Levi

Adhesion. (1.) The third son of Jacob by Leah. The origin of the “name is found in Leah’s words (Gen. 29:34), “This time will my” “husband be joined [Heb. yillaveh] unto me.” He is mentioned as” taking a prominent part in avenging his sister Dinah (Gen. 34:25-31). He and his three sons went down with Jacob (46:11) “into Egypt, where he died at the age of one hundred and” thirty-seven years (Ex. 6:16). “(2.) The father of Matthat, and son of Simeon, of the ancestors of Christ (Luke 3:29). “(3.) Luke 3:24. “(4.) One of the apostles, the son of Alphaeus (Mark 2:14; Luke “5:27, 29), called also Matthew (Matt. 9:9).”

“A transliterated Hebrew word (livyathan), meaning “twisted,” “coiled. In Job 3:8, Revised Version, and marg. of Authorized” “Version, it denotes the dragon which, according to Eastern” “tradition, is an enemy of light; in 41:1 the crocodile is meant;” “in Ps. 104:26 it “denotes any large animal that moves by” “writhing or wriggling the body, the whale, the monsters of the” “deep.” This word is also used figuratively for a cruel enemy, as” “some think “the Egyptian host, crushed by the divine power, and” “cast on the shores of the Red Sea” (Ps. 74:14). As used in Isa.” “27:1, “leviathan the piercing [R.V. `swift’] serpent, even” “leviathan that crooked [R.V. marg. `winding’] serpent,” the word” “may probably denote the two empires, the Assyrian and the” Babylonian.

“From Latin levir, “a husband’s brother,” the name of an ancient” “custom ordained by Moses, by which, when an Israelite died” “without issue, his surviving brother was required to marry the” “widow, so as to continue his brother’s family through the son” that might be born of that marriage (Gen. 38:8; Deut. 25:5-10; “comp. Ruth 3; 4:10). Its object was “to raise up seed to the” “departed brother.”

A descendant of the tribe of Levi (Ex. 6:25; Lev. 25:32; Num. “35:2; Josh. 21:3, 41). This name is, however, generally used as” the title of that portion of the tribe which was set apart for the subordinate offices of the sanctuary service (1 Kings 8:4; “Ezra 2:70), as assistants to the priests.” “When the Israelites left Egypt, the ancient manner of worship “was still observed by them, the eldest son of each house” inheriting the priest’s office. At Sinai the first change in this ancient practice was made. A hereditary priesthood in the family of Aaron was then instituted (Ex. 28:1). But it was not till that terrible scene in connection with the sin of the golden calf that the tribe of Levi stood apart and began to occupy a distinct position (Ex. 32). The religious primogeniture “was then conferred on this tribe, which henceforth was devoted” to the service of the sanctuary (Num. 3:11-13). They were selected for this purpose because of their zeal for the glory of “God (Ex. 32:26), and because, as the tribe to which Moses and” “Aaron belonged, they would naturally stand by the lawgiver in” his work. “The Levitical order consisted of all the descendants of Levi’s “three sons, Gershon, Kohath, and Merari; whilst Aaron, Amram’s” “son (Amram, son of Kohat), and his issue constituted the” priestly order. “The age and qualification for Levitical service are specified in “Num. 4:3, 23, 30, 39, 43, 47.” “They were not included among the armies of Israel (Num. 1:47; “2:33; 26:62), but were reckoned by themselves. They were the” special guardians of the tabernacle (Num. 1:51; 18:22-24). The Gershonites pitched their tents on the west of the tabernacle “(3:23), the Kohathites on the south (3:29), the Merarites on the” “north (3:35), and the priests on the east (3:38). It was their” duty to move the tent and carry the parts of the sacred structure from place to place. They were given to Aaron and his sons the priests to wait upon them and do work for them at the sanctuary services (Num. 8:19; 18:2-6). “As being wholly consecrated to the service of the Lord, they had no territorial possessions. Jehovah was their inheritance (Num. “18:20; 26:62; Deut. 10:9; 18:1, 2), and for their support it was” ordained that they should receive from the other tribes the tithes of the produce of the land. Forty-eight cities also were “assigned to them, thirteen of which were for the priests “to” “dwell in”, i.e., along with their other inhabitants. Along with” “their dwellings they had “suburbs”, i.e., “commons”, for their” “herds and flocks, and also fields and vineyards (Num. 35:2-5).” “Nine of these cities were in Judah, three in Naphtali, and four” in each of the other tribes (Josh. 21). Six of the Levitical “cities were set apart as “cities of refuge” (q.v.). Thus the” Levites were scattered among the tribes to keep alive among them the knowledge and service of God. (See [355]PRIEST.)

“The third book of the Pentateuch; so called in the Vulgate,” “after the LXX., because it treats chiefly of the Levitical” service. “In the first section of the book (1-17), which exhibits the “worship itself, there is, (1.) A series of laws (1-7) regarding” “sacrifices, burnt-offerings, meat-offerings, and thank-offerings” “(1-3), sin-offerings and trespass-offerings (4; 5), followed by” the law of the priestly duties in connection with the offering “of sacrifices (6; 7). (2.) An historical section (8-10), giving” an account of the consecration of Aaron and his sons (8); Aaron’s first offering for himself and the people (9); Nadab and “Abihu’s presumption in offering “strange fire before Jehovah,” “and their punishment (10). (3.) Laws concerning purity, and the” sacrifices and ordinances for putting away impurity (11-16). An “interesting fact may be noted here. Canon Tristram, speaking of” the remarkable discoveries regarding the flora and fauna of the “Holy Land by the Palestine Exploration officers, makes the” “following statement:, “Take these two catalogues of the clean” and unclean animals in the books of Leviticus [11] and Deuteronomy [14]. There are eleven in Deuteronomy which do not “occur in Leviticus, and these are nearly all animals and birds” “which are not found in Egypt or the Holy Land, but which are” numerous in the Arabian desert. They are not named in Leviticus a few weeks after the departure from Egypt; but after the people “were thirty-nine years in the desert they are named, a strong” proof that the list in Deuteronomy was written at the end of the “journey, and the list in Leviticus at the beginning. It fixes” “the writing of that catalogue to one time and period only, viz.,” that when the children of Israel were familiar with the fauna “and the flora of the desert” (Palest. Expl. Quart., Jan. 1887).” (4.) Laws marking the separation between Israel and the heathen “(17-20). (5.) Laws about the personal purity of the priests, and” their eating of the holy things (20; 21); about the offerings of “Israel, that they were to be without blemish (22:17-33); and” about the due celebration of the great festivals (23; 25). (6.) Then follow promises and warnings to the people regarding “obedience to these commandments, closing with a section on vows.” “The various ordinances contained in this book were all delivered “in the space of a month (comp. Ex. 40:17; Num. 1:1), the first” month of the second year after the Exodus. It is the third book of Moses. “No book contains more of the very words of God. He is almost throughout the whole of it the direct speaker. This book is a “prophecy of things to come, a shadow whereof the substance is” Christ and his kingdom. The principles on which it is to be interpreted are laid down in the Epistle to the Hebrews. It contains in its complicated ceremonial the gospel of the grace of God.

Definition of Levi: “associated with him”

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