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Levites

Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception

Volume 16
Editor(s): Christine Helmer, Steven L. McKenzie, Thomas Römer, Jens Schröter, Barry Dov Walfish, Eric J. Ziolkowski
De Gruyter (Berlin, Boston) 2018

Hebrew Bible/Old Testament

Jaeyoung Jeon

The Levites (MT Lěwiyîm, běnêy Lēwî; LXX Λευῖται) are described in the HB/OT as a tribe stemming from the patriarch Levi, son of Jacob and Leah (Gen 29:34). According to the biblical presentation, they were scattered throughout Israel without inherited land unlike the other tribes. This lack of inherited land is explained either by Jacob’s curse (Gen 49:7) or by the Levites being entrusted with priestly duties (e.g., Num 18:23; Deut 10:9). Concerning the Levites’ religious functions, the HB/OT …

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