The Lord spoke to Aaron: you, your sons and the tribe are to bear the responsibility for offenses connected with the sanctuary during your priesthood. You shall bring your fellow men from the tribe of your father, the tribe of Levi, to serve you. You and your sons shall serve in front of the tent of the law and perform the duties of the entire tabernacle. However, they must not go near the furnishings of the sanctuary or the altar or both they and you will die. No one else is to serve apart from you. Do this that my wrath will not descend onto the Israelites again. Behold, the Lord has given you the Levites as a gift.
Take care that you and your sons keep your priesthood for everything of the altar, and for that within, behind the veil. It is my gift to you. I give you forever a portion of the offerings made to me. I give it to you and your sons as that which is holiest. You shall eat it in the holy place. Every male shall eat it as it shall be holy to you.
All wave offerings are also for you. All the remaining wine and grain, the first-ripe fruits that they bring to the Lord, I have given to you. Everything devoted in Israel shall belong to you. All that breaks forth from every womb, both human and animal, that is offered to the Lord is yours. However, you must redeem every firstborn son and every firstborn male of unclean animals. When they are a month old, you must redeem them at the redemption price set at five shekels of silver, according to the sanctuary weight, the piece of silver weighing 20 grams. However, you must not redeem the firstborn of a cow, a sheep or a goat; they are holy and you should splash their blood against the altar and burn their fat as a burnt offering. Their meat is to be yours, just as the breast and the right shoulder are to be yours. Whatever holy offerings the Israelites present to the Lord I give to you and your sons and daughters as your portion. It is an everlasting “covenant of salt” before the Lord. The Lord said to Aaron: you shall have no inheritance in their land, neither shall you have any portion among them. I am your portion and your inheritance among them. I have given the Levites the tithe of Israel as an inheritance for their services. Henceforth the Israelites shall not come near the tabernacle or they will bear their sin; this is a lasting decree.
The Lord spoke to Moses: tell the Levites, when you take from the children of Israel the tithe which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then you shall offer up a wave offering of it for the Lord, a tithe of each tithe and this shall be credited to you, as though you had given grain of the threshing floor and wine from the wine press. You shall give this portion of everything. And say to them: you may eat it with your children anywhere as it is the payment for your service. You will not bear sin and will not profane the holy gifts of the Israelites.