Levi is the third son of Jacob and Leah. His name sounds like the Hebrew word for attached because Leah hoped that Jacob would be attached (love) to her.
Genesis 49:5 “Simeon and Levi are brothers— their swords are weapons of violence.
6 Let me not enter their council, let me not join their assembly, for they have killed men in their anger and hamstrung oxen as they pleased.
7 Cursed be their anger, so fierce, and their fury, so cruel! I will scatter them in Jacob and disperse them in Israel. (NIV)
This prophecy was fulfilled because the Levities had the “Lord as their inheritance” thus they received only cities within other tribes and Simeon was “scattered” into Judah. After the incident at Shechem, they really did not do anything else outstanding and just slip into history.
Deuteronomy 33:8 About Levi he said: “Your Thummim and Urim belong to the man you favored. You tested him at Massah; you contended with him at the waters of Meribah.
9 He said of his father and mother, ‘I have no regard for them.’ He did not recognize his brothers or acknowledge his own children, but he watched over your word
and guarded your covenant.
10 He teaches your precepts to Jacob and your law to Israel. He offers incense before you and whole burnt offerings on your altar.
11 Bless all his skills, O Lord, and be pleased with the work of his hands. Smite the loins of those who rise up against him; strike his foes till they rise no more.” (NIV)
The Thummim and Urim were how the Israelites could receive instruction (Ezra 2:63) from the Lord. I have read that the breastplate (Exodus 28:30) the High Priest wore had stones with the names of the tribes inscribed on them and they may have been removable; then they would “roll” them and pick who the Lord’s choice was from the casting of these lots. An example of this may be in Judges 1:1+2 when Judah was picked to lead Israel against the Canaanites. (If you Google this subject, you will find a lot of non-Christian/Biblical info)
Massah and Meribah was the name given to the campsite of Rephidim (Exodus 17) or the “spring and rock” where the Israelites argued and tested the Lord about drinking water. Rephidim is also where the Amalekites come into the Exodus story as enemies.
Exodus 32 is an interesting chapter featuring the Levities. Moses is up on a mountain seeking God and receiving the Commandments, Aaron is making a golden calf and the family collectively is killing people who are out of control because of the calf. And once again God shows His mercy by making Aaron the priest even after he “fibs” about the golden calf in vs.24. It is interesting to note that a specific genetic marker has been found that allows them to specifically trace Aaron’s family line. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y-chromosomal_Aaron
Other notable descendants of Levi and Aaron are David’s Praise Team: Heman, Asaph, and Ethan (1 Chronicles 15: 19), Benaiah the captain of David’s guard was a priest-1 Chronicles 27:5. Jeremiah was from the priestly family of Hilkiah.
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