In verse 14 is that word חרם (xerem) that everyone complains about as being too violent. (As if anything could be more violent than the god of this present age!) Here it is in this chapter in a cultic context. All that is under the ban in Israel is for the priests. But we don't say חרם as under the ban or to be utterly destroyed in this context. Yet we should, for it was all given to Yahweh and this is effectively to render it not consumable by humans since it is destroyed in the consuming fire. But the priests get it as their provender for their families even though it is banned חרם. This should help explain (if we must) something of the חרם when it is applied to utter destruction of a town or a people. What is banned belongs to Yahweh. Perhaps we should read devoted there too.
Violence can easily be justified by human beings if God is seen as violent. This God is a consuming fire, but the trajectory of the will of this One who is, who was, and who is to come, or who-is-becoming-what-it-is-becoming is kindness, not violence. Faith that claims a foundation from the Hebrew scriptures and believes in building walls or hardening soft targets is a disobedient faith. It violates the vulnerability of the suffering servant. It counts God's self-giving as worth nothing. It is an operational atheism.
Does this also affect me? Yes. I live in a privileged place among a privileged people. We should beware of letting our privilege become entitlement to be defended at all costs. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. (To quote another old writer.)
The idolatry of possessions is part of this chapter. A tithe received is already taxed, right? No, they too are subject to tithe. It may not be the rule of a tithe today, but just think of the power to be wielded by good gifts when the call goes out for help (whether we get a tax receipt or not).
|וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוָה֙ אֶֽל־אַהֲרֹ֔ן אַתָּ֗ה וּבָנֶ֤יךָ וּבֵית־אָבִ֙יךָ֙ אִתָּ֔ךְ תִּשְׂא֖וּ אֶת־עֲוֺ֣ן הַמִּקְדָּ֑שׁ |
וְאַתָּה֙ וּבָנֶ֣יךָ אִתָּ֔ךְ תִּשְׂא֖וּ אֶת־עֲוֺ֥ן כְּהֻנַּתְכֶֽם
|1||And Yahweh said to Aaron, You and your children and your father's house with you, you will bear the iniquity of the sanctuary. |
And you and your children with you, you will bear the iniquity of your priesthood.
|וְגַ֣ם אֶת־אַחֶיךָ֩ מַטֵּ֨ה לֵוִ֜י שֵׁ֤בֶט אָבִ֙יךָ֙ הַקְרֵ֣ב אִתָּ֔ךְ וְיִלָּו֥וּ עָלֶ֖יךָ וִֽישָׁרְת֑וּךָ |
וְאַתָּה֙ וּבָנֶ֣יךָ אִתָּ֔ךְ לִפְנֵ֖י אֹ֥הֶל הָעֵדֻֽת
|2||And moreover, your kin, the branch of Levi, the sceptre of your father, bring near with you, that they be allied to you and minister to you, |
and you and your children with you before the tent of the testimony.
|וְשָֽׁמְרוּ֙ מִֽשְׁמַרְתְּךָ֔ וּמִשְׁמֶ֖רֶת כָּל־הָאֹ֑הֶל |
אַךְ֩ אֶל־כְּלֵ֨י הַקֹּ֤דֶשׁ וְאֶל־הַמִּזְבֵּ֙חַ֙ לֹ֣א יִקְרָ֔בוּ וְלֹֽא־יָמֻ֥תוּ גַם־הֵ֖ם גַּם־אַתֶּֽם
|3||And they will keep your watch, and the watch of all the tent, |
but to a vessel of the sanctuary or to the altar, they will not come near, so they do not die, even they ... even you.
|וְנִלְו֣וּ עָלֶ֔יךָ וְשָֽׁמְר֗וּ אֶת־מִשְׁמֶ֙רֶת֙ אֹ֣הֶל מוֹעֵ֔ד לְכֹ֖ל עֲבֹדַ֣ת הָאֹ֑הֶל |
וְזָ֖ר לֹא־יִקְרַ֥ב אֲלֵיכֶֽם
|4||And they will be allied to you, and they will keep the watch of the tent of engagement for all the service of the tent, |
and a stranger will not come near to you.
