April 09, 2007
Breadcrumb: I'll trade you
The Levites worked in the tabernacle as a replacement for the firstborn of all the rest of the tribes of Israel. That way, all the other tribes could continue intact, while the Levite tribe also continued as a cohesive unit. At the time of the census, there were 22,000 male Levites (Num. 4:39) and 22,273 male first-born children from the other tribes (Num. 4:43). God's solution for dealing with the surplus was to tax the Israelites 5 shekels each for the 273 first-borns, or 1,365 shekels overall. This money was – can you guess? – given to Aaron and his sons. (Num. 4:44-51) Some people seem to have all the luck.