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Numbers 18:8-20 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

The Priests’ Share of the Sacrifices. The Lord said to Aaron:[a] I hereby give to you charge of the contributions made to me, including the various holy offerings of the Israelites; I assign them to you and to your sons as a perquisite, a perpetual due. This is what you shall have from the oblations that are most holy: every offering of theirs—namely, all their grain offerings, purification offerings, and reparation offerings which they must return to me—shall be most holy for you and for your sons. 10 You shall eat them in a most holy place;[b] every male may partake of them. As holy, they belong to you.

11 This also you shall have: the contributions that are their gifts, including the elevated offering[c] of the Israelites; I assign them to you and to your sons and daughters with you as a perpetual due. All in your household who are clean may eat them. 12 I also assign to you all the best of the new oil and of the new wine and grain that they give to the Lord as their first produce that has been processed. 13 The first-ripened fruits of whatever is in their land, which they bring to the Lord, shall be yours; all of your household who are clean may eat them. 14 Whatever is under the ban[d] in Israel shall be yours. 15 Every living thing that opens the womb, human being and beast alike, such as are to be offered to the Lord, shall be yours; but you must redeem the firstborn of human beings, as well as redeem the firstborn of unclean animals. 16 For the redemption price of a son, when he is a month old, you shall pay the equivalent of five silver shekels according to the sanctuary shekel, that is, twenty gerahs. 17 But the firstborn of cattle, or the firstborn of sheep or the firstborn of goats you shall not redeem; they are holy. Their blood you must splash on the altar and their fat you must burn as an oblation of pleasing aroma to the Lord. 18 Their meat, however, shall be yours, just as the brisket of the elevated offering and the right thigh belong to you. 19 As a perpetual due I assign to you and to your sons and daughters with you all the contributions of holy things which the Israelites set aside for the Lord; this is a covenant of salt[e] to last forever before the Lord, for you and for your descendants with you. 20 Then the Lord said to Aaron:[f] You shall not have any heritage in their land nor hold any portion among them; I will be your portion and your heritage among the Israelites.


  1. 18:8–10 Two classes of offerings are here distinguished: the most holy offering, which only the male members of the priestly families could eat (vv. 8–10), and the other offerings, which the women of the priestly families could eat (vv. 11–19).
  2. 18:10 In a most holy place: in the court of the tabernacle, according to Lv 6:9, 19.
  3. 18:11 Elevated offering: this included the brisket and right thigh (v. 18), the shoulder of the peace offering (Lv 7:30–34), and portions of the nazirite sacrifice (Nm 6:19–20). With you: see note on v. 1. Aaron had no daughters; see also v. 19.
  4. 18:14 Under the ban: in Hebrew, herem, which means here “set aside from profane use and made sacred to the Lord.” Cf. Lv 27:21, 28.
  5. 18:19 A covenant of salt: cf. 2 Chr 13:5. The reference may perhaps be to the preservative power of salt (cf. Mt 5:13); but more likely the phrase refers to the custom of eating salt together to render a contract unbreakable. See note on Lv 2:13.
  6. 18:20 The priests and Levites were forbidden to own hereditary land such as the other Israelites possessed; therefore in the allotment of the land (chap. 34) they did not receive any portion of it. Certain cities, however, were assigned to them for their residence; cf. 35:1–8.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.


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