|וּשְׁמַרְתֶּ֗ם אֵ֚ת מִשְׁמֶ֣רֶת הַקֹּ֔דֶשׁ וְאֵ֖ת מִשְׁמֶ֣רֶת הַמִּזְבֵּ֑חַ |
וְלֹֽא־יִהְיֶ֥ה ע֛וֹד קֶ֖צֶף עַל־בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל
|5||And you will keep the watch of the sanctuary and the watch of the altar, |
and there will not be any more rage over the children of Israel.
|וַאֲנִ֗י הִנֵּ֤ה לָקַ֙חְתִּי֙ אֶת־אֲחֵיכֶ֣ם הַלְוִיִּ֔ם מִתּ֖וֹךְ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל |
לָכֶ֞ם מַתָּנָ֤ה נְתֻנִים֙ לַֽיהוָ֔ה לַעֲבֹ֕ד אֶת־עֲבֹדַ֖ת אֹ֥הֶל מוֹעֵֽד
|6||And I, behold, I have taken your kin, the Levites, from among the children of Israel, |
an endowment for you, given to Yahweh to serve the service of the tent of engagement.
|וְאַתָּ֣ה וּבָנֶ֣יךָ אִ֠תְּךָ תִּשְׁמְר֨וּ אֶת־כְּהֻנַּתְכֶ֜ם לְכָל־דְּבַ֧ר הַמִּזְבֵּ֛חַ וּלְמִבֵּ֥ית לַפָּרֹ֖כֶת וַעֲבַדְתֶּ֑ם |
עֲבֹדַ֣ת מַתָּנָ֗ה אֶתֵּן֙ אֶת־כְּהֻנַּתְכֶ֔ם וְהַזָּ֥ר הַקָּרֵ֖ב יוּמָֽת
|7||And you and your children with you, you will keep your priesthood for any matter of the altar and for the house of of the veil and you will serve. |
A service of endowment I give your priesthood, and the stranger within will be put to death.
|וַיְדַבֵּ֣ר יְהוָה֮ אֶֽל־אַהֲרֹן֒ וַאֲנִי֙ הִנֵּ֣ה נָתַ֣תִּֽי לְךָ֔ אֶת־מִשְׁמֶ֖רֶת תְּרוּמֹתָ֑י |
לְכָל־קָדְשֵׁ֣י בְנֵֽי־יִ֠שְׂרָאֵל לְךָ֨ נְתַתִּ֧ים לְמָשְׁחָ֛ה וּלְבָנֶ֖יךָ לְחָק־עוֹלָֽם
|8||And Yahweh spoke to Aaron, And I, behold, I have given to you the watch of the contributions of all the holy things of the children of Israel. |
For you I have given them for the anointing, and to your children as a statute forever.
|זֶֽה־יִהְיֶ֥ה לְךָ֛ מִקֹּ֥דֶשׁ הַקֳּדָשִׁ֖ים מִן־הָאֵ֑שׁ |
כָּל־קָ֠רְבָּנָם לְֽכָל־מִנְחָתָ֞ם וּלְכָל־חַטָּאתָ֗ם וּלְכָל־אֲשָׁמָם֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר יָשִׁ֣יבוּ לִ֔י קֹ֣דֶשׁ קָֽדָשִׁ֥ים לְךָ֛ ה֖וּא וּלְבָנֶֽיךָ
|9||This is for you, from the holy of holy things, from the fire, |
all their oblations to all their gifts, and to all their sin offerings, and to all their guilt offerings that they will return to me. The holy of holy things, for you they are and for your children.
|בְּקֹ֥דֶשׁ הַקֳּדָשִׁ֖ים תֹּאכֲלֶ֑נּוּ |
כָּל־זָכָר֙ יֹאכַ֣ל אֹת֔וֹ קֹ֖דֶשׁ יִֽהְיֶה־לָּֽךְ
|10||As the holy of holy things you will eat it. |
All males will eat it. Holy it is for you.
