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p. 162

Levi's Dream at Bethel; he is appointed to the Priesthood. Jacob celebrates the Feast of Tabernacles and offers Tithes. The Institution of Tithes (xxxii. 1-15; cf. Gen. xxxv.),

XXXII. And he abode that night at Bethel, and Levi dreamed 1 that they had ordained and made him the priest of the Most High God, 2 him and his sons for ever; and he awoke from his sleep and blessed the Lord. 2. And Jacob rose early in the morning, on the fourteenth of this month, and he gave a tithe of all that came with him, both of men and cattle, both of gold and every vessel and garment, yea, he gave tithes of all. 3. And in those days Rachel became pregnant with her son Benjamin. And Jacob counted his sons from him 3 upwards and Levi fell to the portion of the Lord, 4 and his father clothed him in the garments of the priesthood and filled his hands. 5 4. And on the fifteenth of this month, he brought to the altar fourteen oxen from amongst the cattle, and twenty-eight rams, and forty-nine sheep, and seven lambs, and twenty-one kids of the goats as a burnt-offering on the altar of sacrifice, well pleasing for a sweet savour before God. 6 5. This was his offering,

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in consequence of the vow which he had vowed that he would give a tenth, 1 with their fruit-offerings and their drink-offerings. 6. And when the fire had consumed it, he burnt incense on the fire over the fire, and for a thank-offering two oxen and four rams and four sheep, four he-goats, and two sheep of a year old, and two kids of the goats; and thus he did daily for seven days. 7. And he and all his sons and his men were eating (this) with joy there during seven days and blessing and thanking the Lord, who had delivered him out of all his tribulation and had given him his vow. 8. And he tithed all the clean animals, and made a burnt sacrifice, but the unclean animals he gave (not) to Levi his son, and he gave him all the souls of the men. 2 9. And Levi discharged the priestly office at Bethel before Jacob his father in preference to his ten brothers, and he was a priest there, and Jacob gave his vow: thus he tithed again the tithe 3 to the Lord and sanctified it, and it became holy unto Him. 10. And for this reason it is ordained on the heavenly tables as a law for the tithing again the tithe to eat before the Lord from year to year, 4 in the place where it is chosen that His name should dwell, and to this law there is no limit of days for ever. 11. This ordinance is written that it may be fulfilled from year to year in eating the second tithe before the Lord in the place where it hath been chosen, and nothing shall remain over from it from this year to the year following. 12. For in its year shall the seed be eaten till the days of the gathering of the seed of the year, and the wine till the days of the wine, and the oil till the days of its season. 13. And all that is left thereof and becometh old, let it be regarded as polluted: let it be burnt with fire, for it is unclean. 14. And thus let them eat it together in the

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sanctuary, and let them not suffer it to become old. 15. And all the tithes of the oxen and sheep shall be holy unto the Lord, 1 and shall belong to His priests, which they will eat before Him from year to year; for thus is it ordained and engraven regarding the tithe on the heavenly tables.


162:1 Cf. Test. Levi viii. (which describes Levi's dream-vision of seven men in white as having taken place at Bethel); also v. of the same work (in ix. 3 Jacob has this dream also).

162:2 Cf. Gen. xiv. 18-20 (Melchizedek). The title, "Priest of the Most High God," was appropriated by the Maccabean priest-kings. Apparently it was expected in certain quarters that the Messiah would spring from this priestly ruling house; cf. Ps. cx., especially ver. 4.

162:3 i.e. from Benjamin.

162:4 Levi, as the tenth son (counting backwards from Benjamin), fell, under the law of tithe, to the Lord, and was consecrated to the priesthood; cf. also Pirḳe de R. Eliezer xxxvii., where Levi is counted (by a different method) as tenth "and was reckoned as the tithe, holy to God" (cf. Lev. xxvii. 32).

162:5 A technical expression meaning appointment to the priesthood; cf. Exod. xxviii. 41 (R.V. marg.); xxix. 9.

162:6 The number of victims does not agree with the prescriptions of the Mosaic Law regarding the Feast of Tabernacles; cf. Num. xxix. 12-40; Lev. xxiii. 34-36, 39-44.

163:1 Cf. Gen. xxviii. 22.

163:2 Cf. Test. Levi ix. 3 ("And he [Jacob] paid tithes of all to the Lord through me").

163:3 i. e. the second tithe; cf. Num. xviii. 26.

163:4 Cf. Deut. xiv. 23 (Tobit i. 7).

164:1 Cf. Lev. xxvii. 32; 2 Chron. xxxi. 6. These tithes are not otherwise attested in the O.T.

Next: Jacob's Visions. He celebrates the eighth day of Tabernacles. The Birth of Benjamin and Death of Rachel (xxxii. 16-34)