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6

Verse 6

6.And if a Levite come. This third head more clearly explains what is elsewhere more obscurely declared; for God seemed to curtail from the Levites whatever He gave to the priests. But He now more distinctly places the priests in the first rank, yet so that they should admit the Levites on the score of their labor’s to a share of the oblations. This is the sum of the law, that the Levites who remained at home, should be content with the tithes, and touch nothing of the other offerings; but that from whithersoever they should come to the sanctuary, they were to be accounted as ministers and take their proper place. By this law then, it was provided that none should be excluded on the ground of the intermission of their duties; and that the condition of those that dwelt elsewhere should not be worse than of those who lived at Jerusalem. For although they might reside in other cities, they did not altogether cease from their ministry, since they had other duties to perform besides that of sacrificing the victims. Yet those who entirely devoted themselves to the work of the sanctuary, were endowed by God with double honor; since it was by no means just that they should be defrauded of their maintenance, who bade adieu to domestic cares and labors, and occupied themselves totally in holy offices. That this distribution was not superfluous, will best appear from the narrative of Josephus, who relates that the (226) priests seized on the tithes by violence, and deprived the Levites of their subsistence by hostile measures.

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