|וְזֶה־לְּךָ֞ תְּרוּמַ֣ת מַתָּנָ֗ם לְכָל־תְּנוּפֹת֮ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵל֒ לְךָ֣ נְתַתִּ֗ים וּלְבָנֶ֧יךָ וְלִבְנֹתֶ֛יךָ אִתְּךָ֖ לְחָק־עוֹלָ֑ם |
כָּל־טָה֥וֹר בְּבֵיתְךָ֖ יֹאכַ֥ל אֹתֽוֹ
|11||And this is for you, a contribution of their endowment to all wave offerings of the children of Israel, for you I have given them, and for your sons and for your daughters with you as a statute forever. |
All who are clean in your house will eat it.
|כֹּ֚ל חֵ֣לֶב יִצְהָ֔ר וְכָל־חֵ֖לֶב תִּיר֣וֹשׁ וְדָגָ֑ן |
רֵאשִׁיתָ֛ם אֲשֶׁר־יִתְּנ֥וּ לַֽיהוָ֖ה לְךָ֥ נְתַתִּֽים
|12||C||All the choicest clarified oil, and all the choicest new wine and grain, |
their first-fruits that they gave to Yahweh, to you I have given them.
|בִּכּוּרֵ֞י כָּל־אֲשֶׁ֧ר בְּאַרְצָ֛ם אֲשֶׁר־יָבִ֥יאוּ לַיהוָ֖ה לְךָ֣ יִהְיֶ֑ה |
כָּל־טָה֥וֹר בְּבֵיתְךָ֖ יֹאכֲלֶֽנּוּ
|13||The first ripened of all that is in their land that they bring in to Yahweh will be for you. |
All who are clean in your house will eat it.
|כָּל־חֵ֥רֶם בְּיִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל לְךָ֥ יִהְיֶֽה||14||All that is devoted in Israel, for you it is.||3e||3g||11|
|כָּל־פֶּ֣טֶר רֶ֠חֶם לְֽכָל־בָּשָׂ֞ר אֲשֶׁר־יַקְרִ֧יבוּ לַֽיהוָ֛ה בָּאָדָ֥ם וּבַבְּהֵמָ֖ה יִֽהְיֶה־לָּ֑ךְ |
אַ֣ךְ ׀ פָּדֹ֣ה תִפְדֶּ֗ה אֵ֚ת בְּכ֣וֹר הָֽאָדָ֔ם וְאֵ֛ת בְּכֽוֹר־הַבְּהֵמָ֥ה הַטְּמֵאָ֖ה תִּפְדֶּֽה
|15||Every firstling of the womb of all flesh that they will bring near to Yahweh among the human and among the beast, it is for you. |
But you will ransom the firstborn of the human, and the firstborn of the unclean beast, you will ransom.
|וּפְדוּיָו֙ מִבֶּן־חֹ֣דֶשׁ תִּפְדֶּ֔ה בְּעֶ֨רְכְּךָ֔ כֶּ֛סֶף חֲמֵ֥שֶׁת שְׁקָלִ֖ים בְּשֶׁ֣קֶל הַקֹּ֑דֶשׁ |
עֶשְׂרִ֥ים גֵּרָ֖ה הֽוּא
|16||And its ransom from a month you will ransom with your arrangement of five silver shekels after the shekel of the sanctuary. |
Twenty grams it is.
|אַ֣ךְ בְּֽכוֹר־שׁ֡וֹר אֽוֹ־בְכ֨וֹר כֶּ֜שֶׂב אֽוֹ־בְכ֥וֹר עֵ֛ז לֹ֥א תִפְדֶּ֖ה קֹ֣דֶשׁ הֵ֑ם |
אֶת־דָּמָ֞ם תִּזְרֹ֤ק עַל־הַמִּזְבֵּ֙חַ֙ וְאֶת־חֶלְבָּ֣ם תַּקְטִ֔יר אִשֶּׁ֛ה לְרֵ֥יחַ נִיחֹ֖חַ לַֽיהוָֽה
|17||B||But the firstborn of a bull, or the firstborn of a young lamb, or the firstborn of a she-goat, you will not ransom. They are holy. |
Their blood you will dash on the altar and their gross fat you will burn with smoke, an offering by fire for a restful fragrance for Yahweh.
