Portion of the Levites
18 “The Levitical priests, the entire tribe of Levi, shall own [privately] no portion [of land] or inheritance with Israel; they shall eat the Lord’s offerings by fire and His portion. 2 They shall have no inheritance [of land] among their countrymen (brothers, brethren); the Lord is their [a]inheritance, as He promised them.
3 “Now this shall be the priests’ portion from the people, from those offering a sacrifice, either an ox or a sheep: they shall give to the priest the shoulder and the two cheeks and the stomach. 4 You shall also give him the first fruits of your grain, your new wine [the first of the season], and your [olive] oil, and the first sheared fleece of your sheep. 5 For the Lord your God has chosen him, him and his sons from all your tribes, to stand and serve in the name of the Lord forever.
6 “Now if a Levite comes from any of your cities throughout Israel where he resides, and comes whenever [b]he wishes to [the sanctuary] the place which the Lord chooses; 7 then he shall serve in the name of the Lord his God, like all his fellow Levites who [c]stand there before the Lord. 8 They shall have [d]equal portions to eat, except what they receive from the sale of their fathers’ estates.(A)
9 “When you enter the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable (repulsive) practices of those nations. 10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or daughter pass through the fire [as a sacrifice], one who uses divination and fortune-telling, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who casts a charm or spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or a necromancer [who seeks the dead]. 12 For everyone who does these things is utterly repulsive to the Lord; and because of these detestable practices the Lord your God is driving them out before you. 13 You shall be blameless (complete, perfect) before the Lord your God. 14 For these nations which you shall dispossess listen to those who practice witchcraft and to diviners and fortune-tellers, but as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you to do so.
15 “The Lord your God will raise up for you a [e]prophet like me [Moses] from among you, from your countrymen (brothers, brethren). You shall listen to him.(B) 16 This is according to all that you asked of the Lord your God at Horeb (Mount Sinai) on the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear the voice of the Lord my God again, nor see this great fire anymore, so that I will not die.’ 17 The Lord said to me, ‘They have spoken well. 18 I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. 19 It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him [and there will be consequences]. 20 But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods—that prophet shall die.’ 21 If you say in your heart, ‘How will we know and recognize the word which the Lord has not spoken?’ 22 When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord and the thing does not happen or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.
- Deuteronomy 18:2 Certain towns and grazing lands were designated for the Levites’ use, as well as portions of the tithes and sacrifices of the people.
- Deuteronomy 18:6 Lit it pleases his soul.
- Deuteronomy 18:7 The literal Hebrew here is “stand before the face of,” and in this context it implies “stand ready to serve.”
- Deuteronomy 18:8 They were to share equally in the benefits of the priesthood.
- Deuteronomy 18:15 Or Prophet, if this is a prophetic reference to Jesus.