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Bible Dictionaries

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary


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The third son of Jacob and Leah—from whence sprung the Levites. The name of Levi, it should seem to have meant, one that is tied, perhaps in reference to the office afterwards to be attached to the Levites. The personal character of Jacob's son Levi, occasioned the dying patriarch to speak with displeasure concerning him. (See Genesis 49:5-7) And the prediction of this tribe being divided in Jacob, and scattered in Israel, was literally fulfilled; for we find in the settlement in Canaan, the sons of Levi had no share in the division of the land, but only certain cities among the other tribes. Yet the Lord was graciously pleased to choose this tribe for his own more immediate service, and placed this, highly honourable and distinguished mark upon it: At that time the Lord separated the tribe of Levi, to bear the ark of the covenant of the Lord to stand before the Lord to minister unto him, and to bless in his name unto this day: wherefore Levi hath no part nor inheritance with his brethren; the Lord is his inheritance, according as the Lord thy God promised him. (Deuteronomy 10:8-9)

The services of the Levites, seem to have been a constant, ministration in the temple. We have the account, Num 3They were subordinate to the priests, and their consecration to their offices was not with so much ceremony, (see Numbers 7:5-7) nevertheless they were all of one tribe, (see 2 Chronicles 29:34) Their provision was noble. (Numbers 35:1-34)

I cannot close this article without desiring the reader to take notice with me of the blessing of Moses, the man of God, wherewith, amidst the blessings he pronounced in the Lord's name on the children of Israel before his death, he distinguished Levi. (See Deuteronomy 33:8) "And of Levi he said, let thy Thummim and thy Urim be with thy Holy One, whom thou didst prove at Massah, and with whom thou didst strive at the waters of Meribah; who said unto his father and unto his mother, I have not seen him, neither did he acknowledge his brethren, nor knew his own children; for they have observed thy word, and kept thy covenant. They shall teach Jacob thy judgments, and Israel thy law; they shall put incense before thee, and whole burnt sacrifice upon thine altar. Bless, Lord, his substance, and accept the work of his hands: smite through the loins of them that rise against him, and of them that hate him, that they rise not again."

Surely with an eye to Christ (though our Lord sprang out of Judah, and not Levi, Hebrews 7:14) did Moses here, by the spirit of prophecy, declare, that the Urim and the Thummim, that is, lights and perfections, should be with JEHOVAH'S Holy One. The waters of Meribah was that memorable spot where the people, soon after the children of Israel came out of Egypt, did chide with Moses and Aaron for want of water. (See Exodus 17:1-7) Here Moses and Aaron stemmed the torrent of the people's anger; and it should seem to have been in allusion to this, that the man of God, speaking of Levi, said, "whom thou didst prove, and didst find faithful," who did not acknowledge the feelings of nature when those calls of grace demanded faithfulness. See another instance, (Exodus 32:25-28) The other instance at Meribah, sets forth the frailty both of Moses and Aaron: (see Numbers 20:1-13) But by taking into one view both instances at Meribah, we are certainly constrained to look farther than to the Aarons, or to all the sons of Levi, under the Old Testament dispensation, for the accomplishment of Moses's dying prediction that the Urim and Thummim of JEHOVAH might be with the Lord's Holy One; and to none can we make the smallest application, but to the Almighty Aaron of "a better covenant, established upon better promises." Levi and his sons were all types of our Lord Jesus, JEHOVAH'S Holy One. With him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; and with him only could the Urim and Thummim be said to be, and with him to be for ever; for though the high priest wore on his breast the representations of the Urim and the Thummim, yet during the Babylonish captivity all this was done away, and never after was it restored under the second temple. Hence, therefore, in Christ alone could this be found, and him alone could Moses mean. The prophecy therefore, had a blessed fulfilment in Jesus, and in him for ever. Here, reader, is brought the pure incense, and that whole burnt sacrifice, Christ Jesus upon JEHOVAH'S altar; even Christ himself, who is both the New Testament altar of JEHOVAH, the high priest, and the sacrifice. O Lord! may we well say, in making our responses to the prayer of Moses, Bless, Lord, our Lord Jesus, the sum and substance of all salvation: accept the work of his hands the infinite merit of his whole redemption work! Let sin, Satan, death, and hell, be smitten all of them through the centre, the very loins of their rebellion, and let all that hate our Jesus flee before him! Amen.

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Bibliography Information
Hawker, Robert D.D. Entry for 'Levi'. Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance and Dictionary. London. 1828.

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