|וּבְשָׂרָ֖ם יִהְיֶה־לָּ֑ךְ |
כַּחֲזֵ֧ה הַתְּנוּפָ֛ה וּכְשׁ֥וֹק הַיָּמִ֖ין לְךָ֥ יִהְיֶֽה
|18||And their flesh is for you, |
as the torso, the wave offering, and as the leg of the right side for you, is.
|כֹּ֣ל ׀ תְּרוּמֹ֣ת הַקֳּדָשִׁ֗ים אֲשֶׁ֨ר יָרִ֥ימוּ בְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵל֮ לַֽיהוָה֒ נָתַ֣תִּֽי לְךָ֗ וּלְבָנֶ֧יךָ וְלִבְנֹתֶ֛יךָ אִתְּךָ֖ לְחָק־עוֹלָ֑ם |
בְּרִית֩ מֶ֨לַח עוֹלָ֥ם הִוא֙ לִפְנֵ֣י יְהוָ֔ה לְךָ֖ וּלְזַרְעֲךָ֥ אִתָּֽךְ
|19||B||All the contributions, the holy things that the children of Israel contribute to Yahweh, I have given to you and to your sons and to your daughters with you as a statute forever. |
A covenant of salt forever it is in the presence of Yahweh to you and to your seed with you.
|וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהוָ֜ה אֶֽל־אַהֲרֹ֗ן בְּאַרְצָם֙ לֹ֣א תִנְחָ֔ל וְחֵ֕לֶק לֹא־יִהְיֶ֥ה לְךָ֖ בְּתוֹכָ֑ם |
אֲנִ֤י חֶלְקְךָ֙ וְנַחֲלָ֣תְךָ֔ בְּת֖וֹךְ בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל
|20||And Yahweh said to Aaron, In their land you will not inherit and there is no share for you among them. |
I am your share and your inheritance among the children of Israel.
|וְלִבְנֵ֣י לֵוִ֔י הִנֵּ֥ה נָתַ֛תִּי כָּל־מַֽעֲשֵׂ֥ר בְּיִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל לְנַחֲלָ֑ה |
חֵ֤לֶף עֲבֹֽדָתָם֙ אֲשֶׁר־הֵ֣ם עֹֽבְדִ֔ים אֶת־עֲבֹדַ֖ת אֹ֥הֶל מוֹעֵֽד
|21||And to the children of Levi, behold, I have given all the tithe in Israel as inheritance, |
renewal for their service that they are serving, the service of the tent of engagement.
|וְלֹא־יִקְרְב֥וּ ע֛וֹד בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל אֶל־אֹ֣הֶל מוֹעֵ֑ד |
לָשֵׂ֥את חֵ֖טְא לָמֽוּת
|22||So the children of Israel will not approach any more to the tent of engagement, |
to bear sin, to die.
|וְעָבַ֨ד הַלֵּוִ֜י ה֗וּא אֶת־עֲבֹדַת֙ אֹ֣הֶל מוֹעֵ֔ד וְהֵ֖ם יִשְׂא֣וּ עֲוֺנָ֑ם |
חֻקַּ֤ת עוֹלָם֙ לְדֹרֹ֣תֵיכֶ֔ם וּבְתוֹךְ֙ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל לֹ֥א יִנְחֲל֖וּ נַחֲלָֽה
|23||And the Levite, he will serve the service of the tent of engagement, and they they will bear their iniquity, |
a statute forever for your generations. And among the children of Israel they will not inherit an inheritance.
|כִּ֞י אֶת־מַעְשַׂ֣ר בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל אֲשֶׁ֨ר יָרִ֤ימוּ לַֽיהוָה֙ תְּרוּמָ֔ה נָתַ֥תִּי לַלְוִיִּ֖ם לְנַחֲלָ֑ה |
עַל־כֵּן֙ אָמַ֣רְתִּי לָהֶ֔ם בְּתוֹךְ֙ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל לֹ֥א יִנְחֲל֖וּ נַחֲלָֽה
|24||~||Because the tithe of the children of Israel that they contribute to Yahweh as a contribution, I have given to the Levites as inheritance. |
Therefore I said for them among the children of Israel, They will not inherit an inheritance.
|וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר יְהוָ֖ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֥ה לֵּאמֹֽר||25||And Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,||3e||3g||10|
|וְאֶל־הַלְוִיִּ֣ם תְּדַבֵּר֮ וְאָמַרְתָּ֣ אֲלֵהֶם֒ כִּֽי־תִ֠קְחוּ מֵאֵ֨ת בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֜ל אֶת־הַֽמַּעֲשֵׂ֗ר אֲשֶׁ֨ר נָתַ֧תִּי לָכֶ֛ם מֵאִתָּ֖ם בְּנַחֲלַתְכֶ֑ם |
וַהֲרֵמֹתֶ֤ם מִמֶּ֙נּוּ֙ תְּרוּמַ֣ת יְהוָ֔ה מַעֲשֵׂ֖ר מִן־הַֽמַּעֲשֵֽׂר
|26||And to the Levites you will speak and say to them, When you take from the children of Israel the tithe that I have given for you from them in your inheritance, |
then you will contribute from it a contribution to Yahweh, a tithe from the tithe.
|וְנֶחְשַׁ֥ב לָכֶ֖ם תְּרוּמַתְכֶ֑ם |
כַּדָּגָן֙ מִן־הַגֹּ֔רֶן וְכַֽמְלֵאָ֖ה מִן־הַיָּֽקֶב
|27||And your contribution will be reckoned for you, |
as grain from the threshing-floor, and as the fullness from the wine-vat.
|כֵּ֣ן תָּרִ֤ימוּ גַם־אַתֶּם֙ תְּרוּמַ֣ת יְהוָ֔ה מִכֹּל֙ מַעְשְׂרֹ֣תֵיכֶ֔ם אֲשֶׁ֣ר תִּקְח֔וּ מֵאֵ֖ת בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל |
וּנְתַתֶּ֤ם מִמֶּ֙נּוּ֙ אֶת־תְּרוּמַ֣ת יְהוָ֔ה לְאַהֲרֹ֖ן הַכֹּהֵֽן
|28||B||So you will contribute, even you, a contribution for Yahweh from all your tithes that you will take from the children of Israel, |
and you will give from it a contribution for Yahweh to Aaron the priest.
|מִכֹּל֙ מַתְּנֹ֣תֵיכֶ֔ם תָּרִ֕ימוּ אֵ֖ת כָּל־תְּרוּמַ֣ת יְהוָ֑ה |
מִכָּל־חֶלְבּ֔וֹ אֶֽת־מִקְדְּשׁ֖וֹ מִמֶּֽנּוּ
|29||From all your endowments you will contribute every contribution for Yahweh, |
from all its choicest, its holiness from it.
|וְאָמַרְתָּ֖ אֲלֵהֶ֑ם |
בַּהֲרִֽימְכֶ֤ם אֶת־חֶלְבּוֹ֙ מִמֶּ֔נּוּ וְנֶחְשַׁב֙ לַלְוִיִּ֔ם כִּתְבוּאַ֥ת גֹּ֖רֶן וְכִתְבוּאַ֥ת יָֽקֶב
|30||And say to them, |
When you have contributed its choicest from it, then it will be reckoned for the Levites as income of a threshing-floor and as income of a wine-vat.
|וַאֲכַלְתֶּ֤ם אֹתוֹ֙ בְּכָל־מָק֔וֹם אַתֶּ֖ם וּבֵֽיתְכֶ֑ם |
כִּֽי־שָׂכָ֥ר הוּא֙ לָכֶ֔ם חֵ֥לֶף עֲבֹֽדַתְכֶ֖ם בְּאֹ֥הֶל מוֹעֵֽד
|31||And you will eat it in every place, you and your houses, |
because a wage it is for you, renewal for your service in the tent of engagement.
|וְלֹֽא־תִשְׂא֤וּ עָלָיו֙ חֵ֔טְא בַּהֲרִֽימְכֶ֥ם אֶת־חֶלְבּ֖וֹ מִמֶּ֑נּוּ |
וְאֶת־קָדְשֵׁ֧י בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל לֹ֥א תְחַלְּל֖וּ וְלֹ֥א תָמֽוּתוּ
|32||And you will not bear sin over it when you have contributed its choicest from it, |
and the holy things of the children of Israel you will not profane, and you will not die.