The tribe of Levi became priests through divine appointment by God. According to the Old Testament, after the Israelites worshipped the golden calf, Moses called upon those who were loyal to God to come forward, and the Levites responded. As a result, God chose the tribe of Levi to serve as priests in the Tabernacle and later in the Temple.
Comprehensive answer to the question
The tribe of Levi became priests through a divine appointment by God. According to the Old Testament, after the Israelites worshipped the golden calf, Moses called upon those who were loyal to God to come forward, and the Levites responded. As a result, God chose the tribe of Levi to serve as priests in the Tabernacle and later in the Temple.
This significant event is described in the book of Exodus where Moses addresses the Israelites after their act of idolatry. In Exodus 32:26, Moses declares, “Whoever is on the Lord’s side, come to me.” The Levites rallied to Moses’ call, demonstrating their devotion to God, and they were subsequently chosen for the priestly duties. This pivotal moment shaped the course of the Levites’ role within the religious framework of the Israelites.
Here are some interesting facts about the tribe of Levi and their role as priests:
- The tribe of Levi was one of the twelve tribes of Israel and was descended from Jacob’s third son, Levi.
- The Levites were set apart from the other tribes and had various responsibilities, which included assisting the priests, overseeing the Tabernacle, and teaching the people of Israel.
- The Levitical priesthood was hereditary, passed down from father to son.
- They had no territorial inheritance like the other tribes since their primary calling was to serve God and the community.
- The Levites were not only tasked with religious duties but also played a crucial role in maintaining law and order within the Israelite camp.
- King David and his son Solomon were of the tribe of Judah and not the tribe of Levi, yet they are known to have had a strong influence on the religious practices and the Levitical priesthood.
In discussing the significance of the Levites’ divine appointment as priests, theologian Matthew Henry once said, “The tribe of Levi was thus distinguished, because it engaged in Moses’ cause against the worshippers of the golden calf when he said, ‘Who is on the Lord’s side? Let him come unto me’ (Exodus 32:26). It debarred themselves from the idolatrous worship by their steady adherence to the Levitical dignity. Thus they were formed into a kind of sacred phalanx or class of soldiers under discipline for opposing religious defections and preserving the worship of God among the rest.” (Excerpt from “Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible”)
Below is a table highlighting the key points:
|Divine appointment of the Levites as priests|
|Levites responded to Moses’ call after the golden calf incident|
|Their role included assisting priests, overseeing the Tabernacle, and teaching|
|Hereditary priesthood passed down from father to son|
|Levites had no territorial inheritance|
|They maintained law and order within the Israelite camp|
|David and Solomon influenced their practices|
Remember, the appointment of the tribe of Levi as priests was a significant event that shaped the religious structure of the Israelites, showcasing their commitment and loyalty to God.
Watch related video
The video explains that the tribe of Levi had a unique relationship with land inheritance compared to the other tribes. Instead of receiving a specific portion of land, the Levites were given cities within the land of the other tribes where they could dwell and perform religious duties. This arrangement symbolized their reliance on others and served as a reminder of Israel’s devotion to God. They were considered a special offering to God, emphasizing His presence among the tribes and His commitment to the people of Israel.
See more answers
Levite, member of a group of clans of religious functionaries in ancient Israel who apparently were given a special religious status, conjecturally for slaughtering idolaters of the golden calf during the time of Moses (Ex. 32:25–29).
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Why was the Levites chosen to be priest?
Response: During the Exodus the Levite tribe were particularly zealous in protecting the Mosaic law in the face of those worshipping the golden calf, which may have been a reason for their priestly status.
What was the tribe of Levi priesthood?
The response is: The Tribe of Levi were mostly members of the priesthood, the people responsible for the religious leaders of the Jews. The Levite priests, known as Kohanim , were responsible for the leadership at the Jewish Temple, the Israelite building believed to contain the presence of God.
What are the requirements for a Levitical priesthood?
Answer to this: "`Priests must not shave their heads or shave off the edges of their beards or cut their bodies. They must be holy to their God and must not profane the name of their God. Because they present the offerings made to the LORD by fire, the food of their God, they are to be holy.
Do Levites still serve as priests?
Levites also comprise one of the four surviving families of Samaritans, where they serve the role of High Priests due to the fact that the last Samaritan High Priest Cohanic family went extinct in the 17th century.