the attack of Simeon and Levi which led to their ruin (xxxiv.; see DAN, Levites, Simeon).
Not only are the standpoints of local interest (Samaria, Benjamin, Judah and the half-Edomite Judah being involved), but there are remarkable developments in the ecclesiastical bodies (Zadokites of Jerusalem, country and half-Edomite priests, Aaronites) which have influenced both the writing and the revision of the sources (see Levites).
From this chapter, some seventy years after de Wette's discovery, Wellhausen with equal acumen inferred that Leviticus was not known to Ezekiel, the priest, and therefore could not have been in existence in his day; for had Leviticus been the recognized Law-book of his nation Ezekiel could not have represented as a degradation the very position which that Law-book described as a special honour conferred on the Levites by Yahweh himself.Advertisement
It contains diverse interests and changing standpoints by which it is possible to explain the presence of purely southern tradition, the southern treatment of national history, and the antipathy to northern claims. As has already been mentioned, the specifically southern writings have everywhere been modified or adjusted to other standpoints, or have been almost entirely subordinated, and it is noteworthy, therefore, that in narratives elsewhere which reflect rivalries and conflicts among the priestly families, there is sometimes an animus against those whose names and traditions point to a southern origin (see Levites).
This is analogous to the Judaean adaptation of the prophetical treatment of Saul's life, and it also reflects certain priestly rivalries (see Levites).