Numbers 18:1-32


I.      Introduction:

A.  This chapter is God's answer to the question posed by Israel in Numbers 17:12,13.

1.   In those days, the only way Israel could approach the living God was through types and symbols.

2.      Christ had not yet died, thus clearing the way for them to come directly to God.

B.   The answer to the question of chapter 17:12,13 is given in two parts.

1.   The law answer: Chapter 18 tells Israel they must approach God through the Levitical priesthood established under the law given on Mt. Sinai.

2.   The faith answer: Chapter 19 introduces the Red Heifer offering.

a.   This offering instructs Israel that the true approach to God is not through the keeping of the law, but obedience by faith.

b.   This offering points Israel to the coming Messiah, who will become unclean that they might be clean.

C.   This chapter is divided into four distinct sections:

1.      Verse 1-7 - God instructs Aaron that it is the house of Levi that will bear the iniquity of Israel.

2.      Verse 8-19 - God instructing Aaron as to his duties before God for Israel.

3.      Verse 20-24 - God instructing Aaron and the Levites as to their inheritance in the land.

4.      Verse 25-32 - God instructing Aaron and the Levites as to their personal responsibility to God.


II.   Verse 1-7 - God instructs Aaron that it is the house of Levi that will bear the iniquity of Israel.

A.  God is pointing Israel to the household of Levi.

1.   God wants Israel to understand that He has chosen the Levities as His special priests.

2.   If Israel will be pleasing to God, they must do their worship through his special priests.

3.      This is a special lesson, teaching that the only way we can please God is through the special priesthood of Jesus Christ.

4.   In order for us to be saved, we must go through Jesus Christ, our High Priest.

B.   Only the tribe of Levi shall minister before the Lord.

1.   If any of the other tribes come to minister before the Lord, they shall die.

2.   The Levities shall keep the wrath of God from Israel.

3.   If today, we serve God through Jesus Christ like we ought to, He will keep us from the wrath of God.


III. Verse 8-19 - God instructing Aaron as to his duties before God for Israel.

A.  Verse 8 - Aaron and his sons are to receive all the heave offerings of Israel.

1.      They are actually to receive all the offering of Israel except:

a.   For the things burnt up in the fire.

b.   And those peace offerings given back to the giver.

2.   The reason:

a.   Because of his anointing.

b.   Aaron and his sons are types of the priesthood of Jesus Christ.

c.   Just as Jesus receives all the glory and honor of our offerings, the Levitical priesthood receives all the glory and honor of Israel.

B.   Verse 9 - The things received by Aaron and the priesthood.  According to verse 10, the following things shall be eaten only by the males in the holy place.

1.      Every oblation (offering).

2.      Every meat (meal) offering.

3.      Every sin or trespass offering.

4.      Verse 10 - Heave offering.

5.      Verse 10 - Wave offering.

C.   The following belong to Aaron and the Levites and shall be eaten at home.

1.      Verse 12 - The best of the oil, wine, wheat, and firstfruits.

2.      Verse 13 - All the first ripe.

3.      Verse 14 - Everything devoted.

D.  Verse 15 - All the firstborn, whether man or unclean beast.

1.   The firstborn of Israel shall be redeemed with the appropriate redemption. (See notes on Lev. 27.)

2.   The firstborn of cattle shall be killed as an offering to God.

3.   The flesh of the animals shall be eaten by the families of Levi.

E.   Of the families of Levi, who can eat?

1.      Those that are clean.

a.   This includes virgin daughters.

b.   Or daughters whose husbands have died.

2.      Nobody who is ceremonially unclean may eat.

a.   With any kind of leprosy.

b.   With any kind of blood flow.

c.   With any kind of open sore that is running.

3.      Only those that are immediate family members.


IV. Verse 20-24 - God instructing Aaron and the Levities as to the inheritance in the land.

A.  Aaron and the Levities shall have no part in the inheritance.

1.      There will be no land area marked out for the tribe of Levi.

2.      They will have certain cities in the land of Israel for their special dwelling places.

3.      This does not mean that it is wrong for preachers and pastors to own land today.

a.   A preacher or pastor needs a place to live just like everybody else.

b.   A preacher of pastor must trust God to supply his everyday needs, just like everybody else.

c.   We are not under the Levitical priesthood today, so this requirement for priests does not apply to preachers or pastors.

B.   God is the inheritance for the Levitical tribe.

1.      This may not seem like much to some people, but it is better to trust in God than in worldly wealth.

2.   If the Levites would do what God told them to do, God will see that Israel gives them the tithes like they ought to.


V.  God instructing Aaron and the Levities as to their personal responsibility toward God.

A.  Verse 25-28 - The Levities are to give a tithe of the tithe to Aaron the High Priest.

1.      Some preachers have declared that they are not supposed to tithe and use these verses to prove it.

2.      This is not what God said.

3.      Preachers are supposed to be an example to the flock, giving a tithe of their income to the Lord.

4.   The Levities give a tithe to Aaron because Aaron represents Jesus Christ, the High Priest to come.

5.   All preachers and pastors are supposed to give their tithes to the Lord.

6.      Aaron the High Priest is the only one that doesn't give a tithe.

a.   He is the symbol of Jesus Christ and receives all the glory and honor of this world.

b.   Jesus Christ wasn't supposed to pay taxes, but He did so that He wouldn't offend anybody.

7.      This tithe would be counted as though Aaron and the Levites had worked in the field like the other Israelites.

B.   Verse 29-32 - The Levities give a tithe of the gifts as a heave offering to the Lord.

1.   The Levities would take the very best of the gifts given to them, and "heave" them before the Lord.

2.      Then all the household (men and women) would eat it.

3.   If they first "heaved" it to the Lord, there would be no sin in it, but if they just started eating it, then it would be sin to them.

4.   The tithe would be counted as though the Levities had worked in the fields like the other Israelites.